Critics Consensus: Tintin, Dragon Tattoo Are Certified Fresh

Plus, We Bought a Zoo and War Horse are sweet and warm, and The Darkest Hour wasn't screened.

Happy Holidays! This week at the movies, we've got a junior adventurer (The Adventures of Tintin, starring Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis); a punk hacker (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara); an animal house (We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson); a trusted steed (War Horse, starring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson); and an alien invasion (The Darkest Hour, starring Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby). What do critics have to say?

The Adventures of Tintin

75%

Belgian comic book hero Tintin has a lot in common with Indiana Jones, so it's no surprise that Steven Spielberg has brought the young reporter/adventurer to the big screen. And critics say The Adventures of Tintin is an action-packed, technically resplendent escapade that's light on plot and character development but heavy on fun. This motion-captured adaptation of Herge's red-headed hero finds Tintin (Jamie Bell), his faithful dog Snowy, and the slovenly Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) on a globe-trotting mission to find ancient treasure, all the while tailed by the evil Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Adventures of Tintin is a beautifully crafted, gleefully escapist affair that should please the whole family.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

86%

After being adapted in its native Swedish, Stieg Larsson's international bestseller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo gets a Hollywood reboot courtesy of David Fincher, and critics say it's thrilling and stylishly sleek, with a star-making performance from Rooney Mara. Daniel Craig stars as Mikael Blomkvis, a disgraced journalist who's asked by a wealthy industrialist to investigate an unsolved murder. With the help of the brilliant but troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara), Mikael soon finds that this cold case is full of dangerous secrets. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is riveting -- it's briskly paced and darkly atmospheric, and Mara nails Lisbeth, one of recent fiction's most memorable characters.

We Bought a Zoo

66%

Cameron Crowe makes movies about nice people, and critics say his latest, We Bought a Zoo, radiates good-natured charm. Based on a true story, it's the tale of Benjamin (Matt Damon), a widower who moves his two children to a dilapidated zoological park. There, Benjamin works to restore the zoo to its former glory, and finds the cure for his soul sickness in the process. The pundits say that while We Bought a Zoo is clichéd and sappy, it's also a lot of fun, with a warmhearted spirit that's tough to resist. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Scarlett Johansson's best-reviewed movies.

War Horse

77%

Spielberg's busy this holiday season; critics say his other new movie, War Horse, is an old-fashioned movie, with all the good and bad that comes with such a characterization; in other words, it's heartfelt and rousing, but also sometimes sentimental and schmaltzy. Jeremy Irvine stars as Albert, who trains and bonds with a horse named Joey; when World War I breaks out, Joey is taken off to battle, and as he moves across the war zone, he touches lives on both sides of the conflict. The pundits say War Horse is sometimes corny and melodramatic, but it's also sweet, stirring, and beautifully photographed.

The Darkest Hour

12%

It looks like the folks behind The Darkest Hour have taken a cue from Ebenezer Scrooge -- they've been miserly with critics' screenings of The Darkest Hour. The movie follows a group of youngsters stranded in Moscow who must fight off an alien invasion. Kids, take time out from last minute shopping and guess the Tomatometer! (Also, check out star Emile Hirsch's Five Favorite Films here).

Also opening this week in limited release:

And don't forget -- the Certified Fresh Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol expands into wide release this weekend.

Comments

Mr. Lee

Daniel Lee

from all these movies I have this to say: a Fantastic, Incredible, Radical, Super, Terrific week for movies!
also The Darkest Hour: about 12%

Dec 21 - 05:05 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Either my wallet will be begging for mercy this weekend or I'll be bumming a lot of free trips to the theater with my family.

And on top of all that, The Artist is opening here this week.

Dec 21 - 05:12 PM

THEREWOLF

Markus Arbutina

Honestly, nothing peeking my interest this week.

Dec 21 - 05:35 PM

Donnie Bradley

Donnie Bradley

except for the girl with the dragon tattoo

Dec 23 - 11:10 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

The Darkest Hour

100%

just kidding

22%

Dec 21 - 05:39 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

I thought Darkest Hour looked decent, so I'm surprised that it wasn't screened for critics. I'll say it gets a 36%. Looks like I'll be busy these next two weekends. I still doubt War Horse will win Best Picture at the oscars, but we'll see.

