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October 5, 2010
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
None2/9/2010Village RoadshowNiels Arden Oplev
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Michael Nyqvist
Noomi Rapace

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Visually The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo impresses.

Over the last year or so I've picked up little pieces here and there about this "Millenium Trilogy" of books from author Stieg Larsson (who died in 2004 before they were published and sold 27 million copies) and the supposedly brilliant first movie in the series. I knew little else, but when the Blu-Ray disc popped into my mailbox it was something that I was quick to put into the PS3 to check out, and review. So what is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo about? Well here we go...

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate.

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Noomi Rapace is brilliant as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger's are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

In terms of a crime thriller this is one of the best movies we have ever seen, certainly in the last couple of years. While it takes a little while to get into the main story the slow-paced opening allow you to discover the characters at a lesurely pace. First of all we have Michael Nyqvist playing the disgraced reporter Mikael Blomkvist who leaves his job in order to search for the murderer of a girl who went missing 40 years earlier, a girl who used to be his babysitter in his childhood. The star of this film however has to be Noomi Rapace who plays the goth-like hacker known as Lisbeth Salander. She has a mysterious past, is being brutally abused by her guardian, has been investigating Mikael Blomkvist and gets dragged into his search for the murderer.

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Cinematography is quite gorgeous at times.
When you get to know these characters, as well as the numerous others that make appearances throguhout the film, and their place in the world, then the story opens up to become a hunt for the murderer and the dealings with the Vanger clan and their twisted history. It's a brilliant, intrantcly woven story that will have to gripped to the very end.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is presented on Blu-Ray at the usualy 1080p resolution in the films original 2.40:1 aspect ratio and to be honest I wasn't totally blown away with this transfer as the colour palette is quite muted with few moments of striking colours. That's not to say the transfer isn't impressive as there are some fine details at times (particulaly in the often spectacular exterior scenes) while contrast levels are good and skin-tones retain a natural look.

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Looking for some clues within the photos.
This Blu-Ray presents the feature film with two audio choices - a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which provides the lossless audio experience, and also a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. Both these tracks are impressive, however it's the lossless track that really stands out with a little more fidelity, and improved bass levels when that kicks in on occasion. Naturally the dialogue is in Swedish, but it seems to be well delivered in tone when required.

There is only one subtitle track on this disc, English and unless you can understand Swedish you'll need this to understand what's going on. Fortunately the pacing is good so you won't have too many troubles reading these during the 147 minute runtime.

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Michael Nyqvist headlines The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Sadly there are few extras on this disc, primarily a series of trailers. The Australian release misses out on a Vagner Family Tree and some interview clips which appeared on overseas discs.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - UK Trailer (1:35): The UK Trailer for the hit film which is sadly only presented in Standard Definition, but sells the movie quite well.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Swedish Trailer (1:39): Probably the bestr trailer on this disc it sets up the dramatic storyline quite superbly.

The Girl Who Played With Fire Trailer (1:23/HD): A fairly decent, almost teaser-like trailer for the second film in the trilogy.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest Trailer (1:54): Sadly only presented in Standard definition this is trailer for the third movie in the series.

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A series of floral pictures.
Music Featurette (4:10): This short featurette looks at the composition of the music for the film with composer Jacob Groth.

Image Gallery (HD): A short series of 16 still images taken from the film. Nothing to get excited about.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a brilliant film with superb acting and a great script. There are certainly some adult themes in the movie and it's not suitable for youngsters, but for those mature enough you will discover an engrossing, detailed film well worth your time.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.