Movie Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

“The fear of offending is stronger than the fear of pain.”

David Fincher is a filmmaker whom I respect completely, not many I can actually say that about as wholeheartedly as I do for Fincher. His ability to make almost any kind of story into his own detailed chronicle in a way that is paced and at the same time visually appealing is almost unmatched. He almost redefined what a courtroom drama should be in 2010 with The Social Network. So with a remake of a more than competent Swedish adaptation of the novel by Stieg Larsson I was more interested than perturbed, which is saying a lot nowadays.

To say that the film was a disappointment to me is a bit harsh. However, what truly bothered me wasn’t that the movie was bad, which it wasn’t, but that it didn’t change anything about how I felt about the franchise. Like Let Me In, the Matt Reeves’ remake of Tomas Alfredson’s film Let The Right One In, it didn’t do much more than allow me the ability to watch the exact same film I loved without the pain of having to read subtitles for the entire two and a half hour runtime. The film was just as intriguing as the foreign film, since it was based on the same source, and thanks to the fact that the studio hired a great filmmaker to do the work the film was just as well staged and executed with a lot of the relationship and eerie character points that surrounded our socially estranged of a protagonist, Lisbeth (Rooney Mara).

So the question left to be answered is what does Fincher offer that Oplev didn’t give us two years ago? Honestly I can’t say. He showed me that his faith in Rooney Mara, who honestly only had two real scenes in The Social Network, was not poorly placed. Mara embodies the role of this jarring character to the extent that I’m almost certain that the next film she does where she doesn’t have all the piercings will probably freak me out. Fincher places a sense of detail into certain things that many other filmmakers don’t bother to do (memory can’t serve if the same level of detail was given in Oplev’s film) to the point where I could see competent SQL queries that Lisbeth were entering into the system during their investigations.

Does competence equal memorable? The answer is honestly no. For those of you who’ve never seen the 2009 Swedish film I can just imagine how impressed you are with the result, but for me the film just served as my second viewing of the same story. While I didn’t purposely revisit the Swedish film before seeing this translation so as not to just keep blurting out “I saw this already” as I’m doing here now, but honestly that’s all that came to mind as the film kept going along. I was engaged because I was so pleased to see the film again, but as the film was over and I left the cinema other than a few minor touches thanks to Fincher (a name I can’t stop bringing up in this review) added by being who he is as a filmmaker, and the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (also did the score for The Social Network) I can’t say anything else distinctly great about this film that isn’t available from two years prior.

Rating: 8.0/10

Meet Jerry in the First Trailer for the “Fright Night” Remake

IGN has released the first trailer for the remake of the 80s horror/comedy Fright Night starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Check out the trailer below:

Synopsis: Teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), the opportunistic host of his favorite TV show, to help him take down Jerry and his guardian.

I haven’t seen the original, which I promise to remedy soon, but this trailer just look fantastic. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards but Farrell just oozes the right amount of allure as well as creepiness and I can already see the action packed third act where Yelchin crosses to road to care of business coming and I just can’t wait for it.

What do you think of the trailer?

Arthur’s Second Trailer Shows Us The Love

A month ago we got the first trailer to the new comedy remake starring Russell Brand, Greta Gerwig, Luis Guzman and Helen Mirren. Check out the new trailer below:

Synopsis: A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like.

I haven’t seen the original and while I worry about being annoyed by seeing Russell Brand playing the same character over and over again I have to say the movie looks moderately funny and interesting. I love Greta Gerwig and can’t wait for her to get a chance to show her talents to the masses and this may be the movie to do it.

What do you think of the trailer?

Movie Review:The Housmaid (2010)

Eun-Yi (Do-Yeon Jeon) is a young woman who’s been hired to work as a housemaid in the home of a rich family. Shortly after being hired she begins to have sexual encounters with the husband of her employer and the film follows us down the dark path that these questionable decisions kick off.

If you read the above plot summary and imagined that this movie would be anything other than provocative then you’re what we call an eternal optimist. The film not only takes a most graphic look at the encounters of Eun-Yi and Hoon (Jung-Jae Lee) but it also never makes it seem like either of them are being used in either case. Both of them understand that these evenings are not for anything else other than feeding this sexual hunger that they both have.

Eun-Yi’s very pure, almost childlike spirit, shows how children are abused. Even though she’s more than the age of consent, and she isn’t shouting rape, you view these carnal acts as a decision that no person of sound mind would be a part of; like how a child may decide to do something just because the opportunity is being presented to them and they don’t think of the consequences. So when consequences come knocking and we see how everyone handles it we never point a finger at Eun-Yi even though she should’ve known what she was getting herself into.

The pure childish personality of Eun-Yi is amplified since you see her during her work with Nami (Seo-Hyeon Ahn), the family’s first born child, and caring for her employer’s unborn children as she’s pregnant with twins and the care she gives Haera (Seo Woo) and her unborn children as she pays special attention to Haera’s overall health for the sake of her and her soon to be second and third born children. It’s a great way to show character traits, because instead of us being told we’re actually witnesses to this, even though in the second half of the movie it has to ruin the joy of these character traits by having the supporting cast telling us just in case you missed it.

Where this movie fails to affect you is with the sex. The movie’s handling of sex and fraternization feels so bland that you
almost don’t feel anything as you see Hoon and Eun-Yi having sex. It brings me to question as to whether the film just wanted to tell men to be more careful as opposed not to do it at all. As if this case is special, since the woman went a bit insane over it all she’s to blame for how badly this choice went as opposed to the fact that the man made a poor decision.

Check it out on DVD from Amazon here. NOTE: THIS IS A REGION 3 DVD.

IMDB says 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 72%
I say 7.0/10