Escape to the Movies: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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Happy New Year, Bob

I have seen both and I like the Swedish version better. I have a thing for European movies (yes, Europe does include Britain so I will not mention them separately) as the source material seems grittier at a personal level: characters are flawed, the "hero" is not so much a hero but a reluctant participant in events beyond their control, there is limited use of deus ex machina, etc.

I love to be entertained by Hollywood... but at the end of the day it is nothing but McMuffins

Didnt give much time on that spoiler in there bob, didnt have time to reach for the mouse to skip.

But still, I've been hoping this was good, its as close as I'm going to get this year to Craig in a slightly goingafterthebadguyinaslightconspiracysecretiveandpossiblyviolentway this side of 007 Skyfall.

I've read the books but seen neither film. Given the brief summary you gave of film 1 Salander vs 2, film 2 definitely has the character down better.

One of my biggest problem with the book was Blomkvist though. What person can be attracted to damaged and vulnerable Salander, the competent and businesslike extended relationship woman and she-Hulk? They are completely different personalities, meaning Blomkvist has no preference meaning he has no personality. He is bland in the books too, not just the film.

I thought this was a very good film, I enjoyed it alot, though it did feel like it was dragging on a bit towards the end.

The book is a ridiculous popcorn-blockbuster crime drama but I object to Larsson being compared to Dan Brown. I just... do...

Sounds like Mara's Salander is closer to the book version than Rapace's, who came across as an invulnerable butt-kicking social outcast robot. Not that it really makes all that much of a difference I suppose. The Millenium Trilogy is largely about vengeance with Salander being the key vehicle for this, as long as she fulfills this role it's the right character.

Any consensus as to why this required an American re-make? No? Yeah, there never seems to be.

Superior Mind:
Any consensus as to why this required an American re-make? No? Yeah, there never seems to be.

Why does a remake need a reason?

Wait wait wait, back up a minute. Did Bob just call Seven "schlock" and imply that Zodiac was on a par in terms of quality with Fight Club and The Social Network? Ummm, wtf?

Personally, I loved this movie. It's easily in my top 10 favorite movies of all time, no doubt about it. I also loved the American version of Let the Right One In (Let Me In). I've been meaning to catch the Swedish versions of each, and the books, because if they're anything like the American ones (in terms of story, etc), they're gonna be very enjoyable.

*Edit* I edited the crap out of my original post, this ought to be my final edit.

I love the joke about Ellen Page and Michael Cera, it's so awful it becomes good. The rimshot is what makes it work.

If you have Netflix save your money watch all 3 movies online.

Also Lisbeth's tattoo looks lame compared to the Swedish one.

I enjoyed following the story of the movie but the rape scene was a bit more than I could handle. It made me feel sick. It's funny though, we put warnings on movies with naughty words and labels on James Bond films for their "explicit depictions of violence" but movies like these get the same warnings. Somehow I feel the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan or the rape scene from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo seem to be in different categories than the violence shown in typical action flicks or the occasional tame sex scene that makes it into a rated R flick.

I get the impression you haven't really read the books. Is that the case?
Maybe it's just the fact you're a movie critic, not a book critic, so you wouldn't really get into the book. But you did that with the Ayn Rand movie so I'm not so sure if thats the case.

The violence in this movie is not the usual movie violence people are comfortable with. It's ugly and disturbing. It hurts so watch the rape scene, there's no question that it was anything but a violent and brutal assault. The Salander in this version (and the book) is not someone who can turn to the system for help. The only justice she can look for is what she dishes out herself. (She's not a healthy person.) Her revenges are just as scary and brutal as the acts that she's responding to. The only thing that makes them watchable is knowing that her victims deserved it. You can look at this movie as David Fincher punching below his weight. But on the other hand, he's one of the few directors who can pull off something like this without softening the effect.

I can sympathize with Swedish speakers who cringe at what's supposed to pass for Swedish accents even though I'm American and can't hear the flaws. I just know how painful it is to watch most British productions made for British audiences with British actors trying to sound American. Just accept that if you speak Swedish you were not the intended audience for the atrocious Swedish accents.

There's already a version of this in existence. Why would I watch this one?

Rather the original thank you.

Sick of pointless remakes.

Hitchmeister:
I just know how painful it is to watch most British productions made for British audiences with British actors trying to sound American.

When has that ever happened? Ever?

I'm not being sarcastic, I really can't think of a time when a British movie/series that wanted an American character, didn't just hire an American actor.

Then again, I can't really think of any English series that had American characters... so maybe I just missed them.

Also, classically trained actors pick accents up well. Hugh Lorrie fooled his own director when auditioning for House. And I've been told by American friends that they couldn't believe Andrew Lincoln was English. I think there's someone in True Blood too.

A lot of British Actors end up in American TV shows putting on American accents. But I can't think of any they do for English audiences.

