Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When I first heard about these books being turned into movies, I was a bit leery to watch. I thought it might be a bit intense, and I knew the rape scene was in the movie, which just kinda freaked me out. I certainly didn't wanna see that. But, the trailer was extremely enticing, and I love a good mystery thriller that really makes you think. A lot of Oscar hype has been swarming around this movie, which usually means it will at least have a good storyline and characters. David Fincher, who directed The Social Network last year, is a phenomenal director. Rooney Mara just looked exciting and intriguing with the hair and piercing thing going on. Now that I have named all of this stuff, I don't understand why I doubted myself in watching The Dragon Tattoo...

As I said, I love a good, thrilling mystery, which is what I expected with this movie. The entire movie revolved around the Vanger family, that had a family member who was murdered like thirty years ago. The family was at odds with one another, so Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) hired an investigative journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to settle the mystery of the murder and figure out who the murderer was. The main storyline revolves around Mikael, and eventually Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), investigating the Vanger family and the murder. Now, I certainly enjoyed the storyline and the investigation, but I felt like the ending to the investigation was a bit boring. I wanted to be blown of my feet, and I just felt like I was watching a good episode of CSI or something, which was very disappointing.

Best Scene: There is a scene where Lisbeth gets back at the man who rapes her, and it is serious and funny at the same time. She is extremely clever. I wouldn't mess with her.

The characters in this movie absolutely made the movie. Daniel Craig was great as Mikael, and, of course Mara was extremely great as Lisbeth. There were also many good actors that played members of the Vanger family, such as Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard. The relationship between all of the characters was very good, especially between Lisbeth and Mikael. Their relationship was very unpredictable and awkward at times, but they were just so much fun to watch.

Best Character: Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara, was the obvious choice for best character. Although I didn't expect it, Mikael was kind of the main character. He was great, but the movie was at it's best only when Mara was on screen. Most times she didn't even have to say anything. She was just that mysterious and intriguing.

Worst Character: Bjurman, played by Yorick van Wageningen, was the man who raped Lisbeth. He was her assigned state employee, who dealt with getting her money, because she was declared mentally incompetent. He wasn't awful, but he just didn't quite seem creepy enough or something.

I certainly don't know how the movie is compared to the books, because I don't read, but I do know that you can't really blame the lame ending to the investigation on director David Fincher or the screenwriters. Aside from that lame ending, this movie is phenomenal. Great characters and great mystery makes for a great movie. The relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth becomes a great focus in the movie and really is intriguing, which adds an extra element to the film. The rape scene was very intense, but it was necessary in building the character up, in my opinion at least. I don't think this movie is a best picture kind of movie, but I enjoyed it. I really do want to know what happens next, but I doubt I will make the effort to read the books, due to my literature laziness. I give The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 3.56 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Sitter

Well, it seems like the movie industry is never satisfied with the amount of R-rated comedies in the world. I guess I probably shouldn't be talking though, because I do watch most all of them. Anyway, The Sitter looked like another mediocre comedy that probably wouldn't pull in much cash. It is Jonah Hill's first film as the one and only lead character. Also, this is probably his last film before he will start looking unhealthily skinny and no longer funny. I do love a good laugh, and usually kids are way funnier than adults, so I was looking forward to see how raunchy and funny these kids were actually going to be. Jonah Hill is usually very funny and has come a long way in his acting career. With all that being thrown in the hat, I expected to laugh a little, but not too much. Unfortunately, there isn't much else in the theater at the moment, so I chose to watch The Sitter...

Well, it was interesting to say the least. As is obvious in the previews, Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) ends up baby sitting these three children. Noah goes on an adventure of the insane kind and, of course, brings the children along with him. I really thought the idea was awesome, but the execution was awful. Honestly, the movie just progressively became boring as it went along. There were certainly many funny parts, but I never really felt like the plot was organized. I believe random and repetitive are the words that should be used to describe this film. To cap off the poorly written body of the film, the end was probably one of the worst since No Country for Old Men (and we all know how horrid that was). The movie got all emotional and started teaching me lessons about life. Excuse me? I thought this was an R-rated comedy in the 21st century???

