31 August 2010



It’s been a while since I last watched any anime. I hit a couple stinkers and lost interest I guess. So it took a friendly gathering to get me to try it back on again. Half of us in the group had seen this before, and it seems that they had all liked it a lot, but couldn’t really describe it. After watching it with them I think I’m in pretty much the same boat. Still, I’m going to write what little I can about it.

I don’t think the title is really an acronym, it’s just an approximation of “Furi-kuri,” which is said a number of times in the series but never really defined. It has something to do with the powers of an alien-girl which turn your body into a sort of inter-spatial hub for transportation of magical bass-guitars and giant robots, or perhaps it’s just puberty. Puberty does seem to be one of the major themes in a very off-kilter/metaphorical sort of way. The main character has two love interests but isn’t at the point where he really knows what love is, and in generic anime fashion he can’t handle their advances, although it’s forgivable since he’s only twelve years old. Aside from these two points, there doesn’t seem to be much at all holding this show together.

It’s probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, up there with Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and Paprika. I was told there’s a lot of symbolism but all I really saw was a bunch of crazy crap. There’s a factory in the shape of a giant clothes-iron, the aforementioned forehead-spewed robots, astral pirate gods, loads of panty-shots, hectic manga interludes, water-based reanimation, pyromaniacs, spontaneous disappearances, and much, much more. It makes no sense at all until maybe half-way through the three hour run, and even then it’s pretty much indecipherable.

Still, it’s entertaining. I assume a few metric tons of hallucinogens went into its production costs.

30 August 2010

Piranha 3D


I don’t normally watch movies like this. Especially not in theaters. The closest I’ve seen is Jaws, which is one of the reasons I decided to see this one, since it pays homage to Jaws quite a bit. The opening scene features Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper from said film, and then basically takes the opening scene from Jaws and multiplies it by a thousand.

While it takes nearly all of its cues from schlockfests of yesteryear, I don’t consider it schlock. It’s really a quality collection of homage and pulp in an exciting package. The nearly endless supply of womanly bits doesn’t hurt in the least, of course, especially in THE 3RD DIMENSION. There’s a couple other great cameos too, like Christopher Lloyd as the crazed marine biologist, and Eli Roth as a somewhat nameless but hilariously disposed red-shirt. The acting from the main cast isn’t really anything special but they kept me entertained.

The story really doesn’t merit any sort of mention, and that’s okay! It’s not the kind of movie you watch for intellectual stimulation. Most of the plot points rely on human stupidity that is so rampant in movies like this. Otherwise it’s just a visual feast of usually tolerable gore amidst a sea of swaying mammaries. Fun!

I have to say though, this is the first 3D movie I’ve seen that was post-converted, and I was disgusted by that aspect most of the time. The CGI bits were just fine, but there were just so many moments in the live-action parts that just made my head spin or looked downright awful. There’s a scene with a depth-of-field-blurred chain-link fence that’s just horrendous. This crap needs to stop.

26 August 2010

You, the Living

Hey, hey, remember that one time that I said Swedes are good at making movies? I’m probably still right. Apparently though I don’t really like all good movies.

This ponderous collection of useless mini-stories about useless people has gotten some pretty darn good reviews from pretty important people. Ebert gave it four stars and called it Perfect. Even Armond White likes this stuff for some reason. Ideally, I should like it too, based on the concept alone; it’s supposedly a black comedy with absurdist bits shot in an unconventional manner (paraphrased from Wikipedia). This sounds a lot like Brazil or something, which I do enjoy from time to time. However, so much of this movie is just drawn out nothing that I got bored with it almost as soon as it started. There are several musical segments, which I think are done wrong; movies like Scott Pilgrim and That Thing You Do have the right idea in this arena, here they’re just bland monotonous dirges. Several of the conversations are just people talking into phones.

The absurdist parts were pretty much the only bits I enjoyed; a couple times a character would describe a dream they had, and then it would be played out as they dictated. They were still slow but at least some weird stuff happened. The other unusual thing was the common thread among the characters in that they all seemed to think very little of themselves, and would often let other people know this at length. It got pretty annoying really.

I think I can see how somebody might enjoy this, but really it’s just way too boring and disjointed to keep my interest. Most other movies with multiple storylines have a much better defined intersection. This is pretty much just a gallery of misery.

