It’s a testament to the potency of Straw Dogs’ story (Sam Peckinpah’s adaptation of Gordon Williams’ novel) how the 2011 remake continues to be entertaining despite its numerous shortcomings in both complexity and artistry to its predecessor. Director Rod Lurie’s retelling trades conflicted characters and intricate ideals of bravery and cowardice with plain-dealing motives and basic revenge; Peckinpah’s flair for operatic visuals is sadly absent. So too is the contemplative nature of the whole affair – the ambiguity and subtleties within every character’s actions are already substituted with spoon-fed notions of right and wrong. It’s impossible to avoid comparison on the original film, and doing this would have been a disservice to the discerning viewer. Those that loved Peckinpah’s creation will more than likely find little value in Lurie’s version, but also for people that haven’t seen it, the remake does offer a humble taste with the brilliance you’re losing. www.magweb.com After a harrowing prison bus escape, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), and Mia Toretto (Jordanna Brewster) flee to Rio de Janeiro where it isn’t really well before they’re involved with another theft of high-end race cars (yes, the protagonists are typical wanted criminals). When the job goes south and three DEA agents are killed, the trio experience the hunted by both a ruthless drug kingpin (Joaquim de Almeida) along with a hard-boiled federal agent (Dwayne Johnson). With their options dwindling and time drained, Dominic and Brian gather together a crew of elite outlaws including Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot) to stage a heist against the criminal overlord worth $100 million.
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The Coen Brothers’ newest film is definitely begging for comparison to both original novel by Charles Portis and also the 1969 film adaptation. It’s incredibly difficult to judge it by itself merits considering almost everything it accomplishes is immensely derivative. While this version follows the novel closely, the changes aren’t different enough from Henry Hathaway’s earlier film, producing a shot that for all intents and purposes, may as well have been a shot-for-shot remake. Many in the scenes are nearly identical, and a lot with the dialogue will be the identical, including the climactic showdown catchphrase that is cringe-worthy for fans of John Wayne’s unforgettable delivery. It can’t even top Strother Martin’s minor supporting role, this time around portrayed by Dakin Matthews.
The inclusion of J.B. Smoove purely for comic relief seems unnecessary, especially since Thomas Haden Church as brother Duncan Mee consumes his screentime in another completely comical, larger bit, assuming an element that Jeff Goldblum has been adopting lately. He’s the voice of reason, a calming, benevolent, charitable, compassionate wisdom, and big-brother sarcasm when appropriate. His character is sensible in the dysfunctional family and monetary chaos when animal humor and teenage flirtation doesn’t provide enough heart. And then there’s Rosie, the disgustingly obligatory cute kid, who chimes in with sentiments keen beyond her years, when times are tough and adults can’t seem to verbally fix the predicaments. A camera cut to her plump cheeks and wide eyes will most likely win the crowd over in the event the story steers in to a dull corner. It’s all particularly essential when Benjamin will not take his situation seriously, even if the crew of colorful, oddball characters tries to ground themselves within the direness of these generic plight.
These form of movies are ones through which involve supernatural creatures such as Demons, Zombies, Werewolves and Deformed Humans. These types will be the most scariest and frequently may be poorly made, however there is true gems throughout, with titles like Dawn with the Dead, An American Werewolf in London and The Exorcist.