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Remake??? Damn you Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's the latest I've seen about it.

James Marsden has signed on to star in a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 thriller Straw Dogs, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The actor has been tapped to take on the role of screenwriter David Sumner, originally played by Dustin Hoffman, in the story about a couple who find their marriage crumbling after relocating to the deep South, eventually leading to a violent showdown with the locals.

Rod Lurie will write and direct the project, while Marc Frydman will produce alongside Lurie under their Battleplan Productions banner. Screen Gems's Gilbert Dumontet will executive produce.

Filming on the project is slated to begin in August.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I'm not sure that I'd say the violence in Straw Dogs is actually "more realistic" than modern violence because Peckinpah certainly adds plenty of art to his by using slow motion and Jerry Fielding's awesome musical score. I just find nothing to compare in cinematic history to the final 40 minutes of the film, and to say that somehow someone isn't involved because the "sound design" was lacking makes no sense to me. I watched the film last night, and I just don't see (or hear) it. The violence depicted in that film, conceived with Peckinpah's technique, is far more involving and actually exhilarating to me than anything I've seen in anything post-1987, so maybe it's just a generational gap. By the way, I'm quite impressed by the sound design in Straw Dogs because for the first two-thirds, it's a very quiet film, so when the sound effects pick up (and sometimes fade out) during the final third, it's really quite impressive.

Anyway, I'm going to shut up now, but if you want to watch something which will blow you away with a sound design I believe you're looking for, check out Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch before you watch Straw Dogs again. Then after you watch both, figure out why it is that they were filmed differently because I would honestly not change anything (of an artistic nature) about Straw Dogs. Shut up, mark!
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The fact that the two are totally different films in different genres are a strong key point in the sound design. One is about living in a quite little town and living their lives, a strong a in your face sound design would not fit Straw Dogs. The Wild Bunch needs that to assist the visuals.

You can have a crappy movie, but an amazing sound design and a lot of people won't care (Michael Bay). It's the same thing the other way around.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 136: January 16th, 2009.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan

What do Adam Sandler and Mike Myers have in common?

They both had crappy comedy movies where they played someone from the middle east. Both were racist, yet this one takes it to another level. Is racism funny? When in good taste in can be, but when it serves no purpose and is used for cheap gags, it's a big turn off.

This film, directed by Dennis Dugan, who's other works of art include: Problem Child, Big Daddy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Beverly Hills Ninja. Dishes out the same material here and brings nothing new to the comedy genre and uses old and tired jokes over and over.

Expect to see the usual cameos when you watch a Sandler film, none of them are funny. Sandler himself stretches really far for some laughs, digging into his bag of stupid characters he pulls out Zohan. Who is an Israeli super soldier, able to catch bullets and what-not. He wants to leave the violence and war behind to pursue his dream in America, to cut hair. Is that suppose to be funny?

Anyways, he gets rejected everywhere, until he lands a job cleaning up the hair at some low rent hair cutting place run by the beautiful Emmanuelle Chriqui, who just so happens to have absolutely no chemistry with Sandler. Yet we are suppose to believe these two fall for each other. Rob Schnieder plays the same character we always see, and always not laugh at.

Like Sandler's last film, this one tackles some political issues. Whereas Chuck and Larry spoke out homosexuals, this one is on racism and the war in the middle east. Don't expect this to change any thing over there any time soon.

Move over Sandler and Myers, your time in the comedic lime light seems to be over, especially if you continue down this unfunny road. Stop trying to collect paychecks, and start giving a damn about the thing that made us love you guys in the first place. Laughter.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 137: January 17th, 2009.

House of D

Not as bad as people have billed it to be, but nothing to go out and buy, or even rent for that matter. It's a film that was decent enough to watch on television, but it does have its fair share of problems.

Duchovny does a decent job behind the camera, but it's still the same monotone wooden blank acting he does in front. He was okay for his role in the X-Files, but everything else seems to be like a fish out of water. I got a kick out of his cameo in Zoolander, but here he seems to be too in love with himself that he just couldn't not cast himself as the adult of the lead character. Of course he had to throw his wife in there too, another person who seems to have a one note acting ability.

The kid who plays the lead holds the film together well,he had just the right amount of independence and awkwardness to make me like the character. Robin Williams plays a mentally challenged character. He acts like he did in Jack. A young kid stuck in an adult body.

House of D is not inspiring, nor a feel good film. It doesn't stimulate conversation, or bring joy to the soul. It's a lifeless film that tries to show it's place in the world. It's that lonely kid in the corner wanting friends. You know he's a loser, but there is that little something that makes you think he's not ALL that bad.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 138: January 18th, 2009.