25 August 2010

The Seventh Seal


Chances are you’ve seen this iconic image before. It’s also quite likely that you’ve never seen the movie. I finally watched it last night because it showed up in my Netflix suggestions for some reason, and I had recollections of hearing that it was really good or something, and had an interesting discussion about the existence of God. Didn’t really know much else about it, and figured it was a short film composed of a single game of chess in the setting seen in the aforementioned image. It’s not really, and it’s not in English either, which I didn’t expect; strangely enough, it’s a Swedish film, which further supports my suspicion that Swedes are generally really good at making movies.

It is in fact about a knight who just got back from the Crusades and ends up playing chess with the personification of Death. There’s a bunch more to it though, including an entertaining cast of characters and a lots of stuff about the Bubonic Plague, witch burnings, hatred of women, and of course the question of God’s existence. Our friend the knight is very disillusioned following the ill-advised crusades. He’s reached the point in his religious life where he’s doubting that God really hears his prayers, and is searching for a way to really find him and question him. It just so happens that his time on the earth is up, and Death is here to take his soul; the knight takes this opportunity to challenge Death to a game of chess which he of course cannot refuse, in hopes of gleaning theistic knowledge. This game takes place in short segments throughout the movie.

Aside from the knight, there’s a band of musicians/actors, one of whom sees visions of religious figures. There’s also the knight’s squire, who sings rather depressing songs and dishes out a lot of cynical rhetoric primarily about the fickle tendencies of women, and a rather dumb blacksmith who ends up following the group and failing to learn anything. The witch-burning bit surrounds a youthful women who has been accused of communing with the devil and bringing the Plague; the knight seems very intent on getting some information from her about the deity she’s supposed to have known, in order to find God, but she isn’t very helpful. Even so, he tries to help her a little, but it still doesn’t end well, just gut-wrenching emotionally.

The Plague of course is discussed quite a bit, mostly in conjunction with the Church’s reaction, some of which is self-flagellation and doomsaying. The movie does not paint the Church in any sort of positive light. I think I can see where Monty Python got a lot of their inspiration for The Quest for the Holy Grail.

It’s a very dark, cynical movie, with few light-hearted moments. The knight is a very cool character to watch, and his squire something of a badass from time to time. The movie has been praised as a cinematographic masterpiece, which I suppose it is for its time. Not every scene was shot that great, but the first chess segment is of course wonderful though short. Definitely a quality movie. I don’t think I have the chops to give the actual theological meat of it a good analysis, so I’m just going to stop here.

24 August 2010

Grindhouse: Death Proof

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"Dude cut himself falling out of his time machine"

That line is pretty descriptive of this movie itself. It’s an exercise in a few specific styles of movie-making, as Quentin Tarantino loves to do. It’s not really a period movie; it’s in a modern setting but it’s made to look like it isn’t with scratchy post-processing, a black-and-white segment, and intentionally crappy transitions, coupled with a number of vintage cars. It’s almost divided into the classic three acts by the visual styles. It kind of made me nostalgic without really having seen any of the movies it’s referencing.

It does actually reference movies explicitly too, most notable Vanishing Point, which I know nothing about. It’s pretty easy to figure out that it’s a car movie though, which I guess is a little meta. That and the characters looking at the camera every once in a while. As far as plot classification goes it’s half exploitation and half female empowerment. First it’s all about pretty girls doing pretty girl things within Tarantino’s world of long conversations about sex and other sundry things, then almost the whole cast changes and it’s chicks being pretty and kicking ass. The second half is very much a car movie while the first is much more personal, which is a little ironic considering what happens at the midpoint.

The car bit gets really exciting but a little confounding; there’s a rather lengthy dangerous situation that could have been cut short pretty easily at several points, but just keeps going to maintain the action/suspense. I guess it makes sense in the context of Grindhouse. Anyway the action is pretty great and makes up for the betrayal of the first half. Kurt Russel puts out probably the best performance I’ve seen of his, although I haven’t seen much. The female cast also does a great job even with Tarantino’s incredibly long takes. Enjoyable movie.

Also, butts.

23 August 2010

Pushing Daisies

Here’s another one of those shows that just couldn’t keep me hooked, and took me a rather long time to finish, joining the ranks with Angel and The Sopranos (of which I’ve only seen the first season). Neither of those were bad shows really, and it’s the same with this one. Angel picked up later on and I can’t really come up with a good reason why I didn’t enjoy The Sopranos. Pushing Daisies, however, is a bit easier to analyze in this regard. It’s just too damn sweet.

