December 21, 2011, - 5:21 pm

Midweek Box Office: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Adventures of Tintin

By Debbie Schlussel

While there are at least two FOUR REAGAN movies coming out later in this pre-Christmas week (stay tuned for my upcoming reviews), I’m not exactly thrilled with the two new movies out today, though one is far worse than the other:

*  “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“:  I’m not really sure why they re-made this movie, other than the language issues (the original is in Swedish).  Aside from that, it’s virtually the exact same movie as the Swedish version (read my review), other than a different cast.  Yes, there are a few tiny, minor scenes that weren’t in the original.  But that’s it.  If you saw the Swedish silver screen version of this Stieg Larsson novel, then you are wasting your time at this incarnation.  And, even if you didn’t see the original, I don’t recommend this.  I didn’t like the original, and as this is an exact replica, I found nothing to like in this one either.  There’s the same boring, waaaaay toooo looooong story (the movie is nearly three hours).  There is the same brutal rape scene and then a revenge anal rape scene.  Is this movie escapism for you?  It isn’t for me.  Sorry.  And the “mystery” isn’t all that mysterious or anything I cared about.  Didn’t enthrall me for a second.

Daniel Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a left-wing journalist who tries to take down a corporate CEO in the newspaper he and his married girlfriend founded.  Instead, he finds himself, at the beginning of the movie, convicted of defaming the CEO and stuck with a giant judgment against him.  Soon, he is approached by the lawyer for a different wealthy Swedish CEO (Christopher Plummer), who wants  Mikael to investigate the disappearance of his young niece.  Several of the man’s close relatives were Nazis, all wealthy, and they all live on the same luxe Island in their mansion compounds.  Mikael takes the assignment because of the money.  He needs a research assistant and soon finds himself with Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the bisexual, much-pierced, and mega-tattooed goth researcher who did the background check on him for this assignment.  Lisbeth is a ward of the state because she was convicted of a crime as a juvenile.  Her probation officer repeatedly makes her perform oral sex on him, then rapes her.  Oh, and he won’t give her the money she needs out of her bank account.  I could tell you more, as I did in my original review of this movie.  But then it would spoil the rest of the whole rancid, waste of time thing.

This movie’s gotten much hype, but there’s little to substantiate that faux excitement.  It’s a dark, high-styled movie, but the plot and story leave little to be desired.  The ending is silly, too.

This is what left-wing thrillers are all about:  darkness, the alleged evil character of corporations and their CEOs, and the virtue and righteousness of “journalists” who write for left-wing rags trying to take them down.  Stieg Larsson was a far leftist, a hater of capitalism, and a supporter of all things radical.  Sadly, his thriller books–with a very clear agenda propagated in them–are all best-sellers.

On the other hand, Larsson is now worm food or in some place hot with the ghost of Bin Laden.  See, there’s a silver lining in everything.


Watch the trailer.  .  .

*  “The Adventures of Tintin“:  This is fine for kids, and there’s nothing objectionable about it.  But it’s just that it was too long and boring.  If I was bored (and about a half hour into it, I was), kids might be bored, too.  Even though it’s less than two hours, it seemed like three.  It’s not tightly knit together, there are too many scenes and stories packed into one, and it’s kind of confusing.

In this animated movie made by Steven Spielberg a/k/a “Abu Spielberg,” Tintin is a young journalist, who buys a model ship in the town flea market.  But a number of other people are after the model ship, causing a break-in at Tintin’s apartment and a number of odysseys by Tintin and Captain Haddock, an old, drunken sea captain, whose ancestor knew where the treasure was.  They are searching for treasure, using clues found in the ship and several locales, including Morocco (always gotta gratuitously insert those Muslims into movies, right?), where the Sheikh has a model of the Unicorn, which contains one of the clues to finding the treasure.

There is plenty of swashbuckling, chasing, and the like.  But, again, it just went on forever and could have been a half hour shorter at the least.  But for kids, it’s fine.  At the beginning it’s an intriguing story, but then it becomes a drag.  Daniel Craig is one of the voices to the animated characters in this movie.


Watch the trailer . . .

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15 Responses

You know, Debbie, my daughter has had one of the books read to her and saw the previews. When I asked her did she want to see it, her 8 year old brain told me “no.” Obviously, if I am getting her to agree with you (she also despises Justin Bieber), I’m doing well.

Occam's Tool on December 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Sorry Deb, but I disagree with the review of the Swedish version of Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. The truth be told, the corporation’s executive reminds me of the Nazi who created Ikea.

