Movie Review: The Last Castle (2001)

I don’t have much to say here. Not because the movie flabbergasted me or broke my soul in two. I just don’t have anything clever to say. So I guess we should just get into the review.

Ladies and gents… “The Last Castle”.

Eugene Irwin (Robert Redford) is an army general who has been court-martialed and sent to a military prison. But it doesn’t take long for him to notice how corrupt the entire place is. So he decides to rally the other inmates to rise up against the prison and its crooked warden (James Gandolfini). I like stories of revolutions. And setting one of those within a corrupt prison is an idea that I find pretty fucking clever. However, they only do the bare minimum with that idea, going for surface level ideas instead of giving us the kind of nuanced story one could expect from this kind of idea. That said, it’s not bad. Surface level isn’t exactly what I’d call a bad thing here. The story does entertain throughout the two hour runtime. I just wish it had a little bit more nuance to it.

The characters in this are… fine. Often they boil down to stereotypes we’ve seen before. Asshole, big dude, young/underestimated guy, etcetera. Robert Redford plays General Eugene Irwin, the highly regarded army man at the center of the story. He’s a good man, never bent, always doing what’s best for him and his men. He may not be the deepest character ever, but Redford’s performance really makes it feel a bit deeper than the writing would have you believe. James Gandolfini plays Winter, the colonel who’s in charge of the prison. He seems a half decent fellow at first glance, but it doesn’t take long for his crookedness to be clear. He’s a decent matchup for Irwin, and Gandolfini is really good in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Mark Ruffalo, Clifton Collins Jr, Delroy Lindo, Steve Burton, Brian Goodman, Michael Irby, Robin Wright, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, and it was good. Plenty of military-style trumpets, some emotional strings, and some heavy and dramatic percussion. It is a little bit generic at times, but overall it’s well composed and works quite well for the movie. There’s also one or two licensed tracks used in the movie, and that works pretty well too.

The movie was directed by Rod Lurie, who I think did a pretty good job here. There’s a surprising amount of fun camerawork throughout, and he does have a decent sense of dramatic flair. Whenever the writing is a little bland and uninspired, his direction sort of helps out in making it a bit more interesting.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 52% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 43/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

While not a perfect movie, “The Last Castle” is still a pretty entertaining prison drama. It has an okay plot, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Last Castle” is a 7,23/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth renting.

My review of “The Last Castle” is now completed.

Do you think Ruffalo played a former pilot because helicopter blades go “Ruffa ruffa ruffa ruffa”?

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

With the impending release of “Justice League”, I thought that it was time to finally get around to watching/reviewing this movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Wonder Woman”.

After an American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the mysterious island of Themyscira, he finds himself at the mercy of the Amazons, the group of warrior women inhabiting the island. And he soon brings Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of the island, to Europe to help in the fight against the Germans during World War 1. So now we have our origin story. And I honestly thought this was a solid plot. There is a bit of a fish out of water element to it, with Diana coming to our world and experiencing World War 1, as well as things people at the time took for granted. But it’s not just a fun little “Oh, she’s not from here” type of story, as it is also an interesting look into her origin and how she has to learn to be Wonder Woman, and there’s a surprising amount of emotion in that journey. The final act is the weakest, as it becomes kind of like the other DCEU movies, but I also feel like this movie earns it by having a great story for the rest of the runtime. Really, this is a good, emotional, not messy, and fun plot.

