100 movies of 2012: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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100 movies of 2012, Annual Movie Challenge

I’ve gone from one of the worst films I’ve ever watched, to one of the best. Life is indeed a rollercoaster.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (03/01/12)

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

I really, really, REALLY wanted to read the book and see the original film before the remake was released. Sadly, this didn’t happen. Thank you Game of Thrones books and sheer lack of any real effort to see the original film. Woops.

Though a part of me is a little bit relieved to have gone into this film without any comparison. I can’t draw from the source material or original film. I’m taking it as it is. And as such, I was very, very impressed with this film.

Let’s start with those opening titles and the fantastic music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. That’s how you start a film and get someone’s attention. More films need to do proper opening titles. I miss them.

I wish Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross do more movie scoring duties. Of course, their type of score will only work with certain kinds of films. Worked excellently here, in Dragon Tattoo. Looking forward to finally sitting down and listening the 3 hour soundtrack for the film. [/geekout]

The film itself wasn’t perfect. The central murder mystery part of it was fairly predictable, but it’s the way the story’s told that makes the film. Also, Rooney Mara’s amazing performance as Lisbeth Salander. A character who is definitely completely mental, yet you care for her and I really wouldn’t mind it if I could call her a friend. More than one occasion I was rooting for Lisbeth. In my head of course.

The film looked great, sounded great and never dragged for a single second. I’m hoping we get to see more of Lisbeth. In the mean time, I think I’m going to jump into the Swedish versions.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

2 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)


  1. I haven’t seen the remake, but love the original. As these things go I really don’t have the need to see this new one as usually remakes aren’t as good. As the story is the same I can imagine you enjoyed it, but having seen both you automatically would start comparing.

    • Just reading up on the film and David Fincher is saying it’s his interpretation of the novel and not remaking the Swedish film, which I can see as making more sense than remaking a film that’s based on a novel.

      Remakes aren’t always bad though. Take a look at The Departed, Little Shop of Horrors, Oceans 11. All were really great films.

  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is certainly worth seeing if you missed the original. If you saw it, however, there’s no way of unseeing it, and nothing in the new one to top it. Craig and Mara are great here though and Fincher brings so much more to this film like I was expecting too. Good review Jaina.

    • Fincher has done brilliant work here. I was worried the film was going to be “americanised” but it had a nice European feeling to it.

  3. I’ve seen only the David Fincher version and not the original. I hope to form more of an opinion of it after I’ve seen that. But I was impressed with the movie as a whole. It’s definitely on the high end for 2011.

    Also, I love your idea of setting a goal for watching 100 new movies a year. I’m definitely inspired to set my own movie goal, although I think I will be overreaching trying to see 100 new ones. Maybe I’ll set my goal a little less far 🙂

    • I’ll admit it’s definitely a little tricky trying to fit in 100 new films. I always get to a point where I want to see something I’ve seen before but stop myself as I “can’t”! Give it a go, see how many you can see!

  4. In my opinion, you didn’t miss much from not reading the book. I read it about 3 weeks before seeing the film and although I fell in love the the character of Salander, the story itself was relatively weak and not what i’d call a gripping read. The film, in comparison, did a good job of keeping what was important and (to me, at least) stayed very true to the integrity of the characters. It fit the image I had in my head so I was pleased. More than pleased actually, as i’ve now been to see it twice!

    If you get chance though, I would definitely recommend the latter two books of the trilogy. Far better storyline and pacing, and if the adaptions of those movies go ahead as Fincher plans, then I imagine they’ll be spectacular viewing.

    • I’ve had the first book on my kindle for months – just never got round to reading it. Though as I’ve bought it I think I feel obliged to read it.

      Love Lisbeth – she has many, many dimensions.

  5. I read the book and saw the original movie. I liked them a lot.
    So I really don’t know… Should I see this one? I mean, is it really necessary? Yes, Daniel Craig’s in it, but again… What’s the point? As you can see, I’m full of doubts. But I think I’ll end up watching it anyway. Plus, you said it’s good!

    • I’d say watch it. It’s not a remake of the Swedish version, as I’ve learned, it’s a new adaptation of the novel. Well worth it for Rooney Mara’s performance alone. Oh and a bit of Daniel Craig 😉

  6. haha, 2 extremely opposite scores! The Tourist was so bad! the only thing great about it was Venice…and then when the credits began rolling and the film was over! haha

    Impressed that you gave TGWTDT a 5/5! I still haven’t seen it, not much desire to do so, but glad you enjoyed it!

    -T (previously TheScarletSp1der)

    • Venice did look amazing in the film – did make me want to go. Well, least it served up a decent tourism advert for the city, if not anything else.

      Dragon Tattoo is an excellent film, I’d urge you to see it. I reckon it’s more than worth the ticket price alone. Well, probably moreso than The Darkest Hour…

  7. YEAH!

    Glad to see you dug on this one J. I thought it was crazy good. Gave it the ol A++er. 😀

    SOOOO close to making it Movie of the year. I swear if I had seen this post last week, it might have swayed my decision, thats how stuck I was.

    Glad to see your 100 films challenge is under way!

    • Really, really loved it. I recognised its flaws and chose to ignore them in light of being so impressed by the film. Should have posted this as soon as I saw it, instead of scheduling it up ! Ah well… maybe it’ll be my film of the year? Though, thinking about it, this year’s going to be a tough one…

  8. I liked this movie quite a bit, too. I think it’s a bit of a tossup between this and the Swedish original, but it is fun to watch both and then compare the two. I also tried reading the book before seeing the movie, but I only made it about 60 pages in. It was a fun read, but I am just too slow of a reader. 🙂

    • I’ve heard a lot of people say the book isn’t all that great. Which is interesting, because it seems to be a great base for 2 very good films.

      I’m definitely going to make an effort to see the Swedish films now.

  9. Sounds like a great film and I’ll probably see the original first. Whenever I’ve watched a European original and then a Hollywood remake, I always prefer the original. For example, Abre Los Ojos and Vanilla Sky.

    • Abre Los Ojos is a fantastic film. Thought Vanilla Sky was good too, but definitely prefer the original there.

      I usually prefer the originals, but always open to re-interpretations of what’s out there. Still yet to see the Swedish original of Let The Right One In – saw the remake and really enjoyed it.

  10. As much as I liked that credit sequence It took me out of the movie and made me think I was watching a James Bond action picture rather than a serious drama.

    I loved Rooney Mara’s performance, but Noomi Repace will allways be my favorite Lisbeth Salander.

    Nice post

    • I can understand that about the opening titles. I know a lot of people have felt the same way. That it was more like a standalone music video rather than for the film.

      Yet to see the original – it’s on my list though.

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