Escape to the Movies: Straw Dogs

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Straw Dogs

Totally misses the point.

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The ending getting changed was what I was most concerned about when I heard they would remake Straw Dogs, although I've never seen either movie I did know the synopsis of this one.

After all, the ending is what made the movie so unique in the first place.

Well I guess I can watch the original and skip the remake at least.

My sympathies Movie Bob
I can tell sitting through the Straw Dogs remake...
*puts on sunglasses*
was a real bitch

second verse, same as the first

They're remaking Point Break? You have my sympathies...

By the way, how's your inde film career going?

A re-make fails to deliver. Shocker.

You know, they should get Reeves again to do the re-make of Point Break. Dude hasn't aged at all.

Ah, juvenile message-mongering, one of the biggest reasons as to why my generation has become (sadly) apathetic towards social issues that are still a problem.

Also, Tony Scott is eying a remake of The Wild Bunch.

The remake of Point Break is gonna be AWESOME!!!!

Damn, I was hoping you'd cover 'Drive'... I could tell from the trailers that they were going to ruin 'Straw Dogs'-- this society today doesn't seem willing or capable of staring harsh situations and ambiguous scenarios in the face: God forbid anyone is ever made to 'feel bad'. I'll file this under the same category as soccer (or Futbol, for our foreign correspondents) games where they don't keep score, and 'contests' where everyone gets a prize.

Oh dear, I seem to have gotten a bit worked up. I suppose I should cut this off now before I spend the next hour producing a manifesto or something.

I saw the original a couple weeks ago. It was really, really boring. I was hoping the narrative would be more streamlined and the point of the film made clearer earlier. It sounds from Bob's review that that is what has been done.

It's funny, we get angry when people remake films, and then we get aangrier when those remakes DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT than the originals. Why? Shuoldn't that be the best way to remake a movie? I'd rather see a movie about very similar subject matter as "Straw Dogs" CALLED "Straw Dogs" (y'know, as a remake) than to see a different film that looks and feels exactly like Straw Dogs but with one or two differences.

To sum up: the original was slow and didn't make sense (they kill your cat. Fire them.) and the entire third act felt completely shoehorned in. It sounds like this one fixes those problems (except, apparently, for the cat). Good.

I can't help but feel like Hot Fuzz had a hand in getting the Point Break remake greenlit.

It's the only thing that's really made it relevant again as of late.

What the hell is Point Break?

Okay. Why do movies always make Southern people out to be aggressive, ignorant, bible thumping red necks? They aren't.

Anyway, good to know I can skip a move that I had no interest in. Why change the ambiguous tone about the assault, though? It sounds like that was a really interesting and compelling twist. God forbid a movie challenge people.

solidstatemind:
I could tell from the trailers that they were going to ruin 'Straw Dogs'-- this society today doesn't seem willing or capable of staring harsh situations and ambiguous scenarios in the face

Ambiguity? That would never do. How can we split everything into black and white and all arbitrarily choose sides if it isn't simplified enough? Apparently that's how things work, whether in entertainment or the news. Besides, if it were more complex than that, you'd never be able to discuss it over Twitter...

How about a review of Contagion? (hint, its a very good movie without cliches about smart people doing smart things) Reviews of crap like this are not worthwhile.

mrblakemiller:
I saw the original a couple weeks ago. It was really, really boring. I was hoping the narrative would be more streamlined and the point of the film made clearer earlier. It sounds from Bob's review that that is what has been done.

It's funny, we get angry when people remake films, and then we get aangrier when those remakes DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT than the originals. Why? Shuoldn't that be the best way to remake a movie? I'd rather see a movie about very similar subject matter as "Straw Dogs" CALLED "Straw Dogs" (y'know, as a remake) than to see a different film that looks and feels exactly like Straw Dogs but with one or two differences.

To sum up: the original was slow and didn't make sense (they kill your cat. Fire them.) and the entire third act felt completely shoehorned in. It sounds like this one fixes those problems (except, apparently, for the cat). Good.

Legitimate question, but if you're changing many elements, at what point does it cease to be a remake and become it's own movie, merely using the same title to generate additional revenue? There is a huge difference between 'inspired by' and 'a remake of'.

I can see where the original wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, particularly given the pacing and the plot. And it's fine that the new one steps away from that in favor of more action-- something which should be friendlier to today's audiences... but I think what Bob was lamenting is that, in doing so, he kinda left out the entire point of the original.

RJ Dalton:
What the hell is Point Break?

A middling Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves action film, where Reeves is an FBI agent who goes undercover to try and capture a band of surfers who pay for their round-the-globe surfing trips by robbing banks. It was watchable, in the same sort of way 'Speed' was watchable.

sooperman:
A re-make fails to deliver. Shocker.

You know, they should get Reeves again to do the re-make of Point Break. Dude hasn't aged at all.

Yup thats cuz hes immortal :P

It wasn't exactly a shocker that a remake of a genuinely good movie was genuinely bad. Can anyone think of any remake that actually improved, in any way, the original? And I don't mean prequels and sequels, etc. but a straight up remake by some modern director who simply doesn't get the source material.

I know there have been some defenders of remake in the past on the MB comments, but it would have been a lot cheaper and more satisfying for them to re-release the original than go through a painful remake.

Would it kill Hollywood to make a Bible-literate character? Would it literally cause some director/actor/writer to die?

I'm sorry Hollywood you have become what you claim to hate. You are as close-minded and intolerant as the "bible-thumpers" (who in a case of supreme irony prove they NEVER read the book). Do some homework, READ THE ACTUAL BIBLE! I don't care if it converts you or not I want ACCURACY!

solidstatemind:

RJ Dalton:
What the hell is Point Break?

A middling Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves action film, where Reeves is an FBI agent who goes undercover to try and capture a band of surfers who pay for their round-the-globe surfing trips by robbing banks. It was watchable, in the same sort of way 'Speed' was watchable.

Which is to say, not very watchable at all?

You know, I think there's a bigger reason than modern society's total inability to deal with ambiguity that a Straw Dogs remake with modern sensibilities was a grade-A terrible idea.

You see, the real problem here is there are just a whole metric fuck-ton of a lot less people out there that genuinely believe that violence never really solves anything than there were when the original came out. The same events with a more modern set of sensiblities have no choice but to come across as an empowerment fantasy, because that's what modern sensibilities believe in.

Being a fan of the original (The DVD is filed at the far end of my "Grimdark/Ultraviolet" section [Right between Old Boy and a Clockwork Orange] with my films aranged from one end of a VERY large shelf to the other based on content. There is a space at the other end reserved for the DVDs of My little Pony; Friendship is magic :P) im not sure WHY the movie has even been re-made. The film was a product of its era when movies could, and did, push the bounderies all over the place and stands as a good movie and thought provoking exercise.

RJ Dalton:
What the hell is Point Break?

A bunch of surfing robbers who wear president masks gets infiltrated by Neo.

things happen.

Neo for some reason shoots into the air.

OT:

I never saw the first movie, but I will fix that soon since it sounds like it would be a great evening movie. I am definitely skipping the remake though.

I dont know what is with remakes lately, they all seem to try to deliver something great, but then fall flat.

True Grit is an exception though, both versions in their own right are great movies.

Dude, I love your videos, they are actually something I look forward too and consider a highlight of my day. However, how can you really work as a reviewer if you're spoiling the movie we want reviewed? This isn't the first time I've had to stop watching one of your reviews because I knew it would ruin the movie for me that I was hoping to see reviewed. This actually is what usually happens for films I really want to see.

If cool if you go on a tangent that can spoil the movie being talked about, but not if you haven't finished the actual review yet. What do I mean by Finnished? I dunno, make a recommendation. Give it the "thumbs up/down". Tell us if we liked a set of movies, then we'll probably like this one. Things that to help us decide if it's worth our time and money. Once you've done that, then throw up the spoilers.

Also, if you want to make movies, what's stopping you?

Frostbite3789:
I can't help but feel like Hot Fuzz had a hand in getting the Point Break remake greenlit.

It's the only thing that's really made it relevant again as of late.

Certainly the only thing that got me to watch (I have a soft-spot for ridiculous action flicks).

Er, Bob...Lots of rape victims don't report the rape or even tell anyone about it, usually because of the guilt they feel even when it wasn't remotely their fault. Not telling anyone doesn't suggest that they were ambiguously willing participants. I don't think that's what you were suggesting, but still...Just making sure.

Saltyk:
Okay. Why do movies always make Southern people out to be aggressive, ignorant, bible thumping red necks? They aren't.

Anyway, good to know I can skip a move that I had no interest in. Why change the ambiguous tone about the assault, though? It sounds like that was a really interesting and compelling twist. God forbid a movie challenge people.

Because when they want to make these silly red state vs blue state movies the american south is the easiest to put the stereotypes in order to make them villains.

Not that surprised by it... but now I've lost all hope of something good being on.

Saltyk:
Okay. Why do movies always make Southern people out to be aggressive, ignorant, bible thumping red necks? They aren't.

Because we're the ones that lost the war.

It appears that Bob is actually be trying to sabotage his own show. Choosing to review Straw Dogs over movies we'd actually be willing to see in theaters like Drive or Lion King 3D. It's kind of like choosing Red State over Warrior or Contagion last week or wasting a weekend where an anticipated Guillermo Del Toro produced movie comes out, but instead he chooses to complain about not getting pre-screenings. It's all becoming clearer that you're actually brighter than you appear! Bravo, Bob, Bravo!

THey are remaking Point Break? That film is not even 20 years old!

EmperorSubcutaneous:
Er, Bob...Lots of rape victims don't report the rape or even tell anyone about it, usually because of the guilt they feel even when it wasn't remotely their fault. Not telling anyone doesn't suggest that they were ambiguously willing participants. I don't think that's what you were suggesting, but still...Just making sure.

And if you had seen the original, you'd see that it's VERY implied that Amy likes it - when it's Charlie.

The other reason would be that it's because she doesn't think David can defend her, or even defend himself, or that he will even move a finger about it. She basically sees him as a "nice guy", ballless nerd who lives in clouds, hiding behind his pacifism because he is afraid to fight and stand his ground.

In fact, she got owned twice in the movie. The first time by former boyfriend Charlie (which mid-way becomes consensual, although it's strongly implied that she's imagining David, having a blurry vision of him, screwing her like that) while David was away hunting; the second time just after, by one of Charlie's mook holding him at gunpoint while he rapes her (totally not-consensually this time) in front of him. It's also strongly implied it's not in the same hole, either.

In the original also, the relationship between David and Amy is far more screwed and tense, alterning between moments of intimacy and bitter vitriol toward one another. Also, in that movie Amy is a much more deliberate a sexual tease, as much to turn on the villagers (and Charlie) than to hurt her husband.

Man this is exactly like the remake of Cast Away.

mrblakemiller:
I saw the original a couple weeks ago. It was really, really boring. I was hoping the narrative would be more streamlined and the point of the film made clearer earlier. It sounds from Bob's review that that is what has been done.

It's funny, we get angry when people remake films, and then we get aangrier when those remakes DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT than the originals. Why? Shuoldn't that be the best way to remake a movie? I'd rather see a movie about very similar subject matter as "Straw Dogs" CALLED "Straw Dogs" (y'know, as a remake) than to see a different film that looks and feels exactly like Straw Dogs but with one or two differences.

To sum up: the original was slow and didn't make sense (they kill your cat. Fire them.) and the entire third act felt completely shoehorned in. It sounds like this one fixes those problems (except, apparently, for the cat). Good.

To me it sounds like they took everything interesting the narrative did - the dark themes, the ambiguity and, in the end, a meditation on violence that in the end painted David as just an unheroic figure when he became someone who embraced his violent masculinity as he was when he was far more 'wimpy' - and tossed it out in favour of action set-pieces and mindless slaughter. I'm not going to argue with you if you found the movie boring - different strokes for different folks - but streamlining a narrative does not make a film better. It makes it shallower, less interesting and overall far less fulfilling. A remake should definitely not follow the suit of its source material but it needs to have a different take on events - it can't just take out all the themes, the complexity and turn it into a popcorn action flick, which so many modern remakes do. What's the point in watching that? It's not re-envisioning the film for a 'new generation', it's not taking the base thematic impact of the original and revamping it to show a different perspective - it's turning it into a dry, monotonous action movie. If all a film needs to do to classify as a worthwhile remake is take out anything that might offended or trouble its audience and slap a lick of modern-day polish on it then what's the point in remaking the movie in the first place?

Anyway, I haven't seen the remake yet but I'm going to see it tomorrow, and from this review and all the others I've read they all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet, about how the remake strips the thematic points of the original away for the sake of a morally clear action-fest. I'm not going to fully judge the movie until I've seen it, but if everyone who has seen it is to be believed, it's not something I'm going to enjoy.

moviedork:
It appears that Bob is actually be trying to sabotage his own show. Choosing to review Straw Dogs over movies we'd actually be willing to see in theaters like Drive or Lion King 3D. It's kind of like choosing Red State over Warrior or Contagion last week ...

Maybe he's trying to emulate Yahtzee by complaining about everything?

I agree with you, Moviedork. These last few episodes seem like such wastes of time when compared with the other choices out there for subject matter.

And I bet they made you watch that Bucky Larson movie right after too - you can't buy publicity like a zero on Rotten Tomatoes :D

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