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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) DVD Review

Rooney Mara carries “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

The premise: A complex, mysterious hacker (Lisbeth) and a magazine owner/journalist (Mikael) team-up to investigate the disappearance of a woman from a wealthy Swedish family. The deeper they dig into the mystery, however, the more disturbing and dangerous the case becomes. There are also crucial subplots about Lisbeth’s life and a shady businessman named Erik Wennerstrom. The film is based on the novel by author Stieg Larsson.

If you are going into David Fincher’s version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” without any knowledge of the material, don’t expect the story to be revolutionary because it isn’t. While the story has been heaped with praise for some reason, the story is (at its core) a mere dark mystery about a missing person and a dysfunctional family. There are also some rather dull business subplots thrown in strictly for characterization and plot purposes that don’t exactly make for riveting scenes.

Really, the film (and story) only come alive when it focuses on the character of Lisbeth Slander. Slander (who is almost reminiscent of an exploitation or grindhouse anti-hero to a certain extent) lights up the screen whenever she appears. She’s the true highlight here and the reason people are fascinated by the books and movies. She’s definitely a truly interesting, layered, mysterious, smart, tragic, sexual, and bad-ass character mostly due in part to actress Rooney Mara’s award worthy performance. It’s amazing how Mara expresses so much here with a mere glance in this film. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mara carries this film from start to finish.

As for director David Fincher’s work here, he does a fine job keeping the material flowing in its rather lengthy 2 ½ hour runtime. My only real complaint is his bizarre inclusion of a completely out of place opening credit sequence. I don’t know what he was thinking there.

Summary: “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is worth a watch, but it’s not exactly the type of film one would want to watch repeatedly.

Note: This film is not for the squeamish as there are scenes of graphic rape and violence depicted.

Another Note: I have to say the cover art for this disc is one of the coolest DVD disc designs I have seen to date. The cover cleverly resembles a DVD-R disc with the title of the film  written in black marker. I’d love to see more disc art like this in the future.

Video/Audio:

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is presented in 2.40:1 and, to be honest, it looks stunning. This is as good as it gets for DVD folks. Note: This title is also available on Blu-ray.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 hits all the right notes whether it be with the Immigration song and score or the sound f/x and dialogue.

The only extra is a commentary track by director David Fincher. For film buffs, a Fincher commentary is always worth listening to. In this track, he talks about the importance of certain scenes, the “Immigrant Song” cover, characters, scouting, and explanations of little details that one may not notice right off the bat.

March 25, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review | , , ,

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