Monday, April 23

DVD of the Week 23/04/2012 Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Monday 23rd April 2012


Anyone who has traveled on public transport over the past few years, or entered a book shop, or just left their home would of, at one time, seen someone reading the novel Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was no surprise that this worldwide best seller originally published in 2005 titled “Men Who Hate Women” took only four years to get released as a film in Swedish, by Danish director Niels Arden Oplev.

The film was welcomed to good reviews and, to most of the world, unknown actress Noomi Rapace blew everyone away with her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander. The success of GWTDT allowed two sequels to be created based on succeeding novels of the already existing literature trilogy. Its Awards success included 3 BAFTA nominations, but in the end only won a single category for Best Film Not In An English Language.

Once the hype for this book began to slow down Sony released the news that David Fincher would be following up his Major success of The Social Network with a re-telling of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

A lot of people seemed to find upset in this decision to remake a film that was only originally created a few years before and started asking what the point, saying things like “Hollywood has run out of ideas” and “What do we need two of the same film for?”.

Here I begin my mini rant:

Now Hollywood is full of unoriginal remakes like Clash of the Titans and Nightmare on Elm Street and they are pointless remakes but to generalise is wrong. I believe it depends on the creators of the film and as long as it is approached as a re-telling based off the original source material, in this case Steig Larson’s 2005 novel Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I believe there is a good chance that the adaptation will be entirely different and completely worthy of being its own film

Films like (1982) John Carpenter’s The Thing is actually based on an original by the same name in (1952) Howard Hawks' The Thing. The gangland classic (1983) Scarface also is not an original but based on a film by the same name in (1932). Remakes are that much of the industry that Alfred Hitchcock who is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time created the film The Man Who Knew To Much in 1934 and then he remade the exact same film in 1956. Other remakes like The Fly (1986), The Departed (2006) and even Clint Eastwood’s classic a Fistful of Dollars are “just remakes” and they are not examples of lazy film making but some of the greatest films in cinema history.

It’s  comparable to a musician covering a song. Some cover version’s are poor like Madonna singing American Pie and some covers become classics of there own like Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog or Aretha Franklin's Respect it just depends on the artist who is covering it.

In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s case the original was a decent film very enjoyable and it displayed good acting but there was room for improvement and American director David Fincher was the perfect director to do it

I have to say I enjoyed this remake far more than the original for its eerie visual style that Fincher and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth worked so hard for, also with any Fincher film the edit is always very exiting and this is where GWTDT and Fincher picked up its Oscar this year.

To me the thing that stands it high above the original is the soundtrack. The soundtrack created by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor set the tone perfectly with a very creepy edge and it included a very fitting cover of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song. It is a very dark film and still captures the tone off the original film that people loved but just made it better.

After watching GWTDT I would highly suggest watching Roman Polanski’s Chinatown  (1974), if for some strange reason you haven’t watched it already. Whilst watching GWTDT I could not help but think of Chinatown - and what a great film to reference. From the very beginning title sequence I began to feel parallels and it just continued.

The film as a whole is a strong film and focuses on two main stories with two main characters that are well developed and have you gripped from the start. It is not for the faint hearted, with moderate violence, a badly fucked up cat and some very disturbing rape scenes, it is not an easy watch but, if you can stomach the task, it is a fantastic piece and an overall good watch. Successfully proving that this is not just a re-make but an artistic retelling.

Special Features

I am reviewing the Blu-Ray this week and it is overall very nice and comes in a charming cardboard case. What annoyed me about the Blu-Ray was the printing on the disk, according to online sources and international sellers the design on the international disk was meant to replicate the look of a pirate dvd with the standard CD-R logo on the disk with Girl With The Dragon Tattoo scribbled on in black marker pen (Pictured Below)

I was unhappy to see that was not the case for the Blu-Ray which was rather disappointing.   
Watching the special features I especially liked the comparison of one of the main character’s  Lisbeth to another well known fictional Swedish character Pippi Longstocking. This might not be a comparison you would make by yourself but watch the special features and it will all make sense.

D. Waterman

No comments:

Post a Comment