The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jeff Adkins, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 1998
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    15
    Real Name:
    Jeff Adkins
    I went to see this last night with many reservations. I thought the original Swedish film was outstanding and really didn't know how Fincher could do any better. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I still prefer the original, but the remake far surpassed my expectations. Daniel Craig was outstanding in the role of Mikael Blomkvist. Fincher's direction is very stylish and the supporting cast is quite good as well. My only two complaints: 1) Rooney Mara's performance as Lisbeth Salander didn't quite work as well for me. At times, I got the impression that she was trying to hard and it came across as less believable. Granted, that's a tough role to take on for any actress, but Noomi Rapace just nailed it. 2) The unfolding of the clues seemed to flow better in the original. There were times in this one where I was a bit confused trying to figure out what was going on. Since it had been a couple of years since I had seen the Swedish version, I had forgotten many of the key elements to the mystery. I think the new Fincher version is worth seeing. I think he did a remarkable job overall, especially when you consider the film he was remaking was nearly flawless to begin with. I'll give the 2011 Fincher version: B+ The original Swedish film: A
     
  2. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    I was worried about this one. Thanks for the review!!! Can't wait to see it, however I have a feeling I will be seeing it after the holidays. :(
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,647
    Likes Received:
    418
    For a film with a 160 minute runtime, it breezed by like a 100 minute film, pretty much a hallmark of a David Fincher film with impeccable pacing, even though it covers a lot of territory and still manages to give room to develop the 2 main characters, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), as well as the central mystery dropped in Blomkvist's lap as his professional career as an investigative reporter goes into the crapper. Salander is a ward of the state who is an excellent hacker and investigator of her own, although she projects an alternative persona (aura of a gothy suicide girl) with a violent streak in her formative years. Salander's world goes terribly bad when her guardian suffers a debilitating illness, and a state-appointed shrink preys on her need for funds from her trust by subjecting her to coerced sexual acts. Eventually Blomkvist and Salander are paired up when he is in need of an investigator to follow up on the clues and photos he's gathered as part of an investigation to the murders from over 40 years ago on the behest of a wealthy man, Henrik Vanger, who lives on an island with many of his rich relatives. The opening credit sequences was a little over-the-top, but you won't forget it all too quickly. Having seen the original Swedish version, it's almost impossible for me to not compare the 2 versions, but I think they are both very solid films, and I think I still prefer Noomi Rapace's portrayal of Salander, as Rapace had a more haunting quality to her portrayal than Rooney Mara, but I think Mara may have awakened within me a latent fondness for gothy suicide girls. (heh). I also think the original did a little better job of developing the investigational aspects of the mystery, but Fincher keeps everything moving, and has no problem heightening the feelings of dread and consequence as this story unfolds and our characters find themselves in perilous situations. Well worth seeing at the theaters. I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
     
  4. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,260
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    I think casting Stellan Skarsgard in your film pretty much spoils the "whodunit." The minute I saw his face, I immediately assumed he was the villain. That brief shot of him opening the door in the teaser trailer with that smirk on his face = me knowing he was guilty.
    It's kind of like having Michael Rooker playing a father-figure. You know he's going to be totally abusive and shit. That said, I loved the entire conversation about following your instincts.
    Martin
    was absolutely right about how people will walk right into a trap, rather than run the risk of offending someone by refusing an invitation. I also appreciated how this film left things unsaid. In the Swedish version, I recall Blomqvist actually noted that Lisbeth has a photographic memory. In this version, you are allowed to figure that out for yourself.
    I also thought it was effective the way the impeccable cleanliness of Martin's home was established, making it plausible that he could instantly tell when someone had disturbed something in his house. The guy was seriously OCD -- using the hand sanitizer before offing his victims was a nice touch.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,326
    Likes Received:
    4,688
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    I hate these review and discussion combination threads because certain people tell too much of the plot before a majority of the people had a chance to see the film.








    Crawdaddy
     
  6. MattFini

    MattFini Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Absolutely LOVED this adaptation. Being a big fan of the Swedish trilogy, and also of the mind that nobody could do Lisbeth better than Noomi Rapace, I was completely stunned to discover that this US version was an improvement in just about every possible way. Couldn't believe how much closer Rooney Mara came to embodying the character that I'd pictured while reading the book. The vicious and brutal exterior that eventually gives way to a softer core; the way Mara both internalizes AND externalizes Lisbeth's mistrust of others -- just beautiful, fantastic stuff. At 2 1/2 hours, Zallian's script condenses so much of Larsson's story, but it never feels forced or rushed. The atmosphere is thick and pervasive and Fincher adds so many perfect visual touches that this is quite the cinematic experience. While this is currently underperforming at the box office, my hope is that it will exhibit legs and pick up some during the next week and next weekend. It's such an awesome movie that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Fincher and co. tackle the other two books in the trilogy. My favorite film of the year, hands down.
     
  7. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,513
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Lee Summit, Missouri
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Big fan of both adaptations. I was surprised how much I really enjoyed this version. Both films take liberties with the book and neither is perfect, but their differences in take on the original content made this film interesting and new again.

    There are things I thought worked better in this film then in the original, and things I didn't think sold quite as well. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Lisbeth here, as much as Rapace's. The portrayal of Mikael is more of a philanderer is much closer to the book then the Swedish version, and I cared for that - though I was as sold on how Daniel Craig plays the part. Part of what I thought made the original was that this was a dogged "every man" character and it was played more that way..


