Sunday, January 8, 2012

Signal Watch saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Hiatus break in favor of keeping up with movies for 2012.

I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Its fun for the whole family.  Take Grandma and your toddlers.*

Its okay.  Nothing groundbreaking.  Nice cinematography, convincing acting, appropriately bleak sets and settings, and they did a much better job of condensing the plot than the Swedish film counterpart (even if they lifted some of the story changes).  Rooney Mara is pretty good.  They eliminated the various sexual exploits of the hero enough that I didn't see the entire story as one long Mary Sue story for a middle-aged journalist imagining the sorts of women with whom it might be interesting to canoodle.

After reading the book and seeing a completely different movie of the same book this year, this may have been a bit much.  I sort of wonder if the fact that we're all already familiar with the book and movie has hurt the box office numbers as (1) why bother to do this again? (2) those familiar with the story might not actually want to see some of that up on the big screen and (3) people already had numerous chances to take a pass on the material and are just continuing to do so.

But, mostly, I wonder if the studios need to rethink releasing grim, adult thrillers upon the public during the holiday period.  I certainly wouldn't pitch this one to my folks for a night out at the movies (its not exactly Tintin).  That said, its after the holidays and the theater I was in this evening was packed.  So maybe it'll have some post-holiday staying power as Granny heads back to Arizona or whatever.

I wish I had access to an orchestra, because I have an idea for a Goulet-style theme song for the movie.  Jamie is already sick of me trying out various lyrics on her.

*do not do this


Paul Toohey said...

I can get you in touch with my buddy Chris, who composed the music in Local and SB 81.

The League said...

Excellent. I will work up some lyrics!

Simon MacDonald said...

I'm actually pretty interested in seeing this movie. I'm still waiting for the original Swedish version to arrive in my library inbox. I did quite enjoy the books and I think I can move past the fact that Mikael Blomkvist seems to be able to bed every woman he ever meets.

I too questioned the release of the movie over the Christmas holidays as it is not exactly a "feel good" movie. However, it's made $76m in 3 weeks of release which is gotta be a record for a hard R drama.

The League said...

Well, I have nothing at stake for whether the movie does well or not. I was commenting upon how I'd read elsewhere that the studio expected it to do better than the $76 million and was planning sequels in spite of perceived poor box office.

I have no idea how these expectations are set, but my guess is that the shelf life of a movie released at Christmas is about 1 week after New Years. However, not the case in my theater.

This isn't a movie that will lose anything in translation to DVD, so it may be safe to wait a while before watching it.

As a quick note - I thought Mara Rooney did a better job than the other girl in the Swedish version.

Simon MacDonald said...

Yeah, I have no idea what studio execs are thinking when they set these estimates. I can't fathom that $76m is a bad number considering most folks I knew who went to a movie over the holidays took their kids to see a movie like Chipwrecked, We Bought a Zoo or Tintin. GWTDT is NOT a kids movie.

By definition of the way my life is setup I will most probably see this movie at home via streaming or DVD.

Paul Toohey said...

Apparently the ad campaign didn't work on Simon, seeing as they advertised it as the "THE FEEL BAD MOVIE OF CHRISTMAS."

Simon MacDonald said...


You still watch ads?

Paul Toohey said...

My childhood trained me to watch and love ads (I think that the tagline plays a pretty big part of the trailer).

Here's a Book vs Film vs Film comparison for anyone interested -

RHPT said...

My favorite part was the cool cover of "Immigrant Song" by Karen O. and Reznor.