The Swedes were strong supporters of Hitler, and made everything from ball bearings to steel to other materials for the Nazi war effort. Many of the Swedes who founded and headed major corporations were, and still are Nazis.

As to the young woman and her “foster caretaker,” well, that is also very realistic.

At least this movie sheds a little light on the subject. And at least this is one movie where a Jew is not a bad guy, as is found in so many movies and television shows, which are funded by Kuwait.

JG: Actually, we don’t disagree. I’m not saying that Swedes were not Nazis. They were, and this needs to be told. I’m just saying that it wasn’t interesting or useful in the way it was portrayed in the movie. In fact, it was glossed over like it was nothing and not detailed in any way or viewed negatively enough. Saying people were Nazis but not showing anything much that they did bad during WWII doesn’t really make any points or do anything for me. And the CEO who is defamed was not a Nazi (just his relatives), nor was the CEO who hires Mikael Blomkvist. DS

Jonathan E. Grant on December 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm


    Happy Chanukkah!

    This is the first I’ve ever heard about Swedes being Nazi.

    If Sweden supported the Third Reich, then why did the Danes smuggle their Jewish refugees into Sweden for protection?

    What about that famous Swedish ambassador, Raoul Wallenberg?

    I just read that he saved thousands of Jewish lives in Hungary.

    By the way, I recently saw something interesting on another web site.

    The Finnish Air Force still uses the swastika as a symbol for their training command.

    However, the Finnish swastika (if that’s what it’s called – – – and I rather doubt it) does not represent Nazis, and existed long before Hitler began using it.

    The swastika symbol, or “wheel of life”, is actually very ancient, having been used in India and also by American Indians, which is why it used to be featured on Arizona state highway signs, and was also used by the Boy Scouts of America, who admire and emulate the American Indians.

    Even the Nazi salute was stolen.

    It’s actually called a Roman salute, and prior to the Second World War, it was used by children when pledging allegiance to the American flag.

    Thank you.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Armed Forces Retirement Home
    Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

    John Robert Mallernee on December 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Here is your answer about Sweden and other alleged neutrals:

      Sweden and other countries, such as Switzerland, were more than happy to deal with the Third Reich during the Second World War. It was quite lucrative for them to do so. Neutral countries allowed Nazi Germany to evade economic sanctions and blockades. Through services, raw material exports, and financial facilities, these neutrals allowed the Third Reich to remain economically and militarily viable until nearly the end. The war might have ended in Europe by the end of 1943, if not for such assistance.

      Worry on December 22, 2011 at 2:43 am

you’re absolutely right there debbie, also there were some black bad guys on the boat hint hint ;)- always gotta gratuitously insert those negros into movies, right?),

jonnyboy on December 22, 2011 at 6:28 am

“including Morocco (always gotta gratuitously insert those Muslims into movies, right?)”

Yes, I’m sure that was all about “gratuitously inserting those Muslims into movies” and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that The Adventures of Tintin takes place in Africa a bunch of times. You do realize France was a colonial power and had a lot of land in Africa up until not long ago and that’s why the comic strips takes place so much in Africa, right?

André on December 22, 2011 at 6:55 am

jonnyboy, do you comprehend the difference between a “race” and a “religion?” Hmmm?? Or is that a little bit over your shallow, dumbass head?

PDMac60 on December 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

Morocco’s not all bad, you know. It was the first country to sign a peace treaty with the U.S., and recognize us as an independent state. Also, we have the longest treaty with Morocco.

Morocco was owned/occupied by France for a very long time, and that changed its culture, significantly, I think. Really, though, you rarely see Morocco in the news. You don’t hear about Moroccan terrorists on flights. There are more freedoms there than in other Middle-eastern countries.

So, if they had to choose such a country, with a sheikh, or whatever, I’m glad they chose Morocco.

Michelle on December 22, 2011 at 11:42 am


Wasn’t Zacharias Mussaoui Moroccan? French-Moroccan, but Moroccan nonetheless?


I wonder whether they’d show Tintin adventures like The Red Sea Sharks, where a bunch of Blacks who were making a pilgrimage to Mecca on one of Capt Haddock’s ships were actually destined for the slave trade, and it was only after Tintin & Haddock exposed that fact to them that they changed their minds about wanting to make that pilgrimage. I can’t imagine it being shown, since such a depiction would be damning to Muslims – particularly Arabs. Granted, there were Muslims on both sides – Tintin’s, as well as his enemies, but it would at least expose Arabs for being the only ones practicing slavery to this day.

