The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Evil shall with evil be expelled

I was hyped for this film. Mainly because of the awesome trailer that shows flashes of the title while a really good Led Zepplin cover is being blasted at you over the top of it. But it was also because it was being directed by David Fincher. A director who can make an everyday task like typing on a keyboard for example and turn it into a tense involving scene that had the same thrills as if we were watching a car chase. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo however involves murder and explicit rape that would mire the film with controversy so that only someone with Fincher’s talent could bring it to the silver screen. It would of also have been brilliant apart from one small problem … It’s been done before.

A discredited investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, is tasked to solve the murder of Harriet Vanger that took place 40 years ago on a remote Swedish island. On this Island he finds himself surrounded by the Vagner family all of whom have some shady secret or another and find themselves as suspects to the killing. Soon finding a dead end he enlists the help of a professional hacker, Lisbeth Salander played by the excellent Rooney Mara. She herself also hides her past and has been on the wrong end of horrible abuse from the authorities. It’s a good story that shows plenty of promise as a film adaptation but as it was the second adaptation to Stieg Larsson’s book it plainly wasn’t needed.

In fact the original was slightly better than Fincher’s version because it didn’t drag on at the end and didn’t include some distracting bond music video at the start. They are basically the same film though and there was a chance in this film to correct the flaws of the original but it annoyingly turned out to be the lesser version of the two. Hollywood must think that people aren’t clever enough to read subtitles so they have to remake all the good foreign language films and “Americanise” them. It’s just bullshit and is definitely not a reason to remake something. Plus the sexual violence in it was not needed for the story and only served to make me cringe throughout. Of course the reason for it being there is to help us understand Lisbeth a bit more but have you ever thought about cutting away before the more horrifying events take place. We can then assume she’s been raped instead of watching images that might distract you from the rest of the film and put it out of context. Then it takes a century … no a millennium (get it? Millenium trilogy! Suit yourselves then) for Lisbeth and Mikael to actually meet with each other. That’s the most important bit of the film and it takes place closer to the end making everything before there meeting seem irrelevant because it took so bloody long to happen. Besides that the crappy bond intro is also way out of context! And having Daniel Craig starring in a film doesn’t automatically make it acceptable as well. Especially when he doesn’t even bother to have a Swedish accent apparently because his character would seem more natural. Well 007 that might make you sound cool but it instantly makes everyone else sound like a total idiot and out of place. Or is that the other way around ….

Ok rant over as I may be starting to get confused.

Don’t get me wrong though this film was actually quite good believe it or not. What it did bring to the table that the original did not was stylish cinematography. The film looks great and makes you feel cold while you watch all the actors freeze to death in the white Swedish landscape. On that note the acting is also grade A and Rooney Mara’s performance, while simililar to that of Noomi Rapace’s, is unrecognisable from her past role as Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend in Fincher’s The Social Network. Daniel Craig still did a good job (even with his own “Sean Connery couldn’t be bothered so neither can I” accent) but he put on too much 007 cool and was not like the everyman that Blomkvist was supposed to be. The film itself is a tense ride throughout and you feel like you need to pay constant attention as the story fully engrosses you with the sadistic tales of the families history. As well as that the score by Trent Reznor is a hair-raising and shudder-some sound,  giving that ominous feel to prepare you for disturbing future events. It also put me off the song – Sail Away by Enya and if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean.

All being said I’ll give The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 4 Connerys out of 5. Why Sean Connery? Why not? He’s awesome!

Here’s a part of the score just for you guys. Enjoy!

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The Thing

It’s not human. Yet.

Look I know this came out in cinemas on the 2cnd of this month but here at Tripodfilm we strive to give you the best reviews no matter how late it is. Plus it helps me when I can look at other reviews and copy most of it for my own personal fame and glory! Muahahahahahaha! However copying is wrong and I insure you that everything written in this blog is 100% original. With a few inspirations here and there.

OMG! They’re in Antarctica and they found a big alien spaceship and there was like a frozen alien but then it wasn’t frozen and like started eating people and then turning into them so no-one can know who’s who anymore! OMG!!! I can’t believe no-one has thought of this before …

*Facepalm*

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. Yes there was an original The Thing (that was directed by the legend that is John carpenter, starred Kurt Russel and was far superior to this movie), but in many ways Hollywood excuse of “it’s okay, it’s just a prequel” doesn’t really ring as true of the time when I saw Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom menace. Man did I have sleepless nights uttering the same excuse that it was indeed just a prequel and in no way could be compared to the awesomeness that is the original trilogy. Yet as a “prequel” The Thing (That was directed by some Dutch guy, stars Ramona Flowers and tells a funny joke in Norwegian about a kid going at it with his grandma) does it’s job quite well all things considered. Some parts of the movie were quite gripping and at the end I didn’t mind that I had paid to see it as it was in some parts enjoyable. Of course I am on a deal with the cinema that means I only have to pay half price and yet for some reason I still didn’t mind.

