The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When a young computer hacker (Rooney Mara) is tasked with investigating a prying journalist (Daniel Craig), their separate missions become entangled amid a decades-old conspiracy. David Fincher directs this English adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel.

I didn’t read the novel or see the 2009 foreign film with English subtitles. All I know is what I saw in this movie. It is a long movie. It is 2 hours and 38 minutes long. When a movie is this long I expect it to be spectacular, I expect Spartacus. This was not Spartacus.

The acting was fine. I enjoyed the location shots and the story line interested me enough to watch all of it. There is a disturbing rape scene and other scenes of graphic violence. Some things are left better for the imagination.

I knew going in this was not the “feel good movie of the year” but the ending bothered me. My biggest complaint is the length of the movie.

I am giving this one 2.8 stars. It is not a bad movie but just too long for my liking.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

J. Edgar

I am going to do this review a little differently. Before I recommend you spend 2 hours 17 minutes on a movie I suggest you checkout the Clint Eastwood interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This is where I learned about this film and quickly added it to my Netflix Queue. I was very impressed with this movie like I was with two of his other films, Play Misty for Me (1971) and Gran Torino (2008). Clint is the man. I do not think you can be more American than Clint Eastwood.

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Now my regular review.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this riveting biopic as J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime FBI director as notorious for his overzealous methods of law enforcement as for the rumors regarding his cross-dressing and close relationship with protégé Clyde Tolson.

I have watched many movies over the years and the name “J. Edgar Hoover” has been referenced a lot. A good example of this would be “Public Enemies (2009)” starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Christian Bale played Melvin Purvis who had a strained relationship with J. Edgar. You saw Melvin Purvis’ point of view in Public Enemies, in “J. Edgar” you see Hoover’s. I didn’t care so much for Public Enemies but I almost recommend watching it along with J. Edgar as the stories overlap.

The movie J. Edgar goes back and forth with the beginning of his career to the end. I did not know he played a key role in such things as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories until I watched this film. It was an eye opener.

This film does spend considerable time on his personal life and it is up to the viewer to make up his or her own conclusions. I do believe in watching this J. Edgar Hoover was more romantically interested in other men than women. He took an immediate liking to his protégé Clyde Tolson. Was a romantic relationship ever consummated between the two? I do not think we will ever know for sure.

He did have a difficult relationship with his mother. She was demanding at times as she was his whole life. I did feel sorry for him here. I am just sharing what I saw in this movie as one of my history buff friends hates him.

There is one quality I admire about J. Edgar Hoover. He was a good judge of character and had an excellent brain trust. He trusted both Helen Gandy and Clyde Tolson with everything and they never betrayed him. Were his secret files ever found? Trust is important and it was nice to see it here.

I am giving this movie 4 stars. I might be a little biased as it is a Clint Eastwood movie.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

The Ides of March

Dirty tricks stand to soil an ambitious young press spokesman’s (Ryan Gosling) idealism in a cutthroat presidential campaign where “victory” is relative. The film, directed by George Clooney, is inspired by the real-life experiences of an aide who worked on Howard Dean’s failed 2004 run.

This movie stars Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle and Michael Mantell.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti are two of my favorite actors. They are usually not leading men but their performances in any movie stands out. It was great to see them play off each other. Marisa Tomei did a great job as the reporter covering the primary. This is a well cast movie.

This film is a political drama and not political thriller. There are no car chases, guns fired or punches thrown. There is one death. Was the death accidental or intentional? It was a question that went through my mind as I watched. This is a thinking person’s movie.

Most people I know hate politics. Unfortunately politics is part of our everyday life. Most people think of politics as just holding public office. I see it when someone wants to be Grand Knight in a Knights of Columbus hall, a Grand Master in a Masonic Lodge and Condo President. It can get ugly.

Ryan Gosling does a good enough job as the leading man. His character is a player with integrity. He knows how to work people and at the same time does believe his man (George Clooney) is the man. He really believes his candidate will make the world a better place. He is idealistic and watching him change as the story develops was good drama. I have a friend who was involved in a political campaign some years back and got bummed out by the treachery and backstabbing. I have another friend that was in the Press so this story is very believable to me.

I’m giving this movie 3.2 stars. It was an elaborate chess game and it was entertaining seeing it play out. I like movies that make you think. I liked it for Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei. I also liked Gregory Itzin’s small part at the end. He was President Charles Logan from the popular show “24”. I would like to see the four of them again in a movie.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com

The Notebook

Two young lovers (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) are torn apart by war and class differences in the 1940s in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novel. Their story is told by a man (James Garner) who, years later, reads from a notebook while he visits a woman in a nursing home (Gena Rowlands). Nick Cassavetes directs this heart-tugging romance about the sacrifices people will make to hang on to their one true love.

I want to go on record and let my readers know I do not have anything against movies classified as “chick flicks.” I enjoy all types of different movies. I liked “The Proposal (2009)” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I really liked “Love and Other Drugs” and rated very high on this blog. Click here for my Love and Other Drugs review.

I have such an utter dislike for The Notebook. I am surprised how many women rave about this movie. I have many women friends who will post on Facebook “what part of no didn’t you understand” as their status. Same women friends love this film. I am going to guess that the person who said “no actually means yes” got the idea from this. In the beginning Noah is clearly stalking Allie. She says no quite a few times and he still doesn’t leave her alone. He even follows her when she is on a date with another man on a ferris wheel. This is not romance, it is stalking.

People see movies like this and think this is how I should act to impress someone. Our society is way too imitative. I have wasted so many hours of my life in sexual harassment training to learn two things… Don’t ever touch and no means no. This movie undermines this.

The second thing I didn’t like about this movie is how Noah dealt with his best friend getting killed in war. It didn’t seem to faze him when it happened and he never talks about it. What was the point of having this character? If his loss was more part of the story I think I would have liked it better.

The last thing I will say is I did not like the ending. I thought it was selfish and it bothered me. I do not think this is a good movie.

I am giving this one 2 stars. I recommend “The Proposal” and/or “Love and Other Drugs” over this.

Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.

All the best,

Alan
Alan Zibluk
The Film Movie Critic
http://www.filmmoviecritic.com
E-mail: the@filmmoviecritic.com