Talking about Muslims in Tintin books, it was there in Red Sea Sharks, Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Crab with the Golden Claws, and Land of Black Gold.

However, Secret of the Unicorn & its sequel Red Rackham’s Treasure, if the movie was based on this, didn’t have any Muslims, since it was totally based in Europe, which @ the time was a Muslim free zone.

Having said all that, Georges Remi a.k.a. Hergé, is someone who apparently thought of America as a gangster country, as Tintin in America would demonstrate – Chicago mafia == America in his view. Although to be fair to him, most of those books were written in the 30s, when Muslims were not perceived as the biggest threat. Also, while I’ve never read that one particular Tintin book, the one that started it all was ‘Tintin in the Land of the Soviets’, which was quite an anti-Communist story, if far fetched.

Infidel on December 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Stieg Larsson is in a warm place with the ghost of Bin Laden? Why? Because he is a socialist and radical? WTF? I must be missing something about the history of Larsson, but I was under the impression he was against violence toward women due to an incident he witnessed when he was younger. He used the them of violence toward women because of that incident. I do agree the movie was too long, but to say the guy is in hell with a mass murder is extreme in its own right.

Chris on December 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I haven’t seen TinTin, nor will I. Georges Remi a.k.a. Hergé wrote some rather anti-semitic strips in the 1930’s and when his new paper collaborated with the Nazis. I almost fell out of my seat when I say that Spielberg was involved in this project. I’m not suggesting that everything Hergé did was antisemitic, but TinTin began as an education tool for Catholics who didn’t like Freemasons, Capitalists, or Jews.

There is nothing hidden about this either. The wikipedia page is not a great source, but I din’t see anything wrong in it.
I learned about this from our French teacher, a Belgian Catholic of Sephardic ancestry, who was visibly disgusted when one of the students did a report on it using a re-edited version.

RonL on December 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm


Right is ALWAYS wrong on December 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Excellent reviews, Debbie. You nailed Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with this comment: “This is what left-wing thrillers are all about: darkness, the alleged evil character of corporations and their CEOs, and the virtue and righteousness of “journalists” who write for left-wing rags trying to take them down.” I loved this encapsulation. Other fairly recent examples of this corrupted subgenre include Edge of Darkness (the 2010 Mel Gibson movie where CEOs are plutocrats trying to release uranium into the city), Fair Game (Valerie Plame hagiography-thriller), Polanski’s The Ghost Writer which carps at moderate Tony Blair, etc.

In addition to being trivial because it’s part of this corrupted liberal subgenre, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is particularly repellant also because it’s a mean-spirited feminist revenge fantasy–very typically Scandinavian in that way (dating back through Ibsen and Bergman). As Skunky so correctly pointed out a couple weeks ago, the Swedes–Larsson included– are a bankrupt culture who have little to offer the world in terms of art, culture, philosophy or products. Their award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama two years ago confirmed their status as world clown and laughingstock.

I also appreciated your comment to Jonathan E. Grant above about Nazis and films. Just because a liberal sticks a Nazi in a basically socialist film or novel doesn’t make the film or novel more palatable. It’s well known that liberals are deluded into thinking that Nazis are conservatives even though Naziism is, of course, socialist in every shape and form including its very name (National SOCIALIST party) as well as its identity politics, radical health-food and animal-rights advocacy, scorn of capitalism for its supposed anarchic tendencies, fanatical commitment to nationalized health care, etc. Hitler was FDR’s greatest fan–a fact not often brought out in history books for some odd reason. This characterization of the bad guys as Nazi-CEOs is just tinsel Larsson uses to whip up the ignorant liberal base who are easily fooled.

And if anyone doubts this assessment I just made that liberals are ignorant buffoons, just check out Right is Always wrong’s comment above.

Burke on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 pm

After seeing the mediocre Swedish version and reading your review I was hesitant about seeing the American version. I don’t know what you saw Deb but it was nothing like the Swedish version. As far as film adaptions of books go this one was mostly accurate and thorough. With that being said, if you didn’t read the book you will not like the movie. It is long and you will probably have no clue what is going on. You really have to read the book first.

albert on December 29, 2011 at 2:13 am

Three hours? Nope, nine hours+-. Also The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Gotta take issue with you on this one. This trilogy is one of my faves. One of the best revenge movies I’ve ever seen. Tattoo is just the teaser. Yeah, it’s long and slow, but you have a long attention span.

Pray Hard on November 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

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