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156 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended: bigger, better, longer than the movies
Having enjoyed the movies then their DVD versions I was surprised to discover this extended pack and had to compare it with the cinema and single-disc experiences.

These extended versions of the films are the original TV productions with much of the storyline retained, giving you far more depth to the story and the motivations of the characters, plus additional...
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by M. Bond

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It helps to know the story
The films are fine but even though the films were split into 2 and were still 3 hours long, when you've read the books you realise how much they've had to leave out.

Still some excellent performances and worth watching.
Published 18 months ago by Martyn H Davies


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156 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended: bigger, better, longer than the movies, 9 Dec 2011
By 
M. Bond (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Girl who Played with Fire / The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Extended Versions) [DVD] (DVD)
Having enjoyed the movies then their DVD versions I was surprised to discover this extended pack and had to compare it with the cinema and single-disc experiences.

These extended versions of the films are the original TV productions with much of the storyline retained, giving you far more depth to the story and the motivations of the characters, plus additional plotlines to flesh out the entire story.

This is an extra two hours of film and I strongly recommend everyone to choose this over any other current offering.
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170 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!, 30 Oct 2011
By 
John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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These extended sets at last make sense and are now close enough to the massive tomes by Larsson. I found the whole program captivating and the length was the least of my worries. It is a complex story and it takes some concentration to remember who is who. No familiar faces from American or British cinema to help! The Swedes have done a great job here. Tak! This is a thrilling package that will have most people on the edge of their seats. The sound is excellent and even the English dub has been done with taste to retain the essential Swedish feel. No Texan drawl or Yorkshire slang here. The picture in part one was a bit soft but got better as the rest of the tale progressed. There is no comparison with the original cut releases, this is the set to get. I had only one minor grumble: It would have been even better if the option to run the two parts together without the exit and enty sections had been available. This would have been easy with seamless branching. The paper packing got a hard time in the mail, I would have preferred a standard slim-line box. Excellent value.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the UK DVD of the extended versions, 26 Feb 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Girl who Played with Fire / The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Extended Versions) [DVD] (DVD)
It's not too difficult to see why 2009's Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became such an international sensation and, even more than the more accomplished The Killing or Wallander, the gold standard of the Nordic Noir invasion even without the growing momentum of the novels to drive it. It's also at times easy to see its roots as part of a TV mini-series (the TV series version runs a half hour longer), though where the two sequels from a different director are unmistakably small screen fare, this first entry in the trilogy is very much a real movie. It's not an especially fast paced movie, using its two-and-a-half hour running time to gradually build the characters and the mystery, the film nearing the one hour mark between Michael Nykvist's disgraced investigative journalist and Noomi Rapace's emotionally and physically abused hacker even meet. That first hour isn't always entirely convincing: while the violence and abuse Lisbeth encounters is both realistic and avoids being purely exploitative by showing just enough to convey the unpleasantness without gloating over it, at times it feels like it's been hammered in none-too-credibly to make a point about the way men exploit and abuse women, partially to create a greater sense of empathy with the murder victims but at times feeling like someone's grafted a manifesto onto a thriller (the novel and film's title literally translates as Men Who Hate Women).

What is rather more satisfying is that, a rather too pat revelation about a series of mysterious `phone numbers' aside (much more satisfyingly arrived at in the TV version), it's a detective story that's built around real detective work: sorting through records, journals, accounts, old photos and gradually drawing connections rather than just lazily having Lisbeth pretend to type at a computer and produce the answer or have Mikael chase a succession of bad guys who make stupid mistakes that lend themselves to action setpieces until they lead him to the real mastermind. And when one character finds himself listening to a serial killer in uncomfortable circumstances, the conversation is believably mundane and all the more chilling for it, not least for the utter emptiness of the motive.

Noomi Rapace makes a particularly striking lead, with the kind of flexible face that's at times that of a woman, at others a defensive young girl, complete with convincingly awkward body language that's not afraid to be completely without grace. Nykvist manages to hold his own in the much less showy role, making the most of the moments between dialogue to fill in the character without doing much, while the other roles are well enough cast to avoid entirely becoming simple repositories of information to advance the plot to the next step. It's not a particularly stylish film, which is one of its strengths - this is a film that gains some of its chill from being shot in the cold unblinking light of day, giving a sense that the crimes themselves are real rather than just movie Maguffins.

The extended TV version is also surprisingly satisfying despite its tacky new title sequence. Aside from some additional pleasingly mundane detective work and new and extended interviews with supporting players it's the subplot involving the fate of the Millennium magazine that gives the trilogy its TV title that makes up most of the additional running time, from Micke's relationship with his female publisher and the leaks within the sinking ship to its unexpected survival of the scandal that sends its star reporter to prison. That does tend to make Sven Bertil-Taube's character even more of a Santa Claus figure than he is in the theatrical cut, though it is in keeping with his nature: after all, while the original title may have been Men Who Hate Women, it's his unselfish love for a woman that ultimately stops everyone bleeding.