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

His synopsis is pretty lacking, frankly, and I wouldn't judge the book on its merits.

Indeed, it comes off as base snobbery - no, TGWTDT is not a massively overwrought piece of classical literature, but it is a pretty damn good crime thriller, and I think his objection to the whole "corporations as baddies" thing comes from a distinctly American perspective on corporations; over here in Europe, the cultural emphasis is somewhat different.

The aristocrats are the villains, oh noes!

Ha ha ha, well, movie bob has brought out a lot of tropes and points that have annoyed me greatly about films this year.

For one, I am getting quite tired of the main characters being brilliant at so many things. Martial arts, being a detective, computer hacker. It just starts to get ridiculous for me. The skills could be filled by other characters, which could add more to the film, but no, the Mary Sue can do all, she never fails at anything. I like warrior-women characters, monks, assassins etc, but to mix that with other really different skills sets makes me think, hmm, would she really be good at any of them? She is too busy trying to look good.

The second thing is style, I just can't take a character seriously as an intelligent, highly capable woman, whom looks like some trend-obsessed teen sporting a style mixing goth with punk with emo (never smiling). Shallow thugs used to look like this! Now the heroine? The main character is meant to be some sort of near idiot savant (with computers and mysteries), well since when did that get changed to idiot (fashion sense) savant? Are we just meant to go with this?

I fell like it is the type of film/novel etc, that mixes just enough things together, in the right amount to be insanely successful, and I had heard how good it was from young women. Taken together, as Bob says, it just seems ridiculous.

This gets a recommendation? I watched the Swedish movie and I though it sucked massive ass. Yes, it raised some issues. Yeah, I suppose the rape scene could be confronting for some people. But the plot was one of the most cliche piles of crap I have ever seen, and the characters were horribly two dimensional. Unless the book and this new movie hugely differ from the original film adaptation, I don't see how this is worth watching. I know Bob is a movie critic and therefore gives the cinematography consideration as well as the plot, but please Bob, raise your standards. It seems like you're grateful whenever you come across anything that isn't painfully bad, and that qualifies it for a recommendation. If I'm going to watch something at the cinema, I don't want it to be "not terrible", I expect it to be "good".

twaddle:
was that a picture from The Hobbit movie?

Yeah, and this is the trailer

is it as good as the sweedish version? have they actually changed the setting?

Okay, this is coming from someone who hasn't read the books or looked up any spoilers, so my guess is the main baddy is

Liked the book, liked the sweedish version, will probably see and like this version.

However, after listening to the review, the one thing that sticks out as most memorable: Pewpatwators (aka Elmer Fudd's "perpetrators") Right at the 2:50 mark. Seriously, go give it a listen.

I'll watch this at some point because:
1) It's Fincher.
2) Let Me In pleasantly surprised me.
I do however find that the source material is too dependant and relevant to Swedish society, which is probably why Fincher decided to not even attempt to move it to America, which makes it unnecessary as a project. He should have based his movie much more loosely on the novel in my opinion and made something of his own that is more relevant to his main audience.

What exactly is a neofeminist?

Is it just someone who's defined by a dislike of woman haters or what?

No seriously, I've only ever heard Bob use that term.

fix-the-spade:
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!).

Oh please, the golf club was tame after some of the stuff the movie does up until then. Though admittedly, it WAS definitely one of the more visceral-looking scenes I've seen, and this is from a guy who loves his action flicks. So kudos on that, at least. It's rare that a scene almost makes ME feel the blow.

im glad to hear that this movie is ok but i will not watch it. i really liked the original version and i will stick with them. just to see a movie made by english speaking people is still no reason to make it.
i might watch it when its on dvd for rental.

pretty much the same as with the grudge. even when sahra performed really well in it and the movie was still good and well made and still spoke japanese besides the engllsih speaking actors of course, the original japanese version was still the best. hell, even my father liked the jap version of the grudge.

Haven't seen the remake but I do have to agree with Moviebob on the premise of the original. It's a very flawed story, and the director of either the original or the remake should have at least made some changes to make Blomkvist a compelling protagonist, which it doesn't sound like they've done in this version either. That said the original still works at least as a basic thriller/mystery and me and my friends enjoyed it enough to watch the sequels. But the sequels really are more like soap operas in how silly they become and me and my friends spent more time laughing at Played with Fire and Hornet's Nest than we did anything else.

Personally, I really enjoyed the film, and as a fan of the books I felt it did them justice. Normally I'm against American re-makes as a rule, but I preferred this film to the Swedish version. My main criticism is that the whole murder investigation is pieced together in the film with as little expositionary dialogue as possible, using lots of visual cues instead (lots of close ups on photos, Daniel Craig painstakingly highlighting important phrases on police reports, that kind of thing), which I realize was there to streamline the whole thing without weighing it down with unnecessary conversations, but also made the investigation harder to follow as a whole. I could hear one girl behind me whispering the details to her boyfriend, who obviously hadn't read the books. Still, I would certainly recommend it.

