Rod Lurie

Writer-director Rod Lurie was in a bit of a lose-lose situation when it came to dealing with the hardcore Straw Dogs fans. Like all remakes, if Lurie deviated too much, many critics would ask, “Why call it Straw Dogs?” If the Nothing But the Truth director stayed too faithful, then he’d get ripped on for making a carbon copy. There’s a tough middle ground between those two sides, and Lurie made enough changes to try to find it. For one thing, unlike Sam Peckinpah, Rod Lurie doesn’t hate women. All jokes aside, the original film earned controversy, partly because Peckinpah’s depiction of his female lead was deemed misogynistic. That’s not much of a surprise — Peckinpah treated that character with such disgust, as he treated all the main characters in that film with disgust. His film was about David (played in this version by James Marsden) finding his inner animal, while Lurie opted for David finding his inner man. Here’s what Rod Lurie had to say about the commercial potential of a Straw Dogs remake, the fine line between David being manly and narcissistic, and Peckinpah’s depiction of Amy versus his own: Note: this interview contains spoilers.

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“EVERYONE HAS A BREAKING POINT,” Yeesh. There’s a good poster in here, but that unneeded and silly tagline doesn’t help matters much. But, really, how many taglines are genuinely good nowadays? Pretty much none. Screen Gems has just putout this lesser homage (via director Rod Lurie’s twitter feed) to the original 1971 Straw Dogs poster; something that’ll anger fans, but will probably work for the average filmgoers who have no idea what a Peckinpah is.

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This Straw Dogs trailer ain’t too pretty, but neither is the audience it was cut for. Screen Gems made this for all the youngin’s going to see Priest (*shudders*) this weekend, and it plays well for that demographic. The audience I was with didn’t look to be the types that are Peckinpah fans, a.k.a. the young and texting generation. To fans of the original and Peckinpah, yes, this is not a good trailer. But for those completely unfamiliar with the original, it works. It is completely by-the-numbers, but why wouldn’t Screen Gems cut a trailer to showcase the main showdown at the end? The trailer does reveal a whole lot, except for the “big” scene, which is surprising. Rod Lurie is a solid writer/director, so I have faith that he’s made something far less generic than this first glimpse implies. Also, to those complaining about the idea of having James Marsden playing a wimpy and passive man, that’s ridiculous. Far more masculine men or equals to Marsden have played those characteristics greatly, even Stallone, someone that doesn’t exactly have a wide “range,” did it well in Cop Land. Marsden has got the chops to pull it off. Check it out for yourself:

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous  36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t sully our good name with false accusations of sexual impropriety. Part 2 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Erroneous Judgment” with The Contender.

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Kate Beckinsale

In a recent interview with MTV, Kate Beckinsale stated that she has a new found respect for journalists due to her upcoming role in Nothing But The Truth, where she portrays a journalist who is sentenced for not revealing her source after exposing a CIA operative.

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