Dec 21 - 06:02 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I know some of you folks have seen "Dragon Tattoo" already, so don't hold back! I was reading about it today, and was surprised to hear that the actual translated title is "Men Who Hate Women". I also read that Larsson's girlfriend was peeved that Rooney Mara said she didn't feel Lisbeth was a feminist. I'm still avoiding spoilers, haven't read the books, but my understanding is that the book is ultimately about, and against, the abuse and subjugation of women, so Mara's claim does sound strange. Lisbeth makes a mighty interesting contrast to the masochistic Bella though.

"Tintin" or "War Horse"? Probably just watch "Hugo" again. The year the greats went 3D: Scorsese and Spielberg along with Herzog, Wenders, and even Coppola. (And Malick is handling more diverse dimensions) Coppola's "Twixt", being held for ransom in some basement somewhere, is one of my eager anticipations. What kind of world has the ludicrous Poe-as-detective "The Raven" with a more definite release date than the latest film by one of the greatest filmmakers alive? I know "Twixt"s score is at 38%, but that's only 9 reviews and by no one I actually trust. Forgetting his for-hire studio obligations of the late 90s, nothing else by Coppola is less than compelling. His transcendent "Youth Without Youth" is similarly mistreated by critics who seem to resent philosophical material. I think critics like that Goldilocks zone where the film is just smart enough for them to feel self-satisfyingly clever, but not challenging enough to strain that gratified sense of self-satisfaction. "Tintin" it is!

My traumas are my responsibility, but "War Horse" and "We Bought a Zoo" opening in the same week is an unfortunate reminder of the documentary "Zoo". ('Separated by Man...Bound by Friendship') I also keep thinking of that ill-fated zoo in Ohio from a couple months ago. Will Crowe have the courage to add Damon's suicide and a monkey with herpes? A Hell of a third act. And it'll give Crowe another opportunity to use The Monkee's "Porpoise Song" ironically. Waiting for PETA to say something about this, or that schlub who took hostages at the Discovery channel, you know, 'for the squirrels'. Some people have weird ideas about how nature works.

"Darkest Hour" looks like it has snazzy FX, and the overall concept is intriguing, but, in the entire globe, the people I'm going to be the least worried about are a bunch of trust-fund backpackers in Moscow. That's the problem with these disaster movies that focus on only this or that family or set of loved ones - it only emphasizes how arbitrary these characters are. Give me a dime on 36%. (with a 10% spread) Let us celebrate tonight by thinking how we can keep Mel Gibson from making his Judah Maccabee movie. Miracles can happen!

Dec 21 - 06:06 PM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

I would like to see what Mel Gibson could do with the source material, I'm open minded like that.

Dec 21 - 07:13 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, I guess I'm the bigot then. Gibson has some visual taste, but his films (as director) are frequently ridiculous.

Dec 21 - 08:02 PM

King  S.

King Simba

I gotta disagree with you about disaster movies. I think the best disaster movies are the ones that are more focused on a particular character. That way the disaster feels more up close and personal (as the saying goes "The death of one is a tragedy, the death of a million is but a statistic") The trouble I find with so many disaster movies is that they introduce so many characters that none of them are really explored, meaning that you end up not caring for any of them and just impatiently wait for the disaster to come. Granted, I don't think The Darkest Hour is going to be one of the best disaster movies (right now I'm guess a 25% rating for it) In fact, it looks like the only real miss in an otherwise impressive weekend.

Dec 22 - 04:49 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

It does come down to the quality of character and making you feel for their safety especially. Many films can't do it. Recent examples: "Day After Tomorrow", "2012", "Cloverfield", "Skyline", "War of the Worlds" the recent one. I'm sure there are others. I never really felt like these characters' lives were so much more important than the millions of 'statistics'. "Dawn of the Dead" (Romero) and "Testament" are two that come to mind that work.

Dec 22 - 12:23 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I am not really excited about Mel's Judah Maccabee project; I'd much rather see him try and get the Viking epic he was planning with DiCaprio going again after it was virtually scrapped due to Mel's meltdown.

