Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, The

Featured In Issue 155, March 2011

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
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Brutal violence including a rape, some strong sexual content, nudity and language
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Daniel Alfredson
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Dolby Digital 5.1
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Based on Stieg Larsson's third novel, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest is a literary work adapted to film. Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist), Salander's friend and Millennium's publisher, must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the theatrical trailer and up-front previews.

The 1.78:1 (16:9) 1080p AVC picture appears at times slightly better resolved, compared to the second film by the same filmmakers. There is still a prominent orangish tone in many interior scenes, which detracts from an otherwise natural appearance. The scenes are inconsistent in picture quality, at times exhibiting a natural character that captures the Stockholm city and countryside settings in daylight scenes, but mostly exhibiting a DVD quality, with limited resolution in much of the interior scenes. Overall the imagery is softly focused and lacking in definition, especially evident in the low-light darker scenes. Unfortunately, the picture quality is inferior to the first presentation in the trilogy. (Gary Reber)

As with the previous two releases in the series, the soundtrack is encoded in the lossy Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel codec. A lossless or PCM version would certainly be more accurate and even more revealing of low-level detail and more robust in the dramatic scenes—the sound is intricate and well resolved. The recording quality is acceptable but not particularly distinguished. The orchestral music score is recorded with a wide and deep soundstage that envelops the surrounds with a subtle but definite presence. The dialogue quality is superb, with wonderful spatial integration that other filmmakers should emulate. The sound is faithful to the on-screen setting, with the dialogue perfectly scaled to each scene. Atmospheric effects are well integrated, to enhance the spatial soundscape. The preferred soundtrack is the Swedish language one, not the English dubbed version, which loses the fine balance and spatial integration of the dialogue. The soundtrack is essentially comprised of dialogue, music, and urban sounds and atmospheres. Bass extension is not prevalent but provides a satisfactory foundation. While absent in the second release in the series, the .1 LFE is active during limited segments, though a bit overdone. Overall, the soundtrack does not live up to its potential, particularly in the lack of deep bass impact, but the sound character is natural in presence. (Gary Reber)