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post #1 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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The Girl in the Spider's Web Blu-ray Review



Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials. Check out Ralph Potts’ Blu-ray review of The Girl in the Spider’s Web.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

96



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2018
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Claire Foy, Sverir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Music by: Roque Banos
Written by:Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez, Steven Knight
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: February 5, 2019


"The Past Never Forgets"


Synopsis:

“Claire Foy (“The Crown”) stars in a new Dragon Tattoo story as Lisbeth Salander, the highly-skilled vigilante from the acclaimed Millennium book series. Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials, as they race to rescue a dangerous program capable of global destruction held by shadowy figures linked to Lisbeth’s past.” – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


My Take:

Forced out by the National Security Agency, Frans Balder enlists the help of hacker Lisbeth Salander to steal his computer program “FireWall”, that can access codes for nuclear weapons worldwide. After successfully accessing the NAS mainframe and obtaining the program Lisbeth’s download draws the attention from an NSA agent who traces the activity to Stockholm.

Subsequently, a group of unidentified operatives forcibly enter Lisbeth’s apartment and steal Lisbeth's laptop, which contains the passworded software program. Unable to turn it over the Frans Balder, Lisbether seeks the assistance of journalist/friend Mikael Blomkvist to find out who has stolen it and, how best to reacquire it. Further complicating matters, Frans has turned to the local authorities suspecting that Lisbeth is the perpetrator. Now, Lisbeth in a race against time must uncover the truth behind who has taken FireWall and what their endgame is.

Let me start of by saying that I am a pretty big fan of Claire Foy and have been since seeing her in “The Crown”. She seems to be extremely versatile and her taking on the role of Lisbeth Salander intrigued me. I haven’t read Stieg Larsson’s book series or seen the Swedish films based on the character but, I really like 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had high hopes for this film but, poor reviews/comments from those that saw it kept me from seeing it in the theater so, I eagerly waited for it to arrive on home video.

I sat down with it, keeping my expectation in check, hoping to get lost in both Claire’s handling of the character and the plots elements. One out of two isn’t bad I suppose. I liked how Claire portrayed Lisbeth, finding that she makes the character her own, pulling it off with the right amount of quiet cool, angst, and taught edginess. The problem with The Girl in the Spider’s Web is the writing. I mean, the character design is essentially already established, all that need be done is provide a storyline that capably supports them.

Unfortunately, we get an over simplified narrative that fails to elevate one’s pulse as it favors of style over substance approach that never leaves you wondering what will happen next. There is zero palpability in terms of mystery/intrigue and the character base outside of Lisbeth and Mikael are so poorly drawn that their effectiveness within the narrative’s construct is weak at best. The writing smacks of laziness, relying on the sizzle of action and overuse of gadgetry to propel the story’s elements. Tried as I might, there were simply too many eye rolling moments that took me out of the proceedings. I will say that I liked the film’s opening and initial plot set up, involving the hacking of the NSA, the breach of Lisbeth’s apartment and, her discovery of who the thugs were that stole her laptop.

From there the steady decline in plausibility, especially given earlier events, as well as a series of poorly executed plot points and, derivative action derails any momentum gained. Claire Foy performance is the film’s highlight, along with solid production elements and a few sequences that remind us why Lisbeth is an iconic character. Aside from that The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a middling effort that feels like a huge missed opportunity. I will say that I plan on revisiting it again, if for no other reason than to watch Claire Foy’s handling of the role. We’ll see if another viewing bears fruit.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):



Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



The Girl in the Spider’s Web comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors are cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide-angle shots of the shooting locations look great. Framed at 2.39:1 the images onscreen have excellent depth and, a stimulating visual aura. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. The Girl in the Spider’s Web looks great on Blu-ray.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. This is an active audio presentation that utilizes the entire system to create a theater like experience. Sound staging is quite good as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated. Sound effects traverse the room during the action set pieces. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and clarity. This is an active mix that makes regular use of the low frequency effects to accentuate its dynamic presence. The result is that where appropriate, points of contact resonate with tactile bass impact. Dialog has refining presence with clear vocal character and excellent room penetration. This is an entertaining audio presentation that compliments the film while making for an excellent home theater experience.


Bonus Features:
  • • Feature and Deleted Scenes Audio Commentaries with Director Fede Álvarez and Screenwriter Jay Basu
    • Four featurettes:
    o “Claire Foy: Becoming Lisbeth”
    o “All About the Stunts”
    o “Secrets of the Salander Sisters”
    o “Creating the World: The Making Of”
    • Eight Deleted Scenes
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Based on the fourth book of the acclaimed Millennium series The Girl in the Spider’s Web favors a style over substance narrative that leaves its iconic character in the lurch. It’s one saving grace is the performance by star Claire Foy who brings the character of Lisbeth Salamander to the big screen with aplomb. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent technical merits mated with a fair supplemental package that looks behind the scenes. The Girl in the Spider’s Web is in most respects a swing and miss but, there’s probably enough merit to warrant attention from those looking for a popcorn flick that looks and sounds great in their home theater.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 11:15 AM
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Good review, Ralph!

