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Sound Off: David Fincher's 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' - Thoughts?

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December 21, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "We come from the land of the ice and snow." She's here. Arriving in theaters today is David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, another adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium novels, this time adapted by Steven Zaillian. Fincher's English-speaking cast this time includes Rooney Mara in a breakout role as hacker punk chic Lisbeth Salander, and Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist. So how is this version? Did Fincher pull off a worthy film on its own? A riveting murder mystery? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Fincher's Dragon Tattoo.

"Soon you will know us all too well." I have watched Fincher's full-on 2 and 1/2-hour Girl with the Dragon Tattoo twice now and I still find it fascinating, but not as enthralling as the original Swedish films (and not as "hacker"). As expected, it looks breathtaking the entire time, Trent Reznor's score is phenomenally used to enhance and immerse, the mystery is captivating, but it left me a bit cold at the end (no pun intended) just like Zodiac, for better or worse. First mention, I think Rooney Mara gives an extraordinary bordering-on-method performance here, worthy of some awards if she can win them. Craig is fine, but Christopher Plummer steals the show for me. As sprawling and fascinating as it was, after seeing it twice I don't feel there's much more to the mystery I can glean, but I still do enjoy watching, as always with David Fincher.

What did you think of David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Thrilling or terrible? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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Reader Feedback - 38 Comments

1

meh... not bad not the best 

Tim Dahill on Dec 21, 2011

2

Kickass. The Prometheus trailer before the movie was an added bonus.

Jason on Dec 21, 2011

3

I found the movie very thrilling, however there was way to much foreshadowing into who the murderer was. 

Jolene Jeske on Dec 21, 2011

4

Far better than the Swedish versions. But it didn't have the Prometheus trailer attached! 

Dalton Weaver on Dec 21, 2011

5

There was so much from the book that was actually in the movie this time - unlike the Swedish version - that it made it much more enjoyable for me. And Rooney Mara was perfect as Lisbeth, I can't wait to see her in more films. Sure there were a couple things that were left out/changed in this version, but overall, I felt it was so much better than the Swedish ones. I do think the "which one is better" debate will go on for years to come, but for me, Fincher's is definitely the winner. Oh, and thank god Trent Reznor is composing for film now! He's a genius.

Jen on Dec 22, 2011

6

I loved it but I feel with the fashion line and the movie they over sexualized the Lisbeth character..

Kyle A. Kiekintveld on Dec 22, 2011

7

i totally agree...

So Yun Um on Dec 22, 2011

8

"over sexualized"  Translation- Americanized 

Adcoria on Dec 22, 2011

9

I completely disagree. Throughout the books she's pretty sexually driven, from sleeping with friends to sleeping with complete strangers. I thought the American adaption of Lisbeth was dead on for the book.

Stefan Andrizzi on Dec 22, 2011

10

I didn't think she was any more sexual in this version, than she was in the Swedish films.

axel on Dec 23, 2011

11

i really loved it and i cant really compare the swedish with the american version because they were very different and enjoyable in their own ways. while i feel like the swedish version emphasized and represented female empowerment better than finchers, fincher really stuck to the book so closely that it showed a softer side of lisabeth that wasn't seen before. 

So Yun Um on Dec 22, 2011

12

Honestly, if you've read the book, seen the Swedish version and are familiar with Fincher's style, then you can visualize the result. This isn't a bad film, yet there are definitely other interpretations available and worth seeing (or reading). It is very easy to dilute Larsson's novel as the next Dan Brown sensationalist baloney, and Fincher handles the source material appropriately for American audiences. He sensationalizes Lisbeth, handsomizes Blomvkist, and relentlessly drenches the film in Trent Reznor's score. Good for him, because there is not much other content to work with.

real talk on Dec 22, 2011

13

What did I say in the very beginning Alex, It just wasn't gonna top the Original version. I still refuse to go watch this film, even though I adore David Fincher's work, I just can't support a remake of an already amazing foreign film. And people please don't say its not a remake, because from what I heard its exactly the same but in English.

