The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


With the 84th Academy Awards right around the corner, we’re giving you a look at some of the Oscar nominations for 2012. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was nominated for a total of 5 Oscars this year. The star actress, Rooney Mara, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. It was also nominated for Best Achievement in  Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. In addition to these nominations, the film was also nominated for 14 awards from other events and ceremonies with 4 winnings so far.

Releasing in December of 2011, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adapts the Swedish novel (trilogy) into an American film. A Swedish version was  released in 2009 which was nominated for a considerable amount of awards as well as the ranting and raving from the public. Our focus is of course on the English take, a slightly newer and polished version of an already phenomenal movie.

I was a bit put off with the opening of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and who doesn’t adore Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Together they re-imagine the well-known “Immigrant Song” which plays in the background while the opening credits mix up abstract images seeping with metallic and ink type substances. The song itself was great, and I get the artsy feel which you would expect from David Fincher, but personally, I was not impressed with the images.

Moving along from my only dislike, the director does an excellent job keeping the film on track with the novel. Fans of the book will be extremely pleased with it. That being said, you don’t have to have read the book to have a wonderful experience watching this movie.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will keep you on edge. This movie is full with dialogue, so you definitely do not want to miss any part of a conversation. Don’t worry; the uncovering of links to the mystery should be capable of holding your attention. The Cinematography was simply outstanding. I can’t stress enough how gorgeous the scenes are. I was freezing watching this movie in the theatre. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the vividness of the harsh winter scenes contributed to it. Commenting again on Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the soundtrack was nothing short of awesome.

For the record, I won’t lie and say this movie is for everyone. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are some brutal and graphic sexual scenes that will make some people feel extremely uncomfortable. Lisabeth is not only antisocial, she is obviously insane. I don’t want to spoil anything for anybody, but there is one scene that will make most people cringe, and the reaction of Lisabeth to the situation is just a tad unethical. I do however applaud the response. I find that in that given situation, any means of individual retaliation will have to be unethical.  Being that this film is very dialogue-driven like I mentioned before, if you have a short attention span then you might not be able to sit through this 2 hour and 40ish minute movie.

Rooney Mara, which you may remember from The Social Network or the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, completely commits herself to the role as Lisabeth, from the change in her hair, the piercings, and even her eyebrows, to learning how to ride a motorcycle. Even her accent is dead on. It does not come as a surprise that she would be nominated for the Best Performing Actress in a Leading Role award. In fact, the entire cast is perfect for the characters that they play in the movie.

If you do not infer from what I wrote whether or not I suggest watching this movie, the answer is absolutely yes. It is one of those movies people succumb to the willing suspension of disbelief, meaning that we get so caught up on what’s happening on screen that we put aside all other thoughts and completely lose ourselves in the drama. Sometimes we just need the break from our own reality.

Summary:
The story is of a Journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who is suffering from public humiliation . He is hired by a rich industrialist by the name of Henrik Vanger to investigate the case of his missing niece Harriet from 40 years before. Vangar resides on an island with the greater part of his family where he houses Mikael in a tiny old cottage. Mikael starts to uncover some of the mysteries that he believes is linked to the serial killing of women that occurred 20 years  prior to the disappearance of Harriet Vanger. As he progresses in the investigation, he gets the aid of Lisabeth Salander. Lisabeth is an antisocial deviant who doubles as a brilliant young  computer hacker. While the two dissect the facts and come closer to uncovering the twisted truth that lies behind the disappearance, they find themselves to be the newest target of the heinous murderer.

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Eastbound and Down


Although this is not the first article I have written for thinkingcinematic, this will be my first one to be published. I would like to start it out with saying that I am really looking forward to writing about one of the things that most strikes my interest, film! There is not a more perfect project for a Journalism student with an uncanny hobby of watching movies. Although my main focus is of course going to be movies, this first review is actually directed towards a series. Not too many television shows are capable of catching and holding my attention. When I find one however, you better believe I will sit down at any possible moment and marathon it until it is over. Eastbound and Down is a series broadcast on HBO. It is an outrageous comedy produced by Gary Sanchez Productions. For those of you who are not familiar, this production company belongs to Will Ferrell. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay produced a total of 6 episodes for the first season, 7 episodes for the second, and will air 8 episodes for the third season. Unfortunately, the third has been announced to be the final season. The premiere will be airing at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 19th. Do not miss out!

Eastbound and Down first aired in February of 2009. I was a little late in the game. I did not watch or even hear about it until around the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011. The second episode was already complete and out on DVD by the time I had caught wind. I should not complain, the second season was released around a year and a half after the first season came on. I was able to watch the two seasons consecutively. It made for a few nights worth of nonstop laughter.

This series is not as popular as it should be. Many people I know have never heard of it, and only a few have actually seen it. For those of you who have not seen it and are fans of comedy, you are definitely missing out. Danny McBride is nothing short of hysterical. He is ludicrous and downright hilarious. Anybody who has followed up on any of his movies can only imagine. It is vigorously offensive and aggressively vulgar, a comedy that everyone can appreciate.

Each of the characters are cast beautifully. The plot of the series may not strike your interest. It is the attitudes and lines of the characters and actors that bring the cards to the table. You will seriously laugh the entire time you watch this show. What can we expect to see in Season 3? Honestly, there really is no telling. With this being the final installment and the makers being who they are, it is all up in the air. Before getting into the synopsis, I would just like to once more stress just how absurd, facetious, and ridiculous this show really is. I feel like I cannot say it enough.

Summary:

The beginning of the series reveals to us the rise and fall of Kenny Powers. He is an athlete for the Major League whose remarkable fast pitch quickly brings him to fame and fortune. Not too long after, his abuse of steroids, cocaine, and other drugs lands him as a washed out has-been. In the first season, he returns home and finds that everyone sees him as a joke. He becomes a full-time gym teacher while he trains to go back to the Major League. The girl he loved and left is now engaged to his loser boss and principal for the school they all work for. Kenny hires an awkward teacher with a creepy man-crush by the name of Stevie to be his assistant. Stevie is more of a stalker than anything else. While trying to get recognition, Kenny sets out to be a spokesman for a big time car dealer who is played by Will Ferrell. The plan of course backfires with an embarrassing scene. The drug abuse continues, and Kenny starts using steroids again. At the end of the season he gets an offer from Tampa and plans to leave his family and job behind with the company of April, the girlfriend he tried so desperately to win back. Just as he is fixing to leave, he receives a call saying that the deal is off. Attempting to hide it from his family and leave them assuming that he is back on track, he sets off with April, ditches her at a gas station, and leaves for Mexico.

The serious change in setting with the second season brings a new cast of faces to the show. While hiding out and getting into cockfighting, he is discovered by a baseball manager who is curious to see if Kenny still has potential. Stevie manages to locate Kenny and further assist him with his plans in Mexico. His first few games consists of fans who are unenthusiastic and dull compared to what he is used to. He flares up his act with ridiculous advertisement and bragging. His obscenity brings back the excitement from the audience that he is so used to, however it costs him the respect of his fellow teammates. That is not something he is concerned with. Kenny sees himself as higher than the rest of his team players. As he is sparking up his game, he considers staying in Mexico full-time. He does eventually settle some old baggage and return home with his “assistant” Stevie.

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