Sex and Swedish People

Attending the New York City Premiere of
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

December 21, 2011
By J.D. Cook

Ziegfeld Theater 12/14/11

Ziegfeld Theater 12/14/11

Wednesday, December 14th I had the good fortune of attending my first ever New York Movie Premiere. It was a star studded gala with the lead actors, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in attendance. After dodging some paparazzi on the red carpet I took my place with BigBlueBullfrog.com’s very own Nick Galasso and Gino Volpe (Volpe has yet to write anything but we’re all confident he will eventually). We sat in the theater patiently and waited for the lights to dim and curtains to open at the famed Ziegfeld Theater. Now on to the movie review itself.

I went into this film entirely blind. I knew nothing about the plot and I kept it that way avoiding Wikipedia or friends with big mouths. As a result my eyes were entirely virgin and my opinion is entirely of the film itself and not tied to it being an adaptation. I must stress this because for all I know having read the book first would have made this film more or less enjoyable.

*SPOILERS FROM HERE DOWN ALL WHO ENTER BE WARY*

Gino Volpe, J.D. Cook, and Mark Ruffalo

Gino Volpe, J.D. Cook, and Mark Ruffalo

The movie’s start was excellent. Fincher has done strange beginning sequences before but this one takes the cake. It reminded me of a James Bond intro, but beyond that I cannot really describe it. There were women, metal, USB cables, and flowers flying around. It evoked sex and technology while making you salivate for the rest of the film. What really made this strange opening sequence work was the score to it. Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” blasted in the background, but it was not the original. Instead it was a cover done by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Usually I detest covers, and remakes in all forms, but this one worked well with this scene and evoked my first hearing of the original “Immigrant Song” via the explosively loud speakers. Side note: really the only way “Immigrant Song” should be listened to is on huge speakers at full volume Marty McFly style. Now for the film itself, yes I just used a similar line two paragraphs up…deal with it.

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig on set

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig on set

I liked the film. It was dark and filled with disgusting family secrets. My title really sums it up well as there was lots of sex and Swedish people, not actual Swedes though just people playing Swedes. Both leads do good jobs in their roles, I wish Craig’s character was expanded on a bit at the beginning as it was a bit hard to figure out what was going on with him and the corporation. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but my gut tells me it wasn’t.

From here the plot follows the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo herself as she competes with scum bag government workers and Craig’s character who is hired by a wealthy Swedish family to find out what happened to one of their family members in the 60s. Eventually these two come together and solve the family’s case and then bring down the corporation that screwed over Daniel Craig’s character at the beginning of the film.

The plot isn’t very original actually. It’s been done before and feels kind of eh. There are two particularly brutal rape scenes that do feel uncomfortable and unique though. Not that it is really a good thing to have unique rape scenes in a film though. They both caught me off guard a bit and had me looking around the theater as if saying “is this really happening on screen?!” Beyond that I felt like I had seen this film before. The villain was the person made to be the most likeable as in every other who-done- it film. The ending was also an issue as the film seemed to go beyond where it should have naturally ended. I am told this is just like the book, but in film once we know who the bad guy is and he has been dealt with the audience tends to check out so to say. This is made especially true by the running time of the film which is fairly lengthy. Other than that the acting was stellar, the cinematography rocked, and the film was fun.

I’d say it’s a solid 3 out of 5.

Now onto the magic of the post-film premiere

Kate Mara

Kate Mara

I forced my friends to wait a bit before exiting as I assumed any celebrities would wait for the normal people to exit if they hadn’t already left the theater. My keen celebrity instincts proved true as we ran into Brian Cox in the lobby. Earlier in the night I had bemoaned the fact that I was missing my new favorite show American Horror Story, but my mind was quickly slapped for thinking this as I ran into one of the show’s recurring actresses Kate Mara, the sister of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo herself (Rooney Mara). Since 2003’s Lost in Translation I have had a celebrity crush on Scarlet Johansson but no more. Seeing Kate Mara in the flesh wearing a beautiful pink Christian Dior dress instantly changed my crush to her. Nick Galasso also bummed into director David Fincher earlier in the evening and we were standing pretty close to the extremely tall Joely Richardson who had a role in the film and is famous for her role on Nip/Tuck.

All in all it was a rad night and I won’t soon forget it or the fact that Gino Volpe invited me! THANKSSSSS BROSEPHHHHHH!!!!!

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