I actually enjoyed this one even though I still think Noomi Rapace makes a better Lisbeth Salander.
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post #3 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 11:48 AM
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Watch the original Swedish movies. Much better than the American remakes. IMO of course.

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post #4 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Good review, Ralph!

I actually enjoyed this one even though I still think Noomi Rapace makes a better Lisbeth Salander.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Watch the original Swedish movies. Much better than the American remakes. IMO of course.
Greetings,

Just placed my order for them on Amazon..


Regards,
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post #5 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 12:01 PM
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Great write-up. Will probably watch it soon, hopefully this one isn't as bad as other reviews made it seem.


Still sad they didn't continue the Fincher/Mara/Craig series (it wasn't as good as the Swedish version, but I enjoyed it).
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post #6 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 05:40 PM
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Have not seem this on yet but really want to. I really liked the first movie in series the girl with the dragon tattoo. I did not read your whole review because I want to watch this one blind and then I will read your review. I read the last part and sounds like you thought it was lacking but are going to give it another try. I hoping this movie was good because lately there has been nothing but garbage released I the theaters and on home video.
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post #7 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Good review, Ralph!

I actually enjoyed this one even though I still think Noomi Rapace makes a better Lisbeth Salander.
I think they're tied

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post #8 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. If one didn't know better, you'd swear Claire Foy was Swedish. She's also fairly kick-ass.
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post #9 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 06:39 PM
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While this won't have a UHD 4k disc release in this country, Amazon UK offers a preorder for an 4k all region disc for a March release.
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post #10 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 06:50 PM
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Thank you for the review, Ralph.

Kindly make it priority to see the original trilogy. A masterpiece, in pretty good Blu-ray. Cheers.

R.I.P. Michael Nyqvist.
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post #11 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 07:27 PM
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Noomi Rapace will alwaysbe Lisbeth to me, there can be no other. But I'll watch this one too.
The Extended Edition Trilogy box set BDs are the way to go.
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post #12 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Watch the original Swedish movies. Much better than the American remakes. IMO of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

Just placed my order for them on Amazon..

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
Noomi Rapace will alwaysbe Lisbeth to me, there can be no other. But I'll watch this one too.
The Extended Edition Trilogy box set BDs are the way to go.

Yeah I have the EET box set... the g/f is a fan and I walked in on her watching one the other day and I'm like "why don't the lips match the voices?" and she says "because it's in swedish and they dubbed in the english audio track."


Ahhhh!!! I've heard good things about this trilogy but haven't watched any of them. I guess I've always looked at it as a chick flick. Maybe I'm wrong but either way looks like I might have to pick this one up for her.


Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #13 of 39 Old 01-23-2019, 11:39 PM
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Ralph,


First I have to agree with Kini62, The Trilogy is a MUST SEE. Best crime trilogy we have ever seen. Noomi Rapace IS Lisbeth. The first American remake was okay compared to the original, but I was afraid that this new one will turn out to be a dead fish.
And it seems my fear was justified. Somewhere else it was called a Bourne Identity rip off with a female lead. Reading your review I feel that assessment might not be too far off.
Shame, as the books are excellent and as I said before the trilogy is fantastic.


Thanks for the review.


Cheers
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post #14 of 39 Old 01-25-2019, 05:08 AM
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Watched the first 2 (didn't love them), skipped the 3rd. Can i jump into the 4th?
Only reason is your sound/video review have me interested. I don't remember 1 and 2 at the slightest mind you.


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post #15 of 39 Old 01-25-2019, 03:06 PM
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I've read the books, including this one, and I see no reason to ever watch this film. The book is just awful. They chose the wrong writer to continue the series and all the love and effort put into the trilogy has been thrown away. I am not surprised at all by Ralph's review. A great actor can't save an awful story, but they can shine trying.

I will get around to watching the Noomi Rapace version, but I did enjoy Fincher's film. Also not surprising given what he did with Fight Club, which was a tough book to slog through, and he had so much better material in the dragon tattoo.
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post #16 of 39 Old 01-27-2019, 02:44 AM
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It wasn't half as bad IMO and I've seen the original Swedish trilogy and the David Fincher US made one as well. I agree that this wasn't a strong story, but Foy made the best of it. A decent entry to the series.
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post #17 of 39 Old 01-28-2019, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the review. I cannot wait to get this one added to my collection.


Cheers!
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post #18 of 39 Old 01-29-2019, 09:01 PM
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Nice Review Ralph. This looks like a real nice rental! Then I'll decide if I'll buy.
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post #19 of 39 Old 01-30-2019, 06:40 AM
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Watch the original Swedish movies. Much better than the American remakes. IMO of course.

This one is not a remake : it was never originally made in Sweden.
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post #20 of 39 Old 01-30-2019, 08:22 AM
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This one is not a remake : it was never originally made in Sweden.

Well, since I can't find any reference to any other movie with the same name or about the books it's based on that were made before the Swedish movie, it actually is the original movie.


