The Boy Wonder


OMG … I Love Criterion!!!

On June 12th, Criterion releases one of my favorite movies!


  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Brian Tufano, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two audio commentaries: one by director Danny Boyle and the other by screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald
  • New interviews with stars Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor
  • Digging Your Own Grave, a 1993 documentary by Kevin Macdonald on the making of the film
  • Andrew Macdonald and Kevin Macdonald’s video diary from the 1992 Edinburgh Film Festival, where they shopped around the script for Shallow Grave
  • Shallow Grave trailer and Trainspotting teaser trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp

“Tattoo” vs. “Tattoo”

David Fincher movies get me all excited. So, when it was announced he was at the helm of the American-ized version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I got super excited. I really enjoyed the Swedish film, so I was curious as to what Fincher would do with the material.

Now the results are in theaters and it stacks up well (and sometimes not so well) against the original Swedish film.

For the most part, Fincher's version works very well. The tone of the movie is very cold, clinical and precise. Fincher seems more interested in presenting the mechanics of the investigation rather than making it a more lurid thriller. It's kinda like a lighter and more user friendly version of "Zodiac." Some plot elements from the book that were ditched in the original movie show up here which make a nice addition. All the actor's are solid and the pacing clicks along fairly well (except for wrapping up all the loose threads at the end). Plus, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deliver another very interesting soundtrack.

So, does Rooney Mara kick it as Lisbeth Slander? She does and then some. I liked Mara's take of the character more than Noomi Rapace's. It's more dark, internal and withdrawn.

The major problem with the movie is that it has about five endings. They catch the killer and then there are about four more plot points to resolve which drags out the ending. And the movie is fitted with a bizarre James Bond-esque opening credit sequence. It looks cool and plays under the blasting sounds of "Immigrant Song" (covered by Reznor/Ross/Karen O) ... but it doesn't really serve any other purpose than to look cool.

There are better Fincher films ... but, on the whole, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" worth checking out.

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So, guess who is super excited about seeing the new Danny Boyle film tomorrow!


Sunday Movie Double Feature

What better way is there to spend a blustery, dreary fall day than to spend it at the movies!

"Animal Kingdom" (Australia, 2010)
This wasn't at all what I expected. It's less a story about actual crime and more about the effects of crime on a 17 year old suddenly thrust into his uncle's criminal world. This movie is well written, directed and superbly acted. Well worth seeing if it's playing in your area ... two thumbs up!!!

"The Social Network" (USA, 2010)
Seriously. David Fincher IS the best director working in the business today. This whole movie is top notch ... from the directing to the Aaron Sorkin script to the acting to the Reznor/Ross score. Another two thumbs up!!!


Some Holiday Movie Thoughts

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Directed by David Fincher

A new David Fincher film is always cause for excitement. He's always made movies that have a lot going for them. "Zodiac" (his last film) is a modern masterpiece (in my humble opinion). The time, Fincher has turned away from his typically dark subjects to bring us a psuedo-fantasy/chick flick with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." It's beautifully filmed. The acting from Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett is serviceable (it won't knock your socks off). While watching the movie I was thinking how some of the elements of the story were very "Forrest Gump" only used to better effect. Turns out that the screen writer is the same guy that wrote that movie ... a movie that I really don't like. Maybe that is tainting my view of "Benjamin Button." Or maybe it's the "tug at your heart strings" ending. I must confess that the more I think about this movie the more unsure of it I become. It would be interesting to hear what other Fincher fans think about "Benjamin Button."

Directed by John Patrick Shanley

I have read and have seen the stage play on Broadway. And now ... the movie version of "Doubt." The stage play is a four character affair. For the movie version, John Patrick Shanley has taken his stage play and made the canvas a lot bigger (with great results). Plus it doesn't hurt that Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep get to showcase their chops. And what chops they have! Amy Adams (as Sister James) holds her own in the struggle between Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius. But, it's Viola Davis who nearly steals the whole movie in her short scene with Streep. "Doubt" showcases not only lots of high drama ... it also showcases lots of excellent acting. I highly, highly recommend this movie.

Next up ... Bryan Singer's "Valkyrie."

Filed under: Daily, Directors, Movies 1 Comment

Final Days

The movie marathon to end all movie marathons is over half-way done now. Five days are left on the "Twelve Days of Hitchcock."


Rear Window (1954) at 6:00 pm
To Catch a Thief (1955) at 8:30 pm

The Trouble with Harry (1955) at 11:00 am
The Wrong Man (1956) at 1:30 pm
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) at 4:00 pm
Vertigo (1958) at 7:00 pm

North by Northwest (1959) at 11:00 am
Psycho (1960) at 2:00 pm
The Birds (1963) at 4:30 pm
Marnie (1964) at 7:30 pm

Torn Curtain (1966) at 6:00 pm
Topaz (1969) at 8:30 pm

Frenzy (1972) at 6:00 pm
Family Plot (1976) at 8:30 pm

Turn out has been kinda light ... but I am not really sure what I should have expected. Teacher Beth gets the gold star for attending the most showings so far.

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Ready for the Weekend

The "Twelve Days of Hitchcock" Movie Marathon kicks off tonight at my place. I gotta get by the store and get some popcorn and suitable munchies. Gonna be interesting to see who drops by from some classic movie viewin'.


Rebecca (1940) at 6:00 pm
Foreign Correspondent (1940) at 9:00 pm

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) at 1:00 pm
Suspicion (1941) at 3:30 pm
Saboteur (1942) at 6:00 pm

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) at 1:00 pm
Lifeboat (1944) at 3:30 pm
Spellbound (1945) at 6:00 pm

Now ... while I am enjoying Hitchcock movies with my pals, you can enjoy some Chris Evans (fully clothed ... sorry, folks).
Chris Evans