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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo aka Män som hatar kvinnor [Blu-ray]


(Niels Arden Oplev, 2009)


Alliance edition (Canada)

Music Box Films (US)

Momentum (UK)

French TF1 edition


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Swedish Film Institute

Video: Alliance



Region: 'A'-locked

Runtime: 2:32:44.029 

Disc Size: 28,740,837,482 bytes

Feature Size: 25,327,349,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.71 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 6th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Swedish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Swedish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH) or English



• Interview with actress Noomi Rapace by Anwar Brett (12:30)

Interview with producer Søren Stærmose by Anwar Brett (11:49)

• UK Theatrical trailer (1:35)

• Exclusive Sneak Peek of The Girl Who Played With Fire (5:28 - trailer - 1:14)

• Photo Gallery

Vanger Family Tree

Book advert

Separate DVD of the film





Description: A discredited journalist and a mysterious computer hacker discover that even the wealthiest families have skeletons in their closets while working to solve the mystery of a 40 year old murder. Inspired by late author Stieg Larsson's successful trilogy of books, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO gets underway as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are briefed in the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, whose uncle suspects she may have been killed by a member of their own family. The deeper Mikael and Harriet dig for the truth, however, the greater the risk of being buried alive by members of the family who will go to great lengths to keep their secrets tightly sealed.



The Film:

Tattoos and body piercings must be pretty far-out stuff in Sweden, the land of midnight sun, icy blondes and enough twisted thinking to plump up three best-selling mystery novels. From the way that most people look at the inked, pierced form of Lisbeth Salander, the main attraction in the movie adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the first book in Stieg Larsson’s so-called Millennium Trilogy, you might even think that our girl had a swastika stamped on her forehead rather than a few modest rings hooked through her nose — you know, like a cow ready for market or, given the murderous milieu, slaughter.

Salander, as she’s usually called in the books, is a devil doll par excellence, and maybe if David Fincher makes good on the vaporous rumors wafting around about the inevitable American adaptation, she might one day make an equally delectable film character too. Weighing in at 90 pounds of rage on the page and a hair heavier and less fierce on the screen, where she’s played by Noomi Rapace, Salander embodies a host of au courant fantasies. She’s a geek girl for starters, a computer hacker who would have downloaded this flick before it even hit theaters, and whose fetish wear and shiny boots suggest that she’s into BDSM, as they say in bondage, discipline and sadomasochism circles.

More seductive to some, Salander is also a victim turned avenger, who, rather than taking her traumatic past out on herself in classic female style, say, by cutting, externalizes her rage. She doesn’t take anything lying down, including sex and violence. She’s the top dog in bed as well as in the streets, where she follows the creed that it’s better to die on your feet than on your knees. From one angle, she looks like a consummate cool chick of the sort routinely conjured up by the science-fiction visionary William Gibson, whose dream girl in his novel “Pattern Recognition,” with her singular talents, black clothes and sleek, tousled “anime hair, rendered hi-rez,” could easily describe Salander.

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis review at the NY Times located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

What I have here, I believe, is the Alliance package (which includes a DVD of the film) but I've been led to expect that the US 'Music Box' transfer will be the exact same. It comes out on the exact same date. Once we have verified this we will post it here.


This Blu-ray is dual-layered but is not the most impressive HD transfer. Detail is very good but colors are flat and there is not much depth with the bitrate at less than 20 Mbps.  Nothing is particularly remarkable with modest contrast but it is a consistent presentation and may very well be a decent representation of the theatrical. There are some impressive Swedish exteriors and the 1080P rendering does a decent job with those impressive cinematography visuals. There is no noise or DNR and I won't complain too much but believe that this transfer probably could have been better.















Audio :

The audio is a letdown with no lossless track offered. We get Dolby Digital for original Swedish in both 5.1 and 2.0 and similar English DUBs. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's audio has some dynamic moments with punching bass that a more robust track would have brought out the tension and suspense to a far grander level. There really is no excuse at this level not to indulge in an HD-Master track - especially for a film of this nature. There are English subtitles and the disc appears to be coded for region 'A' only.



Extras :

No commentary but a few decent supplements with an interview with actress Noomi Rapace by Anwar Brett in English for about a dozen minutes - and another with producer Søren Stærmose for the same length of time. Seeing the 5.5 minute exclusive Sneak Peek of The Girl Who Played With Fire. There is also a trailer for it as well as the UK Theatrical trailer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Thrown in are a Photo Gallery, a screen of the Vanger Family Tree and an advert for the book trilogy. For those keen there is a separate DVD of the film.



It is one of those films that you wish the mystery would never end and it, thankfully, runs a healthy 2.5 hours before the final credits roll. There is definitely some disturbing scenes but it is easy to see the literary appeal of the characters. The Blu-ray is not of the gold standard but the film definitely is. As an intelligent thriller- it is one of the best I've seen this year. So the enthusiasm is more for the film than the Blu-ray - but we still feel it is enough to recommend seeing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! Go for it - this is great late night fodder for the home theater.  

Gary Tooze

June 26th, 2010



Alliance edition (Canada)

Music Box Films (US)

Momentum (UK)

French TF1 edition


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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