The Girl Who Played with Fire or The Girl Who Played with Fire, is the second in the Millenium series of movies and continues where its predecessor left off. Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), the editor of Millenium magazine is contacted by a researcher and his fiancee who have been examining the links between the Swedish government and the trafficking of women.
Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) has spent a year traveling with the money she stole during the conclusion of The Girl with the Dragon Tattooand is now trying to settle into Swedish life and some degree of normalcy. When the researcher and his fiancee are found murdered, Lisbeth is the suspect in the killings and must work with Blomkvist to clear her name and attempt to liberate herself from her complicated legal situation.
Terrible secrets about Salander’s past are brought to light in the process of discovering the real killers; the movie doesn’t so much end as it does leave the viewer anticipating the final installment.
Alfredson’s directorial work is just as outstanding in this installment as it was in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; the result is a movie that nearly surpasses the exceptional quality of the first film. The story is deeply engrossing for the viewer, and loyal to Stieg Larson’s renowned series, a phenomenon uncommon in a flurry of movies that take excessive liberties with the novels that inspire them. The acting is again superb, and the details included come across as both expansive and effortless.
Following the success of the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher is returning to direct the next installment, which is currently in the works. This leaves viewers to wonder what changes he will actually make; given the nearly duplicated plot of the first American adaptation, it seems likely the upcoming remake will follow suit, merely changing Swedish actors for English-speaking versions. Perhaps there will also be minor tweaks in an effort to make the film more accessible to a wider audience, but in a series of already phenomenal films the need for such changes seems minimal. The film series is simply extraordinary and an excellent choice for anyone in search of a great story and an intricate, compelling plot: this film has both.
Män som hatar kvinnor, or, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is the original 2009 Swedish film adaptation of the Stieg Larsson‘s book. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, it tells the story of a disgraced investigative journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), the editor of Millenium magazine after his conviction for libel against a massively wealthy and corrupt businessman. His part-time lover and another editor of the magazine Erika Berger (Lena Endre) still supports him, but Blomkvist decides to take some time away from the magazine and is lured into industrialist Henrik Vanger’s (Sven-Bertil Taube) family mystery concerning the disappearance of his niece forty years previous, promising to investigate in exchange for a substantial fee and what Vanger claims is material which will allow Blomkvist to attack his corrupt businessman once again.
This is the first in a trilogy of films that follows the series of books surrounding Millenium magazine and the character to whom the title refers, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace). Salander is employed by a large, private security and investigations firm and is responsible for completing the background report on Blomkvist which is used by Vanger to ensure he is hiring the correct person to the investigation into the disappearance of his niece. She is completely unconventional and shocking in many ways to the viewer, having had an extraordinarily disturbing childhood which leaves her unable to legally manage her own private affairs without the guidance of an attorney.
The film follows the life of Salander as she endures shocking levels of abuse at the hands of her caretaker attorney and her vengeance against those who wrong her and other women. She teams up with Blomkvist after he reads the background report she prepared and he decides he needs a research assistant to better investigate the disappearance of the Vanger niece. The relationship is complicated by sexual tension between Blomkvist and Salander, who become lovers as well as partners in the investigation and the film takes on the role of a thriller centering upon a bizarre series of murders which seem to be tied to the disappearance of Henrik Vanger’s niece.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a simply fantastic movie with an engrossing plot, exquisite acting, superb direction and a very nice pace. Oplev’s skill is so impressive that the English-language remake of the film, even with the expert direction of David Fincher, is essentially the same movie, but without the subtitles and Swedish. What better compliment from one director to another than to recognize excellence and not try to outdo it with excessive changes in tone, dialogue, characters or plot?
With their premiere film writer/director team Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine gives us a pulse-pounding adrenaline-fueled action thriller starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart that starts with a rush and doesn’t stop that rush until the credits roll in Crank.
Statham plays Chev Chelios, a hitman for a local organized crime gang, who awakens to find that he has been poisoned and the only way for him to live long enough to exact his revenge upon the people who poisoned him is to keep his adrenaline at high levels by ways including fighting, cocaine, sex, injections of epinephrine, energy drinks, high-speed police chases, and more. Basically, if he slows down, he’ll die and he doesn’t want to do that until he can kill Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo) the man who poisoned him.
The movie is action packed and so filled with intensity that the viewer finds themselves feeling some of the same adrenal effects Chelios is trying to achieve. It is a fantastic film from a team with zero Hollywood experience, but who are now building upon the success of their first film. Statham is perfect in his performance as Chelios and Amy Smart performs as his slightly ditzy, slow-witted, pot-smoking girlfriend magnificently. If it isn’t already clear where I’m going with this: see this movie.
Jodie Foster brings a woman living in New York City as a radio personality named Erica Bain with a deeply loved fiance who is brutally attacked in Central Park and almost destroyed as a result of it emotionally in this 2007 Neil Jordan movie.
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Matt Reeves‘s much marketed 2008 action/horror/thriller Cloverfield lives up to its hype. It takes the point-of-view camera technique utilized in The Blair Witch Project and brings it to new extremes as it ekes out a truly creepy and unsettling looking at an attack on Manhattan by what can only be described as a monster.
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