Excerpt: When people think of Sam Peckinpah, The Wild Bunch is almost always the first film to spring to mind or to be mentioned. No doubt, it's a great film. One of the manliest movies ever made and chock to the brim with action, violence and intensity though not without an underlying message and pseudo social conscience. I'm not sure it's his best film though. Straw Dogs might just be better.
Excerpt: This film was originally released in 1971. It was based on the novel "The Siege of Trencher's Farm" by Gordon M. Williams. (It is being remade again for 2005 under the name "Fear Itself" starring Edward Norton.
Excerpt: David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) is a simple man, he’s a young mathematician in America who is tired of the endless violence. He seeks to take up a quieter, more serene lifestyle, so he moves to the English countryside. This isn’t much of a reach for Sumner, as his wife Amy (Susan George) is English and she welcomes the return.
Excerpt: The Movie An American scholar, David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) moves to rural England with his pretty, free-spirited wife, seeking peace and quiet for him to work on his book, but also to avoid the social upheaval on campuses back home. He's promptly introduced to the quick violence and the barely-there police presence in this town, while the audience is shown the nasty nature of the locals.
Excerpt: Into the remake debate we enter as Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs is closely remade with just a dose of flash. What really matters? Accuracy? Respect? Tension? It’s too complex and too convoluted to debate at length, because sides bicker and no one looks at the end product. Director Rod Lurie steps on some well worn toes with mixed results, namely James Marsden who is simply built as a fragile flower, too much so.
Conclusion: Rod Lurie's remake of Sam Peckinpah's classic psychological thriller, 'Straw Dogs,' suffers from a lack of the same slow build-up of apprehension and suspense which made the original such a memorable piece of filmmaking. Some small variations of the story for modern audiences can be appreciated, but much of the film ultimately falls short though it still makes for a good effort.
Conclusion: Straw Dogs isn't an all-time great movie or the definitive remake or re-imaging, but it's a solid, all-around performer that frazzles the audience's nerves, challenges the audience's minds, and captures the audience's attention and imagination and never lets go. It sports good character development and strongly defined arcs; fine performances; quality cinematography; steady direction; hard-hitting action; and a palpable, thick atmosphere that's made of equal parts uneasy...
Excerpt: Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial film Straw Dogs finally makes its way on to Blu-Ray this week, just in time for its 40th anniversary and to coincide with the release of the remake (out in the UK on 4th November, and reviewed here ). It was made during a difficult period in Peckinpah’s life when he’d been blacklisted by Hollywood, after the catastrophic production of The Ballad of Cable Hogue, and his drinking problem had started to take hold.
Excerpt: Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial film Straw Dogs finally makes its way on to Blu-Ray this week, just in time for its 40th anniversary and to coincide with the release of the remake (out in the UK on 4th November, and reviewed