Tag Archives: Lisbeth Salander

Five Tiny Film Reviews

These are the last five movies I watched in 2018 and have been too lazy to post about – with micro reviews:

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

The film itself is fine but this is one of the weakest stories in the series (the first not written by Steig Larsson but David Lagercrantz). However, it does offer us a brand new Lisbeth Salander and that’s the real reason I rushed to see it. Claire Foy does a good job. I was curious about her ability to rock the look and she aces it, bringing her own grace to the character. Throw in some sweet Lakeith Stanfield action and a sadistic, vengeful little sister – and I enjoyed myself. Probably a little forgettable but I’m interested to see where this franchise might lead.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Creed II (2018)

Creed was amazing and this is good too, with strong performances all round. Tessa Thompson steals the show from everyone as the world’s most understanding girlfriend Bianca. If I were to pick on it I would say it’s a little heavy-handed on the sentimentality and the abrupt turn around at the end by Dolph Lundgren‘s Ivan Drago might be touching but it is a little barf-worthy. I didn’t hate it though and I’m always going to be there for Michael B. Jordan and any training montage he wants to share with me.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aquaman (2018)

I’ve never been so aroused and pissed off at the same time. Unfortunately, while Jason Momoa may be the hottest human man on Earth, this film is a pile of steaming garbage and there’s no getting away from that. The dialogue is cheap, it’s light on laughs and is also boring in places, perhaps it’s biggest crime. It does have warrior sharks though so most of the rating I give is for them.

Back to the drawing board again, DC – or maybe given Patty Jenkins a call?

⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

Marvel, meanwhile knocks it out of the park again with this animated treat. Into the Spiderverse is fun, stylish and has a soundtrack to die for. While it’s silly in places, it works well and the blend of darkness and light works perfectly. My highlight is Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir but there’s excellent voice work from Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali and Hailee Steinfeld too.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

While this does border on just a little too saccharine for me (balloon scene particularly), it was magical in many ways. Emily Blunt rocks Poppins while bringing her own sarky tone to proceedings, the kids don’t make me want to punch them and Emily Mortimer is dreamy AF (as always). I don’t think I would have gone out of my way to see this if it hadn’t been just before Christmas but I’m glad I did. Is it as good as the original (as most people have asked)? Hard to say, I was never a Poppins purest (more of a Bedknobs & Broomsticks kinda girl) but it is a strong sequel. Definitely worth a watch if you’re not adverse to musicals and uber tweeness.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What have you been watching?

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Book) Review

Putzel

You can imagine my joy when I found out Lisbeth Salander was back.

In her second story penned by David Lagercrantz, our heroine is incarcerated – Lisbeth in prison! – for her actions in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Despite the fact she saved the life of a brilliant young boy using any means necessary, the feds are keen to punish her for the those means – and it’s bullshit. But Lisbeth doesn’t really care as long as she has access to her physics books.

A girl like Salander can run her business from anywhere – and she does. This time round she’s not only fighting the corrupt prison system from within, she’s also protecting the life of a fellow prisoner who has suffered great injustice in her own life.

Meanwhile, Blomvist has been tasked with his own project – to find out more about a mysterious woman with a birthmark on her throat – who may or may not have an awful lot to do with Salander’s past.

Although I don’t think this secondary series can go on for ever, I’m always pleased to pick up on the further adventures of Salander and Blomvist. I have an awful lot of fondness for some of the lesser featured characters too and that’s why I’ll probably always pick them up.

In all honesty, the last two (including this one) are written competently but they’re nowhere near as memorable or as tight as the original trilogy (OBVS). There are no real criticisms from me on the writing and my bias would make it very hard to pull it apart, these books do exactly what I want them to. Although, if pushed, sometimes the flipping to and fro between each story arc can get a little frustrating, especially when I’m getting into something really interesting. (I know lots of books do this and it’s a technique to hook you in, but it seems to flit quickly between each chapter a lot here).

As the tale of TGWTAEFAE unfolds, we meet some new characters who share a connection with what happened to Lisbeth and her family. This keeps it fresh but I think personally there are often too many characters to keep up with. Thankfully, Lagercrantz has the sense to put a glossary of who everyone is in the front of the book, which helps immensely.

I would have loved to have had more time in the prison system with Lisbeth and maybe learned more about the motivations of the prison bully and her crew. But this is minor and I got enough action to keep interested.

I think it would be fitting for Lagercrantz to round his series off as a trilogy then hang up his hat. I would never want to get tired of this universe or any of the characters that inhabit it – although, didn’t I just say above that I’d always pick them up again? You got me. Bring it on – just keep it good, yo.

Lisbeth 4 eva.

Book details:

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Publisher: MacLehose Press (7 Sept. 2017)
ISBN-10: 0857056409
ISBN-13: 978-0857056405
Bought hardback (new)

What are you currently reading?

Part of my Autumn Reading List, here.

Autumn Reading List 🍂 

Putzel (97)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yep, Autumn reading season and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Inspired by new podcast What Page Are You On, I’ve purchased some new books and added them to a few I already had queued up. Now I just need some chunky knitwear and some slightly cooler evenings, and I’ll be good to go.

