Sunday, September 18, 2011

Movie Monday #3

Hi everyone!

It's another beautiful, sunny day here on the Sunshine Coast.  This place has definitely been living up to its name lately.  It's spring now but it feels like the Australia weather gods took a look around and said "I don't really feel like dealing with spring.  Let's just skip it and go straight to summer".  It was a balmy 27 Celsius on Saturday, which I believe is somewhere around 85 Fahrenheit.  Tim and I had such a great weekend.  I won't bore you with all the details now (that can wait until tomorrow) because today is movie Monday!  I kinda skipped out on it last week but I am going to try to do much better keeping up with it now.  Even though I probably watch about seven movies a week, I think from now on I will just keep each Movie Monday post to just two movies in the interest of saving both your time and mine.  This will also make it much easier for me to keep up with.

1. The Steig Larsson Trilogy

Ok, so this is a series of three movies but as they are all part of the same story line, I will review them all at once.  I guess the first thing that I should point out about this series is that they are all in Swedish with English subtitles.  So I suggest that you only watch them if you are planning on really concentrating on the dialogue.  If you don't, you won't have the slightest idea what is happening.  They are also quite long.  But, if you are willing to put in the time and energy required to watch them you will find that these movies are chilling, thrilling, and very much worth watching once or twice.

The first movie is called "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  It's a kind of a murder mystery that also follows the life of Swedish bad girl and computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander, a part that is beautifully portrayed by Noomi Rapace.  I won't bother writing a big, long plot summary here since you could easily look that up on IMDB.  Basically, after a series of events, Lisbeth teams up with journalist Mikael Blomqvist to help solve the 40-year-old mystery surrounding the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a member of the powerful and wealthy Vanger family.  Along the way they encounter plenty of bad guys to contend with.  The stark Swedish winter setting definitely adds to the general gloominess of this film.  The movie is very suspenseful but also a bit depressing.  It also includes some fairly graphic sexual violence, so it's definitely not for the faint of heart.

The second movie is called "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and it was even more violent than the first.  I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the first but it is essential to the understanding of Lisbeth's character and as a bridge between the first and second films.  In this installment, Mikael Blomqvist and his team of journalists "play with fire" as they try to bring to light the seedy world of sex-trafficking.  Lisbeth Salander confronts her demons and her father in the wake of her mother's death.  The end of this movie definitely left me saying "and then what?"  So, naturally, I had to go rent the third.

The third and final installment in this trilogy is called "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest".  This movie follows the court trial of Lisbeth Salander after she has been charged with the attempted murder of her father. She, herself, spends the majority of the film in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds inflicted by her monstrously huge half-brother.  Despite the less than stellar reviews that the movie received from critics, I rather enjoyed it and thought it moved well for a film that focused almost exclusively on a court case.  In the end, Noomi Rapace continues to shine in her role as the troubled young computer hacker.  Her performance definitely makes the series worth finishing.

2.  How Do You Know?

Honesty, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to say about this movie.  If you are in the mood for something light, then this certainly fits the bill.  The movie features a wonderful cast in less than fascinating roles.  Owen Wilson provides a few laughs, as always, and Paul Rudd is typically cute and endearing.  Reese Witherspoon's character is a bit too cutesy for my liking.  There is nothing really wrong with the movie, it's just another one of  those rather forgettable romantic comedies of which there are far too many.  My final conclusion: cute and enjoyable, but definitely not a must-see.

I hope you all enjoyed this latest installment of Movie Monday.  I would welcome any and all movie suggestions and I would also love to know what you think of the movies that I've reviewed.  I recently discovered this list of the top 50 must-see documentaries of all time so I might try to watch one of those each week and incorporate it into my Movie Mondays.  Now I think I might go for a jog and enjoy this beautiful weather.  

I hope you have a lovely day!



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