The director has said that a lot of the film was improvised. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Elephant deals with the topic of school shootings. The way Van Sant approaches the subject matter is almost with no emotion, at least for me that's the way the film felt. It was just there. No connection to anyone, or anything. Probably because it was incredibly slow and uninvolved. One particular shot goes on for 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Unless you're willing to sit through something like that, I would suggest skipping.

Now the film isn't a bad one, it's competantly made. Van Sant knew what he wanted to do and he did it, it's just that what he wanted to do wasn't very engaging for the viewer. Since a lot of the stuff was improvised, you never connect with anyone. One particular student we are introduced to is killed one minute later.

Despite it being very restrained during scenes that should be considered 'intense', I did surprisingly feel tense. The last bit of the film is suppose to be left up to the viewer to interpret. Doing this you are splitting the audience, those who get it and love it, others who are pissed and want a resolution.

Since non of the kids are actors, I won't go into the acting specifics. The way they handled things though, made the film almost feel like a documentary. Had the film been a little more engaging, I would have given it an extra popcorn. It felt more like an experiment in film making, then a film trying to tell a story.

Elephant feels like it wants to be an important film, something remembered years later, not a film trying to tell a specific story. It's not insulting, nor is it a tribute.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 139: January 19th, 2009.

Gran Torino

Walt is a retired war veteran who's racist remarks he speaks aloud in every sentence, no matter who he is talking to. After he discovers his new neighbour trying to steal his vintage 1972 Gran Torino, the boy becomes in debt to Walt. Walt ends up getting him to do chorus around the neighbourhood to make up for it. They become closer and Walt's racism towards the family disappears. But the street gang that is causing problems for the kid is up to no good and Walt takes matters into his own hands.

For some reason, I have seen Eastwood's last 5 films in theatres. This surprises me because I've never been a big fan of him, having never seen the Dirty Harry films, or The Man With No Name trilogy. In fact, Mystic River was the first film I've seen that had Eastwood's name stamped on it. Sad I know, but true. Now with Gran Torino being labelled his last acting gig, I feel like I've missed out. I've been told by people that this flick is basically if Ditry Harry retired and I've seen enough of that character in pop culture to say that I cannot argue with this point.

Gran Torino is the second Eastwood film to come out in 2008, it played in limited theatres here then eventually got a wider release in 2009. I can't tell you which one is better, they are both too different to make an honest decision, but many will enjoy Gran Torino better. For one thing, the final act does not drag itself on too long and it has Eastwood being a bad ass mofo.

The young kid, in his first acting role, is pretty bad in my opinion. I've had an argument over this with my friend, he thinks he did a good job. I know it;s his first acting role, but every line he delivers is too forced and it seems like he's trying to remember every single line. It gets annoying after awhile and one particular scene that is suppose to be dramatic comes off a bit too comedic. The older sister though does a good job, this is also her first acting gig. The young priest I'm still on the fence about, he did a decent job, but something about him and his performance just rubbed me the wrong way. I never truly believed him.

If this is Eastwood's final film he's acting in, then he goes out on a high note. He plays Walt extremely well as a war vet who seems to hate everyone except his dog. He even throws out his own kid of his house on his birthday. He eventually finds out that he has more in common with his Asian neighbours then his own family. Sure the plot line involving him becoming friends with these people is clichéd, but Eastwood pulls it off and the transition from bigot to friend between him and the family is real.

The film has a few comedic parts, a favourite of mine is when Eastwood is trying to teach the kid to act like more of a man, so he brings him into a barber shop and tells him to listen to how he talks to the barber. What follows is hilarious and racist. Walt spits racist slurs every chance he gets, both when being mean and friendly.

The final act has an emotional punch that felt like a bit of a jab, instead of the knockout it intended to be. I wanted to be able to have more of an emotional connection to the film, but it just was not there. I don't know how else they could have ended it though, without it becoming cheap and 'hollywood'. The film ends with Eastwood singing the title song, I'm sorry but I giggled at this part. The ending was suppose to be something emotional and Eastwood's singing chops had me almost laughing. This unintentional humour took away from that emotion.

So, while both Changeling and Gran Torino are good flicks, people will like this one more. It's not as melodramatic or disturbing, it fits the mold. All of his films seem to be depressing and I for one would like to see him break that streak. I can't come to give it a better rating though, because it isn't above and beyond.

Taken from review thread.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 140: January 20th, 2009.


