Monday, December 10, 2018

I couldn't go back.

With six and a half days off staring me in the face, anything was possible. I had forty minutes to pack up, say goodbye to my co-workers, and travel exactly thirty-two miles. The last third of this jaunt being typically stop-and-go. It was going to be close, sure, but I would not be denied. 

And when Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' version of Immigrant Song came on the radio, it felt like divine intervention. The traffic seemed to part right in front of me, and the lights were the greenest of greens. I was going to make it.

Shocking no one, I was headed to the movies. To catch an afternoon matinee. Alone.

And I couldn't have been happier.

Even in the best of moods, I found it damn near impossible to consistently enjoy Fede Alvarez' The Girl in the Spider's Web. Bereft of the insane hype that smothered Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back in 2011, this second film in the Lisbeth Salander series still manages to somehow disappoint. Sure, there are some cool moments, and Foy's turn/performance as Salander is (fairly and surprisingly) rad, but what once felt like a sordid tale that could actually happen, feels now like the Swedish Hallmark Channel's woebegone remake of 9Fast9Furious. You know, assuming that's a thing...

For a minute or two (aka, the time I still have popcorn to eat), things we're looking good. Lisbeth, looking like a mash-up of Scarlett Johanson in Ghost in the Shell and The Crow, breaks into into a house to taze some wife-beater in the gooey bag. Cut to her and her giant girlfriend, scissoring each other to some ill trip-hop beats. Or maybe I imagined that...

Anyway, Lisbeth is hired to hack some top secret government system that allows users access to, get this, launch nuclear weapons from anywhere in the world. What? No way. You never hear about nuclear launch codes in movies! And in another shocking turn of events, after she gets in and downloads the file, everything goes tits up. The United States sends someone to find her while the Swedish government is simultaneously all up in her shit. But even worse? Also patiently waiting in line to f--k over Lisbeth, is some unruly f--ker known as Her Past. 

A conflict on a bridge? Oh, Symbolism. You so crazy.
Maybe in the books Lisbeth's childhood was interesting and full of nuance and intrigue, but the quick glimpse back that we're privy to is kind of hysterical. No, not that her creepy-ass father is funny, not in the least, but it's all so overdramatic and ridiculous, it's unintentionally hilarious (at least how she....uh...gets away??). I realize that I was supposed to feel bad for everybody involved, but instead I found myself laughing at the absurdity of how the whole flashback ended. And anytime Her Past showed up later in the film, all the unblinking stares in the world couldn't make it any less silly, you know? Ladies, maybe we should talk this out a bit??

No need to apologize, sir. This gun (and the resulting chaos) didn't bother me in the least.
Speaking of conversations that no one wants to have, here are the Yays and Boos. Seeing this film made me one-step closer to a free copy of Venom, so there was definitely a silver lining to be had. Oooh, but that last step? Well, that one's a real doozy. But more on that in a bit.

