Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, convicted for slander, is hired by industrialist Henrik Vanger to solve the 40 year old disappearance of his niece Harriet, but Mikael soon finds out he's getting help in...
Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court.
Okay, so I came late to the party, but the Millennium trilogy became this summer's read. I was a little intimidated by three books which are 600 to 700 pages in length each, but after The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo finally picked up the pace and became a "page-turner", the last two books went very quickly. Ultimately, The Girl Who Played With Fire became my favorite of the three.
So next I started watching the films beginning with the American version of TGWTDT. It was really good, but in my reading of the book I envisioned Liam Neeson, not Daniel Craig. Then I watched the first of the Swedish films. I was kinda surprised at how different they were and I preferred some things about the Swedish version, but I thought the American version was a little better overall.
Then I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire on DVD at my local BlockBuster (like I said, I came a little late to the party). Since TGWPWF was my favorite of the three books, I was crushed when I saw how badly they had chopped up the story and action.
At this point, I started browsing IMDb.com for background info on the film and came across a member's comments about a 6-part Swedish mini-series. Apparently, the original intention was to present the trilogy as six 90-minute episodes on Swedish television, but the money-making potential for a theatrical release became too great. So everything was re-edited into three feature length films.
The kicker is this guy says that TGWPWF lost an hour of its original footage on the cutting room floor. Now I gotta get a look at the mini-series version, but my BlockBuster (yes, we still have one) doesn't carry it. So I ask a friend who isn't as cheap as me, to look it up on her NetFlix account. HOORAY! It's available for streaming! I bring the food and she supplies the wine and we sit through the middle three hours of the Millennium Trilogy (parts 3 & 4).
OUTSTANDING!!!! I mean not quite as good as the book (production values, casting, etc.), but soooo much better than the Swedish theatrical release. I mean absolutely no comparison with the other version.
I'm a glutton for punishment. So the next night I watch TGWKTHN on Blu-ray (Hey how come it's in 4:3 format? Oh yeah filmed for TV.) Really good. Liked it lots.
One more night, back over to my NetFlix friend's place with dinner and watched episodes 5 & 6 of the trilogy. I gotta admit that the 3rd book was my toughest read. I thought it bogged down in all the SAPO Swedish Secret Police minutia. Well, turns out so did episode 5 & 6. They were good and the background info was helpful, but the pacing (like the book) made it a slow-go. Without spoiling it the final 45 minutes are excellent, but it's a long way to go to get there.
I'm a little burned out on Millennium right now, so I'm not gonna go back and watch those first two TV episodes 1 & 2 for a while yet. But when I do, it will be interesting to see if they improve upon the original Swedish theatrical release version of TGWTDT.
In summary 1. I liked both the American and Swedish versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, with a small preference for the American version. (I'm a motorcycle guy, so I definitely liked her vintage bike better.) 2. The theatrical release of The Girl Who Played With Fire is crap. Bypass this one for episodes 3 & 4 of the Swedish TV mini-series. 3. I'll give the nod to the theatrical release of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, but not by much. If you really liked all the SAPO details from the book, then go for episodes 5 & 6 of the mini-series.
At this point, I can't wait to see how the American versions of the 2nd and 3rd films turn out. These two books are really just one extended story, so I hope they film them simultaneously and bring them out pretty close together.
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