The characters here are fun and interesting and for the most part quite layered. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman (after 2016’s “Batman v Superman”), and I have to say that I really liked the character here. In “BvS” she was just a fun little addition that didn’t add anything of value, but here she becomes a real character. You see Diana grow as a character here, from a somewhat naive person who wants to see the world and doesn’t know shit about it, to something more. And unlike the DCEU other “heroes”, she’s not broody. She’s fun and optimistic and just incredibly likable. She gets a lot of great character development here and I think Gadot was great in the role. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, the soldier who crashes on Themyscira and acts as a sort of guide/love interest for Diana. And what I liked is that he’s not just some one-note person that is either total badass or a helpless idiot, he feels like a legit person here who helps a lot in the development of Diana’s character. And Pine is great in the role. Danny Huston plays one of the movie’s villains, and he’s a bit cartoony. He seems like he’s just evil for the sake of evil (muahaha). He gives a good performance, but the character isn’t very well developed… but I will not dock any points from the movie because I did kind of enjoy him here. Then I’m not gonna go in-depth with more characters, but I can say that the rest of them are pretty interesting. I’ll at least give you the list of actors instead. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Saïd Taghmaoui, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya… and they’re all great. This is seriously a talented cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and I thought it was great. It’s big, epic, dramatic, fun, triumphant, awe-inspiring, and just overall worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes throughout the movie. It is probably my favorite of the DCEU scores so far.

This movie was directed by Patty Jenkins and I thought she did a great job with it. Her direction has a lot of energy to it, keeping it from getting boring. And that is important, because this is an almost 2,5 hour long movie, but I never felt that it dragged, often due to Jenkins’ energy-filled direction. And holy shit, colors! There are actual colors in this DC movie! Let’s talk about the action. While there’s a ton of slow-motion in this (which I hoped they’d use less of in future movies), it didn’t bother me too much and I enjoyed the action scenes. And by enjoyed I mean that there are some fucking awesome action scenes in this. There’s one scene especially that is in a battlefield (people who’ve seen this know which scene I mean) that is one of the best action set pieces of the year. AS for visual effects in this movie, they range from terrific to meh. There were a couple moments where stuff looked less than stellar, but I’m not gonna take points away because they weren’t really that big a distraction, but I thought it could be worth mentioning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/100.

“Wonder Woman” is a great movie. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,76/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” is now completed.

Dear “Justice League”. Please be good.

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

I know that I’m late with watching/reviewing this, but hey… Better late than never. So shut up… let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Blade Runner 2049”!

Set 30 years after the first movie, we follow a Blade Runner named K (Ryan Gosling) as he works a case. And during this case he stumbles upon a really old secret that will lead him onto a dangerous quest to find former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and hopefully get some answers. And once again we have a deep plot that at first just sets up an intriguing mystery, but soon also starts to ask questions about humanity and what makes you human or not… like the first movie. But while it does pose some of the same questions as the original, it isn’t really anything like it. Sure, it’s a familiar story with some similar themes, but it mostly does it’s own things, feeling like a proper, expansive continuation rather than a retread of the first movie. I should also mention that it is quite slow-paced, which will put some people off. But for me it worked, taking it’s time to develop the story and it’s developments. The plot here is unpredictable, tense, emotional, philosophical, filled with twists and turns, and I absolutely loved it.

The characters are layered, flawed, and really interesting. Also, forgive me if I’m a bit brief with some of these descriptions as I don’t wanna spoil too much. Ryan Gosling plays K, our protagonist.  Like Deckard before him, he’s a Blade Runner, and while Blade Running he stumbles upon the plot. Within the first couple minutes you get a good feeling that he is a bit of a troubled man, and he goes through a lot of emotions through the movie as he learns more and more. And Gosling is great in the role. Robin Wright plays K’s boss, a tough and smart lady. And Wright is great in the role. Ana de Armas plays Joi, the girlfriend of K. She’s a likable and kind-hearted lady that we quickly learn something interesting about. And de Armas is really good in the role. Then let’s talk about Harrison god damn Ford who returns in this as Rick Deckard. When we meet him you can tell that he’s damaged on the inside after stuff that’s happened in his life (both during “Blade Runner” and between both the movies). He’s grumpy, troubled, and tired. And I have to say that Harrison Ford was great in the role, giving one of his best performances ever. Jared Leto plays Niander Wallace, the menacing creator of the newest Replicants. He’s our villain who is suitably weird and menacing, and Leto is really good in the role. Really, all actors in this movie range from really good to great, brief appearance or lengthy role. ’tis a very well acted movie.