I don’t mean sweet like “Hey that’s a sweet car bro,” I mean saccharine. Pretty much every character’s main features are cuteness and lovability. The relationships are filled with a devotion that borders and often crosses the creepy line, and every “cute” trait that an actor possesses is accentuated in every way possible. Every color is vibrant. The main location in the show is a pie-only restaurant. It’s just a little bit ridiculous.

There is a reason for this though. The show is about death, straight up. Other shows such as Six Feet Under have tackled this in different ways, but Bryan Fuller decided to take the extreme polarity route to make it seem less morbid. Every episode deals with a murder of some wacky sort, and the main cast does there thing to solve it. This thing is the main conceit; Ned, the main character, can bring people back from the dead by touching them. Of course there’s a catch: if he leaves them alive for more than a minute, some other thing of roughly the same size and in the same area must die. He can touch the newly revived again to set them back in their graves before that minute runs out in order to avoid such an occurrence, but there have been a few notable instances where he held back, namely his dog Digby and his girlfriend Chuck. You have to remember that he can never touch them lest they fall from their coil of mortality, which becomes pretty much the main plot thread throughout the two seasons.

Aside from Ned and Chuck we have a few other pretty cool characters. Emerson Cod is a private investigator who uses Ned’s gift to get more money (but he’s pretty nice about it). He’s probably the biggest source of laughs with at least one dismissive one-liner per show, such as “Where'd I put that rat's ass I could give?” Also there’s Olive, who embodies the show’s sweet/cute gimmick to a fault. She’s got a sickeningly high voice to match her diminutive stature and elfin features, coupled with a tendency to show a lot of cleavage whenever she’s in front of the camera. She’s got a thing for Ned which makes for an entertaining but somewhat dreary love triangle. Then there’s Chuck’s two aunts who don’t know she’s alive. One’s a hardass and the other could be Olive’s mother if she were a blonde. Keeping them in the dark becomes another main plot thread, although it’s a bit odd that they dismiss the possibility of letting them in on the secret so finally, stating that the shock would kill them (I think they’d be alright).

So anyway it seems the rest of the world, or at least those with ratings boxes, had the same reaction to the show as I did. It had a truncated first season due to the Writer’s Guild strike of ‘07, and the second season floundered. The final episode’s shooting had wrapped before they knew it was cancelled, but enough people loved the show that they were able to pull together enough money to piece together a sort of resolution montage that really was quite touching. I can’t say I would have been all that excited about a third season, but it was often entertaining in its extremely quirky little way, and television is a bit sadder without it.

18 August 2010

The Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans


This is one of those movies that you don’t expect to be good because it stars Nic Cage, and then you find out Werner Herzog directed it.

Actually I don’t really have a lot against Cage; I haven’t seen all of his movies, but from what I can tell, his performance relies a lot on the quality of the direction. The biggest turd that I have seen was Ghost Rider, ‘nuff said. Herzog is anything but a bad director, and it shows in this film.

I guess it’s a remake of the 1992 movie Bad Lieutenant, but I haven’t seen it. From what I just read about it there are a few differences in the plot but it’s generally the same theme. Said theme is one of a quest for redemption amid spiraling failures. Cage’s character is a police detective who has a lot of destructively bad habits, some brought on by a near debilitating back injury. In this aspect he’s very similar to Gregory House from House MD, although he’s actually quite a bit more of an asshole; he does things that hurt himself and others almost flippantly. For a reason that’s never explained he has a ridiculously gorgeous escort girlfriend played by Eva Mendes. She, among other things, becomes an object of his redemption.

The main plotline begins with a multiple homicide. Some vestige of goodness leads Cage to adopt the case very seriously, although his attentions will not be fully focused on it due to his many problems. Oddly though his very horrible decisions eventually lead to many favorable outcomes, while it seems that every time he tries to do something positive it smacks him in the face. In the end he seems very confused but a little happier perhaps.

What makes this a great movie in my eyes is a combination of weirdly wonderful cinematography and sudden bursts of insanity. There are several moments where the camera obliquely focuses on lizards, specifically alligators and iguanas; it’s probably some sort of symbolism but I don’t really know, I just like how strange it is. Then Cage, usually while under the influence of powerful narcotics, says darkly hilarious things in his trademark wobbly voice to chilling effect. You may have seen the “His soul is still dancing!” scene in the previews. Herzog describes the film as a sort of a dark comedy that doesn’t seem like one, but it might make you laugh in a way that you don’t really understand. Definitely in my case.

16 August 2010

Avatar: The Last Airbender


The only other Nickelodeon show I think I’ve seen is Invader Zim. Now that I’m not 8 years old anymore, I generally don’t tune into that channel. However, I am a nerd, and according the the current nerd consensus, I am required to watch this show that aired a few years ago. I remember seeing ads in stores and whatnot for it and being generally dismissive of them. Apparently I shouldn’t have done that. It took a crappy movie to bring the discussion of this show’s merits up enough to get me interested.

So the show is about this kid Aang who is the reincarnation of a line of powerful “benders,” or people with the ability to manipulate the traditional elements with martial arts. He’s been frozen in a giant ball of ice for a hundred years while the world is ravaged a by a war that began in his absence, perpetrated by the obviously evil Fire Nation. He’s discovered by a brother and sister from a Water tribe and thus begins their three-season adventure and quest to end the war.

Since Aang is a kid, he hasn’t had time to master the four elements; he was born an Airbender and he’s pretty good at that, which is a good thing because all the other Airbenders are dead at this point, presumably from a sort of Herodic holocaust meant to get rid of him, which he missed by running away and getting himself frozen. He still has to learn the other three though and in a specific order for a reason that isn’t really explained beyond a traditional association with the four seasons. This leads to a lot of traveling and meeting esoteric characters of varying interest in locales firmly compartmented into the four elemental categories. The core cast grows a bit, including the antagonists who are really quite well developed, although those who are given special attention of course eventually join the main group to be good guys.

Each season ends with an epic battle of sorts, in line with the Tolkein method of fantasy, which is a pretty solid method to follow. These battles lead up to the finale where Aang has to face the Fire Lord, and make the decision whether to kill him or let him live, since this is a kid’s show the outcome is pretty easy to predict for the most part. I think it ended well enough though.

It isn’t all business, far from it. Especially in the first season it’s a very goofy show, pretty much what you’d expect for an American kids’ comedy, but usually not embarrassingly so; it borrows a ton from Japanese animation in both drawing style and cultural themes, but leaves out most of the crap. Its been said that a lot of it is very similar to Studio Ghibli’s stuff which is anything but a criticism. As the show progresses it gets less and less goofy and more ominous, while keeping the light-hearted fun from being totally stifled with somewhat filler-y bits. The action scenes are always a treat, and some of the romance is almost entertaining but usually just pretty awkward.

There are a bunch of references to other shows, not all animated, like the creepy violin crescendo from Lost after Aang realizes he’s on a weird island, and one episode is filled with anime references in a string of dream sequences. Incidentally both of these episodes were in the third season which I thought was by far the strongest.

It’s a pretty fun show all told, although I don’t think it really hit me as hard as most people I’ve heard talk about it. Certainly not as much as it affected M. Knight Shamalamadingdong. I don’t plan on ever watching his interpretation; this show should not be brought to the big screen, it’s just too much of a comedic/action epic to treated properly without making it stupid, as proven. So if you’ve written the show off based on that monstrosity, please reconsider and check this out for some good clean fun. It’s on Netflix instant watch, so there’s not a whole lot stopping you.

15 August 2010

The Expendables


Somebody already wrote a plot summary.

But seriously folks, if you want to see a bunch of old guys (and Jason Statham) reliving their glory years in the most unoriginal, tired action movie trope fest this year, then The Expendables is the movie for you. You also get treated to a hollow and small performance by the beautiful Charisma Carpenter, and if you’re a Dexter fan then you’ll recognize David Zayas who also doesn’t get to really shine.

I guess some people enjoyed it though. Every time somebody’s torso got torn in half there was a row of guys in front of me who would all yell out a synchronized “OOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!," and sometimes they would jump out of their seats. Fun enough I guess.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (film)


The first thing you should read in this post is the tag list at the bottom, because I normally just use them for categorization of the primary medium used in the thing I’m writing about, but for this movie, I felt it an injustice not to include the other tags; without those media this film would be a much lesser thing.