I’m not saying this is a good film though. The main criticism I have with it is the fact that a lot of the characters aren’t given enough back story or lines for that matter for me to even give a damn about them when they meet their inevitable demise. Some of them might as well have just announced that they were the thing just so we could all have saved a little bit of time in our lives. They even throw in a random guy with a crappy British accent half way through the film saying that they should “bloody” leave even though everyone has been saying that since the thing got loose “mate”. It’s almost like what a 3D film would do in the middle of the movie. Subtlety hinting at the audience that it’s in 3D by poking a large spear directly towards the camera thus ruining what was probably a good film because of the cheap gimmick laid in front of you. Well this “british” guy was the same cheap gimmick but this time he’s basically there to make people think that he could be the thing. Hmmmm he’s the only british guy in the whole camp? well … HE MUST BE THE THING. There was one character, Lars, that was bad ass and deserved a little bit more than just ogling Mary Elizabeth Winstead throughout most of it. Although who would blame him! However the CGI was also extremely poor and was actually bettered by the effects used in the original. Hey, it damn well scared the bejesus out of me when I first watched it.

All in all this film is a solid rental that should only be watched if you want to watch the 82 version straight after. Indecently it does tie itself in with the original extremely well in the end. Using Ennio Morricone’s score to a terrifying effect as it cuts in with the credits to the point where the first film began.

The Thing gets two Facepalms (two stars) out of five

On a side note I’d just like to say … Hollywood stop remaking films. It shows no creativity that you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel like this and money only seems to be the keyword with film nowadays. Here’s a list of films that are upcoming remakes so you can also facepalm in disgust:

  • Scarface
  • Akira
  • The Seven Samurai
  • Raging Bull 2 (Okay it’s a sequel/prequel but WTF!?)
  • Total Recall
  • The Evil Dead (without Bruce Campbell)
  • The Birds
  • Godzilla (again)
  • Escape From New York
  • The Crow
  • Oldboy
  • Flash Gordon
  • Scanners
  • Carrie
  • Don’t Look Now
  • All Quiet On The Western Front

Just Stop Hollywood … Stop.

Straw Dogs

Everyone Has A Breaking Point

But unfortunately there was no point in remaking this film!

Oh I’m sorry Mr. Hollywood what I really meant was that there was no point in making a “re-imagining” of the novel – The Siege Of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams. You see the original that came out in 1971 had already pushed the boundaries of cinema and was even banned in the UK because of the rape scene depicted in it. So to remake it and try to shy away or even gloss over the problems the original depicted is not the point to what the original (directed by Sam Peckinpah) was trying to achieve with the audience. This film could of only been successful if it had gone beyond the boundaries of the modern day audience, whilst still maintaining the story (obviously we don’t want another human centipede II).

Hmmm ok maybe i should explain the story …

So a L.A screenwriter, David Sumner (James Marsden a.k.a CYCLOPS!!!), moves with his wife, Amy (Kate Bosworth a.k.a HOTNESS!!!), to her hometown of Blackwater (Red Dead Redemption) and enlists the help of the local gang of rednecks to help repair her childhood home (Fine I’ll stop with the brackets). The leader of this gang, Charlie (Ha! Ha! No Brackets! wait … oh bollocks!), is keen to rekindle his previous relationship with Sumner’s wife and so an inevitable conflict between Sumner and the gang comes to the fray. There is as mentioned above a rape scene in this film but she dresses way too provocatively throughout the film and even tempts the worker gang by undressing for them just to spite her husband. For me she asked for it a bit and the rednecks only seemed to be as the title suggests, straw dogs, not the more sinister, monstrous figures that the director was hoping to produce. Heck it even has the problem of a 15 year old girl who grabs the attention of the much older town idiot. Creepily daring to go further than Taxi Driver or Leon but they have the added advantage of not using it as a plot device just to have a ridiculous battle at the end!

“Whoa! Way to go all dark with the review dude!”

Sorry Keanu Reeves! But this film is at best a rental. The acting could never live up to Dustin Hoffman’s and Susan George’s performance in the original especially with an actual believable chemistry between them. The writing seemed like it just got raped (in a manner of speaking) by the influences from the film Deliverance. Plus Cornwall just worked better as a setting than the deep south! As the Cornish clockwork orange(also released in 71) type bad guys were more believable and scarier by their mixture of disturbing childish fun with sinister violence.

In the end I believe that both are as problematic as the actual plans to build an alien tripod (i tried to build one … well in my dreams). Yet Peckinpah’s version is by far the superior because it focuses less on its flaws and more on the dilemmas that arise for the duration of the film.

I also may have just reached the taglines so called “breaking point” so it’s probably best i just stop writing before my brain explodes.

     See the BBFC’s Certification of the film here

And probably totally unrelated to the film … Here’s some awesome Irish punk: Stiff Little Fingers – Straw Dogs