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post #21 of 39 Old 01-30-2019, 08:48 AM
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The Millennium Trilogy was published after the author's death. The 3 movies came later than that and were made as a result of the massive worldwide popularity of the books. . This movie is based on characters from the trilogy, but is not an adaptation of a novel.
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post #22 of 39 Old 01-30-2019, 11:46 AM
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I really did not like this movie. The Millennium trilogy were so much better.
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post #23 of 39 Old 01-31-2019, 05:47 AM
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We just watched this one yesterday. It was not that bad; it just didn't really have much to do with the original 'çharacter' of Lisbeth. In the books as well as in the trilogy it was clear that she is a very smart cookie and all her skills were about hacking and resolving situations with her smarts, if possible.
In my opinion, if you have a brand new group of actors, making a kind of re-start of the franchise you have to explain some things a little more, than what was done here. If you have never seen any of the altogether four movies, you don't know that she was/is in love with Mikael Blomkvist and reaches out to him for help. You don't know that her father beat up her mother so much that she ended up in a hospice. etc.
Like I said, not bad, but if you would change the names of the characters here you could have just watched any action movie there is.
Today is Trilogy day. Nine hours of the 'real' thing.


P.S. Ralph, did you get your copy yet and watched it? Let us know what you think.


Cheers
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post #24 of 39 Old 01-31-2019, 08:36 AM
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I just finished re-watching the Millennium Trilogy, then I had a pretty difficult time making myself sit through the 2011 Dragon Tattoo remake. There's just no substitute for the Trilogy. Roony Mara did a passable job with the Lisbeth character but not in the same class as Noomi. For one thing, Rapace really bulked up for the role and you have no trouble believing she could kick your butt, even at 4'10".
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post #25 of 39 Old 01-31-2019, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp2 View Post
We just watched this one yesterday. It was not that bad; it just didn't really have much to do with the original 'çharacter' of Lisbeth. In the books as well as in the trilogy it was clear that she is a very smart cookie and all her skills were about hacking and resolving situations with her smarts, if possible.
In my opinion, if you have a brand new group of actors, making a kind of re-start of the franchise you have to explain some things a little more, than what was done here. If you have never seen any of the altogether four movies, you don't know that she was/is in love with Mikael Blomkvist and reaches out to him for help. You don't know that her father beat up her mother so much that she ended up in a hospice. etc.
Like I said, not bad, but if you would change the names of the characters here you could have just watched any action movie there is.
Today is Trilogy day. Nine hours of the 'real' thing.


P.S. Ralph, did you get your copy yet and watched it? Let us know what you think.


Cheers
Greetings,

I DID and have watched The girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have to agree with those that prefer the original version with Naomi Rapace in the lead. Yeah, she is most definitely "Lisbeth". I also preferred the ending as well.


Regards,
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 01-31-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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post #26 of 39 Old 01-31-2019, 11:43 AM
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^^^
There were several liberties taken with the story in the Dragon Tattoo remake, none of which added anything. The one that most bothers me is that they pretty much left out the brawl with the punks in the subway. That was where we really got to see Lisbeth angry and panicked at the same time. Incredible acting by Rapace. I wonder if they left it out because Mara couldn't pull it off? Lisbeth really goes medieval on those guys.
Ralph, just wait till you see her go up against the "Blonde Giant".
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post #27 of 39 Old 02-01-2019, 10:58 AM
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^^^
There were several liberties taken with the story in the Dragon Tattoo remake, none of which added anything. The one that most bothers me is that they pretty much left out the brawl with the punks in the subway. That was where we really got to see Lisbeth angry and panicked at the same time. Incredible acting by Rapace. I wonder if they left it out because Mara couldn't pull it off? Lisbeth really goes medieval on those guys.
Ralph, just wait till you see her go up against the "Blonde Giant".
I'm in the process to re- watch the extended trilogy as well, and I just don't see what you see, in both of her acting ability or her alleged physical strength. She looked more like a mad cat there, sure she "scratched" them but let's be honest those guys were just coward bullies, soon as somebody fought back they ran. Claire in this movie actually kicked some real butt. Granted different story line. YMMV.

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post #28 of 39 Old 02-06-2019, 11:50 AM
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Watched this today. I have to agree with the critics that this is a miss. Foy does an acceptable version of Lisbeth, but the screenplay is just BAD. Almost no story to speak of, just fights, chases and explosions. A sad misuse of the franchise.
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post #29 of 39 Old 02-09-2019, 09:54 AM
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I love the original trilogy both TV/Theatrcal and extended versions. I really enjoyed Fincher's take on the first novel. This effort, though entertaining (with low expectations) seemed like they were trying to make the Lisbeth character into Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt. This felt closer to a Mission Impossible film than Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

As far as the image on the Blu Ray was outstanding with terrific sound design. The set pieces and action was certainly entertaining, but there wasn't much depth to the characters, with a fairly predictable (story line) twists.
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post #30 of 39 Old 02-09-2019, 04:20 PM
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We need more movies with women action figures who can kill men by the dozens with bare hands or advanced weaponry.

LOL, I'm looking forward to renting this one. These types of movies are often worth watching whether they are good or not.
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