CATEGORIES DVDsIt's a confusing world out there -- as epitomized by this week's DVD releases. First up is 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' an anything-but-straight-ahead mystery thriller about he unlikely teaming of a journalist and a female computer hacker who investigate a 40-year-old crime. Then there's the angst of 'A Single Man,' about a college professor who has to navigate a post-relationship life in 1960s Los Angeles. And, finally, there's 'Brooklyn's Finest,' about three dysfunctional cops trying to survive one week on the mean streets of New York. Read on. 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
What It's About: A disgraced financial journalist is hired to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of the daughter of a wealthy Swedish family and when he hits a brick wall, he, in turn, hires a tattooed, ruthless computer hacker to aid him in his search. The pair uncover horrible secrets linking the family to a series of grotesque murders, and what begins as a simple detective story evolves into a harrowing journey to the dark side of human nature.
It's Kinda Like: 'The Silence of the Lambs' meets 'Insomnia'
What We Say: At times gruesome and nasty, 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' -- the highest grossing Swedish film in history -- is absorbing and mesmerizing in its take on the underbelly and corruption of Swedish high society and government officials. The exciting film was adapted from the first part of deceased mystery writer Stieg Larsson's 'Millenium Series' trilogy. The second film in the series, 'The Girl Who Played With Fire,' will be released theatrically July 9. An American remake, written by Steve Zallian and directed by David Fincher, is due in 2012. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
'A Single Man'
What It's About: A single day in the life of George Falconer, a 52-year-old British college professor (Colin Firth) in Los Angeles in 1962, struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long-time partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). George dwells in the memories of his past -- ignoring future possibilities even as they present themselves to him in the form of one of his students -- while being consoled by his closest friend Charley (Julianne Moore), a 48-year-old beauty who is wrestling with her own questions about the future.
It's Kinda Like: 'Beautiful Thing' meets 'American Beauty'
What We Say: Stunning performances by Firth and Moore, and breathtaking design and direction by first-time director Tom Ford, made this "quiet" film one of the best of 2009. Falconer's personal crisis -- set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis -- is even more affecting given the era, a time when coming out of the closet was not a very popular option in the gay community. But the film throws away sexual orientation in its pursuit of the underpinning tropes of human feelings and aspirations. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
What It's About: Crime drama follows three conflicted New York City police officers whose lives are dramatically transformed by their involvement in a massive drug operation over the course of one chaotic week: Burned-out veteran Eddie Dugan (Richard Gere), just one week away from his pension; narcotics officer Sal Procida (Ethan Hawke), who crosses the line between cop and criminal to provide a better life for his long-suffering wife and seven children; and Clarence "Tango" Butler (Don Cheadle), an undercover cop whose loyalties have started to shift from his fellow police officers to his drug dealer buddy Caz (Wesley Snipes).
It's Kinda Like: 'Training Day' meets 'The Departed' and 'Taxi Driver'
What We Say: Good cast and good direction but, hey, seems like we've seen this one too many times before. It's hard to feel sympathetic for any of these characters, which makes it hard to care what happens to them. Director Antoine Fuqua, who made a big splash in 1998 with the superb 'The Replacement Killers,' needs better material; this outing is just too predictable and by-the-book. If all you want is slam-bam popcorn action, however, give it a peek. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
Other New July 6 DVD Releases:
'Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II'
'Gamera vs. Barugon'
Check out other new July 6 DVD releases at OnVideo.