Really looking forward to that one. I just happen to have a large backlog at the moment. I debated even posting reviews right now.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
David Fincher is the clear choice to adapt this heartwarming, feel good fable for the big screen but there's too much icy chill, too much discomfort and a plot so heavy with set-up and fallout it's like they took a Netflix series and just kept the first and last episodes, trimming the rest down to the middle hour. The title is catchy, but much less accurate than the original book title, Men Who Hate Women, a title that takes the focus away from Lisbeth, which is good because she's not the lead or a character central to the mystery.
Rooney Mara has all the affectations of an actor putting on a character, but Noomi Rapace's Lisbeth was more lived in. Michael Nyqvist was also a more compelling Blomkvist compared to Daniel Craig's too cool reserve. (I'm not meaning to compare, but the best way to point out what isn't working here is by using what did work in the other adaptation.) I even found some of Fincher's camera technique more of an empty flash than usual for him. His sound mix though is much more impressive. Unfortunately, the best scene in the movie remains the opening credits, which was designed by Tim Miller, director of Deadpool. The Eagle and the Hawk
(1933)★ ★ ★ - Good
Often simple and sometimes heavy-handed story of young men fighting in the skies during World War I. Memorable thanks to stars Fredric March, Cary Grant and Jack Oakie, who have a number of really effective scenes that cut through any cliche. Grant in particular impressed me in an uncharacteristic part of someone who takes risks for the pleasure of gunning down the enemy. The last 10 minutes focus on some tough decisions made by his character and it's an early sign that Grant was going to be a superstar. Carole Lombard appears for a brief but important scene. The House on 56th Street
(1933)★ ★ ★ - Good
Kay Francis vehicle tells an epic story spanning decades in under 70 minutes. She pulls herself up from being a showgirl into high society, but a cruel twist strips everything away. The back of the film is very interesting as she attempts to get by with the help of a grifter (Ricardo Cortez) bumping into her past like a delicious Greek tragedy. Edison, the Man
(1940)★ ★ ★ - Okay
I recently watched a documentary on Spencer Tracy narrated by Burt Reynolds that got me wondering what it would've been like to watch Tracy's movies chronologically. (This makes my 49th.) While Tracy always has a similar everyman quality, there's more range to him than meets the eye. He's played blue-collar, white-collar, tough priests, soft fishermen and here he's a once-living genius. The film is very bio/pic-y but Tracy is in top form and the supporting cast playing engineers is endearing. This is actually the sequel to Young Tom Edison, which stars Mickey Rooney and I have little interest in seeing. Apartment for Peggy
(1948)★ ★ ½
George Seaton again
with Edmund Gwenn and also William Holden. Has much of Seaton's lighthearted charm, but can't get past the central idea of Gwenn planning out his suicide after his life's work is complete and before he grows too old. A wrong-headed treatment of the subject. The Forest Rangers
(1942)★ ★ ½
Fred MacMurray is on the hunt for a serial arsonist, but most of the film is spent between new wife Paulette Goddard and old gal pal Susan Hayward. (Some guys have all the luck.) Goddard does some slapstick on a river of logs that's like prime Lucille Ball, but the highlight is when the trio are stranded for the night with only one large blanket and attempt to share it. (Again, so jealous of MacMurray). From the director of Destry Rides Again and also featuring the great Eugene Pallette. Too much talent for such a silly script.