The score was composed by Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch and it is absolutely amazing. It manages to emulate the stuff that Vangelis composed back in 1982, while also doing enough things differently to make it stand out. Yes, the synth sounds are still there, but there are also a whole bunch of modern touches to it as well, making it a very epic, emotional, tense, and exciting score that is a feast for the ears. Also, there are a couple of licensed tracks used throughout (which came as a surprise), and they were used well in their respective scenes. Yeah, this movie had some solid music.

Ridley Scott was supposed to originally direct this, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. So instead Denis Velleneuve took over the reins. And holy crap, he did a fantastic job. His directing here (as with most of his movies) is sweeping, taut, suspenseful, and thought-provoking. And let’s not draw this out for too long, Roger Deakins’ cinematography is absolutely fucking spectacular, and if he doesn’t win the Oscar for Best cinematography, then I will get furious and stomp around the house (too lazy to riot). Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. And the mix of practical effects and CGI here is seamless, it all blends together so well that I never questioned what I was looking at. This feels like “Blade Runner” while still updating it a bit. And for those wondering if there’s any action here: There are a couple of action scenes, but they’re few and far between. That said, when they happen they are awesome. Violent and hard-hitting, but awesome.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #61 on the “Top 250” list.

“Blade Runner 2049” exceeded all my expectations (which were decently high), and turned out to be one of the best sequels of all time. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Blade Runner 2049” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Blade Runner 2049” is now completed.

This further cements my mantra “Villeneuve can do no wrong”.

Movie Review: Unbreakable (2000)

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Oh, M. Night Shyamalan. You started out so amazingly with “The Sixth Sense” and in later years everything went to shit. But it seems like he’s making a bit of a return in the last few years. Gotta say, he’s quite the interesting individual.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Unbreakable”.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a horrible train accident. And soon he is approached by the mysterious Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) who suggests that David might have special abilities. And from this we get a slowly paced, subtle, suspenseful, and incredibly fascinating plot about self-discovery. I was invested throughout the entirety of the plot, getting sucked into the drama and getting genuinely surprised by some of the twists and turns throughout the movie. And the big twist at the end (without spoiling it) will polarize audiences. Some will love it, some will hate it. Me? I thought it was pretty great, adding a bit more weight to the already very well told story. Yeah, I think this movie has a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all layered and I thought they were interesting. Bruce Willis gave a great performance in this movie. His performance was very subtle and subdued and he was just great in the role. Samuel L. Jackson was great as Elijah Price, I felt a lot of sympathy for his character because of his disability (Osteogenesis imperfecta), and I think Jackson overall gave a great performance. Robin Wright was great as Dunn’s wife. Spencer Treat Clark played Dunn’s son and he was really good in it too. But yeah, the acting here is great.

The score for the movie was composed by James Newton Howard and wow, it was pretty fucking great. The stuff he composed was emotional, suspenseful, and even kind of thought-provoking, and absolutely helped elevate a lot of the movie’s scenes. A standout for me was the main theme, “Visions”. But like I said, the entire score is fucking great.

Like I mentioned at the start of this review, this movie was directed by the very polarizing M. Night Shyamlaman, and his direction here is terrific. What I like about it is that it lingers and let’s things sink in, unlike a lot of modern movies where there are plenty of cuts and such. Conversations often play out in one continuous shot and it really adds to the quality of it all in my opinion. His directing here is also very suspenseful, making for some pretty great scenes. I’ll also mention, Eduardo Serra’s cinematography is absolutely gorgeous.

This movie has been decently received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Unbreakable” is a great movie that gives us an interesting twist on the superhero genre. It has a great plot, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Unbreakable” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Unbreakable” is now completed.

Not gonna lie… I think I might like this a little bit more than “The Sixth Sense”…

 

Movie Review: State of Grace (1990)

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Don’t get involved with mobsters… EVER! It just brings trouble. Understood? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “State of Grace”.

Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) is an undercover cop who has returned to his old home of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, after being away for a certain amount of years. And soon he gets in touch with his old friend Jackie (Gary Oldman) who gets Terry involved with the Irish mob, led by Jackie’s brother, Frankie (Ed Harris). And soon Terry gets involved in some pretyt intense stuff. From this we get a surprisingly investing and very well told mob story. There are a few surprises strewn throughout the plot that really helped keep my interest. I’m not saying that they’re mindblowing twists, but they were most defiiinitely a little surprising. So yeah, the plot here is really solid.

I admit, the characters in thsi movie aren’t the most original when it comes to what type of character they all are. But I was definitely interested in all of them. Sean Penn is great as Terry, he perfectly plays this conflicted undercover cop. Ed Harris is great as the mob boss, but you knew that already… it’s Ed fucking Harris. Gary Oldman in this movie is fantastic, playing this very unhinged man. Really, he’s a blast to watch. Robin Wright plays the sister of Harris/Oldman that gets romantically involved with Terry, and she’s great in the role. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like John Turturro and John C. Reilly. A solid cast giving great performances… me likey.

The score for the movie was composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone, and he delivered some pretty great tunes, like he always does. The music is dramatic, tense, and it worked very well for the movie. And it just overall sounds great, because Ennio Morricone can do no wrong.

The movie was directed by Phil Joanou and Michael Lee Baron and they did a really solid job. Scenes flow smoothly and everything is just overall well handled. I of course also have to mention that the cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth looks great. But what else should one expect from the man who did the cinematography for “Blade Runner”. One final thing I also want to mention is that this movie contains one of the coolest shootouts that I have ever seen. It’s very late in the movie, but the wait is so worth it. The mix of visuals and sound is really great. It’s also really violent, so if you are squeamish you might not be the biggest fan.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“State of Grace” is a really solid gangster movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “State of Grace” is a 9,79/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “State of Grace” is now completed.

Early 90s Gary Oldman would make a great Deadpool… just a thought.

Movie Review: Everest (2015)

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I like being outdoors and hiking… but I don’t like heights. So with that said, you will never see me go mountain climbing.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s climb to the top of… “Everest”.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is a man who runs a business of leading expeditions up to the top of Mount Everest. So far it has gone pretty well with his previous expeditions. But when he in 1996 takes a group of people up there, the expedition goes awry because of a storm which results in some pretty terrible things. And from that we get a really interesting drama about people trying to not die. Now I don’t want you to go into this thinking that it’s gonna be a survival flick like “The Grey” where they have to use everything they can find to survive. This is not really as action-packed, but instead focuses on the drama of the climb up and then the climb down. But we don’t only follow Rob and his crew up on the mountain, as we also get to follow the team at base camp led by Helen Wilton (Emily Watson). And like I said, this is a really interesting story with a few decent moments of suspense and emotion. Though there are a few pacing issues occasionally, with a few bits where it rushes a little bit. While not the worst pacing that I’ve ever experienced, it was still noticeable and definitely worth pointing out.

The characters in the movie are for the most part pretty well developed. Sure, a few of them are not the most interesting, and that is a little sad since the movie made such a big deal of them being part of it all. Jason Clarke is terrific in the role of Rob Hall, he is such a likable man who just wants everyone to make and also make sure that everyone has a good time. And he did a great job with his performance. Josh Brolin is great in his role. John Hawkes is great as his character. Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific in his role. Michael Kelly is also really good, as is Emily Watson. Then I also have to mention Sam Worthington. I am generally not a big fan of him in movies, but I think he did a really good job in his role in this movie even if it is a relatively small one. And then there are a whole bunch of other great actors in the movie that I will not mention because I don’t want to be hear all day.

The score for the movie was composed by Dario Marianelli and I think that it is really good. It’s a very inspiring set of tracks that really work for this movie and really helps make this movie feel even bigger. I could actually see myself listening to this during a hike… mostly to make it feel more epic even though it isn’t.

