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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The original movie, turned up to 11
This remake will inevitably draw comparisons to the original Swedish-language film. Although I enjoyed the original, I have to say that this is the better of the two. The high-budget James Bond-esque credits sequence sets up the sense of foreboding that director David Fincher does so well (he probably fancies himself as a Bond director) and the film has a slick, glossy...
Published 22 months ago by Anorakus

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Watered down, surprisingly badly written and curiously uninvolving
Much like Michael Mann's Public Enemies, Fincher's surprisingly watered-down version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo feels like it's been made by a technician eager to demonstrate what he can do and obsessing over trivia rather than developing plot or characters. The usually reliable Steve Zaillian's screenplay is superficially solidly constructed, making unexciting...
Published 21 months ago by Trevor Willsmer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The original movie, turned up to 11, 27 Jan 2013
This remake will inevitably draw comparisons to the original Swedish-language film. Although I enjoyed the original, I have to say that this is the better of the two. The high-budget James Bond-esque credits sequence sets up the sense of foreboding that director David Fincher does so well (he probably fancies himself as a Bond director) and the film has a slick, glossy look that suits the dark source material. As might have been expected, the production team hasn't missed the opportunity to ramp up the relationship between Blomqvist and Lisbeth, and this serves to heighten the tension towards the end of the film. The acting throughout is top-notch, and the lovely digital cinematography makes for a reference-quality blu-ray. This is a recommended purchase, even if you have the original movie.
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326 of 355 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, 22 Dec 2011
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A disgraced financial journalist, and a young antisocial computer hacker join forces to solve the 40 year old mystery of a teenage girl's disappearance. As they do so, they get drawn into serious crime and corruption, deadly family secrets, and a string of unsolved murders of young women spanning fifty years, which puts their own lives at unbelievable risk. Will they solve the mystery before they become history?

When I saw the original movie series about two years ago, I was awestruck by mostly the awesome acting of Noomi rapace, and the movie's visual style, and it's inherent raunchiness, which is more common in stylish European thrillers than slick Hollywood movies. When I heard there would be an English version, I thought this would be a hard act to follow, and without Noomi Rapace as the female lead would not be the same, because she was so much an integral element of the original movies success.

In the meantime I listened to the audiobook version featuring Simon Vance, which I also found quite enjoyable. He does all the voices including Lisbeth with a slight Swedish accent that veers toward cockney. The story is much more detailed with many elements glossed over or left out of the original movie.

So, when I heard it was about to be released, and saw the trailer, and understood the pedigree behind this movie with David Fincher directing, and Daniel Craig as Blomquist, I made a point of going to the evening show before its official opening today.

Inevitably, one cannot help but compare with the previous experience. Definitely, the fact that this is in English is the greatest justification for the remake, so for many people who are distracted by subtitles this will automatically be a better experience.

Steven Zaillian, the screenwriter, previously won an Oscar for writing Schindlers List. From a storytelling point of view, it stays close to the original story, with much more detail, in that respect exceeding the original. In other respects too it exceeds the original. I particularly liked for example the soundtrack with its darker gothic metal tones by Trent Reznor, and the opening sequence with somewhat James Bond style imagery although darker, and I loved the storytelling.

This movie completes the full arc of the story, whereas I felt unclear in the original about the full circle story against Wennerstrom. This movie introduces the cat, and Cecilia Vanger as a character. We get to meet some of the characters we don't meet in the original.

David Fincher goes to great lengths not to have it be a remake, having each scene be somewhat different, so in only one scene did I have slight deja vu, which I appreciated. This movie is also raunchier, you'll know what I mean when you see it and focuses more on the relationship between Blomquist and Salander. It also has occasional humor. The scene where Michael is hunted shocked me in my seat, and there are several shocking scenes in the movie, including the crime against Lisabeth by her guardian. This is a harrowing scene as is the basement scene, although I felt that particular one was more harrowing in the original. In another movie, Zodiac, Fincher delivers one of the most suspenseful basement scenes ever when an investigative journalist is in the house of the suspected Zodiac killer.

Perhaps the single best thing about this version is that it captures the intention of the original author. Apparently, when Stieg Larson was a teenager he witnessed a gang rape of a teenage girl, and did not intervene to stop it. He was always troubled by this, second guessing his behavior, and worked as an independent investigative journalist, and this was partly his motivation for writing the Millenium Trilogy series which has now reportedly sold over 60 million copies, and the great visual art of 4 movies.

In fact, he gave the character Lisbeth the same first name as the original victim, so when Blomquist proposes to Lisbeth that she help him find a killer of women, one senses that Larson would be very pleased about this.

