STRAW DOGS (1971) and DRESSED TO KILL Blu-ray Reviews

by     Posted 3 years, 85 days ago


Two masters have had two of their great works hit Blu-ray. Both are tie-in releases. Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill – which stars Angie Dickenson, Michael Caine and Nancy Allen – is hitting because Scarface is also hitting Blu-ray. Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs – Starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George – has been released in conjunction with the remake. These discs don’t offer much reason for upgrade unless you want 1080P picture quality, but both are essential viewing. Our reviews of both follow after the jump.

Friday Box Office – THE LION KING 3D Reigns Over Trio of New Releases

by     Posted 3 years, 96 days ago


Estimates are in for Friday’s box office, and they indicate a robust return to the big screen for one of Disney’s most iconic features.  With a reported $8.8 million from 2,330 locations, the 3D re-issue of The Lion King is on track to win the weekend with $18 million.  That represents a significant jump from earlier projections, which had the family favorite taking in between $10 and $15 million.  In second place, Contagion took a relatively modest 42% hit entering its sophomore frame – putting it well ahead of the weekend’s three new titles.  Of those, Drive had the best showing with an estimated $4 million from 2,886 venues – though the film’s projected $10 million weekend would put it a bit below expectations.  Finally, Straw Dogs and I Don’t Know How She Does It fared about as well as anyone could expect on this low voltage weekend.  Neither newbie is expected to gross much more than $6 million by Sunday.  Details and analysis tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 The Lion King 3D $8,800,000 $8.8
2 Contagion $4,600,000 $34.3
3 Drive $4,000,000 $4
4 Straw Dogs $2,000,000 $2
5 The Help $1,900,000 $142.8
6 I Don’t Know How She Does It $1,600,000 $1.6


Director Rod Lurie Exclusive Interview STRAW DOGS

by     Posted 3 years, 97 days ago


When director/screenwriter Rod Lurie and his producing partner, Marc Frydman, decided to revisit Sam Peckinpah’s controversial 1971 film Straw Dogs, starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, the goal was to tell the same basic story, but from a different philosophical perspective. Instead of saying that all of us are intuitively violent human beings, this version takes the approach that man is conditioned to violence.

During a recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Rod Lurie talked about his desire to relocate the film in the American South to make the film more relatable, why he decided to cast actors to play against type, how he used test screening audiences to gauge how far they could take things, and that they kept the mood light on set, between takes. He also talked about the drama series he plans to develop for NBC and how he’s close to setting what his next feature will be. Check out what he had to say after the jump.


by     Posted 3 years, 97 days ago


Remaking a well-known film can leave you with many problems. If you stick too closely to the original, the audience will call you on it and more than anything, the film’s twists and turns can become predictable bores. Luckily for director Rod Lurie, he chose to remake a film that has a strong cinemaphile profile but never caught on with the mainstream crowd back in 1971: Straw Dogs. Sam Peckinpah’s controversial little film on violence and the nature of man starred Dustin Hoffman, yet never caught on, only raking in $11 million worldwide. What this means is that despite only changing the setting from England to the redneck South of the United States, Lurie’s tale can exist as a wholly new experience for the average filmgoer. However, your appreciation for that may be tempered by the controversial parts largely being in tact. Hit the jump for my full review.

Three Clips and 10 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from STRAW DOGS

by     Posted 3 years, 113 days ago


Three clips and approximately ten minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from director Rod Lurie’s Straw Dogs remake are now available online. Starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård, James Woods and Walton Goggins, the film is set in the deep South and centers on screenwriter David (Marsden) and his wife Amy (Bosworth) who return to her small hometown and encounter trouble in the form of her ex-boyfriend Charlie (Skarsgård).

Perhaps due to the widespread acclaim of director Sam Peckinpah’s Oscar-nominated 1971 original starring Dustin Hoffman, the remake has been under fire by many since its inception. That said, I’m willing to give it a chance if for no other reason than I generally like both Marsden and Skarsgård’s work.  Check out the clips and behind-the-scenes footage after the jump. Straw Dogs opens on September 16th.

New Poster for STRAW DOGS Breaks James Marsden’s Glasses

by     Posted 3 years, 191 days ago


I have yet to see the 1971 Straw Dogs (it’s on my Before I Turn 30 list), but I love that poster.  The image of Dustin Hoffman in the broken glasses tells me everything I need to know about the film, a thriller about a man pushed to the edge of reason when they move to a small village where the locals prove anything but hospitable.