Dec 22 - 09:52 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

To be frank about it, anything that keeps him out of the religious realm is fine with me. He can make an exciting action film ("Apocalypto", which also gets ridiculous at times), but I have the suspicion that his Maccabee project is more self-crusading, and an extention of his expressed persecution complex. He's better off getting back with George Miller and doing "Mad Max 4" - 20 years later. I also thought Schwarzenegger couldn't hurt himself by finally doing "Conan the King" after all these years. Wipe the taste of that last effort out of everyone's mouth.

Dec 22 - 12:30 PM

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides

Mel better hurry, then... or it would have to be 'Mad Max 4--30 years later', LOL. '... Beyond Thunderdome' was an mid-80's release, I think; and Gibson looks every bit of his age and then some, now. As far as any Conan with Arnie goes... forget it. I know the first one's considered to be a 'classic' by many, although I don't know why. For any Conan purists--comic and 'Savage Sword of Conan' readers from back in the day--Arnie was a bad choice for Conan to begin with. 'The Darkest Hour' preview is reminiscent of 'Skyline' to me... I never saw 'Skyline', but the consensus is/was that it sucked hard. My prediction is 5%, although I hope I'm wrong. I really like those kinds of movies when they're done right.

Dec 23 - 06:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Conan the Barbarian" is a classic, purist. And if you're going to be purist about anything...Conan? OK. John Milius made an epic, with mythical script, gorgeous photography, thundering score and both Mako and James Earl Jones ("come to me, my child"). An amazing accomplishment. And "Skyline" was extremely stupid. But very impressive special effects (when they're on screen). Those particular aliens looked better than either "Battle: LA" or "Super 8".

Dec 23 - 08:30 AM

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides

LOL... a lot of people agree with you, no doubt (or at least, AMC does). But I doubt that many, if any, of them read 'Savage Sword...' or the comic series. Conan was a muscular character, obviously; but that's about all he and Arnie had in common. He was nearly 7 feet tall, very quick on his feet--not cumbersome, and at least as clever as he was strong. That WAS his character--there's really no other take on it. I like Arnie, always have... it's just my opinion that he was a poor choice for Conan. It's absolutely not my intention to disparage your opinion, though. As far as the other aspects of the movie that you mentioned, I certainly won't disagree with you, there... at least on the score and James Earl Jones. I DO think your projected 36% (even with the +/- 10%) for 'The Darkest Hour' is a bit generous, LOL.

Dec 23 - 10:01 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I enjoyed some issues of the comics, "Barbarian" and "King Conan", but maybe I'm missing some nuance of his character. I looked over at the RT page to read the rotten reviews - and there's Vincent Camby! One of the true haters of the 70s. I guess we should agree to disagree then (as long as you haven't just seen it edited on AMC). As for the "Darkest Hour", I'm just trying to corner the table a little higher than others are bidding. Who knows?

Dec 23 - 12:39 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

@DEC - Not meaning to sound condescending here, but you do realize that Conan was not originally a comic character, right? The comics pale in comparison to Howards original Conan stories.

Dec 23 - 01:21 PM

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides

Yes!... I do realize that and always wanted to check those stories out. Unfortunately, by the time I realized those stories existed, I had pretty much quit reading that kind of fiction. I have, however, just finished reading quite a bit about Robert Howard and his Conan character via Wikipedia. Nothing shocking... the original character (described as "giant, massive", but moving "like a panther" by Howard) bears far more resemblance to the character in the graphic novels and comics than he does to Arnie's movie character. That original character is also a brilliant tactician/strategist and speaks MANY languages (not that anything in the movies contradicts this... Arnie just didn't sell the mental abilities IMO). And with Howard's character, apparently it's just wanderlust that takes him from his village... not James Earl Jones, LOL. If you have read many, most, or all of those stories and have a favorite, feel free to recommend it. I'll have to read for myself if the whole "pale in comparison" thing is true... I can't take your word for that, LOL (at least, not with Savage Sword).

