The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the man with the baboon face.
Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO follows Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, a co-owner and writer at Millennium Magazine. Mikael seeks to escape the public eye for a while after a blunder of epic proportions. Lucky for him, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) is looking for someone to write his memoirs. Oh, and to uncover the mysterious death of his great-niece Harriet Vanger. How does Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) tie into all of this? Well, if you’re like me and you never read books that movies are based on you might not know. Lisbeth is enlisted to do a background check on Mikael before Henrik will take him on. Blomkvist is involved with his married colleague at the magazine, Erika Berger (Robin Wright – who, by the way, looks like an old catcher’s mit these days) and with a world of trouble on his shoulders, he ventures out to the island. When he realizes that he is getting in over his head, he insists that he be given a research assistant. He gets the brilliant mind of Lisbeth to assist in all of his research needs.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about how excited I was for the last month and a half. My suspicions were that because David Fincher (The Social Network) was behind this film with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the turntables, this movie was going to — for lack of a better term — blow my fuckin’ mind. The story is an excellent one. Intriguing, smart, well done. However, I was not as impressed as I was with, say, THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Now, this is apples and oranges, really, because the two movies are entirely different in nature. So why was I checking my phone in the theater? Why did I leave to go to the bathroom when I didn’t even have to go that bad? Perhaps it was the extra 45 minutes of unnecessary movie in there that turned me off. Read More »

Trailer Court: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This post comes from the blog I operate with MiracleFrank and 1989Cubs. That blog can be found at Come by and check us out.

Because if there’s one thing Hollywood is in need of it’s a little justice.


Opening statement: I’m always a fan of movies that come from real life experiences, but this one is harsh. Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, wrote the book – originally titled Men Who Hate Women – because of a gang rape he witnessed as a teen. The victim was Lisbeth. Evidently Larsson felt so guilty for not helping Lisbeth that he went and wrote a book. My word.

Prosecution: If you’ve read what I’ve written about Daniel Craig previously, then you know that the man has yet to impress me. His performance in COWBOYS and ALIENS was decent, but he didn’t speak all that much. So he kind of gets a pass for that one. Then there’s DREAM HOUSE and what a puke-fest that was. Jesus. I just don’t know if I can take him seriously. As far as our leading lady goes, Rooney Mara just hasn’t been in much. Her most famous role to date comes from another Fincher film. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. A little flick called THE SOCIAL NETWORK. That’s right. That’s her. Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend. Perhaps she’s very lucky that she has a connection with David Fincher. Who knows, maybe Fincher knows something we don’t.

Defense: I have a feeling that this film is going to have Oscar buzz. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be some TREE OF LIFE piece of shit that leaves you feeling like you’re coming down from a bad trip. That means that it’s actually going to be good. David Fincher was behind my second favorite film of last year. I believe he wants that golden man. I also believe he wants to make this movie a worthwhile cinematic experience. It’s nice to see a movie coming out this time of year with a bit of an edge to it. Not to mention Christopher Plummer who may just get some Oscar buzz himself. If not for this film, then perhaps for BEGINNERS. We shall see.

Closing Statement: Even though we have a leading lady who hasn’t seen much screen time and Daniel Craig again, I trust David Fincher. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will compose the soundtrack and as you may remember, they DID take home an Oscar for THE SOCIAL NETWORK. The trailer makes me think it’s going to sound very similar, which is okay by me. Christopher Plummer is here. If all else fails, Christopher Plummer is here to save the day.

Verdict: I could’ve settled this one out of court. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be worth my $12. My advice to you: see this movie. See it – as Bill Paxton says in WEIRD SCIENCE – ASAFP. You got Fincher, you got Plummer, you got Trent and Atticus, you got what looks like incredible cinematography, you got a story strong enough to keep your attention, and WE’VE got movie sign!

Oscar Nominees 2011: And the Oscar goes to…

Cinephiles unite! It is that time of year again! The Academy Awards have returned with some wonderful surprises, some well-earned nominations, some nominations that were not so well-earned, and some downright shocking snubs. Matt Pais of the RedEye covered all of the bases very nicely here.

Let’s get on with it already! Here, ladies and gentlemen, are my picks. Twenty-four categories, twenty-four educated predictions.

