Escape to the Movies: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

MovieBob takes a critical look at the latest from David Fincher, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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[generic finally getting around to this film and first post sentiment]
I can't wait for the Hobbit either!

I never understood what the fuss about this book was in the first place. After your synopsis, Bob, I'm still not sure.

I watched this last Wednesday and I thought it was good/ alright (I had no expectation since I had read little about it before watching it).
Your taste in women is different compared to my since while Lisbeth is a strong female lead but she isn't my type at all.

Moviebob managed to phrase my criticism of the serie better than me

It's so cute hearing non-swedes trying to pronounce swedish names :3

Saw it a couple of days ago and did really enjoy it. I actually liked the premise of killing people off in biblical fashion (then again, I really liked Seven), and Lisbeth did make for an interesting protagonist. I only had two particular problems with the movie:

1) It went on for way too long after the climax. I get that there were some important story elements that had to be concluded, but there was no reason to spend the last 15-20 minutes of a movie on a B storyline.

2) Dealing with the reveal of the killer

So is it worth watching in cinemas if you have already seen the original?

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wow, really? English with Swedish accents?

No, I doubt I would get used to that. Not that I'll watch it. Saw the original, albeit also dubbed. Who speaks Swedish after all? In German, which is close enough anyway :p

+50 Respect points for including the picture of the T-Rex from Joe and Mac.

Well played Bob, well played.

I laughed out loud with the Juno joke. I liked the swedish one, but this Michael guy didn't seem to do much acting. But I really want to see this one.

As a Swede, I can definitely say that I agree about that Jarring language effect. But I'm not sure it is for the same reasons as Bob. What I find jarring is that the movie is so clearly American in it's direction, use of camera and music, all that stuff. But the setting is so clearly Swedish. You see Swedish traffic signs in the background and regular Swedish stores, yet the characters speak and write in English whenever they can. It is also a bit disturbing to hear the actors' attemps to talk Swedish (BIG emphasis on "attempts"). Don't get me wrong the American actors are good (especially Mara), and I certainly don't fault them for not being able to speak a language that is so foreign to them, but Americans just can't for the life of them pronounce Swedish. Every time I hear someone on screen (or Bob for that matter) say the name "Mikael Blomkvist" the Swedish teacher in me cringes in horror. It just becomes more apparent when Stellan Skarsgård talks as he is the only one who gets it right (not surprising of course since he is Swedish). Basically I just don't hear that "English with Swedish accent" Bob was talking about. What I hear is people who are clearly American, speak American and occassionally attempt to speak Swedish and fail miserably.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree with Bob's asessment. I have never read any of the original novels even though I own them (because I'm not a huge crime/mystery-fan) nor have I seen the previous Swedish films (because I generally HATE Swedish filmmaking) but even I could figure out who the villain was going to be without problems. Despite that though, the movie is well-made enough to still be very exciting when stuff is actually happening, and the acting from Mara and Skarsgård are top-notch. Despite playing a predictable role, Skarsgård pulls it off great and is genuinely intimidating when the pretense of being nice dropps. And before that he was good enough at playing a nice guy that I really wanted him to be nice even though I had figured out he was going to be the villain.

Good to see that American filmaking can do Sweden justice and not just use our stereotypes as a punch-line.

I liked the movie as much as the first one, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Despite warning them that it was a pretty dark, pretty heavy movie, the people I saw it with nearly walked out during the rape scene.

I thought the movie was most definitely entertaining. But then again, I haven't read the book or seen the other movie, so I wasn't really expecting anything.

So what you're basically saying is that this kind of source material is a little under for David Fincher's usual material?

Mcoffey:
Despite warning them that it was a pretty dark, pretty heavy movie, the people I saw it with nearly walked out during the rape scene.

That scene is beyond dark, it's a level of nasty that only Fincher ever really goes near and I nearly left during that scene too. Normally I'm fine with bad things happening in films, but that particular moment was unpleasant on a whole different level to what I'm used to.

Speaking of which, anyone squeamish need not go see the film, there isn't a huge amount of violence in the film as a whole. But when it arrives it is unflinchingly brutal (hellooooo golf club!).

Everytime Bob mentions Zodiac the same question pops into my mind: what was good about that movie that's worth mentioning over and over? Here it's more relevant since David Fincher directed it, but placed beside the -in my opinion- far better work of Seven and The Social Network the comparison is striking. Maybe I'm missing some inside info that movie critics have as to why Zodiac is good but everyone I saw it with and everyone with whom I've talked about it was bored to tears. And these are pretty intelligent, informed, experimental tolerant persons.

On topic, I don't know Swedish, so I think I will see this movie. I'm not against implausible spy-type plots. I've read a couple of books on the genre and was entertained. As long as the writing (dialogs and twists) isn't Dan Brown quality I'll be alright.

As a Swede, I can definitely say that I agree about that Jarring language effect. But I'm not sure it is for the same reasons as Bob. What I find jarring is that the movie is so clearly American in it's direction, use of camera and music, all that stuff. But the setting is so clearly Swedish. You see Swedish traffic signs in the background and regular Swedish stores, yet the characters speak and write in English whenever they can. It is also a bit disturbing to hear the actors' attemps to talk Swedish (BIG emphasis on "attempts"). Don't get me wrong the American actors are good (especially Mara), and I certainly don't fault them for not being able to speak a language that is so foreign to them, but Americans just can't for the life of them pronounce Swedish. Every time I hear someone on screen (or Bob for that matter) say the name "Mikael Blomkvist" the Swedish teacher in me cringes in horror. It just becomes more apparent when Stellan Skarsgård talks as he is the only one who gets it right (not surprising of course since he is Swedish). Basically I just don't hear that "English with Swedish accent" Bob was talking about. What I hear is people who are clearly American, speak American and occassionally attempt to speak Swedish and fail miserably.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree with Bob's asessment. I have never read any of the original novels even though I own them (because I'm not a huge crime/mystery-fan) nor have I seen the previous Swedish films (because I generally HATE Swedish filmmaking) but even I could figure out who the villain was going to be without problems. Despite that though, the movie is well-made enough to still be very exciting when stuff is actually happening, and the acting from Mara and Skarsgård are top-notch. Despite playing a predictable role, Skarsgård pulls it off great and is genuinely intimidating when the pretense of being nice dropps. And before that he was good enough at playing a nice guy that I really wanted him to be nice even though I had figured out he was going to be the villain.

Good to see that American filmaking can do Sweden justice and not just use our stereotypes as a punch-line.

The question is, which should I do first? The Swedish movie or the American movie?

Hi, Swede here.
*FilmBob
Never use google translate, there had to have been an other way!
Also, loved hearing you butcher the Swedish names.

I take offence when most (non-Swedish) actors try to do Swedish accents. It's not that they do it badly, I get that, it's a very hard language to pronounce if you're used to English. It's just they seem to try to mimic Swedish chef and IKEA furniture names more than the actual language, which is nothing like it. It will be very interesting to see how they do it in this movie.
But the big question for me is: Why even bother? It's already jarring for them to speak English in the first place, but it's easy to cover under suspension of disbelief. It's just stupid to hear them speak broken English that's not only hard to understand, but possibly downright offensive to the people that actually speak the language they're trying to mimic. It breaks the immersion they're trying to enforce with it.

I also want to say that I'm aware of the hypocrisy. A lot of Swedes (at least over 30) have horrible English accents. It's tragically hilarious sometimes. But that once again begs the question of why even try to copy it, when even most Swedes hate it.

Daniel Craig kept his English accent because that's how Swedes who are good at speaking English sound & there's lots of accents in the movie so it doesn't matter. :/ Not that it does matter.

Does the film cut out some of the more egregious cases of author-insertion like the Swedish ones did? I can deal with an author getting off on writing about his imagined self, but dear lord this book took it to some pretty special levels. Hopefully the film does well enough to get the sequels made, though, as the books get better (& even absurder) once Salander becomes the main character.

was that a picture from The Hobbit movie?

if anyone want to know, Stieg Larsson was planing 10 books and died when he was half way through book 4. also the Swedish name on the first book is män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women). I don't know way I wright this, maybe someone is interested.

I have to say that listening to Movie Bob being all snooty about conventional murder mysteries as a genre struck me as a bit odd. How would he feel about someone saying that superhero movies are fundamentally lightweight and a bit of a waste of time for top-tier directors?

It would appear that I'm a rather distinct minority here.
I've never read the book, nor have I had much of a desire to, but I loved (no, really, LOVED) this movie.
I found the directing and acting all around to be amazing, specifically Mara's performance.
But beyond the movie itself, for me, this really cemented Fincher as an auteur. Nobody else could have given the rape scene as much of a horrifying atmosphere, and the revenge scene following is nothing short of jarring. And the whole way through, I saw Fincher behind the camera.

EDIT:
Also, am I alone in feeling that a lot of his criticism of both the movie and the story it's based on seem contradictory to what he says about it in the "Look Ahead" episode a few months back? He says in that video that this movie is "innocent until proven guilty" because of Fincher directing it, but then in this, he almost belittles Fincher for even picking it up because of the source material.
I dunno, it struck me as odd.