James Marsden fills in for Hoffman in the upcoming remake, and now dons the broken glasses for a remake of the iconic poster.  There are a few twists: Screen Gems found a way to get Alexander Skarsgård’s beautiful Swedish face in the picture and added the slogan “Everyone has a breaking point.”  The image can’t be as powerful four decades later, but this is smarter than your average poster.  Kate Bosworth also stars in Straw Dogs, opening on September 16.  See the new poster and its inspiration after the jump.

Trailer for Rod Lurie’s Remake of STRAW DOGS

by     Posted 3 years, 223 days ago


The trailer for Rod Lurie’s remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs has gone online.  The remake transplants the story from rural England to the deep South where a screenwriter (James Marsden) and his wife (Kate Bosworth) relocate to her hometown.  Like in the original, they encounter hostility from the locals and matters get increasingly worse for the couple from there. I’m not familiar with Lurie’s original but I’m liking the Southern setting in the trailer, and Skarsgård is positively creepy as the antagonist.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Alexander Skarsgård, Dominic Purcell, Laz Alonso, Walton Goggins, and James Woods.  Straw Dogs opens September 16th.

First Images of STRAW DOGS Starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and Alexander Skarsgård

by     Posted 3 years, 236 days ago


Screen Gems has released the first images from Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah.  James Marsden and Kate Bosworth fill in for Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as the Sumners, “a husband and wife who clash with sadistic small-town Mississippi locals.”  Alexander Skarsgård, Rhys Coiro, James Woods, Laz Alonso, Dominic Purcell, and Walton Goggins also star.

Writer/director Rod Lurie (Nothing But the Truth) recognizes the trickiness in redoing Peckinpah, but the remake doesn’t try to soften the brutal impact of the rape-filled original:

“It’s a fool’s errand to try to outdo Peckinpah on his turf… This is not a soft movie.  People leave this movie saying they need a drink.”

See the images after the jump.

Walton Goggins Exclusive Interview JUSTIFIED; Plus Updates on STRAW DOGS and COWBOYS & ALIENS

by     Posted 3 years, 317 days ago


The popular and critically acclaimed FX drama series Justified, developed by Graham Yost and based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, returns for its highly anticipated Season 2 on February 9th. Fresh off the epic gun battle that concluded Season 1, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) must now face off against the criminal organizations that are moving in to fill the void left by the removal of the Crowder family’s criminal grip on Harlan County. One such foe is Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale), whose family has been the biggest pot farmers in Eastern Kentucky for generations, and which has undoubtedly led to their long-standing feud with Raylan’s family.  Also returning this season is Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), one of the most fascinating and complex characters currently on television. Boyd is Raylan’s long-time friend and ultimate nemesis who is trying to prove to everyone, including himself, that he can reform his past extremist ways.

During a recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Walton Goggins talked about the appeal of playing the intriguing and often morally ambiguous Boyd Crowder, how his character is starting to find some balance from his past behavior, and how much he enjoys learning about Boyd at the same time the character is learning about himself. He also talked about his roles in the upcoming feature films Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau and due out in theaters on July 29th, and Straw Dogs, also starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and Alexander Skarsgard. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Exclusive Interview: Director Rod Lurie on STRAW DOGS, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and His TV Show With Kevin Spacey

by     Posted 4 years, 175 days ago


At last week’s Saturn Awards, I managed to interview writer-director Rod Lurie backstage after he won the award for Best DVD Release.  While many of you might have missed his movie, Nothing But the Truth, which starred Kate Beckinsale and Vera Farmiga, it’s a fantastic film with amazing performances.  While it might be a bit out of place at the Saturn Awards as it’s not geeky or sci-fi, I’m happy he won for this very overlooked film.

Anyway, after talking for awhile about Nothing But the Truth, we eventually got to what’s going on with his remake of Straw Dogs.  He talked about editing the film, the violence, what can people expect, and I asked him when will a trailer or poster be released.  He went on to tell me the film features a 25 minute action scene at the end of the film and it’s a hard R.  We also talked about the TV show he’s developing with Kevin Spacey as a cult leader and what else he’s working on.  Hit the jump to watch the interview:

Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard Join James Marsden for Rod Lurie’s Dreaded Remake of STRAW DOGS

by     Posted 5 years, 160 days ago


Usually I can just let news of remakes go.  The complaint against them just becomes repetitive, studios and filmmakers shrug at the critical outcry, and at the end of the day you can just ignore the remake and go back to loving the original.  But with Rod Lurie’s remake of Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs”, I just can’t do that.  It’s such a fundamentally bad idea that it’s up there with Ted Turner’s decision to colorize old black-and-white movies.  Now Variety reports that Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard have joined James Marsden on this doomed voyage.  Hit the jump to find out what roles they’ll be play and how they’ll pale in comparison to the ones in the original.

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