I first heard of Scott Pilgrim shortly after I finally read Watchmen and was looking around for more awesome comics to read. I put it in my mental list and tried other stuff for a while. Then a friend nagged me into reading it a couple or so years ago. It didn’t really impress me that much, mostly because of the absence of color for the majority of the run, and the very stylized manga-ish look of the characters. It also bored me a bit for some reason, can’t remember why. Maybe it was because I was actually one of the few kids of my generation denied video games until I could pay for them myself. Still, it had a lot of cool elements, like the slightly comedic “stats” boxes that would show up next to characters from time to time, and the surreal nature of their lives in this multimedia universe.

I can’t remember when I heard about a movie being made; it might have been after I finished the second-to-last volume, maybe in the middle somewhere. Anyway, I immediately realized that this was a completely awesome idea. It could work so much better as a movie with crazy CG special affects and whatnot; also the fact that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) was directing was a huge plus. One of the biggest reasons though is the prevalence of music alongside the video game aspects of the comic; there are several moments where music is shown as being extremely powerful and impactful, and the only way that can be done in comics is with imagery, which is normally not how the power of music is realized. Bryan Lee O’Malley did a good job with it, but still I really wanted to hear what these characters were so awed by.

So now we get the movie itself. From the very first minute to the last, my head was stretched wide with grins. Everything that had been missing in the comic was present in the movie, along with every great aspect that showed up on those black and white pages. It’s an amalgam of all the media that have been molding my generation for the last 20-30 years in a very pleasantly surreal romantic action-comedy. Pretty much every character on the screen is exactly how I imagined them while reading the book, even the one-dimensional Evil Exes. The jokes are 5 times funnier, the onomatopoeia 3 times more effective even when entirely unnecessary in the presence of sound, and the chicks are way hotter with normal sized eyes. Michael Cera’s role is being lauded as a perfect representation, and while I don’t 100% agree with that, I think he did an excellent job that transcends his previous work.

As mentioned, the music is a very important part of the story, and pretty much every moment involving music is pure magic. Artists like Broken Social Scene, The Black Keys and Beck were brought on board to make the sounds described visually in the comic into a reality. While music is always subjective, I think with the combination of the visuals it could not have been done much better.

This is the kind of comic-book adaptation that I’m hoping The Walking Dead turns out to be. An improvement rather than an attempt at an homage.

12 August 2010

Death at a Funeral (2007)


Hey look, it’s another one of those disaster comedies that I so dislike that I keep watching more of them.

This is of course not the American version with Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan, but strangely enough it is the one with Peter Dinklage, because he’s in both of them playing the same character (with a different name). I haven’t seen the new version and I probably never will, since it’s the same exact movie without the British edge to the humor, which makes it an entirely pointless remake. Also, thanks to that movie you probably know the whole plot already just from the previews. I guess that saves me from writing about it.

It’s really funny though even after the American previews spoiled the majority of the jokes. Just about every character is a total dick in some way or another, and those that aren’t keep getting shoved around like they’re worthless, or in Alan Tudyk’s case they get pumped full of hallucinogens. Alan’s performance was of course my favorite, although it was pretty weird hearing him speak with a faux-British accent. As mentioned up at the top there, everything is always going wrong until the end. There were some moments that just made me cringe and laugh at the same time; I kept having to remind myself that this is a movie, not my life. Nothing to worry about. Just laugh. So I did.

As I’m really not very good at writing reviews of movies themselves, I think I’ll end that right here. Instead I’m going to talk about remakes for a bit. This one had no reason to be remade in the English language whatsoever. I hate Hollywood a bit more for that. However, there has been the recent trend in remaking awesome Swedish films based on their source material, like Let the Right One In (to be Let Me In), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The former seems to be actually turning out very well, and I’m looking forward to its release. There hasn’t been much development on the latter yet, although interestingly there was rumor a while back that Yo-Landi Vi$$er of the somewhat-underground Die Antwoord was offered the role of Lisbeth. Unfortunately it was later confirmed along with the news that she had declined it. I think she would have been great; she’s got that weird look and intensity that Noomi Rapace put on the screen so well. I guess she didn’t think she could do it justice. Daniel Craig is confirmed as Mikael Blomkvist though, which seems alright to me.

Anyway, there have been some really good remakes in the past, and there will probably be more. It would be nice though if people would start coming up with their own ideas for movies.

08 August 2010

The Other Guys


I don’t think I’ve seen that many buddy-cop movies. The most similar thing to this movie that I can think of is Rush Hour. The Other Guys has less action and gets a bit more ridiculous in its humor, and is altogether less memorable. However, it was a fun ride and probably Ferrell’s best work in a number of years.