David Fincher, with his penchant for excessive gratuitous CGi and attention-grabbing camerawork, certainly couldn't improve on it: this is a film that's at it's most chilling when it's at it's most matter of fact, trusting the story to make its impact without overegging the direction or amping up the cinematography. The result isn't a great film but one that nonetheless makes for a surprisingly satisfying journey where, even if some of the happy endings as justice is done and order restored may be a bit too neat and tidy, you feel that the characters actually earn their moments of redemption and vindication.

That a new director is behind the camera on The Girl Who Played with Fire is instantly apparent, as is the lower budget for a somewhat more expansive story, not least because the shift from shooting on 35mm to Super 16mm is all too easy to tell on the DVD transfer. Rapace and her fake tan surprisingly fails to convince in her early scenes, success turning her into a bland shadow of herself, which is partially the point but one that at times feels more like half-hearted contractual obligation filmmaking than intent. Thankfully it doesn't take the film long to snap out of it as she returns to Sweden, but, although the mystery this time ultimately revolves around her own troubled past when she finds herself on the run for a series of murders linked to a sex trafficking ring, she spends much of the film adopting a different persona to her memorable look in the first film. It's more than just the blonde wig and abandoned piercings that changes the dynamic, the narrative separating Lisabeth and Mikael as they separately try to prove her innocence, uncovering another conspiracy in the process.

In many ways it's a much more conventional conspiracy thriller than the first film, with less of the meticulous real police work that was such a pleasingly down to earth aspect of -`s effort in favour of the more traditional informer-leads-to-clue-leads-to-bit-of-action-leads-to-new-informer-leads-to-etc, etc until the bad guy is revealed, even throwing in a car chase, a couple of fight scenes en route to another, this time not so chilling exposition-heavy chat with a killer of women (and men this time) at the end. It's done well but there's still more a feeling of being handed the solution piecemeal rather than earning it. The theme of misogyny running through society is nicely continued with a female detective who is the fall guy for her sexist colleagues misdemeanours, but it's done with a light enough touch not to feel like a lecture, and there's a more substantial role for the hauntedly intense Per Oscarrson, only briefly glimpsed in the extended cut of the first film, as Lisabeth's guardian this time round. Of the three theatrical films, this is the one that gains the most footage in the extended version - a whopping 50 minutes, improving the rushed and at times confused theatrical version considerably.

Where Fire was a new story, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is very much a continuation, dealing with the legal fallout and attempted cover up of the events of the first film. Once again Micke and Lisbeth are separated for almost the entire film, for not always as convincing reasons this time round. Unfortunately, while capably handled and engaging as television, it doesn't hold up to a great deal of scrutiny with its conspiracy that threatens a constitutional crisis all feeling a bit ho-hum when you think about it. It doesn't help that Stieg Larsson's penchant for powerful white knights coming to the rescue manifests itself in the very people you'd expect to have the biggest interest in covering it all up turning out to be incorruptible, awfully helpful and extraordinarily nice people who are only too willing to negotiate with the press - turns out all that nasty stuff has its roots in the days when Sweden didn't have a socialist government, and no-one told any of the subsequent socialist prime ministers anything about it. There's some novelty with the most ruthless of the villains being extremely old men, but with the means of covering their tracks often relying on hitmen arranging the odd suicide or disappearance and a shootout in a public restaurant we're in very generic territory en route to the lengthy courtroom finale where everyone will get their just desserts. Yet while it may be clichéd, it works on its own terms - or at least until the payback epilogue that just feels tacked on. The end result is a decent enough thriller in a season finale TV series way (appropriate enough for what really is a two-part TV season finale), but you can't help feeling that what was so fresh about the first story and its characters has become diluted along the way.

Unlike the US Blu-ray boxed set of the special editions, the UK Blu-ray release is both light on extras (just cast interviews, a featurette on the fight scene in the second film and traiulers) and has surprisingly poor picture quality - indeed, the transfers are so disappointing you're better off sticking with the DVD release which doesn't exaggerate the flaws so much.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the books, if not better, 20 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Girl who Played with Fire / The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Extended Versions) [DVD] (DVD)
This series is as good as the book of not better. I loved the books and I love the movies and all the characters are spot-on. Also appriciate the extended version even if it means no-action for a while because its still adding value to the movie.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it., 17 April 2012
By 
Scentless Apprentice (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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When these 'extended versions' were first released i thought they were simply another cash grab. Maybe they are in a little way since they didn't have to re-shoot anything and already had these different edits when they appeared on blu-ray and dvd the first time around, so they could've been included on each movie edit release as disc 2.