Dec 23 - 02:43 PM

Doc.Bamf

Dominic Savarese

In regards to Mara's quote(if we are both thinking about the same article), all Mara ended up doing was showing how little she understood the author's intent with his depiction of Salander. Based on what she said, Mara seemed to be under the impression that anarchism and feminism are mutually exclusive...which is clearly not true (case in point: Salander). So she was trying to say that Salander was an anarchist and not a feminist. However, she did end up confusing the hell out of everyone in the interview, with after all she said about Salander, Mara followed up with "I'm not quite sure what that [feminism] means."
Your comparison of Bella and Salander rings perfect on another level in that just like Mara cynically confines the definition of feminism, Meyer naively broadens it. To this day, Meyer still considers Bella a feminist simply because Bella is "able to choose".
Mara already stated that she was planning on delivering her "interpretation of Salander." Idk wtf Meyer's excuse is, though.

Dec 22 - 10:18 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Mara has been coming off like a doofus in interviews it seems. Bigger than her britches, maybe? "Doing her interpretation" sounds like code for "too lazy to actually research my character and get inside her head." She recently commented that a role she had on Law & Order, in which she played a teen who killed fat teens, was stupid because no one would ever kill someone just because they're fat. Well, the storyline was "ripped from the headlines" and based on an actual case. Duh. Again, no research. I also remember her patting herself on her back for her "interpretation" of Nancy in the Elm Street remake, which I thought she was terribly bland in.

Dec 22 - 11:44 AM

Dave J

Dave J

In the real world of acting, the actor only acts when no research is required especially when it's the directors movie. Case in point, read somewhere a long time ago where the director read a particular book visioning it into a film and because the actor read the book as well, he wanted the direction to go the opposite direction than the director's, except that it's the directors film and not the actors. I mean look what happened when novelist Joe Eszterhas intervened with Arthur Penn during "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn", Penn removed his name from being credited to Alan Smithee! If directors want their actors/ actressses to do any resaerch on any film or tv show, they would've said so and sometimes that doesn't come cheap either!

The other thing you have to realize is that some things don't translate too well on film which is why it's best left in books as opposed to showing it on screen!

Dec 22 - 03:33 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Well thanks for explaining how it is "in the real world of acting" for me. Not buying it, Dave.

Dec 23 - 05:43 AM

Dave J

Dave J

You know the thing is because I watched this actress on Letterman the other day discussing about her experience with Fincher, apparently indicated to me that Fincher is a perfectionist and control freak and is common knowledge that he loves to retake his actors/ actresses to death which could be as much as a 100 times redoing pointless scenes over and over in many different ways and several angles, and if anybody were to tell him otherwise how it should be done, I can see him firing anybody on the spot. All you're really doing is finding an excuse not to see the film when this version could possibly be more faithful to the book than the 2009 version since the only way any film can be faithful to any book is when it involves money because when Niels Arden Oplev directed his version he didn't have very much money to work with! Case in point, I thought the first half of "The Firm" was pretty faithful to the book but then on the last half hour of the film- I thought it was god damn awful compared to what Grisham wrote in the book, and realized that the company only gave Sidney Pollack a fixed amount of money and worked with what he had then what he wanted meaning that although Pollack was given credit as director, it was still not his film, it was more of the producers movie than it is Pollacks. The amount of money always dictates how any film is made.

And to remind you that each book written by Tolken can be divided into two films and not just the one, there was alot of stuff Jackson couldn't do with the budget he had which was a 100 million per film not including the money Jackson had to spend from his own pocket, The Hobbit may be the only film he was allowed to split into two films meaning that he was probably granted more than what he was given to make "The Lord Of The Ring" films, who knows how faithful Jackson would've made the Ring trilogy had those films received the same amount! Compromising with other studios is a bitch since the film may not perform well in the boxoffice, that's why some directors prefer to own their own studios then they could do whatever the hell they want!

Dec 23 - 12:40 PM

Dave J

Dave J

If you ever succeed as a movie director Brad and you want your actress/actor to do research perhaps as a police officer, fireman or army soldier before filming starts than you're going to expect it to be paid out of your own pocket because to take the army, police, firemans time away from doing what they're paid and supposed to do has to cost money as well, not everything is volunteered and not everything is free!

It does however, help if the director worked as a policeman, fireman or had been in the army himself!

