Escape to the Movies: Straw Dogs

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So Bob, are you going to direct a movie anytime soon ? :D (fingers crossed)

The previews for Straw Dogs was so shitty that I couldn't fathom any human wanting to see it.

I'm surprised you reviewed it.

"A bunch of texan jocks like to drink and cause trouble." Really? Damn that's a heck of a stretch for a plot.

Maybe I'm just biased because I've lived in the south. Is this sort of thing magical to people in like Maine or something? "Man that wild west! Woo!"

At least by remaking Point Break they have some room to go up. One could argue they have no place else to go. I'm somewhat infamous among my circle of friends for standing up at the end of Point Break and yelling at the screen how stupid it was.

ZephrC:
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.

I don't think that's necessarily the case. The original Straw Dogs came out in 1971. I don't know how things were in the UK, but in the US there was a massive increase in violent crime between 1960 and 1990. However since about 1992 or so there's been a steady decrease in violent crime. We're still not back to the levels they were in the 60s but the trend is downward rather than the upward trend of 1971. Maybe you're right and the violence of that era has left a desire for violent empowerment fantasy in our society. But the facts could also be construed to suggest that society rejects violence even more strongly now than in the past.

This just sounds like they're cashing in on the established dark, violent notoriety of the original movie with a movie which they hope appeals more broadly because of its slightly more appetizing (though now less sensical) story.

The last acceptable targets: rednecks, Russian ultra-nationalists, Christians (as long as they are white).

Bob feels threatened by masculinity. This is a common affliction amongst nerds.

Jumping Jiminy, that Straw Dogs movie sounds badass... And cruel... The old one I mean. The new one, well, it's a remake, so it's most likely just banking of a popular name, so no wonder they're not going to care about the original point. I have to say, though... Movie critics don't often make good movies? THAT explains a lot... *hint hint*

Completely unsurprising to me that it's not as good. Basically the trend with all the remakes lately, for every good one that comes out (True Grit) there are like twenty other horrible or mediocre ones. More reason why the remake syndrome is just trying me batty.

On that note, we don't need a remake of Total Recall, yet we're getting one. Why? Because Len Wisemen is a hack, as evidenced by the entirity of his career. (Underworld series, Die Hard 4)

ANGER RAGE GAAHHHHH!!! their remaking point break? Really?! a)that movie wasn't that great, it was good and parts were really awesome but it wasn't the world changing classic that needs a remake. b)how old is that movie? it's not even as old as me. Hell it's not even as old as my younger sister. They could remaster and rerelease on DVD and get virtually the same amount of money for half the cost.

This, this is why people say hollywood has no creativity.
/rant

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

1. Caricatures are always easier as take far less time. To give proper back story and motivation takes effort and makes for a more complex and ambiguous work as we discover people are very rarely two dimensional in nature.

2. Have to remember your creator/director/writer/etc. Artists, like many people, often resent that which is different. So, rural, conservative groups (in this case add "jock" as well) are about the opposite side of the spectrum.

3. So now you have your "other" that is very different from yourself, onto demonizing them! Makes it easier to demonize the "other" is also "bad", so make them hateful racists, sexists, xenophobic homophobes.

I'm not bitter, this could easily be done flipping the labels, just responding to this case.

I grew up in rural United States south (Kentucky to be exact). I know that some southerners are actually like this depiction, and some are not, why? Well shockingly people are never simple and are quite diverse, even with a very small sample size (think of your own family, is everyone the same?)

To us, we (as in ourselves) are like a unique snowflake, everyone else? Mindless automatons. Empathy is tricky for most.

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

Because it's an easy stereotype that's commonly known and remains relevant in the public perception precisely because of the movies and tv shows that use it. Basically, it's a way for lazy/terrible writers to create a character the audience doesn't have to get to know, because they already know the underlying idea. Kind of like a guy in a cape with a twirly moustache is understood to be a theatrical villain.

This was one I was going to pass on anyway, but the review was still entertaining and covered most of the reasons I love the original Straw Dogs. Unforgiving film that really left me wondering about my own peaceable ways.

Apropos the redneck stereotypes, I was recently delighted by Tucker & Dale vs Evil, a horror comedy that sides with the so-called redneck characters, having them interact with a bunch of college teens from out of town. The movie shows how prejudiced the more 'sophisticated' teenagers are, and how they initially view the rednecks really drives the plot of the film - with hilarious results. I'd recommend it to anyone.

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.

Just another classic case of ignorant stereotyping.

Dear Hollywood, new rule, effective immediately.

If you are thinking of remaking a movie, any movie at all, not just the classics, you must first ask yourself two questions.

1) Does the original still stand up on its own merits to this day?

2) Are we hoping to actually achieve anything besides profit from doing a remake of this movie?

If the answer to 1) be yes, or 2) no, or both... DO NOT REMAKE THE MOVIE, BECAUSE IT WILL SUCK!

mptothedc:

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.

Just another classic case of ignorant stereotyping.

All stereotypes are based in some truth, so there are indeed aggressive, ignorant, bible thumping red necks down south.

How dare they tru to remake Point Break.

You just reminded me of how good the original Straw Dogs is... and how disturbing the original Straw Dogs is :-S

It's that kind of movie that you can push out of your memory, but once you're reminded of it, the details all come rushing back.

Why would anyone want to remake this? What can they possibly hope to achieve? When you weigh all the things that can possibly go wrong against what little (if any) you can improve on, it really doesn't seem like there's a whole lot to gain.

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.

I don't even think I was born when the original came out. :|

But I came in to disagree with your angle: If The Lion King was to be remade, one does not nerf (or eliminate) Mufassa's death, scar's handle of Pride Lands, and the entire point of the movie just to appeal to a more sensitive/straight-minded audience and then wonder why fans of the original are like " .....No. Just no." Or Pokemon without...Pokemon. Or make FFXIII and actually call it a main Final Fantasy game.

The point is, if it's going to be different, it shouldn't be different enough to warrant just naming it something else entirely. And from what I gathered from this review, these two movies just as well have been different. Personally, I already renamed the remake: "Straw Plot" :3

I'd never heard of this one - new or original. Think I'll watch the original.

This seems to be some serious irony. After the crazy-guy shooting that resulted in Congresswoman Giffords almost dying, the media exploded into how important it was that all the right-wingers stop their violent language. Now, about a year before the next election, we have a rash of (very) violent movies mainly about good liberals slaughtering evil conservatives. (with guns no less) Thanks Hollywood. Why can't the bad guys ever just be bad guys? Why do they always need a political motivation now? Jeez, this kind of stuff makes me want to go and watch a Harrison Ford movie.

its The Last House on The Left all over again. they reaaaaaally had to turn the ending into a happy "good guy takes it all" hollywood thingy. just like the Martyrs remake will feature a ending quote "so you dont want to shoot yourself after the movie is over" - Daniel Stamm

This makes me want to watch the original.

Also I like the spoiler warning picture, it reminds me of the mech bay in the Mechwarrior games.

Please tell me where the moral complexity is in the original, when they rape his wife? Is it because she enjoyed herself that we're supposed to think it was somehow a profound statement on something? The original is nonsense, and I don't care about this one either.

Should have reviewed Drive, which rocks

Whats the point(pun not intended) of remaking point break its a very 90s movie and i don't see it translating well into the modern day.

WAIT, waitwaitwaitwait.

In the original, the sex between the wife and the ex may or MAY NOT have been rape....right....And in the new one, it's DEFINITELY rape...and yet...the new one's version of events is LESS dark?

What?

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
WAIT, waitwaitwaitwait.

In the original, the sex between the wife and the ex may or MAY NOT have been rape....right....And in the new one, it's DEFINITELY rape...and yet...the new one's version of events is LESS dark?

What?

It's darker because people rather not say an ambiguous rape was ambiguous. They want it black and white so it's easier to swallow, accept, and want vengeance towards. If you just flip the violence to physical violence: A child being beat by an abusive parent will always be less dark than a child who gets a secret pleasure from being hit. Because really, that's tragically jacked up. At least from a physical standpoint.

Not that I have written any books that specialize in similar dark themes. Nope. I just thought of it. >_>

Wait, wait, wait, let me hear that again?
"Beer swilling, deer hunting, camowearing, church boosting, pick-up driving, confederate flag waving neanderthals."
Real subtle with your thoughts about church there. I know you didn't explicitly say "people that go to church are neanderthals", but I just didn't like being lumped in with neanderthals. Oh well. Although I've never heard of either movies, it seems that it would be better if they kept all the dark in instead of having clear black and white morality like you made it out to be.

forget point break! i was shocked to learn Keanu Reeves got the lead role in the remake of 47 Ronin >.<

It's what they're famous for in England, their lynch mobs :D

Should have come to Wales

Interesting review though

Hitchmeister:
At least by remaking Point Break they have some room to go up. One could argue they have no place else to go. I'm somewhat infamous among my circle of friends for standing up at the end of Point Break and yelling at the screen how stupid it was.

In Maine? No. Maine is the deep south of the far north.

Marik2:

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

Remember that not only has he not aged, he also hasn't changed his facial expression in a thousand years or so.

OT: As much as i think Bob deserves to get "Nostalgic Critic" stamped into his forehead i still can't say i've ever disagreed with his viewpoints. Kind of a love/hate thing.

So i guess i'll just watch the original and skip this new one.

It's funny how I only recently heard about director Sam Peckinpah when a character in a different story was described by a reviewer as a 'medieval' version of him.

Sadly, a controversial director like him who emphasizes the darker aspects of human nature seems less welcome in today's feel-good movie aesthetic; ironic when video games have become more risque than ever before.

I won't presume to understand the whole of the original movie without having seen it, but it sounds like that could be the theme for a lot of controversial horror/suspense movies- the signs and an ambiguous feeling that an ideology you've stood by for a long time (in this case the protagonist's belief that his woman will stand by him over the local punks and that their 'thug masculinity' is something he is above) might turn out to be less true than you think. Like in Blood Simple, where the mere fact that none of the characters trust each other ends up ruining everyone.

ZephrC:
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.

...and yet in 1971, the same year as Staw Dogs, Dirty Harry was made, a quasi-fascist, violence and human rights violations solve everything film.

personion:
Wait, wait, wait, let me hear that again?
"Beer swilling, deer hunting, camowearing, church boosting, pick-up driving, confederate flag waving neanderthals."
Real subtle with your thoughts about church there. I know you didn't explicitly say "people that go to church are neanderthals", but I just didn't like being lumped in with neanderthals. Oh well. Although I've never heard of either movies, it seems that it would be better if they kept all the dark in instead of having clear black and white morality like you made it out to be.

While Moviebob is definitely anti-church, and anti-religion, I am pretty sure that what he is describing here is the opinion of the film. The characters are given these characteristics by the filmmaker and Bob is just describing the lack of subtlety in the remake. You really need to address your concerns to the filmmaker, not the person reviewing.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Dear Hollywood, new rule, effective immediately.

If you are thinking of remaking a movie, any movie at all, not just the classics, you must first ask yourself two questions.

1) Does the original still stand up on its own merits to this day?

2) Are we hoping to actually achieve anything besides profit from doing a remake of this movie?

If the answer to 1) be yes, or 2) no, or both... DO NOT REMAKE THE MOVIE, BECAUSE IT WILL SUCK!

But will it make money? That's the 3rd question (and the most important one) Hollywood thinks about when greenlighting new films

Also I don't understand why Ryan Gosling has been given the rep of a pretty boy non-actor. Virtually all of his films he's been in have received good reviews, I think the guy is actually a pretty good actor

So what youre saying is its one of those remakes that is in name only?

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