Weird how in this movie people are giving Rooney Mara all of this acclaim for her acting chops yet in the Nightmare remake she's as wooden as a tree.

Zamn:
I have to say that listening to Movie Bob being all snooty about conventional murder mysteries as a genre struck me as a bit odd. How would he feel about someone saying that superhero movies are fundamentally lightweight and a bit of a waste of time for top-tier directors?

Pretty bad. But then again, you're not a critic whose job is to share his opinions and he's not a viewer who can choose not to watch things.

I have zero interest in this version. I'll stick with the original thank you very much.

I get the strong feeling this was remade mainly due to average american's inability to watch a movie with subtitles. Point is they should just read more often. The original was better.

iNsaneMilesy:
I get the strong feeling this was remade mainly due to average american's inability to watch a movie with subtitles. Point is they should just read more often. The original was better.

Rights sold to MGM before the terrible (2nd & 3rd were television productions!) Swede versions were crapped out. So, your feeling is wrong. But thanks for playing.

And a generic new year's sentiment to you too, Bob!

Zamn:
I have to say that listening to Movie Bob being all snooty about conventional murder mysteries as a genre struck me as a bit odd. How would he feel about someone saying that superhero movies are fundamentally lightweight and a bit of a waste of time for top-tier directors?

Yeah this surprised me as well. I felt a certain amount of underlying venom in this review, almost as if Movie Bob has some sort of issue with the source material. Half his comments were really about the storyline, which is a critism of the book really, not the movie itself.

The book was really badly paced and it took me a couple of tries to really get into it, but once I did I found the characters quite compelling, at least enough for me to read the whole trilogy. I'm sure that had the book truly featured the sort of poor storyline and flimsy characters that Bob is touting, then it would not have had that sort of effect on me.

iNsaneMilesy:
I get the strong feeling this was remade mainly due to average american's inability to watch a movie with subtitles. Point is they should just read more often. The original was better.

Yes.

Mister Linton:
Rights sold to MGM before the terrible (2nd & 3rd were television productions!) Swede versions were crapped out. So, your feeling is wrong. But thanks for playing.

Did you even watch the Swedish versions? On what exactly do you base such condemnation? Besides, television productions and movie productions in Sweden are more or less one and the same. Yellow Bird, a company founded by Henning Mankell himself, made both series' of his own Wallander, each episode was classed as a "film". Yellow bird were also responsible for Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy too. I have rarely watched anything so compelling outside my native language and I found nothing terrible about any aspect of their productions.

I've never been too much of a fan of the books or the films, but I do have to say that the American version looks very well done at the seams. It wasn't much to work with, but they gave it their best. And I do like that they chose to keep it set where it was, instead of transplanting it to... New Mexico or something (lawl).
And I think I agree, Salander comes off as more of a human being, rather than some punk-styled assassination-droid. Again, not much to work with, but well done none the same.

Oh, and as another Swede, Bob... Yes, your pronounciation of Mikael Blomquist and Stieg Larsson made my ears fold together in a cringe, but you can't help it, and at least you tried. <3
Although I can't for the life of me imagine how... Awful the actual movie must sound. Beyond people like Max von Sydow, the general Swedish-English accent is, to put it mildly, abominable. I just don't understand why anyone would want to hear it.

I believe when Skarsgård was casted in True Blood (and proved, to my surprise, to be the highlight of that thing...), they tried to have him speak this thick, made-up Swenglish accent for some extra exoticism-points, but thankfully, he refused. Instead, he speaks Swedish here now and then. A bit jarring, but better than nothing.

"Oh, Mr Undead Vampire Viking Dude (Who runs an undead speak-easy, more or less), I'm impressed as how quickly you've learnt modern-day Swedish, there!"

Mcoffey:
I liked the movie as much as the first one, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Despite warning them that it was a pretty dark, pretty heavy movie, the people I saw it with nearly walked out during the rape scene.

I know how they must have felt, I'm not too big a fan of that myself... However, it makes the inevitable retribution-scene feel all the more sweeter.
Honestly, favourite moment in A Clockwork Orange? Alex reaping what he's sown, bigtime. The climax of Dead Man Walking? I was almost breaking out the champagne and partyhats. Of course, it could just be me, and I suppose it makes me a bit less of a good person, but... Revenge-stories are sweet.

Oh, and furthermore... The rest of the world, a new-years resolution, perhaps? Try reading more. Subtitles isn't a problem at all once you get used to it. Just a thought? Pwetty pweese? :3

A Cassie Hack and Hard Candy reference in less than five seconds?!
Nice play Moviebob! Nice play.

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