I liked also seeing Robin Wright as Blomquists partner, and while I still give the original movie the cool points for style and the visuals, I think many people will without my preconceptions warm to Rooney Mara who does give a great performance, in her unique way as this antisocial yet extremely resourceful and intelligent computer hacker.

I recommend it whether or not you have seen the original series. I also recommend you do check out the original series. If they do complete the rest of the trilogy, there will be opportunities in those movies to vastly outshine the originals, certainly if they include more detail from the books as they do here.

I think you will love it, and I hope this review was helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'BETTER THAN EXPECTED', 29 May 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
suspect like myself, many of you will have seen and enjoyed the 'Swedish' ( dual language ) trilogy, in truth, not so long ago.
Must admit when i heard that there was a 'Hollywood' remake of the series on the way, i did think, why ? when the original was so damn good.
Well, i wasn't going to give this the time of day, however, curiosity got the better of me.
Telling the story of how, 'Mikall Blomkvist' (Daniel Craig) a recently discredited journalist and the unconventional 'Lisbeth Salander' (Rooney Mara) team up to try and solve a 40 year old mystery, when 'Henrick Vanger's' neice dissapeared without trace at a time when a series of unsolved murders had taken place.
The bond 'Mikall' and 'Lisbeth' develop during the investigation will stand 'Lisbeth' in good stead as, in the not to distant future, her past rears it's ugly head.
I didn't think i'd enjoy this remake, however i did, and providing the next two maintain the quality of this presentation, i'll look forward to watching them..............Though I've not heard that they are doing so ?
This did do far better in the Box-Office than many that enjoyed the Swedish version might have given it credit for, it really was a decent re-make. behind
version, though I do like many I suspect, prefer the original.
Blu-ray Special Features -
* Dig deep into the 'Vanger' archives with nearly 4 hours of immersive behind-the-scenes footage.
Including interviews, rehearsals, screen tests, and more.
* Also includes an audio commentary with director 'David Fincher'
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mostly pointless film, but well-made and gripping, 7 Nov 2012
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I always thought an English redo of TGWTDT (or the Men Who Hate Woman as the original Swedish novel is clumsily titled) was utterly pointless. From watching the end result you'll be mystified as to where the $90 million budget went (the 2009 version cost $13 million). Thankfully the movie itself offers a bigger mystery to distract you from that, but globally the 2009 was far more successful and made more money. It seems that $90 million was spent simply to appeal to Americans who couldn't be bothered reading subtitles.

The story is mostly the same to Niels Arden Oplev's interpretation, with a few relatively minor deviations and contractions. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig, not even bothering to attempt a Swedish accent) is disgraced journalist who is hired by Henrik Vanger, a wealthy old businessman, to solve the 40-year-old disappearance of his favorite niece Harriet. He takes the job to keep busy while his name and reputation turns to mud.

Mikael throws himself head-first into the case but soon requires an assistant and so he recruits Lisbeth Salander, a misanthropic genius who did the background check on him. Together they uncover decades of dark family secrets and the wrath of a still active killer.

Like Niels Arden Oplev before him, David Fincher almost gets the balance between visual and verbal storytelling right, but loses his grasp on the multiple characters and references to dates, places, and people. Some of the dialogue that should orientate the viewer regarding such things is too quiet, quick, and mumbled. Inattentive viewers will not find this film easy to follow. It does however have far superior photography to the 2009 version, which I thought looked flat and plain and was shot nasty Super-35. Fincher's incarnation is shot in lovely 5K Redcode RAW and is far superior when it comes to atmosphere and mood.

Not exactly a film to watch with your grandparents (curiously, the screening I went to was filled with OAPs) but a solid mystery for grown-ups who want something deeper than the average episode of CSI.

The Blu-ray looks great, but not perfect, in 2.40:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA 5.1 sound and a second disc filled with extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cat!!!..., 25 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece from 40 years ago.

He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth.

As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined..

If you have seen the Swedish interpretation of the book, please do not disregard this.

Many are forgetting that this is a Fincher movie, and when he does dark, he does good.

Layer upon layer of beautiful narration and detail to the intricate plot are given a wonderful treatment over its duration, and Craig puts in his best performance since Enduring Love.

The film does take a while to get going, but once we are introduced to the family in question, it never lets up.

Mara as the titular character is truly something, and although she appears as a hollow being, there is much to Lisbeth and her toils.

The film is very dark in places and quite disturbing in one particular scene. Fincher has done some sort of Bi-polar Bond credit sequence which equals his Se7en credits.

The performances are flawless, and when we, with Craig, find the secret to the diary, it's something that makes magnificent cinema.

