David Fincher’s “the girl with the dragon tattoo”

“The girl with the dragon tattoo” – (158 minutes, USA, 2011 – rated R)


I wanted to like this. Great cast, great director, great story… But like Steven Spielberg, David Fincher hits it about as much as he misses, and the opening sequence of “the girl with the dragon tattoo” is the best part of the movie.

Steven Zaillian is credited as screenwriter for this adaptation and described on imdb as a veteran scrip doctor. Here, it appears the doctor killed the patient. You very seldom get a strong female character matched to a strong female lead as was the case with Salander and Noomi Rapace. To say this version adds nothing to the original Swedish film is true but incomplete: the character treatment of Lisbeth Salander amounts to character assassination, although at 158 minutes it’s more like a prolonged torture session.


When Lisbeth rescues Blomqvist from the killer and chases after him,  she actually asks Blomqvist for his permission to kill the bad guy. In Fincher’s “girl with the dragon tattoo”, Lisbeth subordinates herself to Blomqvist, which is not just contrary to the source material (book and film), but bizarre…

The book’s original title, Män som hatar kvinnor, means “men who hate women”, and makes me wonder at the guys involved here. Too bad, so sad, avoid this stinker. This gets no beans.

0 beans

UPDATE BY Rudha-an

Here is the opening title sequence that Lastech mentioned. It’s the best part of the movie.

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“Trollhunter”: Norway José

Corny jokes are all that I’m left with, along with growing paranoia.

Just over a week ago, I was trawling (geddit?) through our Netflix queue looking for something to watch,  promptly found “Trollhunter” sitting two thirds of the way down, and jumped over to Nekoneko to re-read her review.

By the way, if you’re interested in watching “Trollhunter” I recommend you read her write up. Because you see, I did not finish it. And I wanted to review it. By Grabthar’s hammer, this was not to be…

Trollhunter poster
Movie poster

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Midnight Movie Madness: “the adventures of Tintin”, from Rouletabille until Clark Kent

“The adventures of Tintin” (107 minutes, USA, 2011 – rated PG)

Perhaps the most difficult thing in adapting material like Hergé’s comic books has to do with tone and pitch. To say the themes and characters are dated or fixed in time might be unkind, but it’s safe to say Tintin is steeped in tradition. And in some instances, some would even say good riddance.

"The adventures of Tintin" movie poster
“The adventures of Tintin” movie poster – 2011

Tintin’s adventures spanned about 40 years from the 1930’s until the 1970’s, a period which started between world wars, through European decolonization, the nuclear age, race to space and the cold war, with a hero combining Baden-Powell’s Boy Scouts’ ideals with the romantic depiction of the journalist as defender of the Fourth Estate.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “the grapes of death”, egg yolks and Beaujolais

The grapes of death” – (85 minutes, France – NR)

Thirty years before the excellent comedy “Bottle Shock” came out, this little known gem drew its inspiration from the troubled French wine industry. Question is: was it a diamond in the rough or straight up zirconium?

Marking a return to the Midnight Movie Madness review format is this bit of a curio from 1970s France, written and directed by Jean Rollin. I found this looking through Z-movie listings (I mean Zombies), although “grapes of death” isn’t exactly about zombies created by bad wine made worse by overused pesticides, it could have been called “les dégueulasses“, as country folk develop extremely bad acne, smearing it everywhere from car windows to… Well, anywhere.

Grapes of death blind girl
Blind village girl with Elisabeth (L2R) Praise Jesus and pass the L’Oreal…

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“Family” films Kurosawa and Shakespeare would like: “Outrage” and “Brighton Rock”

Following “we are what we are“, let’s have a look at another two family films from 2010, of a different sensibility than say, the Disney type…

After receiving accolades from critics everywhere for his peculiar style of crime drama, Takeshi “Beat” Kitano returns to a more conventional and commercial narrative with “outrage“.

And this isn’t a bad thing: his humor is still apparent although he seems more distant than usual towards his characters.

Outrage Beat Takeshi
Takeshi Kitano as Otomo

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Midnight Movie Madness: “we are what we are”

“We are what we are” – (90 minutes, Mexico, NR)

We are what we are” is largely about what it takes to keep a family together and that thing here isn’t love. “We are what we are” is a Mexican film written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau whose career so far shows promise, mostly documentaries centered on culture, the arts and education.

we are whar we are poster

It helps to know this as this work of fiction has strong sociological themes, rather specific to Hispanic culture, Mexican in particular.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Burke and Hare”

Burke and Hare” – (91 minutes, UK, 2010)

Funny story. Two Irish guys, both named William, go to Edinburgh circa 1827 and… Well, “Burke and Hare” tells of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), scraping by in a city experiencing a sort of Renaissance in scientific studies, particularly medicine. As it happens, two rival surgeons, Doctors Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Alexander Monro (Tim Curry), are in stiff competition for fresh human meat to dissect.

Burke Pegg Hare Serkis
Burke (left) and Hare (right)

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“Don’t be afraid of the dark”: don’t be afraid to blow raspberries

Don’t be afraid of the dark” – (2010, USA/Australia/Mexico, 99 minutes – rated R)

This definitely has Guillermo DelToro’s fingerprints over it, but despite the occasional clever touch, this adaptation of a 1973 teleplay falls way short from the original.

In this version, the medicated offspring (Bailee Madison) of a divorced yuppie couple is sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes). Daddy and the girlfriend are renovating the auld mansion of Emerson Blackwood who disappeared mysteriously shortly after his young son about a century ago.

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No accounting for taste: some favorite movie themes and songs

This isn’t any kind of top 10 list, or “best of” by any means: the following clips are posted in no particular order, either.
Some are amusing, some evocative, maybe sad, but they have all stuck somewhere in my mind.

And this sample isn’t exhaustive: I left out Henry Mancini, Roque Banos and Bruno Coulais to name just a few.

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