Here’s what I’m planning on reading:

Carrie

I added this to my pile because of a conversation had on WPAYO podcast. Alice and Bethany discuss how fat characters are/have been portrayed in literature, and the subject of Carrie came up.

Carrie White was apparently written as fat but has been represented in every screen adaptation as slim (because, Hollywood). I thought this was interesting, so I want to read it for myself.

Stephen King: On Writing

You’ll notice a pattern within this post, as this is the second of three books I was influenced to buy by the above mentioned source. On Writing has been on my radar for years and is meant to be a great read – now is as good a time as any, right? (Definitely having a SK revival/love-in after It, which I loved).

Dumplin’

This is a YA book but it sounds amazing and I’m looking forward to meeting Willowdean (AKA Dumplin’), a fat Texan teen who enters a beauty pageant to annoy her mother. Right? Break me off a piece of that.

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

I only learnt about this new release this week and snapped it up immediately. Another chance to spend time with Lisbeth? No brainer. Plus, Ms Salander’s currently in a prison situation, which sounds brilliant.

Nocturnal Animals

I enjoyed the film adaptation of this but the book is, as expected, much better. I have the last chapter to go but I’ve loved it so far. The story within a story framing is interesting, as we witness Susan Morrow reacting to her first reading of ex-husband Edward’s debut novel. The tale is dark, both in ‘real time’ and within Edward Sheffield’s book – and there’s something really pleasant about the writing.

This was on my Winter Reading List last year but I kept putting it off because I thought it would be too heavy and kind of dull. I was wrong.

What are you guys reading? Let me know!

Big Screen Girl Gang 

I stole this idea from last month’s Cosmopolitan, not going to lie. It was lying around in the gym last night and I take my inspiration where I can get it. Cosmo’s version has more of a single girl flavour though, choosing to celebrate the solo babes of cinema in line with the release of Bridget Jone’s Baby.

I’m just picking the 8 movie women I’d most like to hang with and why, because why wouldn’t I? It’s an awesome plan.

In no particular order:

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Who? Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Why? Look, Lisbeth isn’t exactly warm and fluffy, I know this. Hugs might be a little light on the ground but when it comes to loyalty, there’s nobody more so. I’m all about that and appreciate it in friends. Plus, if I accidentally ever send a dodgy email to somebody, who better than Lisbeth to intercept it before it gets read?
What she’d teach me: How to actually use my laptop for more than just streaming Netflix and buying toot.

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Who? Beatrix Kiddo AKA The Bride (Uma Thurman, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2)
Why? She’s just very cool and focused. I could use inspiration like that in my life. She also has the whole revenge thing down pat so I know, if anyone ever really hurt me, she’d have some tips on how to deal.
What she’d teach me: How to be handy with the Japanese steel, or failing that, a stick from the park.

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Who? Alabama Worley, née Whitman (Patricia Arquette, True Romance)
Why? Alabama is sweetness personified with, like me, a love of martial art movies and pie. She also believes in true love and girl, you got me there. Love is the only thing that really matters in life as far as I’m concerned, be it romantic, parental, whatever – there’s a reason it makes the world go round.
What she’d teach me: How to be creative and strong in a fight, whilst rocking the shit out of leopard print and candy-coloured Lycra.

My tribute to Alabama, here.

american-mary

Who? Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle, American Mary)
Why? Mary would be the hot friend I had a bit of a thing for. She’s an academic but she’s also open to trying new and bizarre things. The desire to accompany her on these adventures would hopefully rub off on me. She’d likely be the most open-minded of the gang and ferociously feminist, which is fine by me.
What she’d teach me: To express myself better. How to be braver when I get piercings.

My review of the film, here.

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Who? Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy, Ghostbusters)
Why? She’s so fun and smart, and rocks a boiler suit like nobody’s business. She’s also not afraid to fight for what she believes in (ghosts), even when the rest of the world is rolling their eyes at her and her team. She’d probably make me look cleverer just by association.
What she’d teach me: Sciencey shit and how to wield a proton pack (like I wouldn’t ask to try it).

My review of the film, here.

Gilmore Girls TV Series starring Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann as Emily and Richard Gilmore - dvdbash

Who? Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls)
Why? Not technically a ‘big screen’ character but Emily stays. (She was in Dirty Dancing and a load of other films, what more do you want from me?). Em might seem like a controversial choice with a few decades on the rest of us but man is she good fun. Appreciates a damn good drink, always comes through for her loved ones and is the sassiest person in the Stars Hollow area (yes I know she’s a way out of town). You’d always be drunk and/or laughing your arse off round Emily’s.
What she’d teach me: How to burn my haters with the flick of my tongue (not like that, you pervs).

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Who? Margaret (Lisa Haas, The Foxy Merkins)
Why? Why not? She’s so adorable. A bit bumbling but then so am I. She’s a hooker in the loosest sense of the word and one could argue, the worst of all time which just makes her more endearing. Margaret would most certainly be the ‘Bad Sex’ storyteller of the group. TBH I’ve just been reminded of the single best quote in cinematic history, uttered by Margaret about her plus size vagina to “The Mumbling Erotic Accessory Salesman” trying to sell her a merkin.
What she’d teach me: How to be resourceful when I’m down and out.