It does drag a little toward the end, but with performance and editing this good, it's really hard to care.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Watered down, surprisingly badly written and curiously uninvolving, 26 Feb 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Much like Michael Mann's Public Enemies, Fincher's surprisingly watered-down version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo feels like it's been made by a technician eager to demonstrate what he can do and obsessing over trivia rather than developing plot or characters. The usually reliable Steve Zaillian's screenplay is superficially solidly constructed, making unexciting changes to move things along or smooth out some of the perceived problem areas to be more mainstream audience-friendly, albeit with a misguidedly dragged out ending, but for such a talky film it's hobbled by disastrously on the nose dialogue. Everyone speaks like a movie trailer, saying exactly what they mean in easily digestible soundbites and overexplaining every potential plot point to the nth degree (Craig's first meeting with Rooney, where he tells her to get rid of her girlfriend and join him in hunting "a man who kills women" is especially tin-earred). There's no nuance or subtlety here, so determined is he to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Even worse, that extends to the casting. Aside from Stellan Skarsgard and Steven Berkoff's decent work, most of the cast give decent but familiar `movie actor' performances that don't exactly inhabit the characters or convince you they're real people rather than stock characters but keep things moving along (Craig is pretty much reprising his Archangel role with a nod to the torture scene from Casino Royale that has you half expecting Mads Mik to turn up again while Christopher Plummer seems to be playing his kindly and cheerful billionaire like a retired Captain Von Trapp), yet the typecasting is so crude that the moment you first see him, you'll know exactly who the killer is. Some very obvious signposting that dulls the story's `eureka' moment and a startlingly inane bit of business with a kitchen knife don't help, leading to a disappointingly ineffective `confession' that lacks the cold, clinical unease of its predecessor and is horribly overscored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' relentlessly obvious music in an irritating attempt to give the scene the macabre edge it lacks (tellingly they described their work as being inspired by the lighting and set design rather than the story or characters, and it shows). Curiously Fincher manages to make Lisbeth's abusive guardian a less obvious scumbag, yet isn't able to make their scenes feel less like agenda box-ticking this time round than they did a couple of years earlier, though at times Fincher's motives seem pretty suspect: it doesn't help that he lingers a lot more on the rape scene and substantially ups the amount of gratuitous nudity for his leading lady as if he can't make his mind up whether he's making a film about misogyny or a grungy remix of a 70s grindhouse exploitation flick.

But perhaps the biggest problem is the marginalisation and almost complete emasculation (pun intended) of Lisbeth Salander in the film. While Rooney Mara works hard with what she's given, this Lisbeth is a real softie. Whereas in the 2009 film her reaction to learning of her guardian's stroke was anger at him before ferociously writing him off completely in a single scene (at least until the sequel), here she's the one who discovers him, rushes him to hospital, begs the doctors to tell her his chances, gets depressed over his condition and cares for him because, well, that's what girls are supposed to do, isn't it? Worse comes with her sex scene with Micke, where she's not allowed to be in charge but willingly submits the dominant position to him. And, while it's true to the novel, she's not even allowed to come up with the key to the killings and is absolved of her role in the killer's death in case that makes her less sympathetic to some of the audience. As if throwing her a bone, he lets her win her fight on the subway this time, but it's a fight it's important for her to lose in the story because it shows how physically at the mercy of men she still is despite her aggressive persona. Rather than the angry, fractured, withdrawn and complex figure who could simultaneously show both strength and weakness Noomi Rapace was allowed to create, you basically get a nice girl going through an EMO phase who is largely sidelined in the film that bears her name (even the tattoo has been drastically reduced in size), doing little that impacts on the plot and constantly in danger of being reduced to the role of Watson to Micke's Holmes, just there to occasionally take her clothes off. To balance this, Micke is half-heartedly made just a little bit more of a cad with the ladies, but you suspect only to try to spice up what a bland presence he's become in this version.

Once you get past the frankly absurdly laughable CGi James Bond title sequence that inspired guffaws from the preview audience there are fewer tonal missteps, but Fincher never seems to trust the material, constantly coating it in technique and racing through it without ever giving anything any real weight or time to make a genuine impact, rendering the film surprisingly dull both viscerally and visually. The production design and muddy pissed-on interior color scheme hark back to the worst of Panic Room or Steven Soderberg's tendency to clumsily color-code his scenes - there's an unnaturalness to it that's always reminding you that this is Fincher the director's world rather than yours or the characters', spending enormous amounts of money and much gratuitous CGi to, at times, make the film look cheaper than it's Swedish predecessor as if in the mistaken belief that would add some veracity. It's a film that wants you to see how much work has gone into it, and as such he runs through his usual bag of tricks that you'll either like or start to find a bit tedious and distinctly monotonous. For the most part it's a typical glossy (meaning `designer gritty') studio product, made with professionalism but little love, at once in too much of a hurry and surprisingly dragged out. Fincher's fans will eat it up, but others may be left wondering quite what all the fuss is about. Punningly marketed as `The feelbad film of Christmas,' you're much more likely to just feel bored instead.