But in the long term they are totally worth it if you're a fan of the series. I've only watched 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' episodes so far and i'm blown away, so much more to the story is revealed and it seems to flow better overall. Each double episode for each movie is around 93 minutes long, so you don't have to watch it all in 1 sitting and the 2nd episode has a recap at the start of what went down in the 1st episode.

I don't think i'll be watching the movie edits again anytime soon, the characters will just seem so one dimensional after seeing this. Swedish or English remake? These extended versions make it a no brainer. The Hollywood film doesn't reach these heights.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it, 24 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Girl who Played with Fire / The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Extended Versions) [DVD] (DVD)
I have just watched the first 2 episodes that were combined and then cut for a cinema release, there is nothing dramatic added but the peripheral characters are fleshed out and there is more of the interaction between Lisbeth and Micke which adds to the understanding of their relationship. Some other scenes are extended and help the film's flow. Definitely worth the money especially when parts 3,4,5 and 6 were cut even more for the cinema release of 'Played With Fire' and 'Kicked The Hornets Nest'.

You also find out about 'Sally'........................
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good option for English speakers., 17 Mar 2011
By 
Stormbringer (Wolverhampton, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is about the format of the dvds rather than the content, which has been ably reviewed many times elsewhere. Suffice to say it is a brilliant thriller.
First of all these dvds are region one. Make sure your equipment is suitable before making a purchase.
These are standard format dvds and although the film quality is not the best it does not diminish the overall enjoyment of the films.
After reading the books, I was not too keen on the idea of reading the films as well, so the main reason I bought this trilogy was because of the option of English language dubbing. This can be turned off if you want to listen to the films in the original Swedish. If so you also have the option of English subtitles on/off.
As well as the films, this purchase comes with a bonus dvd of extras, all four of which are beautifully packaged in their own cases within the main case.
At less than twenty five pounds this package is a bargain, and well worth the little bit of extra time it takes to ship from the USA.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dragon tattoo, 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Girl who Played with Fire / The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Extended Versions) [DVD] (DVD)
This box set was the best 12:99 I have spent in ages. What an amazing set of films. Much better than the english language version which is out now. the Original is best.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - the real thing, 11 Aug 2011
By 
I saw the fully extended editions on the German Bluray issue earlier this year. Although my german is pretty good, there were no subtitles at all for a completely german only issue,so my pleasure at seeing them is this way was somewhat limited. Even the original swedish had been left off these blurays. HOWEVER. This is what we have all been waiting for. All(or most) of the missing scenes that we remember from the books are in these versions.Now the final movie makes more sense.
The running times are 175m - 176m - 175m. In total approx 100m has been added to the complete trilogy.
So I'm hoping that the UK issue will be these versions issued (as before in the UK) with optional English dubbing and the original swedish.
I can only say that for devotees of the books, these versions will not disappoint.
The Bluray quality is superb.I shall dispose of my german bluray and pre-order this.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is so much more to this Director's cut., 5 Jan 2012
By 
Nigel Mc (The Chilterns) - See all my reviews
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I had previously bought all 3 Blu-ray discs of the Millennium Trilogy but despite this the temptation was too strong to resist buying this extended version set. Last night I watched the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which I had watched twice in the original theatrical version. I was amazed at the number of new scenes and I have to stress the importance of buying this Director's cut. To have cut the film in the first place was sacrilege!

Unlike some Director's cut versions you don't get the opportunity to choose the version you prefer. It is Director's cut or nothing! The viewer is also presented with different images at the beginning of the film - presumably these images were the ones which were used when the film was transmitted on Swedish Television? This is merely an observation rather than a criticism. Personally, I cannot see any justification for making the original cuts. This is a complicated story and it requires a reasonable period of time to make the film comprehensible, irrespective of whether or not the books were read before viewing the film. Even in the extended format I would strongly recommend that the book was read first before seeing the film.

The film is in 2 parts, albeit on 1 disc. As far as I am aware it is not possible to move seamlessly between the 2 parts because of the end credits and the opening sequence of Part2. Once again this is not meant as a criticism. Aside from the inclusion of the scenes which are an integral part of the story I also thought that this uncut version showed so much more of the wonderful, wintry Swedish landscape. I was much more aware of the high quality of the Blu-ray transfer. Despite the length of the film and the fact that this was my 3rd viewing, the film never dragged. This time around I viewed it in the English dubbed version which I thought was generally well done.

I am now looking forward to viewing the uncut versions of the remaining films. Based on the first part I have no hesitation in giving it a highly recommended 5 stars.
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