Dec 23 - 12:53 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Dave, I don't think anyone (def not me) is saying that Mara being a doofus, or at best 'big for her britches', should be an excuse to not watch the film. We'll see if her performance is as iconic as people are saying. But, let's face it, people are totally kissing her ass right now, and maybe (possibly) it's gone to her head enough to where she's not being as prudent in interviews as she should be. I saw a story this morning talking about how she's going to be this huge star, and she might be. Maybe this film is that good, and it'd have to be because she hasn't really been in anything else to warrant "stardom". OR...it's part of the publicity machine. Like, say, Taylor Lautner, there are a handful of actors every year who we're told are 'the next big thing', and their publicists are rabid about shoving them down our throats. Some backlash is inevitable.

As for Finch, I think that's GREAT! I HATE overacting, what Finch calls "earnestness". He does so many takes as a way of exhausting his actors into more realistic, naturalistic performances. Especially with younger actors, you have to reign in the emotional hysteria sometimes. Otherwise it gets like a soap opera, and it looks like actors acting, trying to get Oscars, rather than humans behaving like humans. And if this performance of Mara's is as iconic as the hype professes, then Rooney needs to be thanking Fincher for his guidance, and she has no reason to be complaining about his 'perfectionism' in interviews. She might end up in the Shia LeBeef catagory of ingratitude.

Dec 23 - 01:07 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I wasn't implying my comment toward you Janson, but was really impying my assumptions to Brad for dismissing Finchers film altogether because of a single lady who just works in the film and has 'no' say on how it should be done or how her character was supposed to be portrayed since she didn't do any research or read any of the Stieg Larssons books, my point was that it's always the directors film it shouldn't be defined whether the actress/ actor does any research or not, as a matter of fact if it's the directors film, he's the one who should do the research and not the actress/ actor in question. I also think that when every magazine or television show mentions break out stars "Entertainment Weekly" included, it's very subjective and shouldn't be taken seriously, everyone has an opinion. I myself haven't seen alot of current movies because it's costly and because of time so for the time being, I'll only take their word for it and acknowledge what it is until I have the chance to check it out myself, but I'm not going to judge without checking it out first, we as the paying public can only watch so many as opposed to movie critics who get paid for it!

Dec 23 - 02:15 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Regarding the Law and Order thing, that was actually a misquotation. According to Mara, when she said stupid and awful, she meant the way some people treat others, rather than meaning her character was badly written (Of course she could just be backpeddling, you never know)

Dec 23 - 02:26 PM

Dave J

Dave J

It's a little premature to judge people for what people say these days- I mean how does anyone really know whether they mean it or not. When Shia made unflattering comments about his role in the "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and The Transformer films, Spielberg professionally dismissed it on an Entertainment Weekly interview, but I bet when Spielberg confronts Shia about it, it's going to be interpreted that his words were taken out of context and may have been caught up in the moment!

Dec 23 - 02:47 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Dave, I don't see where Brad made such a comment. He never says he isn't going to see this movie because of Mara's comments. I haven't bothered reading about the L&O thing, but, in regard to your last comment, I do think it's a little sad that people aren't expected to attach value to their WORD, or what they say. I agree that many people are full of shit, and EW is a virtual almanac of celebrities' bullshit, but I don't think that's an excuse for these celebrities to keep their mouths open. Daniel Craig is a better example of someone who doesn't waste his words.

Dec 23 - 03:19 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I didn't say Brad didn't want to see this film was a result of Mara's comments, but was implying that he was "looking" for an excuse not to see it since the film centers solely on Mara's performance than on anyone else's including Daniel Craig's. I think the difference is that when one's a celebrity whether s/he's an actor, musician or author, that whatever they say would be under alot of scrutiny or criticized whether it's positive or negative is not the point, I'm just saying that to maintain being a public figure is not as easy as being a performer. As a matter of fact, if I was successful at anything whether it's director or writer of a film I would rather remain anonymous because I do know that everything I say is not going to satisfy everyone, and I have stage fright! I don't mind working behind the camera whether it's sound or production manager, but to be on front of a camera is another thing altogether! To keep oneself in 'check' is sometimes not as easy as it looks! That's why celebrities at times always have their publicists nearby whenever interviews are conducted, just like any other President before or after them!

Dec 23 - 04:06 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I mean the thing is when Shia Le Buff made those unflattering comments the other day about his role in the Transformer films, was his 'publicist' present to keep Shia in check is the real question!

