The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Director: Daniel Alfedson, Rated MA, 147 Mins
Like the first two movies adapted from Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s enthralling Millennium trilogy, the final instalment does not disappoint.
In fact, it is compelling viewing and a fitting finale to what has been one of the most riveting foreign language films to come out of Europe since the release of the Three Colors trilogy in the 90’s.
Following his highly successful direction of The Girl Who Played with Fire Swedish filmmaker Daniel Alfredson returns to the director’s chair, as does the talented Noomi Rapace reprising her controversial role of Lisbeth Salander, as does Michael Nyqvist playing the persistent investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
The movie opens with the electrifying ending to The Girl Who Played with Fire which is then followed by a series of dramatic events taking place within a hospital where Salander is recovering (as is her abusive father Alexander Zalachenko - Georgi Staykov) and then in a courtroom where she is accused of murder but is defended by Blomkvist’s lawyer sister Annika Giannini (Annika Hallin).
The gripping courtroom scenes indicate that a political conspiracy has been behind Salander’s incarceration in a psychiatric ward which in turn triggered her embarking on a series of vendettas.
With the orchestrated death in hospital of Zalachenko from his co-conspirators, Salander has one more score to settle – that of her evil half-brother Ronald Niedermann (Micke Spreitz) whom she finally confronts in a thrilling conclusion.
Alfredson certainly ties up all the loose ends in this final instalment of the trilogy but it is Rapace’s brilliant portrayal of Salander that really stands out again which is complemented by Nyqvist putting in another solid performance as Salander’s journalistic friend.
It will be interesting to see if the forthcoming remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from The Social Network director David Fincher is as exciting and riveting as the Swedish production.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
Director: Gore Verbinski, Rated PG, 107 Mins
The director of The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Gore Verbinski, teams up again with his main star Johnny Depp to bring to the big screen a new kind of hero in a delightful animated comedy that incorporates an endearing theme and tribute to the western genre.
Depp voices the colourful and entertaining character of Rango a green chameleon (wearing a bright coloured shirt) whose initial encounter with Roadkill an armadillo (voiced by Alfred Molina - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and later with an iguana known as Beans (voiced by Isla Fisher from Confessions of a Shopaholic) sees Rango end up in the small wild west town of “Dirt”.
Besides being short of water and infested with undesirable elements (mainly furry and scaly animals), Rango soon finds himself being appointed sheriff by the mayor, a tortoise (voiced by Ned Beatty - Charlie Wilson’s War) - with his first job to form a posse and go after the thieves that stole the water.
Despite an unusual storyline, the animation, scenery and special effects are visually stunning as are the enjoyable performances of Depp as Rango and Fisher as Beans and in particular that of Bill Nighy (Wild Target) as the outlaw rattlesnake jake.
In addition to the environmental theme there is an indirect acknowledgement to such westerns as High Noon and The Three Amigos including a special tribute to a western icon - Clint Eastwood - before the final showdown.
Lastly there is Hans Zimmer’s wonderful musical score that includes the four Mexican owl amigos singing the title of the movie which has some similarity to Lorne Greene’s hit song “Ringo”.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
DVD REVIEW (Disney)
Release Date: 30 March
Director: David Hand, Rated G, 70 Mins
Walt Disney’s beloved animated classic Bambi is coming out of the Disney Vault for a limited time only and being releasedon Diamond Edition Blu-Ray and Disney DVD from 30 March.
Nominated for three Academy Awards in 1943 for Best Song, Best Score and Best Sound, this wonderful movie will delight families all over again through the magic of high definition technology.
A family favourite, Bambi tells the story of a young deer hailed as the “Prince of the Forest” at his birth and as he grows he becomes friends with the other animals of the forest including the playful rabbit Thumper and the bashful skunk Flower.
Exploring his new world and guided by the wisdom of Friend Owl, Bambi learns valuable lessons of life with every adventure – experiencing the power of family, friendship and love along the way.
One day the hunters come and Bambi must learn to be brave like his father if he is to lead the other deer to safety.
In addition to enhanced animation, sound and vision, the Diamond Edition on Disney Blu-Ray and DVD boasts spectacular bonus materials including “The Making of Bambi - A Prince is Born” ensuring that Disney’s soon to be released Bambi is a must-have for every home movie collection.
VIC'S VERDICT: 5 Rubber Stamps
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