Ever wonder what a super hero movie would be like if they lost all the real fancy powers and costumes? If it were real people living real ordinary lives with zero flash? Unbreakable asks this questions to the viewers.

The film is incredibly well shot and shows patience. I really enjoyed Shyamalan using alternate ways to show basic conversations. Like at the beginning when Willis is talking to the sports agent and we never leave the seats in front of them, or when we are with the second survivor before he dies the whole time Willis is talking to the doctor. These little things break the ordinary mold of a simple conversation and adds some interesting elements to keep our attention.

Shyamalan, who also writes the films he directs, shows us that he's a talented guy. He knows what stories to craft and how to tell them, sometimes they are a hit, sometimes they are a miss. Then you have his big misses, but I give the guy credit for trying something different each time. From ghosts, to aliens and unknown forces. Kudos to the guy for trying to dive into different genres.

Unbreakable is never thrilling, nor edge of your seat entertainment, it's never meant to be either. There are some intense moments though, specifically when his son thinks shooting him will prove he's a superhero. Well written, directed and acted on everyone's part.

I liked the film, but felt it lacked to really grab me. It just seemed to be a well done film and nothing more, nothing to want me to explore this world or the people in it. It has a lot going for it too, the cast is great, the writing is superb and it has layers that the viewers peels away at, to get to that ultimate reveal. Yet at the same time, I was never blown away by anything. Not once did I think to myself, "Wow, this is such a great film".

I know this film has many lovers, and I'm not bashing it, I'm just saying that yes it is good, but not a masterpiece, nor his best work. I want to give this film a
, but I'm pushing it up a half because it tried something new.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 141: January 21st, 2009.


Why did I watch this film you might ask. I never read the books and it's not my style. If I know I won't like a film, I at least give it a chance, it could have some redeeming factors. If it's well made I note it, well acted, so on etc. I watched this with a buddy of mine. We had a good laugh.

The film is pretty bad. Let's start off with the cast.

Stewart is alright, she plays a wooden character who falls in love with this guy, played by Pattinson, who is a vampire. You know he's a vampire because when he hits the sunlight....he glitters. I'm not lying.

This love connection, if you can call it that, is not believable at all. These two have no chemistry and the dialogue between the two is laughable. I don't see the sex appeal of this guy. He looks incredibly goofy here and his so called acting will turn you off. The whole story relies on the audience believing that these two are in love. This film doesn't pull that off and pushes it too quickly. They tell each other they love the other within a week, at least that's what I got out of it.

The special effects are horrendous. Something that a blind guy can pull off in his basement. The "speed" of the vampire is cringe-worthy. Should I mention the lack of fangs? Or how about how bad the fight sequences are choreographed. It looked like they were dancing instead of trying to kill each other. Speaking of the fight sequence, it involves the so called 'bad-guy', another Vampire called James. He literally comes out of nowhere no development, no sense of who he is and the risks for the characters are no longer there.

The story is interesting, yet done before. The entire film is a teenage melodrama with vampires added in. I like the back story the have going, which isn't explored, but most likely will be in the sequels. The Cullens (vampire family) was interesting and I liked how they looked out for each other. The film doesn't get the least bit interesting until the other vampires show up to a baseball game. Yup, the most interesting scene in the film is a baseball game.

Don't get me started on the horrible music.

I will say this though, I'll watch the next one in the hopes they get interesting and go somewhere. But if it's as bad and laughable as this trash, consider me done with it.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 142: January 22nd, 2009.


Why was this film so popular, in fact so popular it got a ride at Universal. Well, if you can call it a ride, you just stand there, but that's besides the point. It's a film about man VS nature, one of those central conflicts they teach you in school. Who wins? What's left of them? Why is the dreaded pirate Roberts in this film?

Twister is a movie you love as a kid, as I did, and see it for what it really is when you get older. The film isn't bad, but it's full of a lot of things that makes it bad. The whole movie is about people chasing wind. Let's get that straight.

Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton do seem to have some chemistry, but I never once believed them to be as smart as they're suppose to. The team is full of colourful characters, including one Phillip Seymour Hoffman who is the comic relief. They all do their jobs of filling in screen time and each have their own distinct personalities that are characterized by the vehicle they drive, since most of the movie is about them driving from point A to point B.

The special effects are still nice, although it doesn't seem that hard to really conjure up some fast winds. There are some nice scenes though, like the destruction of a drive in or the driving through a house. Of course the cow scene still makes me laugh AND roll my eyes.

The film is your basic summer popcorn fare. We've all seen this type of stuff before and this one just takes it into the direction of mother nature. And yes the final scene when they are literally in the tornado still bugs me.