Dec 23 - 04:09 PM

Dave J

Dave J

To hold a single person to everything s/he says and do is hypocritical, this includes me. An example would be like for instance if I told people I'm going to buy 5 cases of Coors beer and bought bottles of wine instead because I changed my mind at the last second would be my preogitive and no one else's!

Dec 23 - 04:22 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I always thought "Twilight" represented a rather co-dependant form of feminism, enabling more than liberating. I don't want to speculate on Mara's education or social upbringing - I'm not even sure how old she is - except she seems to speak from a perspective of privilege. I'm not going to let that influence my judgement of her performance. Although, like Brad, I have yet to see her in anything that's impressed me (and her two minutes in "Social Network" doesn't exactly qualify).

Dec 22 - 12:42 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think what Mara meant was Lisbeth isn't a deliberate feminist with all the negatives that implies. She's more like a Ripley character where she's just naturally tough without having an overt agenda about it.

Dec 23 - 09:14 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

She doesn't have to try to prove she's the equal of a man, that assumption is just inherently part of the story and the character.

Dec 23 - 09:23 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There's different schools of feminism, but generally a feminist, by basic definition, is someone (male or female) who believes in the civic (social, political, economic) equality of women. I don't see any negatives implied by this. I think Mara was either confused or uninformed, or both.

Dec 23 - 12:47 PM

King  S.

King Simba

That is indeed the basic defination, but let's face it, there are some who take the meaning to the extreme. It's like if your female charater just a tiny little fault, suddenly you're anti-feminist (hell, I've once read about someone complaining about Sarah Conner in T2 how she needed a man to help her beat the terminator. Yeah sure, you're up against a guy made of liquid metal, why would you need any help?)

Dec 23 - 02:35 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I remember Reece needing a little help too in the first one. That's definitely a weak example. All interesting characters have vulnerabilities. Feminism is more about civil rights than character. Ripley and Sarah Conner are feminists precisely because, as bigbrother pointed out (even though he didn't mean it quite this way), they assume their value and equality, equality in strength of will and spirit more than muscle.

Dec 23 - 03:23 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Buut being a feminist means you are, at least somewhat, an activist for that cause. I don't think Lisbeth is a feminist either. She doesn't seem to care much about equality of sexes. She is concerned with herself being treated a certain way, rather than the treatment of her gender. I don't even believe she represents a feminist ideal; I think she is more of an icon for her particular generation of individualists.

Dec 23 - 03:57 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Yeah, it's hard to say what Mara meant because as far as I know none of us are her, but I'm leaning toward assuming noble intent on her part because almost everyone says she nailed the part which one would at least think implies a more than basic understanding of the character. I'm just gonna assume she was going for some deeper meaning that wasn't conveyed in the article rather than speculate that she doesn't understand the intricacy of said character at least better than us.

Dec 23 - 03:58 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Activism is not necessary for -isms, which denotes ideology. For example, a 'racist' does not have to actively work to discriminate other races in order to be a racist, the belief in the superiority of one race over another is sufficient to qualify. Since we're talking about "understanding the character", let's consider that it was Eva Gabrielsson who objected to Mara's comment. Gabrielsson was Steig Larsson's girlfriend for 30 years, and lived with him while he wrote these books. She has been given the task of editing and finishing additional books in what was intended to be a ten book series (actually, only a couple more books were close enough to completion). Gabrielsson and Larsson were longtime supporters in the cause to end violence against women, and she was very clear that Lizbeth was a feminist. I'll wager that Gabrielsson understands the "intricacy" of not only the character but Larsson's intentions better than us, but Mara and Fincher as well. (Gabrielsson's criticisms did not extend to the film, btw)

Dec 23 - 04:35 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Yep, I'm not disagreeing with you, just offering an alternate hypothesis. Larssons girlfriends understanding doesn't negate Mara's understanding. I just think rather than this being a case where one person is clearly right and another is clearly wrong. It's more likely this is two people with different understandings of an ideal not being able to reconcile their perspectives. It's better to have ideas than beliefs I think. The problem with beliefs is they lead people to get bent out of shape when anyone questions them rather than attempting to look for deeper meaning and understand others perspective because to the believer they're absolute

Dec 24 - 09:08 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"It's better to have ideas than beliefs I think" That's a bit like saying it's better to have oxygen than water. Best to have both, each informed by the other. I would say that Gabrielsson's interpretation (of course) negates that of a hired actress, since the book is infused with so much that both Larsson and Gabrielsson had committed themselves to throughout their lives' work. I would say that, except that now, having seen the film and running a marathon through the first two Millenium books (Merry Christmas!), I have no doubt that Mara cannot be so dumb as to not understand the precise nature of Lisbeth's character. My guess is that she wanted to avoid pointing out the obvious politics of the movie and books so as to not repel those among us who do find negative inferences from words like "feminist". It's already a shaky gamble of opening an expensive film with such subject matter on Christmas, why dwell on mentioning the sordid crimes involved? "It's just a fun thriller, you guys! Really Horrorshow! Everybody come see it!" Avoiding spoilers, I can assure anyone that Lisbeth Salander is a character defined by the need for 'sexual justice' - an essential definition of 'feminism'. I fully respect Gabrielsson's disgust with the attempt to minimize this. It is the pure, profound crux of Salander's motivation. There is no room for interpretation for anyone familiar with the source material. And, I may add, the film does a brilliant job in adapting this, and Mara does a brilliant performance personifying it. That's why I rule out the possibility of her misunderstanding. I suspect, in selling the movie, she was trying to keep the appeal as broad as possible - let them deal with it once they're in their seats. But the 'feminist' aspect is undeniable. "Men Who Hate Women" indeed. Lisbeth is the avenger, just as Blomkvist is Larsson's doppleganger and Millenium is a doppleganger of Larsson's true-life political journal, Expo. It's fruitless to "interpret" this as just an escapist thriller when it's embedded with so much political material. That's only a belief if you refuse to inform yourself about it, and information is what gives ideas, and interpretations, their weight. This was a tremendous film, and I look forward to comparing it with the Swedish version very soon.

Dec 26 - 01:47 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

I agree with a lot of what you say even if we do have different interpretations. I however disagree that anyone's interpretation does or can negate someone elses, just because she's a "hired actress" doesn't mean she can't have a profound understanding of the character prehaps more profound than the person who created that character and certainly more profound than the creators wife. I think actors and actresses are unique in that way, that they get a unique perspective from trying to "become" another person. Similar certainly to the experience an author or director has in creating, but slightly different and no less valid. As for Mara's motivations I think she may be practicing a different form of feminism, which at it's core is the belief that women are the equals of men. Now if that were true would a women need to label her character as a feminist? Do you have to label Indiana Jones as the equal of any woman? Mad Max? Bud White? If you're truly equal, it seems to me you don't have to point your equality out. I don't disagree with the possibility heck even almost certainty that Salander is a feminist, I just disagree with the assumption by yourself and Gabrielsson that that is the only interpretation. That's what I meant by my Idea's/Beliefs statement. Idea's are changeable in a way that Beliefs aren't and that refusal to change or open your mind is what causes a lot of the worlds problems. It's like the difference between argument and debate. In an argument both parties are assumed to be open to the possibility that their position is wrong, a luxury that debate doesn't afford which is why so many debates end up in quagmires. So in summary if Gabrielsson is right and Salander is a feminist, why does she need to cast herself with that label? Couldn't she just be a bad ass, fantastically rendered character like so many in history. Shouldn't that really be the goal of feminism, not to need the label feminism?

Dec 29 - 07:57 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You haven't indicated whether or not you've seen the film yet, so it's hard for me to argue out of that context. I think the film speaks for itself, and Mara's performance as well (I still think she was trying to avoid the more controversial elements as a way of keeping the appeal as broad as possible). Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would be everyone else's equal, but, unfortunately, we do not live in that world...yet. Once the gender inequities are eliminated, then there will be no need for feminism (and your definition of that is not a 'different form', because gender equality is the goal of all but the most fringe forms of those advocates). The inequities that women deal with, less here than elsewhere to be sure, are still a statistical and historical fact, not a belief. The open-minded route works both ways, and an open mind should recognize the socio-political status quo and understand the need to even out the 'assumptions' about people's equality, which, currently, are frequently disadvantageous to women and other minorities.

Dec 29 - 08:47 AM

MAMOVIES

Matheus Cassiano

I must see War Horse and The Girl With...

