Monthly Archives: December 2011

My Review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

As some of you may remember, I originally won passes to an advance screening of The Descendents. Unfortunately, the screening filled up very quickly and I could not get in. The Georgia Straight kindly then gave me two passes to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I attended the screening last night.

I’d like to preface my review of the film by saying that I have obviously been living under a rock and did not know anything about this movie before last night. So, I went in not knowing about the novels or the Swedish films. Upon watching the opening credit sequence, I was prepared to watch something similar to a James Bond movie. The images presented were like something out of Goldfinger interpreted by someone who had seen The Matrix. Yet, I was in for a shock when I quickly realized that I was watching something far edgier and deeper than a Bond movie.

The basic plot involves disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) investigating a 40-year-old crime. He is asked to find out what happened to Harriet, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared from an island inhabited by the most dysfunctional family you are ever likely to meet. His assistant on the case is Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) who has considerable issues of her own. There is also a secondary plot involving Blomkvist and the source of his disgrace: a conviction for libel.

This movie is very, very graphic in its depictions of violence, particularly violence against women. The title of the original novelMän som hatar kvinnor – Men Who Hate Women, prepares the audience for this. The dark, misogynistic world these characters inhabit is a difficult one to watch. I was certainly not the only one cringing during the screening of the film. However, the main story is a compelling mystery and the character of Lisbeth Salander is incredibly complex. At times, she is an avenging angel. At other moments, a skilled and brilliant investigator. I found myself feeling sympathy for her throughout the film, too. She yearns for love and compassion, but is understandably reluctant to open herself up to it.

I was glued to the screen whenever the main, mystery story was in progress and when Salander’s life away from the case was being presented. The libel subplot was not as compelling and I felt that the way the movie was bookended with it was unnecessary. Without giving anything away, it seemed that the movie had come to a natural conclusion long before the actual conclusion was shown. I would recommend The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with the following advisory:

If you are looking for a heart-warming, Christmasy story – go see Hugo; it’s great! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lives up to its tagline: “It’s the feel bad movie of Christmas.”

A Winning Year in Review

Around this time last year, I was having dinner at the Waldorf Hotel.

It was during this dinner that my friend and I conceived of the idea for this blog: enter as many contests as possible and the biggest winner buys the other dinner and cocktails at the Waldorf in January 2012, should the world still be here.


Well, 2011 is almost at an end and I have won 11 contests:

1. Two tickets to the opening of the Talking Stick Festival, courtesy of hummingbird604 (approximate value: $72.24)
2. Two tickets of an advance screening of the movie, West is West, courtesy of The Vancouver Sun (approximate value: $25.00)
3. $100 worth of cheese, courtesy of Holland Shopping Center ($100)
4. Two tickets to Taking Your Experience for Mine (part of International Dance Day), courtesy of hummingbird604 (approximate value: $30.00)
5. Two tickets to the movie, Something Borrowed, a regular popcorn, and a DVD of the movie, Blue Valentine, courtesy of The Georgia Straight (approximate value: $50)
6. Two tickets to a double bill of The Far Country and The Man from Laramie, courtesy of Pacific Cinematheque  (approximate value: $25.00)
7. $50 gift card to Whole Foods, courtesy of Whole Foods (value: $50)
8. $500 gift card to Pacific Centre, courtesy of Where Vancouver  (value: $500)
9. Two tickets to see Mythbusters live, courtesy of Miss 604 (approximate value $105 – $196 – I’m not sure which section we are seated in)
10. Two tickets to an advance screening of The Descendents, courtesy of The Georgia Straight (approximate value: $30 – This may change, as when we arrived, the movie theatre was full and the representative has yet to contact me, regarding tickets to another screening)
11. A razorpit unit, courtesy of Sharp Magazine (value: $25)


I’d briefly like to discuss my last win because it is the only prize I have won due to ability. First, I entered this contest because I thought my husband or dad would like some new shaving products. Second, I entered because I liked the premise: come up with a definition that describes the moustache-check out more details here:
You will see my definition listed on this page, too:
Heforestation: noun.

The regrowth of facial fuzz after a long lack of cultivation.

I was awarded one of the six runner up prizes-a razorpit unit, which is designed to sharpen razors. The contest was across Canada, excluding Quebec, and I was very excited to have won a prize.

So far, my total winnings add up to $1012.24 – $1103.24. I am still hoping to win one more prize before the end of the month, so I will have won one prize per month in 2011. I’ve loved the new experiences, products, and excitement of winning throughout the year. It has definitely made me a lifelong contest enterer. My advice to anyone wanting to enter contests is to use social media-Facebook and Twitter provide so many opportunities to enter contests. Also, set up a free e-mail account, just devoted to entering contests-the spam quotient is very high. Go local, rather than national. The number of entrants is lower and your chances of winning are much higher. I entered many national contests and only won one. I wish you all the best of luck! And, to my competitor/friend, you’ve got 19 days left to beat me. Otherwise, I’m inviting you now to dinner and cocktails on me!