Actor in a Leading Role:

Javier Bardem –  Biutiful
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours

And the Oscar goes to…

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale – The Fighter
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

And the Oscar Goes to…

Actress in a Leading Role:

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

And the Oscar goes to…

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

And the Oscar goes to…

Animated Feature Film:

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

And the Oscar goes to…

Art Direction:

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King’s Speech
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…


Black Swan
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…

Costume Design:

Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King’s Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…


Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter – David O. Russell
The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
The Social Network – David Fincher
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

And the Oscar goes to…

Documentary (Feature):

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

And the Oscar goes to…

Documentary (Short Subject):

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

And the Oscar goes to…

Film Editing:

Black Swan – Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter – Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech – Tariq Anwar
127 Hours – Jon Harris
The Social Network – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

And the Oscar goes to…

Foreign Language Film:

Biutiful – Mexico
Dogtooth – Greece
In a Better World – Denmark
Incendies – Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) – Algeria

And the Oscar goes to…


Barney’s Version – Adrien Morot
The Way Back – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

And the Oscar goes to…

Music (Original Score):

How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A. R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

And the Oscar goes to…

Music (Original Song):

Coming Home – Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light – Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
If I Rise – A. R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together – Randy Newman

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Picture:

Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

And the Oscar goes to…

Short Film (Animated):

Day & Night – Teddy newton
The Gruffalo – Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute – Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) – Bastien Dubois

And the Oscar goes to…

Short Film (Live Action):

The Confession – Tanel Toom
The Crush – Michael Creagh
God of Love – Luke Matheny
Na Wewe – Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143 – Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

And the Oscar goes to…

Sound Editing:

Inception – Richard King
Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger

And the Oscar goes to…

Sound Mixing:

Inception – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech – Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt – Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network – Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

And the Oscar goes to…

Visual Effects:

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Iron Man 2

And the Oscar goes to…

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

And the Oscar goes to…

Writing (Original Screenplay):

Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – David Seidler

And the Oscar goes to…


Click on the photos below to read a bit about why I think they deserve to take home the coveted Academy Award of Merit.

The Social Network

Love, jealousy, money, and greed. These are four of the most powerful driving forces in the world and they are also the primary driving forces behind The Social Network. I absolutely loved this movie. Director David Fincher did not waste anytime getting us right into the plot.

A young Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) opens the movie by dazzling us with his somewhat careless yet brilliant tech skills. He moves quickly and does not falter. He is incredibly intelligent but has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth all too often. He’s also neurotic and two-faced. One of his only friends in the world, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) blazes through the internet with Zuckerberg as they explore the world of dot-coms.

Due to a prank of epic proportions pulled by Zuckerberg, he starts to get press and is suddenly under fire having to defend his actions.

The movie moves right along with occasional laughs and we are able to witness the creation of the website that has become the most popular dot-com of our generation. We also get to see the controversy over who thought of it first. Is it really a stolen idea? Is Mark Zuckerberg and evil genius?

Everyone in this film gives a superb performance. And I mean everyone. There is not one role that I can think of that was just O.K. Jesse Eisenberg was – as everyone has already said – incredible. I’m a little tardy to the party on this one, but I completely agree with the general consensus that this is surely going to get a few Oscar nods. I wasn’t so sure about it before today, but I left the theater in a daze. Not many movies do that to me anymore.

While I am sure that the most buzz was that which surrounded Michael Cera wannabe Jesse Eisenberg in a role that completely shattered that image, I was seriously wowed by Andrew Garfield who played Eduardo Saverin. If this movie is at all accurate as far as Zuckerberg’s personality – and who knows if it is – being Mark’s best friend was trying and most of the time emotionally exhausting. Watching the roller coaster of emotion that Eduardo experienced was difficult. Zuckerberg played the “come here, go away” game for much of the film leaving Eduardo at the end of his rope.

Brenda Song broke away from her squeaky clean Disney Channel persona to play Eduardo’s crazy girlfriend. The Winklevoss boys played by Armie Hammer provided much-needed comedic relief in some of the tense parts of the film and also provided serious eye candy. Am I right, ladies?

Justin Timberlake as Napster founder Sean Parker started off weak, but as the film progressed I saw that N’Sync glow fade away and he became someone completely different.

The movie was excellent and a must see. While I don’t think this will win best picture, I do see a possible best actor award for Jesse Eisenberg and I have a strong feeling that Andrew Garfield could take home best supporting actor.

One of the most memorable scenes for me was the very last scene of the film. Of course I won’t say what the last scene is, but it reaffirmed everything I thought I knew the whole time.

See it if you haven’t and watch it again if you have. It’s fantastic and entertaining and embodies all of the necessary components of a great dramedy.

Also, Vega Choir did a marvelous cover of Creep by Radiohead for the trailer of the film. Check out the video here.