My review of the film, here.

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Who? Barb Holland (Shannon Purser, Stranger Things)
Why? Barb’s another small screen sensation but I was hardly going to exclude her from my dream girl gang, was I? Every squad needs a sensible type and Barb’s not a great drinker, is the designated driver and will worry about my morals for me (although p. sure that ship has sailed and circled the globe several times already). I’d keep her away from pools and beer cans though, she’s a bit of a liability.
What she’d teach me: To make the right decisions. Maybe. Probably not. But she’d try.

My tribute to Barb, here.

~

Who do you choose for your Girl Gang? ❤

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Book) Review

The-Girl-in-the-Spiders-WebI promised a review of this book, as I’d got so excited on social media about the return of two of my all-time favourite literary characters and a few people echoed my euphoria. So here it is.

I’m going to keep things deliberately vague for two reasons: firstly, so as not to spoil the suspense, of which there is a lot. It’s a book about the underbelly of the Internet, Russian Mafia and Artificial Intelligence FFS, so it’s not giving anything away to say that the plot is steeped in intrigue. Secondly, it’s a little over my head if I’m honest. I’m average when it comes to the technical side of things, but there’s a lot of geek speak. However, I don’t think this will stop you following or enjoying it.

As you may, or may not know, the author of the original Millennium Trilogy (which I bang on about all the time), Steig Larsson passed away in 2004. With him went his sheer brilliance and also the fate of his super characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomvist. Partners in crime, or more importantly, justice.

It was depressing, once the final book had been finished and the last film viewed, to think that that was it. Our heroes’ stories fully told, never to evolve beyond The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, which was published posthumously in 2007. Whether Larsson ever had plans to give us more, I have no idea. (Actually, he did but those ideas have nothing to do with this story which is a bone of contention with Larsson’s long-term girlfriend, Eva Gabrielsson).

But then came The Girl in the Spider’s Web and author David Lagercrantz; and, just like that, Lisbeth is back – the most exciting news of all time?

I suppose the question on most people’s lips is, is it any good? Well you’ll have to read on to see what I think!

My Review: 

Blomvist is having issues at work. Sadly these aren’t just a bit of can’t-be-arsedness at the end of a day like the rest of us. The big bosses at Millennium are planning a shake-up in content and this might serious compromise Blomvist’s hard-hitting style.

He’s seriously pissed but just before he throws in the towel forever, a mysterious encounter piques his journalistic interest again. Has this got anything to do with the involvement of an aloof, yet brilliant hacker that may, or may not be his old friend, Salander?

The pair haven’t been keeping in touch, not even the odd postcard but Blomvist agrees to get involved in the curious case of Professor Balder, a scientist seriously concerned for his life, following the theft of some super valuable research.

Balder wants to tell Blomvist his story but things don’t go to plan and lots of drama ensues. The scientist, you see, isn’t just worried about his own life. He’s also fearful for the safety of his young son, August who is autistic.

Balder has been an absent father for too long, so he’s quit his job in the Silicon Valley, Cali. and headed back to Sweden to take responsibility for once. But can he get through to August? And what is this intriguing new skill of August’s? What does it all mean?! (All these questions!)

Meanwhile, Salander is stirring up shit on Darknet and pissing off a lot of people with her skillz. Blomvist optimistically reaches out to his old crime-solving partner but will she take the bait?

I really can’t tell you anymore. What I can say is that you’ll be back in touch with a lot of your old favourite characters; from Plague, the enormous hacker and Erika Berger editor-in-chief at Millennium and on-off lover of Blomvist to Holger Palmgren, Lisbeth’s former guardian and slightly bumbling Chief Inspector Jan Bublanski.

You’ll meet some new ones too, some of whom are terrible but brilliant villains. Gotta always love the villains.

My Thoughts:

This book, of course, has garnered a mixed bag of reviews. Some people just ain’t down for a Larsson substitute and I can totally understand that. However, I’m glad another author has been given the opportunity to bring my favourite character back to life.

I’d rather have some Salander than none at all and I feel like he understands her. She remains the same bad ass; driven and talented, hard as nails but also vulnerable with a moral compass that never ever wavers.

This time around we meet Camilla, Lisbeth’s sister and learn more about their fractious relationship growing up. We gain more insight into the tragic life of the girls and their mother, Agneta. I could never tire of Salander’s origin story or her further adventures, so all I can say is GIVE ME MORE.

There were points I was genuinely moved (one of Blomvist’s beloved colleagues sacrifices himself for the greater good and it’s heartbreaking).

I also had a real soft spot for August and his mother. Savant syndrome is a fascinating topic, one I knew nothing about. By the end of the book you’ll be desperate to see what becomes of the boy and his extraordinary gift.

And I hope, like me, that you’ll enjoy yourself along the way. Because life is so much better withThe-Girl-in-the-Spiders-Web-promo Salander in it.

My rating: 4/5 – not bad. The Millennium Trilogy gets 500/5 but this ain’t bad at all.

Book details: