December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

March 29, 2012

Straw Dogs (2011)

When it’s over, the major problem in this film was a lack of momentum.  If you were to look at this film on a graph, it would be a consistent straight line with a sudden peak at the last 20 minutes.  Straw Dogs is a remake of the very controversial 1971 film (due to content and year released) directed by Sam Peckingpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George.  The 2011 version has James Marsden and Kate Bosworth playing the young couple, David and Amy, who relocates to the deep south and are met with bullies and conflict.  If the scenes are weak, and they definitely were throughout most of the film, the ending won’t save it from drowning into the abyss of wanna be thrillers, but a solid ending does help raise the bar for viewer satisfaction, which is exactly what this film did for me.  I think the ending was fitting and had it ended any other way, I would have felt cheated.  Straw Dogs is one of those films that builds on its violence and feeds on the violence.  An ending less extreme would have been forgettable.  The idea of the reluctant hero plays out well in this film.  David goes from a non-violent person to a person that resorts to violence to triumph in the end.  Aside from the momentum, I think the story is a good one, just executed poorly.  Alexander Skarsgard and James Woods also star.

My rating:  2.5 out of 5

1 comment:

  1. Haven't seen this remake but I have seen the original Sam Peckinpah film. The James Marsden character is an astronaut in the original. He's considered to be somewhat of an emasculated guy, an intellectual rather than a real manly man. He doesn't confront the bullies or too afraid to do so even when they're a threat to him and his wife's peaceful life. I think what Peckinpah was trying to convey was that to repress or deny the natural male instinct does not work in this society, it never will, and it won't do you any good if you repress it. The moment when David decided to fight back was when he became a man.