Film Review “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer
Directed by: David Fincher
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hours 38 minutes
Sony Pictures

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Swedish magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) is having a bad day. He’s just been found guilty of libel after publishing a very damning article about one of the country’s largest businessmen. Four hours away a phone conversation is being held. “No note,” is heard before the phone is hung up. Thus begins a tale to rival “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Based on the popular series of novels by Stieg Larsson (three books, over 27 million copies sold), “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” has already been made into a well received film (as have the other two novels). But this is not a remake. This is director Fincher’s vision of the story. And, as Fincher has shown in films like “Se7en” and “Zodiac,” that vision is often unflinching. The film is really best described as a play. In Act One we meet, separately, both Mikael as well as computer hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander (Mara). Hoping to put the libel case behind him, Mikael accepts an offer from business tycoon Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to help him write his autobiography. But the offer is really a front. Vanger is the man whose telephone conversation we overheard. His granddaughter disappeared forty years ago under mysterious circumstances and he wants Mikael to solve the mystery. In coming to the decision to hire Mikael, Vanger’s attorney, Frode (played perfectly by Steven Berkoff) hired the best to investigate Mikael’s background. The best was Lisbeth. When Mikael asks for permission to hire an assistant he is introduced to Lisbeth. After a brief conversation, Mikael describes the task. “I want you to help me catch a killer of women.”

It’s almost hard to describe a film that features Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” during its opening credits and then ends the film with Enya’s “Sail Away.” I’ll start with brilliant. Following the blueprint created by Larsson and adapted by Oscar winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List”), the film follows both Mikael and Lisbeth and captures them at their most vulnerable. Lisbeth, a slight woman who lives on junk food and McDonalds (she explains that due to her metabolism she can’t put on weight) is a ward of the state. After several unsuccessful placements she seemed to have found a kind guardian. But when he takes ill she is taken advantage of by the attorney who oversees her finances. Mikael, a skilled journalist, is like a fish out of water as he tries to solve a forty year mystery under the guise of literature. As he begins to interview Vangers family members the subject of the missing girl is always brought up. And just as often, it’s dismissed by those who are tired of living in the past. But with Lisbeth’s help the mystery begins to unravel, as piece by piece the puzzle begins to come together.

Though the film is certainly Fincher’s vision, that vision is maintained thanks to a brilliant cast. Craig is solid as Mikael. With an easy tone in his voice he is able to ingratiate himself to anyone he speaks with, gaining their trust and encouraging them to disclose secrets long held. Plummer and Berkoff are equally strong, as is Stellan Skarsgard, who plays Henrik’s brother, Martin. They are brilliantly matched by Mara, who underwent an incredible physical transformation (including having several places on her body pierced) to play the waifish Lisbeth. Her eyes ringed in black and her voice low and deliberate, Lisbeth is only looking for someone to trust. To those who violate that trust, the consequences are severe!

Technically the film is just as powerful. Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth’s cameras capture both the beauty and isolation of the Swedish countryside while the musical score created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross helps paint the on-screen pictures. Both musicians worked with Fincher on “The Social Network” (as did Mara, who portrayed the girl who upset Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of the film) and again they manage to capture the director in their music. The film is not for the faint of heart. Fans of the book know there are some pretty shocking moments and Fincher and cast have not shied away from them. The recently released “Shame” received an NC 17 rating with material not as rough as portrayed here.

“Sushi Girl” Interview Series

Fish has spent six years in jail. Six years alone. Six years keeping his mouth shut about the robbery, about the other men involved. The night he is released, the four men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the four unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot.


Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Cortney Palm

David Dastmalchian

Destin Pfaff

Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Sonny Chiba

Tony Todd

Directed by: Kern Saxton
Written by: Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff
Produced by: Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, and Suren M. Seron
Cast: Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill, Cyrus Alexander, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Fahey, David Reynolds, Ted Stryker, Danny Trejo, introducing Cortney Palm

Find out more at our official site:
Follow us on Twitter @
Exclusive Facebook Content:
Check out our IMDB at

The Cast of “The Dirty Girl” Says “It Gets Better” In New Video

The stars and filmmaker of the new indie film DIRTY GIRL are speaking up and helping to spread the message, it gets better.

The film tells the story of a pair of mismatched misfits who must discover each other and themselves through a funny and serendipitous friendship. Abe Sylvia’s touching story of growing up in an intolerant place shares the universal message of hope, making it a great fit with author Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project.

For more information visit:

Watch the video now below:

CD Review: Girl on Fire “Revenge EP”

Girl on Fire
“Revenge EP”
Hollywood Waste
Producer: WiL Francis
Tracks: 5

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Girl on Fire are a 4 piece Alt/Rock band hailing from the Seattle, WA area. The band consisting of Austin Held- Vocal, Mick McMahan- Guitar, Josh Mouser- Bass and Harry MacDonald- Drums bring a fresh new approach to the Alt/Rock scene with the release of the bands debut EP titled “Revenge”. “Revenge” is a blend of rock infused punk which is very reminiscent of early Linkin Park albums.

Though not really familiar with Girl on Fire prior to my listening of the “Revenge EP” I was pleasantly surprised and became a fan instantly. Tracks such as “Revenge” and “Tragic Ending” have a perfect blend of rock meets pop punk. Every song on the “Revenge EP” seemed to have a hook that instantly made your head bob along to the beat. Austin Held’s vocals are a breath of fresh air and compliment the songs perfectly.

Girl on Fire’s “Revenge EP” is pure listening goodness! My only complaint was that I wanted to hear more songs! With such a catchy and melodic approach I can’t wait to hear what Girl on Fire has in store next for its listeners.

Track Listing:
1.)    Revenge
2.)    Tragic Ending
3.)    Medicate
4.)    Secret Lies
5.)    Close Your Eyes