The plot isn’t worth writing about really; where it shines is the dialogue. Sam L Jackson and The Rock start it off with some absolutely over-the-top action and Sam’s trademark foul-mouthing, and then Ferrell and Wahlberg take over for the rest of the movie. Ferrell of course the main source of laughs, playing a an overtly bland cop to foil Wahlberg, who basically plays himself. It’s kind of similar to Dinner for Schmucks really, in that Ferrell is kind of playing a happy idiot, but there’s more to him than that; he has a dark past that he’s trying to bury with his ever-so-normal life, which isn’t really normal. I particularly enjoyed the the way every hot girl he comes in contact with becomes instantly infatuated with him, much to Wahlberg’s confusion.

It’s a fun enough movie and it really doesn’t try to stick to any sort of reality, which is cool. I think making it a cop movie helped to reign it in a little which may have helped keeping it from getting too ridiculous to stay funny, but I miss Anchorman.

01 August 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo who Played with Fire


It’s actually two movies, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire, and there’s another one coming out later called The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. I just thought since these words will be about both movies I should get them both in the title.

I watched the first movie shortly after Roger Ebert started going nuts over it on the twitters. The main reason I think was because of the girl, one Lisbeth Salander (played by Noomi Rapace) whose gothic portrayal interested me a lot. You don’t see a lot of movies like this with protagonists like that. Anyway, the trilogy of Swedish movies is based on a book trilogy which I haven’t read, collectively called the Millennium Trilogy. The title of the book the first film is based on literally translates to “Men Who Hate Women,” which is the main theme of the story. There’s lots of rape, murder, and various other brutality, and some excellent retaliation in the form of Lisbeth’s vengeful personality.

The first movie is a cold-case murder mystery amid a wonderful character study. The other protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist, is an investigative reporter who runs foul of some powerful people and gets set up for some jail time. He gets six months before he has to go though, and some rich old guy contacts him about investigating the disappearance of his adopted daughter forty years ago. Turns out she was his babysitter a little while before that so he has some personal stake in it and accepts. Meanwhile, Lisbeth has an interest in this guy’s life because she was hired to investigate him, and ends up helping him with the case. She’s just gone through some rather nasty stuff with some dastardly men (which she handled in a completely badass way), and over time begins to see Mikael as a light of hope in a world that seems set on hurting her, while clinging to her mantra of solitude. This leads to some great relationship stuff and an awesome conclusion to the mystery.

Aside from the story, the film is great because it’s quite a slow film, taking its time to show beautiful and horrific scenes, build characters, and make the audience invest themselves in the investigation through wonderfully engaging riddle-solving. There isn’t a terrific amount of action in this one, but there are moments that are very gripping. It’s very easy to get emotionally involved in it.

The second film was directed by a different guy, so it’s a bit different. There’s a lot more action and a fair bit more skin. Still, it continues the story pretty brilliantly and the two main characters continue to be played to perfection. A little disappointingly though, Lisbeth and Mikael don’t actually meet up until the end of the film. They have tenuous contact here and there but mostly it’s two separate but interacting storylines. I suppose it’s necessitated by Lisbeth’s continued claim to loner-hood, but I would have enjoyed some more interaction between the main characters.

I can’t really go into the story much because the plot relies on the story from the first film, and thus discussing it would require explaining the stuff I left out in my first summary. It mostly focuses on a bunch of people in governmental/police positions taking advantage of women who no one cares about, which is of course the theme of these stories. There’s a bunch more murder and stuff and our heroes get embroiled in it by association. Instead of Mikael getting set up this time it’s Lisbeth, and Mikael sets out to clear her name. Lisbeth of course would rather take it into her own hands despite the heightened danger posed by some rather imposing fellows. Still, she hands out a few cans of whoop-ass, and with the help of Mikael and his team, brings a little justice to the world.

A very good movie, but not as good as the first. I’m hoping the third can live up to it.

This is the first time I’ve seen an indie/foreign film in a theater. Living in the DC area has its perks, I guess. Parking was ridiculous though. Also the subtitles weren’t integrated at all well; they were always completely white with no outline, so you couldn’t really read them at all during light-colored scenes. Guess I’ll have to wait until the Blu-Ray comes out to really know what’s going on.