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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Movies: Straw Dogs (2011)

So usually remakes just aren't a good idea, and most likely the original 1971 version of this movie didn't need one, but Rod Lurie decided to anyways. I haven't actually seen the original, but I did enjoy at least the action in this one. I felt that it does have it's weak spot, but I was entertained so I just forget them. Anyways, when you try to take on a remake you've got to expect more likely than not people aren't going to receive well, mostly because the original is always better.

Summary: Screenwriter, David Sumner, has moved from L.A. with his wife, Amy, to her small town in the south. After arriving though David rubs everyone in the town the wrong way, especially by avoiding hanging out with them. To make matters worst, one of the locals, Charlie, seems to have a thing for his wife. Tensions begin rising even though David tries to smooth over some of the misunderstandings between them. David is going to have to step up to protect his family if they want to survive.


Acting: I like the character development that takes place in the movie, and I think that is more attributed to the actors than the script. I think if any other actors had had the part then the acting would have been much weaker, and the script would have sounded much poorer. James Marsden is David, and really the one who makes the most the giant leaps in being compelling in the story. Marsden is a talented actor. In this movie he believably takes David from a more timid guy to a man who is really to defend not only his wife, but those he believe shouldn't be left to the hands of those threatening the lives of another. Kate Bosworth also is in one of her better roles as Amy. I have no idea why Bosworth keeps landing in really bad movies, when in this she actually can impress. She says a lot through her actions, but by the end a lot of her character's progression does seem rushed. Alexander Skargard is Charlie, and I've got to say this guy is really good. He had this terrifying element he brought to the character. He was one of those characters that I could see easily verging on being a dumb stereotype, but I believe it's the actor that keeps it from going there. James Wood is also Tom, who is also the coach in the small town. I thought the guy was just down right annoying instead of creepy, so of them all he seemed to be the one most over playing his part.

Filming: The movie brings the thriller atmosphere well. The characters are thrown into a small town with locals that they don't know. The suspense is brought on well, especially with throwing on the horrors of what is happening when one other character might be unaware. Lurie hasn't really perfected any unique style I was aware of though. The music was definitely interesting, but it stood out more when he put in old western songs when things go crazy.

Plot: The plot for the first hour or so does progress slow, and you're beginning to wonder if the couple is just paranoid for nothing. Then when things fall down, they really hit hard. The last hour or so of the movie is really intense once it's going. I'm sure they haven't recreated better what the first one did, but I can at least say that the plot kept me entertained. I felt some aspects were a little obvious, and others were a little more less obvious. As said, David is the character that shines though. Marsden slowly builds up to this change coming in the guy that shows a side he hasn't had to utilize before.

If you are going to watch this one then I recommend watching the original first. I had no idea there was an original before I watched this, but feel the better aspects of it might be ruined since I know how the plot unfolds. This movie isn't amazingly written, but the cast really does keep the movie floating on because it features a talented cast. The shots are also very vivid and hard to turn away from.

Rating 7 of 10.




Straw Dogs (2011) on IMDb

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