#11 The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo


Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Produced by Søren Stærmose
Screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel
Rasmus Heisterberg
Based on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by
Stieg Larsson
Starring Michael Nyqvist
Noomi Rapace
Music by Jacob Groth
Cinematography Eric Kress
Jens Fischer
Editing by Anne Østerud
Studio Yellow Bird


Okay.  I actually clapped during one scene.  I haven’t done that in years.  So invested and lost in the story that I unconsciously react to what I am experiencing.  This film blew me away! WOW!  It was intense, action-packed and introduced the most unique female character to grace the screen in a long time. 

The complete trilogy is good (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) but the first one is the best and most impressionable.  

It is an action-mystery-thriller (and yes, it has subtitles–Hollywood version  is in production now–and I have high hopes–David Fincher directing? gotta be good–right?) and the story is fast paced and tight.   It does explore some dark places–so if you are queasy about that sort of thing, you may not like it. 

Yet, it is Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) who is phenomenal!   A Genius–tough as nails–wholly unconventional–and a punk!  She is an original–how refreshing! 

If you dare–you will not be sorry.  And who knows…you just might applaud. 

Resources: Wikipedia


#12 Buried

Theatrical poster
Directed by Rodrigo Cortés
Produced by Adrián Guerra
Peter Safran
Samuel Hadida
Written by Chris Sparling
Starring Ryan Reynolds
Music by Víctor Reyes
Cinematography Eduard Grau
Editing by Rodrigo Cortés
Studio The Safran Company
Versus Entertainment
Dark Trick Films[1]

Ninety minutes in a dark coffin.  One dude.  No outside shots.  Sounds a bit gimmicky and sketchy.  And yet, it works.  It works extremely well!  I was sweating right along with Ryan Reynolds–claustrophobic and anxious–I did not relax until the screen faded to black for the last time.  WHEW!  What a ride!

Buried achieves what most films never can–even with a bigger budget, name and time–and that is a real immersion into the predicament our hero is in.  Rodrigo Cortes directs and edits this perfectly.  Using  only natural light with what is available–lighter and flashlight–the mood is set and then he creatively uses the camera to build, hold or in some cases release tension.

 The best part though is Ryan Reynolds.  He is a perfect balance.  Intense, vulnerable and yes–even funny!  I believed everything about this guy–and was never taken out of the moment.  Bravo!  (No surprise for me–I love him–check  him out in  The Nines and Definitely, Maybe)

If you are looking for a tense, white knuckled thriller–this is it!

Resources: Wikipedia