Daily Call Sheet: 'Fast & Furious' Times Two, Spielberg Is Kinda Fresh, and 3D Wanes

KYLE SMITH RIPS ‘DRAGON TATTOO’

Ouch:

Once the hype dies, this movie will be best enjoyed as a drinking game. Down a shot of Absolut every time Craig whips his glasses on or off and you’ll be blitzed by the halfway point. When he can’t figure out an excuse to do that, he does bizarre things with the specs, such as leaving them dangling beneath his face like a chin strap. The poor man is under the delusion that eyewear can make anything here seem intelligent.

Here’s “John Boot” at Pajamas, who seconds that emotion:

So take the critical hosannas for Larsson’s trilogy with a grain of salt. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo could hardly be pulpier, nastier, more contrived, or more risible. Its characters — morally pure crusaders, evil fanatics — could not be less developed. The sex scenes between Blomkvist and Salander seem thrown in to give us one more chance to see Mara (who is in her twenties but has the body of a high-school sophomore) naked, not because Fincher makes us see any connection (emotional or physical) between the characters. The film is as depraved as Caligula, but at least Caligula didn’t pretend to be anything other than smut.

It doesn’t sound as though Smith or ‘Boot’ were fans of the original trilogy of films released last year, either.

Though I haven’t seen the remake, I’m a big fan of the original trilogy. And while I do agree with both that the material is pulpy, nasty, and simplistic in both its politics and in the good and evil characterizations, I don’t see those qualities as bad things. None of that bothered me because at heart “Dragon Tattoo” is a vigilante film, and the most satisfying vigilante films are nasty, pulpy, and simplistic.

I cheered every kill.


WITH 31 REVIEWS IN, SPIELBERG’S “WAR HORSE” SITS AT 71% FRESH

Even a large number of positive reviews use words like “overlong,” “corny,” and “lacking subtlety.”

In an already overcrowded field of releases this weekend, Spielberg’s “War Horse” will also be competing with Spielberg’s “Tintin,” which is doing a little better with a 75% fresh rating.

While these are respectable reviews, they’re not the kind that create a must-see phenomenon.

VIN DIESEL CONFIRMS DOUBLE ‘FAST & FURIOUS’ SEQUELS ON THE WAY

Why not? The last franchise entry, “Fast Five,” opened with a whopping $86m and then went on to gross $209m domestic and another $416m overseas.

Curious how one of 2011’s few box office bright spots is a big-budget B-film.

CONSUMERS WANT STREAMING TV SETS, NOT 3D TV SETS

The dumbness of 3D is finally coming home to roost.

Although prices of 3D television sets have dropped significantly since last year’s holiday period, sales for them have not taken off, seeming to reflect falling interest in 3D in general as the year ends. What has taken off, according to a study by Parks Associates and reported today by Home Media magazine are so-called smart TV’s — that is, television sets that can connect to the Internet to receive movies and TV shows on demand without the necessity of set top boxes. These are outselling 3D TVs by nearly two to one, according to the study.

“Interest is falling.” 3D is a gimmick that does absolutely nothing to improve the immersive experience of whatever it is you’re watching. Yes, 3D allows Hollywood to inflate ticket prices and helps to thwart piracy, but Hollywood’s problem right now is that they’re not telling compelling stories, and no added dimension will change that.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS TV SPECIALS

When will some ACLU-type or evangelical atheist file suit against the network that airs “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on the basis that broadcasting religious programming over the public airwaves violates the non-existent ban on church and state?

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

AMAZON STUDIOS ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST THREE FILMS

ORSON WELLES’ ‘CITIZEN KANE’ OSCAR SELLS FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION

HBO RENEWS ‘ENLIGHTENED’; CANCELS ‘BORED TO DEATH,’ ‘HUNG,’ AND ‘HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA

NEW TRAILER FOR NAVY SEAL FILM ‘ACT OF VALOR

11 THINGS THE ‘HOMELAND’ FINALE DID WELL AND 4 THINGS THAT MAKE US NERVOUS

THE 15 BEST EPISODES OF TELEVISION IN 2011

10 SCI-FI SHOWS THAT COULD BECOME HIT MOVIES

TERRY GILLIAM’S 10 LESSONS FOR DIRECTORS

INFOGRAPHIC: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 3D

A LOOK AT MOVIES WHERE THE DIRECTOR WAS FIRED MID-PRODUCTION

50 MOVIES THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE BOOK

INSIDE THE GENRE KNOWN AS ‘THE HALLMARK ORIGINAL MOVIE’

OLD SCHOOL EFFECTS: RECREATING PEARL HARBOR FOR ‘TORA! TORA! TORA!

THE 7 STUPIDEST ATTEMPTS TO REINVENT BATMAN

WATCH ‘PULP FICTION’ RE-EDITED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF ‘HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS

25 FACTS ABOUT ‘HAROLD AND MAUDE

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CLASSIC PICK FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

TCM:

11:15 AM EST: Strangers On A Train (1951) — A man’s joking suggestion that he and a chance acquaintance trade murders turns deadly. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Cast: Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker. BW-101 mins, TV-PG, CC.

No explanation should be necessary.

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