    The soundtrack helped sell the action and was very well done - I liked the subtle nod to it of having the hacker friend in a NIN T-Shirt :)

    Overall, I found this to be a better then expected showing. I lucked out; I watched it at the AMC 30 in a "fork and screen" (dinner and a movie) performance, and I was the ONLY person in the theater. I mean, that's it, just me. No one else in the theater at all for a midnight show. It was fantastic, I could ask for more with that kind of theater environment, a recliner, a beer, a full meal and not a sole in the theater besides me.
     
  8. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,260
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Spoiler-izing this (had no idea this was a semi-spoiler-free forum):
    I just heard some junket guy call the torture-room at the end "The Fincher Room." Pretty much sums up how I feel about the movie (in a good way). Also, there's what I thought was the weirdest trend of the movie -- I don't think I've seen anything in 2011 with nearly as much product-placement. Did McDonald's really say, "Nazi Rape-Orgy? WHERE DO WE SIGN??"
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,471
    Likes Received:
    3,687
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    While I'm sure the ugliness of some of the parts of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is off-putting to some people, I thought the movie was excellent. I've seen 50 movies that were released this year and this was probably the best of the lot (maybe The Ides Of March was better). The direction, the performances, the cinematagrophy, the editing and the score are all top notch. If you're even remotely interested in this movie, check it out.
     
  10. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,260
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Real Name:
    Josh
    Also, does anyone else think Kate Mara suddenly fucking HATES her sister now? Like, Kate's been working her way around movies and TV for past ten years or so, has a nice, reputable C-list career, and then one day her kid sister is all, "Oh yeah, I wanna act, too," and next thing you know it's FINCHER O'CLOCK, and the-hottest-franchise-in-the-world time ("Oops...guess I'm a movie star now!"), and Kate's back to doing Zoom 2 or guest-spots on American Horror Story, or whatever. It's like when that David Cook kid on Idol tagged along with his sad-sack older brother to audition -- the older brother didn't pass, David did, and went on to win the show, and the brother got stuck as a workaday sucker back in his hometown, while his brother's a rock star on a total, offhand whim. I've always been fascinated by the Beau Bridges and Randy Quaids of the world. Especially when the older sibling puts in the work...it'd be like if Jim Hanks or Joe Estevez or Don Swayze had fucking SKYROCKETED. How can that not send Kate Mara into a TAILSPIN OF RAGE AND DEPRESSION? Fuck, who wants to even live in the same city as their family, let alone compete with them for movie parts? What good is fame if your sister lives just three blocks down?
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,471
    Likes Received:
    3,687
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    ^ No matter what, Kate can still hold on to not having been in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,647
    Likes Received:
    418
    And one of David Cook's brothers did die of brain cancer...
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,326
    Likes Received:
    4,688
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Interesting tidbit that the two great grandfathers of the Mara girls were the original owners of the Pittsburg Steelers and New York Giants which the families still own today.
     
  14. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Mos Eisley Spaceport
    Real Name:
    Brett Meyer
    I saw it opeing day. I am a fan of the original trilogy and I had just finished the 3 novels. I thought is was a very good but not great film. Perhaps another viewing will change my perception. Maybe I was looking forward to it a little too much. Maybe my expectations were too high. I have no problems with the direction, performances, music, cinematography, etc. All were top-notch. The script was the biggest hurdle for me. The most important part of the the story is how Mikel and Lisbeth become friends -- he said many times that he wanted to be her friend and she needed to trust him. This got lost in Fincher's film. There was no time to breathe and reflect -- there were so few moments of quiet. The script is dense -- almost too dense. I have no issues with any changes that were made. In all, I liked it and recommend it. My only hope is that the other films can be made so we can explore the relationship that is the heart of the whole trilogy. 8/10 ****/*****
     
  15. MattFini

    MattFini Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Saw this again last night and loved it even more the second time around. One thing that was a fun catch:
    Did anyone else hear the woman's screams when Blomkvist is having dinner at Martin's house? He walks off claiming he left something open, and you can faintly hear a woman's screams mixed in with the whisps of wind.
    Actually think I'd like to catch it once more in theaters as well. I haven't been this engrossed in a film in a while.
     
  16. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,471
    Likes Received:
    3,687
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    ^ I think your spoiler is why Ren Klyce gets a credit in the opening. I'll probably catch this again in a day or two and will have to listen for that.
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,585
    Likes Received:
    588
    Location:
    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    There are parts of each adaptation I like and don''t like. The Hollywood one is more slick and stylish, but the unfolding mystery around Harriet's disappearance isn't as creepy or compelling. I liked Lisbeth's softer core in Fincher's version, but at the same time didn't feel like the way she and Mikael came together was as interesting. Overall, I still prefer the Swedish version, but plan to add the remake to my movie collection when it is eventually released to Blu.
     
  18. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,585
    Likes Received:
    588
    Location:
    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    An interesting analysis and comparison: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/65403546.html
     
  19. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    I couldn't agree more about the clues. That was one thing that bothered me. I just watched 2011 version this weekend. If they could have put that sequence in with the rest of the film this would have been an "A" for me. One thing I did like was the main killer in the 2011 version. The scene at the end when he is talking to DC was great IMHO. I liked how he was taken back about the first male etc..... and some of the little comments about his father. I liked this scene a lot. For those who have seen both and have read the book (haven't read it yet) which ending is closer to the book?
     
  20. MattFini

    MattFini Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    1
    ^ If you're referring to the final scene of the Fincher movie, that is how the book ends.
     

Share This Page