Best Scene: Noah goes to a bar to retrieve his stolen minivan, which leads to much hilarity.

The truth is that it is nearly impossible to go wrong with child actors. You can't blame their acting, because they are only children, which means they will either be great or ok (never bad). The kids in The Sitter weren't that great, but they were put in funny situations. They certainly provided many laughs, even though they contributed a good bit to the "life lessons." Noah Griffith was just the kind of guy that you hope your kid never turns out to be. His quest for his whore of a "girlfriend" was extremely unrealistic and kind of dumb, but we needed to laugh. Also, the villain, Karl (Sam Rockwell), was extremely annoying and very very strange. I don't believe he was meant to be understood, or I hope not at least.

Best Character: There was this gang of black folks that Noah meets at a bar. Every single one of them cracked me up, and they actually became a big part of the plot, which was awesome.

Worst Character: Julio, played by J.B. Smoove, was just awful. J.B. Smoove is one of the funniest men alive, so I don't have any clue how they managed to ruin him in this movie.

The biggest problem with this movie was that it couldn't decide whether it REALLY wanted to be an R-rated comedy. It starts off in a very dirty manner, but, from then on, it really never felt like it was a bad movie. Sure, there was some language, but the emotional lessons ruined any hope of this receiving a high rating from me. I don't enjoy the dirty comedy solely because it is dirty, but we all know that dirty=funny, whether you are a college kid or a soccer mom. I thought Jonah Hill did fine in his first lead role. It just was unfortunate that the film wasn't better. I think I may be coming off a little harsh on this movie,becasue it really wasn't THAT bad. It just wasn't what it should have been. I give The Sitter 2.39 out of 5 stars and remind you to be careful who you leave your child with!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Look Ahead to 2012

The first half year or so of my blogging has gone extremely well, and I just wanted to thank everyone for reading. I have enjoyed being able to express my opinions on the movies I watch, and I hope that I have provided valuable information to either encourage or discourage your desire to watch certain movies. As always, if you ever have any suggestions on how I could make the blog even better, please let me know!

With 2011 coming to a close, I just wanted to give you a little taste of what's to come in 2012, for the blog and movies in general. I'm sure I will be making constant changes to the way I write the blog, but, if I ever do something that you don't like, do tell me. While I do write the blog for my pleasure, I mostly write to be heard, and I want to give you what you want to hear. In late January, I will be giving you a list of nominees and winners of the first ever "Notscars." This will be an opportunity for me to let you see the worst of 2011 movies. It will be a fun read, as I will be hating on many actors, actresses, and movies. If the crappy movies make you sad, do not fear. In February I will bring you my version the Oscars, giving you a list of nominees and winners from what I believe to be the best of 2011. The real Oscars will air at the end of February, so my lists will be out before theirs, to secure that they are not influenced by the real Oscars.

I will continue to give you a monthly list of movies that I want to see (Great Expectations). This simply allows me to get the word out about which movies are coming out each month, for those of you who don't keep up with it like I do. If you didn't notice, I cut out the Movie News segment of the blog, mostly because I didn't have time to keep up with it. If you do want to keep up with what's going on in Hollywood you can check out IMDB's news section or go to FirstShowing.net. I don't have any marvelous new ideas for the blog, but, if I do come up with one, I will certainly go with it. Along with the special Notscars and Oscars, I will probably do a summer movie preview in April or May and a summer movie wrap up, like I did this past August.

I believe that is all that I myself have for you. For those of you who can't wait for next year, here is a list of big time movies coming out in 2012:

The Woman in Black (Feb. 3)

The Hunger Games (March 23)

American Reunion (April 6)

The Avengers (May 4)

Men in Black III (May 25)

Brave (June 22)

The Amazing Spiderman (July 3)

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

The Bourne Legacy (Aug. 3)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Nov. 16)

Les Miserables (Dec. 7)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14)

Life of Pi (Dec. 21)

World War Z (Dec. 21)

Django Unchained (Dec. 25)