Adcoria on Dec 22, 2011

14

Are you of the opinion that Steven Zaillian, the screenwriter wrote his script based on the Swedish film, and not the novel? Adaptation is the correct term. Or re-adaptation if you're prickly. The novel is the source material for each version. BTW, it varies in several ways from the Swedish adaptation.

Greg on Dec 22, 2011

15

So close to the swedish version, and being made after that one was a huge hit, I would still call it a remake. Some things were changed for the better (not a huge fan of the swedish one) but also so similiar you don't need both films on your shelf. They are similiar, both in tone and how they act and look. And the James Bond credits sequenced was out of place. But relationship wise this one did it better - mystery wise the swedish one is better.

Anonymous on Dec 22, 2011

16

Cold, Engaging, and slick. I thought it was great.

Aj Meadows on Dec 22, 2011

17

are all 3 movies going to be remade in holywood?

Oluver J L on Dec 22, 2011

18

Yes, Fincher and the guy who adapted the book into a script have both already signed on to do the other two books in the series. Which would then lead me to believe that Craig and Mara will also be attached.

dgaby on Dec 22, 2011

19

It's slick and paced faster than the swedish version but I have way too many problems with it: Product placement galore (coke, happy meals, Apple) & NIN t-shirt. Lisbeth going sub w/Mikael - didn't feel in character at all. Over-the-top/gratuitous sound fx of an object in a guy's asshole. Lisbeth going to an Apple store first to get her computer fixed? Puh-lease! Horrible cover versions of classic songs. Soundtrack that never stops (but I like the soundtrack on it's own). The James Bond-esque opening credits are completely out of place... but cool.

mattie on Dec 22, 2011

20

Um, NONE of what you mentioned is actually product placement. I spoke with Fincher myself about this exact topic, specifically computers. They use Apple because that's what most people, especially Mikael as a journalist, use. Lisbeth uses any computer she can get her hands on, at one point she uses an HP device and Sony device. Fincher says he wants to make the film world feel REAL, using these real devices. It's not product placement so much as realism. She never goes to Apple store. And I'm sorry you missed this, but the NIN shirt was a REFERENCE to Trent Reznor doing the score. Again, not product placement, just a fun reference. Happy Meals I think are from the book, but I'm not sure. That said, for a dark, brutal R-rated movie like this, I am absolutely certain McDonald's did not agree to be a part of this or pay any money to have that in there. Again, it's all realism.

Alex Billington on Dec 25, 2011

21

She definitely went to an apple store at one point

Amina on Jan 3, 2012

22

It was pretty decent.  I prefer the Swedish film over this one though.

Cold417 on Dec 23, 2011

23

Its interesting to compare the two films.  On one hand I think the script for this one was far superior and I think the actors did a better job (if we ignore the very confused accents).  And though the Fincher one looks great it lacks that artistic quality that was captured in the original and to me many moments and scenes simply didn't have the kind of power and emotion that the original had. Long story short, Fincher got out-directed.

Jordan Scott on Dec 23, 2011

24

Rooney Mara was better than I expected (though I still hated the faux Swedish accent).  However, the film as a whole was much slower paced when compared to the Swedish film and it was trying my patience by the end.

Sean Kelly on Dec 23, 2011

25

Awesome. Rooney Mara is sooo hot. Gonna try and bag me an emo girl. Btw, Fincher is a god.

Davidgoldst on Dec 23, 2011

26

I feel a little biased because I literally just read the book last week, and while my accompanying friend loved the film, I could only see what was lacking. Fincher's always been a king of details, fifty viewings of Fight Club and I'm still picking out tongue in cheek details I'd never noticed, but that were planned. The book talks about how in the magazine's offices every last coffee cup they owned was a mug from some political party or campaign, and I think Fincher could have had a ton of fun with that. Another example is that Lisbeth has a whole wardrobe of fantastic catch phase emblazone d shirts galore. In the film there was only ONE. Such a lost opportunity.The accents drove me nuts. Mara did a great job but Craig didn't even TRY and as an actor he should at least take a little pride in that.Soundtrack was a little lack luster. A little more like a score, sure, but I never had a problem with Social Network's ost not being the conventional score because it was so incredibly riveting.Over all rating of meh. A little disappointed.