This movie was directed by Icelandish director Baltasar Kormákur and he did a pretty great job with that. This reallt feels like an actual expedition, I really felt like I was there with the people who were climbing and freezing their asses off. I also have to give major props to the cinematographer, Salvatore Totino, because this movie looks absolutely beautiful… and terrifying because I don’t wanna fall into that pit the camera is looking down into. Yeah, this shit looks pretty terrific and real, yo.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Everest” is a good movie. Sure, parts of the plot are a bit rushed and some of the characters are not as interesting as they should. But the plot overall is good, several of the characters are interesting, the acting is really good, the music is great, the directing is really good, and the cinematography is terrific. Time for my final score. Snow (Hey oh!). My final score for “Everest” is an 8,90/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Everest” is now completed.

Done my fair share of
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING (Mountain Climbing)
Whoa! Its troubles I’ve got ‘em
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING (Mountain Climbing)
Whoa! It’s blues at the bottom!

 

“Wonder Woman” Comic Con Trailer

Comic Con, you lovely bastard!

So Comic Con keeps giving us awesome stuff. And this time we are talking about the trailer for “Wonder Woman”! So we get to see Diana (Gal Gadot) discover a man washed up on the shores of her home. This man turns out to be Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who is a soldier and becomes Wonder Woman’s love interest. And then we get to see battles and badassery and we will finally get a really awesome female-led superhero movie! Okay, I can’t say that the movie will be awesome, it might actually turn out to be shit… but the trailer makes it look awesome! Wonder Woman doesn’t need a man. She only needs her sword, shield, lasso of truth, and overall badassery. I am so pumped for this movie, it looks so cool! “Wonder Woman” is set to come out in June of 2017.

So what are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to “Wonder Woman”? As always, leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: Moneyball (2011)

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I have never really had any kind of connection to sports movies throughout my entire life. Sure, there was “Space Jam”, but that was when I was a dumb kid, But I am talking about a real and genuine connection of emotion and inspiration, a connection that feels personal. Either it’s because I have never found a sports movie that have had that type of resonance or it’s because I have pushed them out like “No, get out!”.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Moneyball”.

In “Moneyball” we have the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who is/was the general manger of the baseball team “The Oakland A’s”. We see how he assembles a team based on computer analysis and numbers rather than the typical physical traits that talent scouts were looking for. And I was invested the whole way through and I think that might come from the really great screenplay. I can also say that I was emotionally invested in the story… yeah. Me, a lazy, sports-disliking jerk was emotionally invested in a sports movie. Now to be fair, this movie is more about what happens behind the scenes of it all rather than on the playing field itself and I like how they did it.

The characters in this movie all feel real, they all feel like they had a life before/outside the movie. Like I mentioned in my “Paranoid Park” review, those are the best kinds of characters. And the acting was really good. Brad Pitt knocked it out of the park (Pun intended) in this movie. I think I am justified in saying that he is one of my favorite actors. Jonah Hill was also great in the movie, playing the guy who helps Brad Pitt apply the math and statistics for finding the players they need. I’m not gonna lie, when I think of Jonah Hill I don’t think “Great actor”, I think “Guy with slightly bigger physique in comedies”. But still, he was great in this movie. Philip Seymour Hoffman didn’t have that much to do in the movie, but when he was on screen he was good. Also, this movie has Chris Pratt in it. I was actually surprsied to see that when I saw the movie. But everybody was great in the movie.

The score for the movie was done by Mychael Danna and I can safely say that he did an excellent job with it. It is big, it is dramatic and it is emotionally powerful. I’m not kidding, just listening to it makes me get all fuzzy and emotional inside. Yeah, it is that great.

The movie was directed by Bennett Miller who I have seen nothing from before this. I know that he directed Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie “Capote” and I know he made last year’s “Foxcatcher” which also was a sports movie. So I can safely say that I am looking forward to seeing those movies because this movie looks fantastic. The shots look great and it all just comes together nicely. And like I said earlier, the screenplay is fantastic. It was written by Steve Zaillian who wrote “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “American Gangster”, two movies that I liked. But Zaillian wasn’t alone on screenplay duty, he was helped by Aaron Sorkin who wrote “The Social Network” which I enjoyed. In other words, this screenplay is as airtight as it can get.

