Thursday, January 13, 2011

W reveals first look at Lisbeth Salander - take two

Actually, before we get into any of that (and if you haven't seen these, there well worth a short wait), I have a bone or two to pick with people who watch TV (and believe me, I watch much more than I should.)

After running 13 episodes of "Terriers" - easily my favorite new show of last fall - before canceling it to due to very low ratings, FX has now managed to debut a show that, at least in its debut, is fairing even worse.

And the really sad part is that "Lights Out," while far from a perfect TV pilot, shows a heck of a lot of potential. I'm a sucker for boxing-related entertainment anyways ("The Fighter," while not one of the best movies of 2010, is still pretty sensationally entertaining, thanks almost entirely to Christian Bale), and this show has the promise to be a nearly first-rate entry in the genre.

First, the very good. The ensemble is all-around good, led by someone I had never seen before, Holt McCallany, as the retired pugilist Patrick "Lights" Leary. He brings a winning sense of losing to the role of a fighter who's been retired for five years on the wishes of his wife (Catherine McCormack) after feeling he was cheated out of winning his last bout. Add to that Stacy Keach ("Fat City"!) as his father/manager and Pablo Schreiber (aka Nicky Sobotka on season 2 of "The Wire") as his brother and serially inept manager, and you've got the makings of a gritty family dynamic that, given time, could lead to some fantastic television.

In the pilot, Lights finds himself extremely low on money and is forced to become the muscle for a loan shark, which he's not surprisingly very good at. To tell you more beyond that would be criminal, so I'll just say the end of the pilot sets up the story arc of season one, assuming enough people tune in to even make that possible. Please do!

OK, now on to the main event. Though I'm still not and probably never will be sold on the need for David Fincher to make an English-language version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," it's hard to argue he didn't make a heck of a splash with this reveal of what Rooney Mara will look like as Lisbeth Salander in W magazine. That really doesn't need any more build up from me, so here goes, the cover shot and then one more.




Though, having read the second and third Lisbeth Salander novels by Stieg Larsson and watched the first two movies in their original Swedish (and if you like smart thrillers, do yourself a favor and watch them back-to-back now), I'm sure Lisbeth would never agree to strike such poses, I don't think there's any denying that Fincher and Mara have nailed the look.

And, though in sheer attitude Noomi Rapace got Lisbeth just about perfect in the Swedish movies, her look was the only thing that gave me any pause. In the books, though clearly a tough woman who doesn't take any shit from anyone, Lisbeth also cuts a pixieish figure, at least in the picture Larsson paints in your mind (well, at least mine). So, Fincher has gotten at least one thing right so far, but after sitting through Matt Reeves' thoroughly unnecessary, almost shot-by-shot remake of "Let the Right One In," he's gonna have to do a whole lot more to hook me on the need for any of this.

OK, I have to get to the job that still somehow pays my bills, so I'll just leave you with this rather surreal video from PBS' "American Masters," which I believe aired last night (while I was catching up with the pilot of "Lights Out" and "Parenthood" - sublime). In it, The Dude himself pays a visit to The Little Lebowski, a store in NYC with an obvious theme. While it's no surprise that such a store exists, it still adds a fun level of oddity to have Bridges pay it a visit. Enjoy the clip, and have a perfectly passable Thursday. Peace out.

8 comments:

jeremy said...

I think Fincher will knock it out of the park. The source material is good, but, you must admit, a bit plodding. And, hey, it doesn't star Tom Hanks as Blomqvist and Audrey Tatu as Salander with Ron Howard at the helm, so it's bound to be better than some films . . .

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm certain you're right that Fincher is right for this if it indeed has to be made, because the source material is right up his alley .... I didn't really find it to be "plodding" though, as much as meticulous, and I appreciate a good police procedural that plays very close attention to details

jeremy said...

I think the reason I see the book as plodding was because a lot of it was Blomqvist looking at pictures or him just researching stuff which came off a little dry. But the Salander stuff and the final act were sensational and I loved it. I bet a movie could compound a lot of the, "He looked at this picture." Two days later, "He looked at the picture again and saw something he hadn't seen before." Still, I enjoyed the book immensely and really need to get onto the next one! What are you reading now?

Reel Fanatic said...

Something really odd but endearing, Jeremy, which mi hermano gave me for Christmas ... Former Throwing Muse Kristen Hersh's memoir "Rat Girl" ... It's about the early days of the band, and for the first time in a very long while, I can truly say I'm reading something unique

jeremy said...

That's awesome! My best friend since high school interviewed her about the book for our local radio station (which streams live on the web and I'm guessing plays lots of music you'd like).
http://blog.kexp.org/blog/2010/10/01/interview-kristin-hersh/

Reel Fanatic said...

awesome ... I'm always looking for something new to listen to at work, so thanks!

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