Dec 21 - 06:47 PM

Grounder At the Movies

TVB Robotnik

I will guess 14% for Darkest Hour.

Dec 21 - 06:59 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

I was hoping Tintin to be in the early 80s and War Horse and Dragon Tattoo in the mid 90s. Oh well. Great week for films though but I'll probably kick it this weekend due to Christmas. I plan to see Tintin in IMAX 3D next week. I saw Ghost Protocol last night in IMAX. The movie itself was great (Simon Pegg stole the show!) but seeing it on that ginourmous screen was incredible. This is coming from someone who has not seen the othher Mission Impossible movies. I only went because my cousin and I called up the local IMAX just to see if they were playing The Dark Knight Rises prologue. Those six minute of Bane in action were amazing. My guess for The Darkest Hour is 15%. It looked decent at first then it took a Ghostbusters approach toward the end of the trailer and then all my interest was gone. MERRY XMAS, RT!

Dec 21 - 07:00 PM

Andrew Foote

Andrew Foote

I also thought that Mission Impossible was fantastic in IMAX. I haven't watched the first two in the series, but looking at Rotten Tomatoes scores on them, I'll stay away. Actually, this installment did the best.

Dec 22 - 10:27 PM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

It is good to see Mr. Spielberg still making good movies and not to mention two films for the holiday season , I think I'll check out Tin Tin first before I see War horse. Probably wait on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I've already seen the first adaptation, and while I know this is a re adaptation and not a remake, I'm still don't see the need to spend money to watch this, even if it was directed by David Fincher and looks more stylish. We brought a Zoo looks nice and laid back so I might check that out.

Darkest Hour looks like mediocre crap I'd say it will have about 27%.

Dec 21 - 07:10 PM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

I would like to see what Mel Gibson could do with the source material, I'm open minded like that.

Dec 21 - 07:13 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, I guess I'm the bigot then. Gibson has some visual taste, but his films (as director) are frequently ridiculous.

Dec 21 - 08:02 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I caught Ghost Protocol tonight, and it was great! Brad Bird has a good future in live action if he keeps producing blockbusters of that calibur. The whole sequence set in Dubai was probably the best action set-piece that came out of Hollywood this year.

As for the other releases, I'll be catching Girl With the Dragon Tattoo next week, really looking forward to it. If I have the money, I might catch Tintin, too; it looks like a lot of fun mixed with great animation.

I'm glad We Bought a Zoo and War Horse are getting good marks from critics, but they both look too melodramatic and sappy for my liking.

Dec 21 - 07:42 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Oh, and I'll give The Darkest Hour a solid 19%.

Dec 21 - 07:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I've heard nothing but good things about Bird's work on MI. I'm starting to regret skipping it this weekend.

Dec 21 - 08:11 PM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

mission impossible was really good... u should really see it...

Dec 22 - 12:24 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

If you do not see it this weekend, I would recommend you do some time down the road. It is a lot of fun and has a story that is simple but effective, and actually makes a lot of sense unlike the last two. The performances are good, too, as every actor looks like they are having fun and are committed to the movie, instead of phoning it in like you see in a lot blockbusters. Bird also brought in a little of his mojo from The Incredibles, as the movie really does an excellent job of making it feel like a team mission, and not just Ethan Hunt lone-wolf badassing it through the whole movie. Every person on his team gets time to shine and a little motivation for their goals, in addition all of them are included heavily in the film's plot. Bird really nailed that and I think the team dynamic was one of the strongest points of the movie.

Dec 22 - 09:58 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Oh, and I'll give The Darkest Hour a solid 19%.

Dec 21 - 07:42 PM

Slade U.

Slade Uppercut

I'll say 17% for Darkest Hour. Doesn't really matter, I'll still watch it. FX look killer~

Dec 21 - 07:44 PM

Slade U.

Slade Uppercut

I'll say 17% for Darkest Hour. Doesn't really matter, I'll still watch it. FX look killer~

Dec 21 - 07:45 PM

Jack M.

Jack Mehoff

The Darkest Hour at 32 perecent

Dec 21 - 07:57 PM

Jack M.

Jack Mehoff

"percent" sorry

Dec 21 - 07:57 PM

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