I’ve got a backlog of movie and music reviews to pass along, so here they are in lunch hour short form .
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Swedish, with subtitles)
I watched this Swedish trilogy over the course of one week, and really liked all three movies, though the first was exceptional. My only caveat in recommending is that much of the plot of Dragon Tattoo centers around a brutal and extended sexual assault scene, so caveat emptor going in if you decide to pull the trigger. To say that this sequence (as well as a couple of related follow up scenes) is graphic and uncomfortable would be an extreme understatement. It is, however, central to the plot line and not played for any type of cheap or sensational thrill. Otherwise, all three films play out like with a combination of a quality whodunit and spy thriller. Well worth your time. There’s an American adaptation of Dragon Tattoo in the works, apparently b/c Americans can’t read subtitles. It’s not needed – stick to the originals, based on the international best sellers by Steig Larson.
Let the Right On In (Swedish, with subtitles)
I didn’t plan for my movie viewing to be dominated by Swedish films, as you will become most painfully obvious in a minute, but I’m sure glad I did. I’d nominate this as one of my favorite movies that I’ve seen over the past year or so. Nominally a vampire film, and one that would take those Twilight kid vamp films out back behind the shed and give them a serious, brutal butt kicking, it’s a heart the story of two alienated kids and the consequences of their isolation and bullying. Another one that got or has gotten a US remake, but again you won’t regret seeking out this original.
Hot Tub Time Machine
Lest you think I’m so high brow snob sitting around watching foreign films all day. I went into this with such low expectations, but actually ended up enjoying it. Cheeseball in every way, but definitely worth your time if you’ve got nothing else compelling stacked up in your NetFlix streaming queue. The one downside to this movie was that, having enjoyed one questionable John Cusack movie with unexpected results, I thought, “What the heck” and pulled the trigger on….
Oh man. What a heaping pile of dung this movie is. Normally, I can take the giant leaps of faith necessary to enjoy just about any cheesy disaster flick (for some odd, inexplicable reason, I get sucked into watching The Day After Tomorrow every time I come across it on cable, for example). Not this time, this was one leap of cheese faith too far even for me. Anyone involved in the sequence where JC and his family fly out of LA on the prop plane, dodging falling buildings, flying trains, and huge chunks of earth should be charged with some crime and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Awful, just awful.
(And one album review to toss in)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
Picked this one up on vinyl and Record Store Day and have just enjoyed the heck out of this record. It’s got an excellent 90’s alternative vibe going (in a good way) and sounds like the best two albums Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine never made. I had the first three tracks on the album on heavy replay all weekend, much to the chagrin of my boys (payback for making me watch Lemonade Mouth on Disney Channel is a real pain, ain’t it lads?). Highly recommend you pick it up in the format of your choice.