I've never seen the movie versions, but I read the books, which were mainly kinda bad.
I found them rather cheap, not really because of the killer-plot, but because of the whole 'This guy wrote a really good book about the economy and I want to get these issues across, but instead of writing that book myself I'm just going to write about this totally convincing book!'

But for those who have seen the movies, how is her sexuality handled in them? One critic wrote that she is a lesbian in them and has 'rejected' men, but falls in love with the main character.

Which wasn't how it was in the books, in which she is bisexual, and her relationship with Blomkvist is not about her sexuality changing, but letting someone close.

So I'm wondering, was that critic misrepresenting the movie?

Father Time:
What exactly is a neofeminist?

Is it just someone who's defined by a dislike of woman haters or what?

No seriously, I've only ever heard Bob use that term.

"Neo" generally means just "new", so a new wave feminist. Which some people take as someone who believes women are superior, and some as someone with progressive views. So depending on the person it can mean totally opposite things.

The way I've usually encountered it is as derogatory to women, and as an accusation that they believe that women are superior, but some people have used it just to mean a modern feminist.

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.

I can't speak for all Americans, but the reason I hate subtitles isn't because I don't like to read, it's because when I'm reading subtitles, I'm missing out on the actor's expressions and other visuals in the films.

Books and blogs are for reading. Movies are for watching and listening.

Bob, it's been weeks now.

I've still got that nuke- and it's still primed on you if you don't get down to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

HOW DARE YOU TRY TO AVOID IT, BOB. I THOUGHT YOU LOVED US.

McMuffins are gods gift to man.

...So the director of Alien 3 is suddenly too good for this kind of material?

I'll admit it, I'm probably a little defensive as someone who actually read and enjoyed the novels. But if there's some kind of consistent formula for why one genre's tropes and weaknesses get a pass and another's are subject to sneering derision in MovieBob's reviews, I'm definitely not seeing it.

Silverspetz:
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.

You felt this after seeing one(1) film.

Imagine being Russian and sitting through this in EVERY BUCKING HOLLIWOOD MOVIE that involves "Russian mafia" or "Russian terrorists" or "Soviet soldiers" - which would be close to a hundred flicks.

Somewhere over second dozen you just give up and start laughing at it. Bitterly.
Last one for me was Rockenrolla (not Holliwood, I agree, but still extremely atrocious pseudo-Russian)

I mean no disrespect when I say this... but I find it difficult to take seriously the criticisms of this story being ridiculous or over the top or cliche, from the same person who clearly loves the hell out of cheesy, cliche, ridiculous, over the top super hero comics/films, and has posted several videos trying to prove why they're a lot deeper than they appear (not without success, though).

My take on the series as a whole. I've read the books, seen (and own) the Swedish films, and saw the American adaptation. This is one of those weird cases where I find the movies (the Swedish ones) better than the books.

It might be a result of the translation, but the books come off as a little dry here and there. The writing is very "literal". Not much in the way of imagery or emotion. The story and the characters fill in those gaps well enough, but it's a bit strange to read... albeit very easy.

I see Blomkvist as sort of a Harry Potter kind of character. When you read the book, you basically see the world through him. He's the sort of character that's intentionally generic, so the reader/viewer can impart their own personality on him, and develop an emotional connection to the story.

The American film was very good... but, there are a few things that prevent it from stacking up to the Swedish films, in my opinion:

- While Roony Mara did a great job of Lisbeth, Noomi Rapaace just felt more "right" to me. Rapaace just felt a lot more ruthless, focused, and confident to me... qualities that I'd personally associated with the character quite a lot.

- I found the American version too funny. It obviously dealt with some very unfunny subject matter, but I thought the little bits of humour injected into the dialog throughout detracted from the overall tone.

- The varying accents. This always bothers the hell out of me. Half the characters had thoroughly British accents, a few had American accents, and maybe one or two attempted a Swedish accent. Fine, it's an English movie. I can deal with that. But, I'd appreciate some consistency. Give them all British accents, or all American accents, or all Swedish accents.

- The first half hour or so of the American version felt ridiculously rushed. The scenes never felt complete to me... it felt like they were trying to cram as much background information as possible into as little time as possible, by flashing from short scene to short scene at a really fast pace. Had I not known the story to begin with, I'm pretty sure I'd have been totally lost. There is a lot to cover... the Swedish version also felt a bit rushed in the beginning, but not to this extent.

- What I liked about the Swedish films was that they actually cut down a fair bit of the original story... stuff that I found pretty superfluous (without giving anything away). The American version attempted to be a bit more accurate, but the movie ended up feeling simultaneously rushed during the beginning (previous point), and drawn out towards the end.

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