Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this, lots of action, twists and turns in the story line, recommended.Published 27 days ago by CG
A slow paced thriller with solid performances from all involved. Contains some graphic sex scenes that might offend some. A good mystery, with plenty of style, & taste.Published 1 month ago by Average Joe
I wanted to give it NO stars... but hey ho.
Not a patch on the Swedish original. No character in this British 'Yellow Bird' version was convincing or compelling. Read more