Read This Post With Some Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

Happy MLK Jr. Day, y’all. I hope you’re all off work, relaxing on the couch watching re-runs of your favorite shows while drinking something nice (vodka, coffee, juice, etc.). Me, I’m working. I guess my company isn’t all that appreciative of MLK and his deeds so here I am and there you are.

At least I had a solidly good weekend. No unexpected surgeries or tragedies, just a lot of fun, good food, and relaxing (a good weekend for me always involves good food, it’s mandatory). Wes and I watched a movie last night called “Manhunter”. It’s a movie from the 80’s (I was 1 year old when it was released!) that is based on the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris and was directed by Michael Mann.

Wes and I were anticipating watching this movie because he has a thing for Michael Mann and I have a thing for the Hannibal series (I’ve read them all so many times I can almost quote them verbatim). There were a lot of things I liked about the movie. I think the main character was perfectly cast and I like that Mann (who wrote the screenplay) included parts of the dialog word-for-word from the book. I also like that because this movie was made during the 80’s there were a lot of really bright colored shirts and short-shorts for the guys and GIGANTIC hair for the ladies, but that’s another point entirely.

What bothered me about the movie, however, is that I feel as though Mann entirely missed the point. I know that screenwriters have to pick and choose which parts of the books they’re adapting in order to write a successful screenplay but I didn’t care for the parts that Mann picked. Additionally, he committed the cardinal sin of book-to-movie adaptation by neglecting to adjust the mode in which characters express their thoughts. For example, if a character has an internal monologue that illustrates how he was able to figure something out, you can’t just write that monologue out loud, it sounds ridiculous.

The one thing that killed the movie stone dead for me, however, was Brian Cox’s portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. His was a rude, insufferable Hannibal who you couldn’t help but want to smack across the face. The Hannibal of the books, however, is silky, couth, refined, dangerous, yet oddly compelling. There’s a reason he was such a successful killer and could mess with Clarice’s head so well and it wasn’t because he stared at her with his mouth open. Perhaps Cox’s version wouldn’t bother me so much had I not seen Sir Anthony Hopkins play Hannibal first. I think that character was created just for Hopkins, to be honest. I’ve never seen any actor become a character so completely. Word on the street is that he became so absorbed in the role that he acted like Lecter while off-set and freaked everyone right the heck out.

Anyway, I bet you weren’t expecting a movie review when you clicked over here today, were you? What can I say? Sometimes I have opinions and just can’t keep them to myself. In personal news, the puppy is doing really well. His scar is skin-colored now (instead of the deep red it was right after his surgery) and his appetite is normal, which for him means he’s constantly ravenous. We took a family walk in the sunshine yesterday and he was tickled pink to be somewhere other than our house or the backyard. His staples come out on Saturday and that should be the end to his rock-eating story (thank goodness!). I hope it’s the last life-saving-surgery story he’ll ever take part in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *