Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
Blu-ray Reviews

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Blu-ray Review



  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,967 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted March 18 2012 - 05:29 PM

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based upon the novel by Stieg Larsson, is an exciting, intelligent, violent, disturbing, and utterly compelling mystery thriller which will linger in your thoughts long after the final credits have rolled. Director David Fincher accepted the challenge of adapting a 458-page novel into a 2-1/2 hour film, and he has done so magnificently. The densely plotted, multi-dimensional script by screenwriter Steven Zaillian is highly literate and full of surprises. Mix in outstanding performances by a stellar international cast, striking cinematography, and superb, Academy Award-winning editing. The result is one of most suspenseful films to be released in recent years.

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Studio: Sony
Year: 2011
Rated: R
Program Length: 158 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 1080p
Languages: English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA; English 2.0 Dolby Surround; English Audio Descriptive Service
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish

The Program

They say I'm insane. No, it's okay, you can nod because it's true. I am insane. - Lisbeth Salander

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based upon the novel by Stieg Larsson, is an exciting, intelligent, violent, disturbing, and utterly compelling mystery thriller which will linger in your thoughts long after the final credits have rolled. Director David Fincher accepted the challenge of adapting a 458-page novel into a 2-1/2 hour film, and he has done so magnificently. The densely plotted, multi-dimensional script by screenwriter Steven Zaillian is highly literate and full of surprises. Mix in outstanding performances by a stellar international cast, striking cinematography, and superb, Academy Award-winning editing. The result is one of most suspenseful films to be released in recent years.

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a journalist for a Swedish magazine who has been successfully sued for libel by Hans-Erik Wennerström, a prominent industrialist. Blomkvist wrote an investigative journalism piece which accused the businessman of improper financial dealings, an allegation which was disproven in court. The resulting damages award nearly wipes out Blomkvist's life savings and threatens the continued viability of his magazine. As he tries to figure out what to do next, the journalist does not realize that he is being investigated by Dirch Frode (Steven Berkoff), a prominent Stockholm attorney. Milton Security, the firm which Frode hires to conduct the investigation, assigns it to Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a spike-haired, body-pierced, tattooed young woman who has a brilliant talent for hacking into computers. She also has a history of severe emotional problems and drug abuse.

Attorney Frode is, of course, aware of the libel judgment against Blomkvist, who nevertheless passes the background check. Frode then asks Blomkvist to meet with his client, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the former head of Vanger Industries and one of the leading businessmen in Sweden. Shortly after Christmas, Blomkvist travels north by train to meet with Vanger. It seems that Vanger wants the writer to help him unravel a 40-year-old mystery, the sudden and unexplained disappearance in 1966 of his grand-niece, Harriet. Vanger, by now an elderly man, believes that one of his relatives murdered Harriet. As he explains to Blomkvist, "You will be investigating thieves, misers, bullies, the most detestable collection of people that you will ever meet - my family." Harriet's grandfather, Richard Vanger, was a Nazi who died in 1940. Harriet's father, Gottfried Vanger, drowned in the lake which surrounds the family's estate a year before the girl's disappearance. Her brother, Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgård), now runs Vanger Industries. Assorted other family members, who mostly do not speak with one another, also live on the estate. To clinch the deal, Vanger promises Blomkvist that he will give him information about Hans-Erik Wennerström which can help the writer to restore his journalistic reputation. Blomkvist takes up residence in a cottage on the estate and begins to pore through Henrik Vanger's archives.

In the meantime, a parallel story line which involves Lisbeth Salander is developing in Stockholm. We learn that she is a ward of the state because she has been decreed incompetent to handle her own affairs. She has her own apartment, but she is supported financially by a state-appointed guardian. However, when Lisbeth's guardian suffers a stroke she is assigned to a smarmy social worker, Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen). Bjurman threatens to put Lisbeth on an austerity allowance and demands sexual favors from her in return for providing her with funds. Bjurnman later comes to regret his vile behavior when he is confronted with the fact that Lisbeth is far more resourceful and brutal than he could have anticipated.

Eventually the two stories intersect when Blomkvist, who uncovers some previously overlooked evidence, decides that he needs an assistant. The attorney, Frode, recommends that Blomkvist use Lisbeth. When the journalist reads the disturbingly thorough and accurate report which Lisbeth prepared on him, he decides to meet with her and see if he can convince her to work with him. Bit by bit, the unlikely pair collaborater and a picture of what happened to Harriet Vanger - and who was responsible - begins to come into focus.

Craig does an excellent job with his portrayal of the disgraced wtiter, but the real revelation here is the Academy Award-nominated performance by Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth is self-reliant but vulnerable, brilliant but emotionally stunted, incredibly intense but totally lacking in social skills. This has turned out to be a breakthrough role for Mara, and the many accolades she has received are well-deserved. In particular there are two extremely intense scenes involving Lisbeth and her social worker which took a considerable amount of courage to make. Christopher Plummer is fine as Henrik Vanger and Stellan Skarsgård is equally effective as Harriet's brother.

Readers of Stieg Larsson's trilogy know that the mystery of Harriet's disappearance is only part of the story. It has already been announced that Craig and Mara have been signed to film The Girl Who Played With Fire, although it is unclear if Fincher will direct. I am eagerly looking forward to it.

The Video

From the moment that the highly original opening credits appear, audiences of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo know that they are in for something special. This 2.40:1 Blu-ray transfer is flawless. The exteriors were filmed on location during winter and spring in Sweden. Even in a warm living room the viewer can almost feel the chill of the winter wind. The image is exceptionally sharp and well-detailed, and it appears to be properly framed. Colors and flesh tones are accurate. Much of the action takes place at night or in dark spaces, and the solid black levels and excellent shadow detail handle those scenes extremely well. Jeff Cronenweth also is deserving of praise for his outstanding cinematography.

The Audio

The lossless 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is exceptional in every respect. The outstanding musical score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is given a wide and pleasing soundstage. Dialogue is clear and understandable, and the surround channels are very effective at conveying ambient sounds. The sound is particularly impressive in scenes showing Lisbeth racing around on her motorcycle, and there is one scene in which the sound of a train is positively startling. Equally surprising and memorable is the inclusion of Enya's 1988 hit "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)" in the film. It is not so much the song per se which is surprising as the scene in which it is used. It was interesting to learn that the inclusion of the song was Daniel Craig's idea.

The Supplements

Sony has included an entire disc of extras which will satisfy the most demanding fans of the film.

The one supplement on Disc One, which contains the feature, is a revealing and informative audio commentary by director David Fincher. He discusses everything from the opening credits to the music to the casting and locations. He also talks about the film's unique "five-act" structure.

The remaining extras appear on Disc Two. Many are of general interest but some are highly technical and will have limited appeal. This disc has a clever menu and sub-menus which are made to look like archival footage of Vanger Industries records. The supplements are divided into categories: Men Who Hate Women (the original Swedish title), Characters, On Location, Post Production, and Promotion. English subtitles can be activated for the extras. Except where noted, all of the supplements are shown in 1080p.

"Men Who Hate Women" is a seven-minute featurette. Members of the cast and crew discuss the process of adapting the novel to film and talk about the roles of men and women in Sweden.

"Casting Salander" is a revealing, 15-minute featurette about the casting of Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Mara had previously worked for Fincher in The Social Network, but he warned her that the role of Lisbeth Salander could be career-defining.

"Different in Every Way" is a 5-minute featurette which examines that character of Lisbeth. The title of the featurette comes from an early scene in the film when attorney Frode asks what is different about Lisbeth.

"The Look of Salander" is a 14-minute featurette which examines the different ways in which the character of Lisbeth is made up and costumed during the film.

"Mara/Fincher" is a four-minute piece in which the actor and director take turns complimenting each other.

"Irene Nesser" is a six-minute look at how Lisbeth's appearance is changed for some critical scenes at the end of the film.

"Salander Test Footage" is three minutes of footage showing Mara and Fincher walking on Los Angeles streets. This was done early in the testing process.

"Casting Blomkvist" focuses on Daniel Craig and gives an opportunity to discuss his character, how he felt about working with director Fincher, and the fact that there are two leading characters in the film. It runs for about seven minutes.

"Daniel Craig on Film Acting" runs for 3 1/2 minutes and the title is self-explanatory.

"Dressing Blomkvist" is a brief (three minutes) examination of how the filmmakers made a conscious effort to make Craig's character not dress like James Bond.

"Investigation (Stills)" is a photo gallery which focuses on some of the evidence which is uncovered by Blomkvist and Salander.

"Stellan Skarsgård on Acting" runs for three minutes and the title is self-explanatory.

"Psychopathy" is another featurette with Stellan Skarsgård. This time he talks about psychopaths and the challenges involved in depicting one.

"Bondage" is a five-minute examination of a bondage device which plays a critical role in the film.

"Torture" is a four-minute analysis of the torture scene.

"Wrapped in Plastic" answers any questions you may have about what it is like to try to breathe with a plastic bag pulled and held over your head. It runs for five minutes.

"Set Design" is another collection of still photographs.

"Stockholm Syndrome" runs for 18 minutes and shows why the filmmakers felt it was essential to film on location in Sweden. The featurette takes a look and the country's politics, culture and climate, as well as its film industry.

"Stockholm's Tunnelbana" is a six-minute featurette which expands upon the decision to film in Sweden. Particular emphasis is given to explaining a scene in which a thief attempts to steal Lisbeth's laptop in a train station.

"Fuck These People" is an interesting six-minute look at a scene which had to be relocated because of repeated interruptions (passing sheep, thunder, rain) at the original outdoor location.

"The End" is a 12-minute look at the filming of the final moments of the movie.

"Picture Wrap" is a seven-minute look at the end of the filming which was done in Sweden.

"Casting Armansky" gives supporting actor Goran Visnjic an opportunity to talk about his role as Lisbeth's employer at Milton Security. It has a running time of just under five minutes.

"Armansky Audition" runs for seven minutes and shows Goran Visnjic working with David Fincher on his character.

"Thinking Evil Shit" runs for five minutes in 1080p and demonstrates how camera movement was manipulated to shoot an important scene.

"Rape/Revenge" is a seventeen-minute analysis of the making of the film's most emotionally difficult scenes.

"Int. Blomkvist's Cottage" is a six-minute look at the shooting of interior scenes in the cottage.

"Int. Martin's House' runs for eight minutes and examines the very different process of shooting the interior scenes in Martin Vanger's house. Where Blomkvist's cottage is rather rustic and austere, Martin's house is expansive, bright and almost futuristic.

"Int. Salander's Apt." is a behind-the-scenes look which runs for three minutes.

"In the Cutting Room" is a fourteen-minute demonstration of the editing of the film and shows David Fincher at work while viewing various scenes.

"ADR" demonstrates dialogue recording in a studio during post-productions. It has a running time of seven minutes.

"Main Titles" - as noted in the review, the main titles are quite unique and this featurette shows how they evolved. There are three variations which can be viewed full-screen, and an optional commentary track by Tim Miller of Blur Studio can be activated.

A visual effects montage runs for eight minutes.

"Hard Copy" is a mock episode of the 1980s tabloid television show. It was developed as part of the Internet promotion for the film. There is an optional commentary track by David Prior, who directed it. This is the only supplement which is shown in 480p. It runs for nine minutes and deliberately looks like an old VHS tape. Do you remember VHS tracking issues?

Several television spots and several theatrical trailers also are included, as well as Blu-ray production credits.

"Metal One Sheet" shows how a metallic poster for the film's premiere was manufactured. It runs for four minutes and is accompanied only by music.

I was surprised to discover that the DVD which is included with this set is actually a DVD-R. Whether this is unique to the screeners which were sent out to reviewers remains to be seen, and on this point I would like to hear from readers who buy the set when it is released. It plays fine in my Blu-ray player and looks very good, but I know that many members of Home Theater Forum are not fans of DVD-R. The only DVD extra is the commentary track. NOTE: It has now been confirmed that the DVD is in fact a pressed DVD made to look like a DVD-R. See the discussion below.

An insert contains instructions for streaming or downloading an UltraViolet version of the film.

The Packaging

The three discs are packaged in a case which holds the feature on one side and the supplements disc and DVD are overlapped on the other side. That case in turn is kept in a reasonably sturdy slipcase.

The Final Analysis

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is an intense and suspenseful mystery thriller which boasts outstanding acting and direction. Squeamish viewers are warned that the film also includes several disturbing and violent scenes of rape and torture. That caveat aside, it is highly recommended.

Equipment used for this review:

Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specifications by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: March 20, 2012






Rich Gallagher

#2 of 16 Kate86

Kate86

    Auditioning

  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 18 2012

Posted March 18 2012 - 07:53 PM

good film. I've even ordered perfect essay about it

#3 of 16 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,967 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted March 19 2012 - 03:30 AM

Sony has provided links to clips from the film and promotional videos.


On Blu-Ray & DVD Trailer

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

"Blomkvist Meets Salander Short"

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

"Meet Lisbeth Alt"

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

"Framed Flowers"

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

"Visit Armansky"

http://flash.sonypictures.com/video/homevideo/girlwiththedragontattoo/visit_1200_640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Casting Blomkvist

Starting With A Good Script

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Casting Salander

Reading The Book

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Dressing Blomkvist

Building A Personal Closet

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Daniel Craig Interview

Will Audiences Relate To Lisbeth?

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Rooney Mara Interview

How Did You Relate To Your Character?

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Christopher Plummer Interview

Describe Your Character

http://flash.sonypic...640x480_mov.mov

 

 

Stellan Skarsgard Interview

Will People Relate To Blomkvist & Salander?

http://flash.sonypictures.com/video/homevideo/girlwiththedragontattoo/relate_1200_640x480_mov.mov

 


Rich Gallagher

#4 of 16 Todd Erwin

Todd Erwin

    Screenwriter

  • 2,158 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 16 2008
  • Real Name:Todd Erwin
  • LocationOrange County, CA

Posted March 19 2012 - 03:39 AM

Videography magazine published a very interesting article on the cinematography for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and how the production transitioned from the RED ONE to the newer RED EPIC 5k camera.


You can read the article here.



#5 of 16 TravisR

TravisR

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,344 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2004
  • LocationThe basement of the FBI building

Posted March 20 2012 - 02:19 PM

I was surprised to discover that the DVD which is included with this set is actually a DVD-R. Whether this is unique to the screeners which were sent out to reviewers remains to be seen, and on this point I would like to hear from readers who buy the set when it is released.

I got my copy tonight and it's a real DVD but it's made up to resemble the DVD that Salander makes in the movie.

#6 of 16 Writer-dad

Writer-dad

    Extra

  • 22 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 2011

Posted March 20 2012 - 03:59 PM

Notice the "serial number" under where DVD-R is printed: MAGDA-32016.

This is a reference to an important clue in the movie and the book.

Very cool!



#7 of 16 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Executive Producer

  • 14,000 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted March 20 2012 - 04:49 PM

Videography magazine published a very interesting article on the cinematography for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and how the production transitioned from the RED ONE to the newer RED EPIC 5k camera. You can read the article here.

Thanks for sharing. That was a really interesting read. I love learning more about the evolving digital cinema.

#8 of 16 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer

  • 10,244 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted March 21 2012 - 06:24 AM

Clever!

Notice the "serial number" under where DVD-R is printed: MAGDA-32016.

This is a reference to an important clue in the movie and the book.

Very cool!



One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#9 of 16 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,967 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted March 21 2012 - 08:39 AM



Originally Posted by Writer-dad 

Notice the "serial number" under where DVD-R is printed: MAGDA-32016.

This is a reference to an important clue in the movie and the book.

Very cool!


Good catch! I certainly didn't make that connection.



Rich Gallagher

#10 of 16 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,967 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted March 21 2012 - 08:44 AM



Originally Posted by TravisR 


I got my copy tonight and it's a real DVD but it's made up to resemble the DVD that Salander makes in the movie.


I edited the review to add clarification about that. Thanks.



Rich Gallagher

#11 of 16 Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul

  • 28,657 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted March 21 2012 - 10:17 AM

It's a clever piece of marketing...I think.


It certainly would have given me pause if I didn't know about it ahead of time.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#12 of 16 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

    Executive Producer

  • 14,000 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2001
  • LocationAlbany, NY

Posted March 22 2012 - 01:44 AM

The Telegraph (London): Film buyers fooled by Sony's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' DVD joke

#13 of 16 WillG

WillG

    Producer

  • 5,213 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2003

Posted March 22 2012 - 05:02 AM

It's a clever piece of marketing...I think. It certainly would have given me pause if I didn't know about it ahead of time.

Technically, "Borat" did this concept of looking like a burned DVD first. Is the Blu-Ray version the same way?
STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!

#14 of 16 TravisR

TravisR

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,344 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2004
  • LocationThe basement of the FBI building

Posted March 22 2012 - 05:10 AM

Is the Blu-Ray version the same way?

The Blu-rays have pictures (an extreme close-up of Craig on disc 1 and Mara on disc 2) on each disc. Can I just say that the fact that people are being fooled by this is really awesome? I certainly can see how it would fool people too because it looks like 'real' bootleg. I'm sure retailers and Sony aren't very happy that there's customer confusion but I hope David Fincher, David Prior or whoever came up with the idea are laughing their asses off that people are fooled by it.

#15 of 16 Writer-dad

Writer-dad

    Extra

  • 22 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 2011

Posted March 22 2012 - 08:24 AM

My copy has a closely cropped picture of Harriet Vanger on disc one, and a certain character in a school jacket on disc two (along with the DVD-R for the third disc) - I wonder if we received different art in Canada from the US...



#16 of 16 gomezfan69

gomezfan69

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 135 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 30 2006

Posted March 22 2012 - 11:39 AM

There are at least four variations of disc art.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Blu-ray Reviews

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users