Pandora Young on Dec 24, 2011

27

This was not so much "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" as "James Bond Plays Journalist". The movie was visually too dark most of the time. The Swedish movie was better entertainment and a superior thriller. Fincher's depiction of Sweden as a dark, gloomy place is heavy-handed and silly.

Chicago_Swede on Dec 28, 2011

28

I liked the Swedish portrayal of Lisbeth better than the Fincher one (she was far more badass)...but I like his Mikael better than the other (his character was better developed).

Amina on Jan 3, 2012

29

The Swedish version was much much better. Rapace was more raw, feral, believable in the Lisbeth role. Mara was a timid, watered down version. Boo hiss for American remakes of perfectly great foreign films. Americans: learn how to read subtitles for fuck sake.

Vfoster234 on Jan 5, 2012

30

I agree with this assessment 100%.

Rbrowne on Jan 28, 2012

31

still don't know why people are so dead on about the swedish version.  It was the first-not neccesary the best.  I like Daniel Craig and Mara and all the supporting actors/actresses and the relationships betw characters are much much better.  So sad to see so many closed-minded comments.  Some even refused to try to see the new/better version.  I loved Swedish Lisbeth as much as American Lisbeth.  She is not all badass-she is also scared, vulnerable person.  I don't like the Swedish "lifetime made for tv" quality but I loved Rapace, but seriously, she can't save 3 bad movies.  Fincher's version explored a lot more of the book, which i love.  Sweden movies were just very simple quality and lack of characters connection. thumbs up to Mara and Fincher. Can't wait for the next two.

Vogue on Jan 9, 2012

32

I think the main problem is it being a remake of what was originally made as a foreign film. I haven't seen either yet (going to watch the Swedish one first this weekend), but in general I think people may be getting tired of the remakes. If these people are so good at making movies (that) people want to see and Hollywood is so great, where are all of the ORIGINAL movies? Why make something ANYONE has already done when there are so many other scripts out there? Why use someone else's idea and fanbase and rewrite the stories (i.e. any Marvel movie put out in the last 5-10 years)? There shouldn't be a comparison - make an original movie. The main problem for me seems to be someone taking someone else's work and going,"That's nice, but I think you shoulda done it THIS way"...Whether they are correct or not, it's a copy. Better copy maybe, but hardly original and not creative at all IMO. Are we gonna get new Star Wars movies done by Tom Cruise or someone as well? While I hated the last 3 in the series, I really wouldn't wanna see em remade even if they were a million times better. GET YOUR OWN IDEAS AND MAKE SOME GOOD MOVIES...if you're REALLY that good. Jus me opinion... 🙂

Mikealsnite on Jan 18, 2012

33

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34

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35

I was largely disappointed with this version. It looked great, the acting was fine, and there were moments here and there that were good, but overall it didn't have the same intensity for me that the Swedish version had. And Noomi's interpretation of the character was much more damaged and angry and dangerous. You could FEEL her history in every look. Not so much with Rooney Mara. I'm still scratching my head over her nomination for an Oscar. Maybe my view of the film is colored by the fact that I already knew the story sto well going in, but it was just meh for me.

Rbrowne on Jan 28, 2012

36

One question: in the American version..LS buys MB a jacket..and gets her feelings hurt once they come home.... in the Opval version...she stays super aloof and MB seems to want more...even until the end. ((which I liked)) is that is the book...or is that hollywood's take

Myaanderson on Feb 1, 2012

37

I thought Fincher's version was fantastic. Rooney Mara was a revelation -- she blew me away -- her Oscar nomination was well-deserved.  The acting was uniformly excellent.  I'm not a Swede and not familiar with Swedish accents so I can't comment on how the actors managed their accents. The opening credits sequence was perhaps the most stylish and mesmerizing I've ever seen, and I'm the most loyal Zep fan ever, and almost always hate covers of their music; however, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Karen O's cover of "Immigrant Song" took the song in an intriguing (not better, but different) direction.  I loved the pronounced percussiveness and the underlying techno beat.

sfcasun on Feb 2, 2012

38

The credit sequence looked like something out of a Batman movie. I thought it was pretty ridiculous.

Joe on Feb 2, 2012

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