Live footage of the final time Missy Elliot got her freak on.
  • I really dug that chess board, even if I haven't played in over a decade (shameful, I know).
  • I know it was in the preview, but I mean it, our intro to Lisbeth was awesome. Check out the super-hero landing (w/ bonus angel wings out of the dismount)
  • At one point, Agent NSA Guy is told that if he's found doing anything outside of what's suggested in Welcome to Sweden, Dirty American (working title), he'll be sent back to the States immediately. Hopefully counter-terrorism is listed right after visting Danska Fall.
  • Dude, anytime you glue yourself shut, you get a Yay. I might be wincing when I give it to you, but it still counts.
  • Wait, was Buttcrack Lady an official government agent, or just a contracted employee? Either way, I want to know more.
  • I would have believed that guy's story about the Spiders, you know, even if he hadn't removed his f--king face.
  • Obviously, I'm a huge fan of her huge girlfriend. Jinkies, she's...long.
  • You've reached peak hackage when you are remotely disabling airbags moments before your attackers car gets smashed to Hell. Why, in my day, we used to just cut the brakes and hope for the best...
  • A suitcase full of....things? Hahahaha...probably just another day at a European airport. 
  • Okay, her little run through the airport is beyond ridiculous, but let me clap it up for when a plan fully comes together, even if the odds of it all working out were a zillion to one.
  • Electrifying the railing? Best (non-lethal) evasive action in the history of cinema. Fine, second best. The time Tony Jaa ran on all those dude's heads is still number one.
  • Lisbeth vs. a bathroom full of StarLord's should be nominated for something, right? Does MTV still have a movie awards show? Better yet? Does MTV still exist? *adjust reading glasses*
  • And finally, even if I likely will never see this movie again (despite now owning it), the scene where Lisbeth is receiving support from a sniper is insanely good. Seriously, show me someone who doesn't like seeing droves of villainous henchmen get absolutely annihilated from out of nowhere, and I will....I'll. Well, I'll just wait here, you know. Cause that bullet is coming for one of us, through a wall, at the last possible second!
Wearing all that red helps to satiate her need for human blood.
  • Okay, I may have understated how utterly creepy Lisbeth's father is. Or was. 
  • I have kids. They fall down all the time. But that? That might be overdoing it. That was like Gamora-level right there. And she didn't walk it off. (at least not....yet?)
  • Wow. That's what you think the NSA looks like inside. Really? Realllllly? If you say so...
  • I know it's a movie, and I know nobody knows how to aim, but good God, how do you miss that shot? Dude makes a below average Stormtrooper look like friggin' Hawkeye on Focalin.
  • If my house exploded, but I managed to jump into a half-full're saying I'd still make it out alive? Okay...*lights match, turns on faucet* 
  • I think we should all let Arthur Fonzarelli off the hook, finally, as we've officially found a motorcycle stunt lamer (and incomprehensible) than jumping the shark. I don't want to even talk about it, just know that I hate it so, so much.
  • The score begs us to be way more intrigued than we are, which is kind of hilarious.
  • Perhaps I've officially lost my mind, or perhaps it was the mere power of suggestion, but during this film? I've never been colder in all of my life. I think I saw a f--king Yeti asking if someone could turn the heat up, but being that I live in central Pennsylvania, it could have just been a middle-aged woman.
  • Granted, he's been through a lot, but, uh...that kid is kinda creepy, right?
  • Phew. Good things those were the right pills laying on the floor. And even more fortunate, whatever pills UNDO PARALYSIS? You can totally operate heavy machinery seven to eight minutes later.
  • Was that an abandoned planetarium? Really? I half expected Professor X to be making a snow fort when I saw that damn place...
  • I'm not sure why it's so hard to track NSA Guy, as he is the only black man in Sweden.
  • And finally, not that I really remember the first one (has it been six years? eight?), but when this version of Mikael Blomkvist shows up, I couldn't help but miss Daniel Craig. I know, I know, it's not like he was gonna come running through the snow in MI-6 issued baby blue nut-huggers, but a girl can dream can't she? spbinsw;fibwsfvbsfvb ----- sorry, my wife took my laptop from me for a second there. Or did she?
Despite my best intentions (and the fact that I started immediately), I only managed to see two movies in the theater over my extended holiday break. Considering I was one false step away from shitting my pants at any given time over that stretch (curse you romaine lettuce), even with the dud that was The Girl in the Spider's Web, I'm going to call two movies in six days a modest victory.

And with Christmas break right around the corner, maybe the sequel will be bigger and better than the first one, you know? Maybe in eleven days off ...I can manage to catch three movies. Maybe even, dare I say it, four. 

And even if I somehow manage to get sick again, and am unable to see anything except the inside of a gas station bathroom, at least I won't be at work. Meaning?

I couldn't be happier.


  1. I was never crazy about any of the Dragon Tattoo versions but this one just looked pretty basic from the trailers. I'd maybe watch it if it were on TV or something.

    Great review! and I hope you don't get sick again either, there's so many good movies on netflix right now lol

    1. Even though I own the original trilogy on DVD somewhere, I'm almost positive I've never seen any of it. I read the first book, watched the Fincher version...and then was basically out on watching anything else Dragon Tattoo related.

      This one was more of a timing thing (and the studio gives out free digital copies) with a dash of curiosity about what Fede Alvarez would do with some big bucks. Unfortunately...not all that much.

      Thank you so was a bummer to be sick the whole time I was off...but in a way, I guess it was better??? And yes, I need to watch something GOOD, asap.

  2. Not in a rush to see this one, but I will at some point. Love the captions, as always. And did I miss the final step to your free copy of Venom?

    1. Zero rush, Dell. This was the second flick to see at a Regal in order to get a free copy of Venom. The third one just came out in theaters...and now I understand why there giving out digital copies. But more on about a week??? Here's a hint: it's a terrible horror film that just came out in theaters and no one has heard of it or will ever hear of it BUT I WENT TO THE THEATER TO SEE IT. (like an a-hole)

      Hahaha...yeah, those captions are stupid.

  3. This is karna for not making another Fincher one. Lol at the Yeti line!