This movie has been incredibly well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating with a “Fresh” ceritication. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Hill), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Moneyball” is a sports movie that i think both fans of baseball and sports haters can enjoy. It has a solid plot, great acting, a great soundtrack, great directing and an airtight screenplay. Time for my final score. *Swings bat* Aaaaaand it’s a homerun! He runs around the field and gets an envelope of some kind! My final score for “Moneyball” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Moneyball” is now reviewed.

Hey batter batter, swing!

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

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Remakes are something I always have a bad feeling about. I am cautiously optimistic if trailers look good, even though the entire thing can go to shit. A lot of remakes actually do go to shit… like Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes” remake. There are a few remakes that I like though, such as “Godzilla” (2014) and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. And if you’re wondering about my thoughts on the “RoboCop” remake then I can tell you that it wasn’t bad… just a little boring. Anyway, today we are taking a look at a remake I was not positive about since it is based on source material coming from my home country, Sweden. I was also afraid that they could never get as good as the original Swedish movies. I was not optimistic about it at all… until I a few years later saw that it was directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Se7en”) who is a director I really like. Then I got a little hope. And now we are talking about it on my blog… oh yes.

Girls and boys… “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

I can’t compare story on this and the original movie because it is basically the same story, so I know it will be good. Here is the basic story: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) got some legal problems. So then after those problems have erupted and taken to court he is for some reason hired by rich person Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to find out what happened to his niece Harriett a long time ago. But Mikael doesn’t have to go through it alone since he gets help from mysterious hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). And dark, twisted, weird and interesting things happens after that. The idea of the story is one that I really find interesting because it shows the worst in human beings and what can drive people to do certain things. And how is the execution here? It is honestly pretty fucking good. I was really worried how Hollywood could take a Swedish story that got Swedish characters and is set in Sweden and make it at least decent. But Fincher once again proves that he knows what he is doing with his directing skills. The exectuion here didn’t feel sloppy or forced in any way, it just (surprisingly) worked. There were a few details that were changed, but nothing too major. So the execution was overall good.

The characters stay true to how they were in the books and original movies. They all have their little issues that make them unique and they are portrayed well here. I was especially impressed with how great Rooney Mara was as Lisbeth. Sure she is no Noomi Rapace, but she definitely gets the job done. The only problem character/acting based in this movie was how some people had stupid accents while some sounded like they should. Case in point: Daniel Cragi sounds like Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara got a weird accent going. It is nothing really game-breaking in this movie, but it just sounds a little weird.

The soundtrack by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor was dark, chilling, depressing and overall fantastic. It really helped set the mood of the movie (dark, creepy, tense, depressing, cold, isolated). And when it comes to the music I have to touch on the brilliant selection of song for the opening credits. Especially since David Fincher movies usually have opening credits with good/fitting songs. And in this case the song is a very dark and weird cover of “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. I really think it worked to the movie’s advantage and really helped set the mood for it early.

Back on the topic of the opening credits, the song is great, the visuals are trippy and awesome and the opening credits are in general great. But I shouldn’t expect anything less from a David Fincher movie. And with that said, the camera work in this movie is fan-fucking-tastic! David Fincher is pretty much the king of making good looking movies with a dark and dirty tone. Also, fun fact: This movie was actually shot in Sweden just so they could get everything right. Good job, people!

Now ow did this movie do among people and critics? Well it actually did pretty good. On Rotten Tomaotes it got an 86% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 71/100. Roger Ebert really seemed to like it since he gave it 3,5/4 stars (his score for the original movie was 4/4 stars if you’re wondering). On imdb.com this movie has a 7,9/10. It also won 1 Oscar for Best Film Editing. But it also had an additional 4 nominations; Best Leading actress, Best cinematography, Best sound mixing, Best sound editing.

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a remake that actually works and doesn’t buthcer the source material. It also got great performances, a good soundtrack and is directed with extreme care. Time for the final score. My final score for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a 9,01/10. I really feel like this movie could have been better so it doesn’t get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”, but it is definitely worth buying.

Review of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is now done.

I was seriously ready to hate on this movie.