The Blu-ray transfer is a big disappointment, but that's less because of poor mastering than the poor original digital cinematography that lacks depth or detail and tends to turn the would-be atmospheric night or low-light scenes into a block of dark grey or smeared muddy brown with slight detail and broad outlines here and there. Extras, as expected with a Fincher film, are comprehensive but in this case not especially enlightening.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 27 Nov 2012
By 
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Making this in the English language with an international star playing one of the leads put me off for a while. The Swedish films were all superb; nearly as good as Stieg Larsson's books so a 'foreign' attempt at making the story properly Swedish seemed risky,
That said, it was pretty convincing and the acting was just right. Well directed too and the lighting, set design, costumes all first class.
A film is always made in the edit suite though, and seemingly this could have been at least 4 hours long to build and convey ALL the characters and their backgrounds and complexities before one of the book's most important sections (Australia) creates the climax. Changing the script to omit Australia and set all the characters up in a form of cinematic shorthand spoiled things just a tad, but the Swedish production wasn't 4 hours long either; even if their budget DID stretch to Aus.
Maybe watch this first, then the Swedish production - then read the book. It is a magnificent work of fiction and the English version is great but not perfect.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 21 May 2013
I have read the books and watched Swedish productions which were mesmerising. Terrific atmosphere and acting. In fact I have just ordered the trilogy from Amazon UK which has rave reviews. I am Daniel Crag fan, but, in my opinion he was miscast. Good acting as usual but for he did not fit the part. The character of Lisbet comes over as somewhat lacking. The continuity semed poor as the dialogue was not as good as the Swedish versions. Somes scenes were incorrect . In one moment it was snow covered winter and the next it was sunny with leaves on the trees with actors in their winter clothes. If you have not read the books or seen the Swedish versions you may well enjoy this. I am sorry to say that I found it hard work and if had not read the book I would have struggled to understand it all. I hope they do not film the sequels
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid fincher and great Blu-Ray...but read the book first, 2 April 2012
This review is from: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I'm not going to go into too much detail about the plot of the film here, as it's covered in several other reviews. What I will say is if you have this BluRay and are about to put it in your player, and if you haven't read the book....then stop. Books are generally so much better than any film adaptation, and this is no exception. Read it, because the film - by comparison - is much shallower.

That said, Fincher's adaptation is largely true to the book, and where some people are saying there's no atmosphere and it feels sterile, my take on it is that this is anything but. Fincher injects his unique and compelling style to proceedings, from the wonderful opening titles to when the end credits roll. This is largely achieved by both the bleak visuals and the score which sucks you in without you noticing it. It's an uneasy score, which serves the events on the wintry island well.

The movie itself is won by a wonderful performance by Rooney Mara, absolutely compelling as Lisbeth Salander and pretty much identical to how I originally pictured her when I read the novel. Daniel Craig's performance is utterly overshadowed by this fantastic character, yet ultimately this again is how the book reads. There are some differences from the book though, and I think the film suffers slightly for it - there's little mention of the mysterious woman at the window (if you've read the book you'll know what I mean), and the ending has a slightly different twist for reasons unknown to me.

From a BluRay perspective, prepare to be wowed by a soundtrack which shows fantastic dynamic range. Some of the voices are difficult to make out, so making sure all channels are calibrated properly is essential, otherwise you may be reaching for the volume control. It's a well-layered affair, subtle use of surrounds for the most part, with the electronic movie score pervading many scenes at just the right level. And when action punctuates proceedings, hold on to your chair, because the dynamic swing is immense (if you have a surround system your subwoofer will be tested.)

Video quality is close to reference: great black levels and low level detail, and a wonderful punch in the brighter scenes. It's nothing less than you'd expect from a Fincher movie...superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I LIKE WORKING WITH YOU, 14 Aug 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) wants to solve the 40 year old disappearance/murder of his 16 year old niece. He enlists the help of investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who thinks he is on to something. He needs an assistant and employs the talents of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in the title role. Lisabeth is a savvy psychotic bisexual computer hacker/investigator who provides us with a dark bizarre subplot.

During the investigation they uncover hints that point to a serial killer, who kills Jewish women based on quotes from Leviticus. The mystery isn't too hard to figure out with the numerous clues that they give you. The movie is best when Rooney Mara is on the screen.

F-bomb, rape, sex, nudity (Rooney Mara)
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