Welcome to the human race...
Ah, Twilight was good for a laugh though, that's the main reason I watched it.
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.

Welcome to the human race...
Two grown men watching Twilight

Now I'm a man's man so of course during this time I was watching Cannibal Holocaust

Ohhh, what a BIG MAN YOU ARE! Hey, let me buy
you a pack of gum, let me show you how to chew it.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 143: January 23rd, 2009.

The Night Of The Hunter

It surprises me that Laughton has only directed one film...this one. He really did take the whole go out on top motto.

I'm usually hesitant when it comes to films that prominently feature kids, they tend to annoy the hell out of me. In The Night Of The Hunter a preacher learns of a man who hide $10,000 of stolen money. The preacher then marries the wife of the man, who obviously has died and is now in search for the cash.

While the film is good and full of suspense the one key factor that sells it is Mitchum, who is so devishly good as the preacher who preaches love/hate, written on his fingers. Yeah, we know you took it from here Mr. Lee. He's calm cool demeanor and his evil stalking eyes make for a great villain.

The film can be seen as a child's nightmare. Their father figure is gone and a new man enters their lives, seemingly pure and good to others because of the priest facade, but to them, they know the true evil in this man. Of course no one will believe kids over a well respected priest.

The film was riding so high and I loved every minute of it until the last several minutes. Starting with the weird and comedic yelp from Mitchum during the climax of the film. It makes the film lose all tension and suspense. The rest of the film feels clumsy and thrown together, specifically the mob scene. I thought they were coming after the kids for crying out loud. If it weren't for this ending, the film would have been rated higher.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 144: January 24th, 2009.

Sleepaway Camp

I'm not a fan of the first Sleepaway Camp but I really dug the sequels. The problem with this one is the so called shock ending, the weak deaths and the beyond bad acting. Usually in films like this bad acting doesn't bother me and it fits, but I just couldn't stand it here.

Angela Baker is sent to camp with her cousin, yet things go horribly wrong when people start dying. Sounds like your typical slasher film, yet this one is memorable simply because of the ending, in which we find out that
WARNING: "sleepaway camp" spoilers below
Angela is actually the killer and she's not even a girl!!! Yup, she has a penis.

The deaths are pretty bad an uninspired. I dug the boiling water death, but the rest were extremely weak. I thought I was going to get some nice kills with the curling iron, yet it tries to leave it all to the imagination. It doesn't really work.

Surprise endings do not always save a film, specifically when one comes completely out of left field. The film is never scary, nor comedic. It's dead on arrival.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 145: January 25th, 2009.

The Wrestler

An aging and broken down wrestler tries to live a normal life outside the ring, but when things get even worse in his life, he turns to the one thing that kept him going and made him feel loved, wrestling.

Mickey Rourke's performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson is honest, heart-breaking and real. Probably the most real performances I've seen this year and one of my personal favourites. True, the story of this character mirrors the life of the actor himself and it's obvious that he brought that with him, but it's hard to watch this film and not cheer for him, feel sorry for him and want everything to work out in the end for him.

This is the 4th film from Darren Aronofsky and it goes back to his more independent roots, like his first feature Pi. Not saying his other two features who big Hollywood productions, but anyway. The Wrestler is shot in a gritty, low budget documentary style that suits the film to a tee. This isn't high production value WWE wrestler. This is the independent, small ring, small crowds, real pain wrestling and the way they shot it reflects just that. This character study wouldn't have had the same impact if it looked clean and pristine. It would have felt fake.

The two, often misjudged, professions in this film are wrestling and stripping. People often throw wrestling aside claiming it to be fake. The film makes to effort to take one side or the other, it just tells it like it is. Yes, these guys know how it is going to go down and who is going to win, they have the moves mapped out before the match begins, but it's really their bodies being thrown to the floor, it's really their heads being smashed with a chair. As we see in the movie, the blood is sometimes self-inflicted, for the show and entertainment. Yet, it is still their blood that is being drawn.

The second is stripping, which is where Marisa Tomei enters the film. The one character who Randy is able to have a relationship with, even if it is a short lived lap dance and he has to pay for it. Here is a guy that can't pay to keep his trailer open for him, but is willing to spend 60 bucks on a lap dance. Is it because he is horny, or he is in need for some kind of human contact, somebody to talk to. Well, it turns out he actually likes the broad, but guess what, she doesn't date customers. Ouch, another hit in the face for Randy in the real world.

After Randy has a heart attack he is told he can't wrestle and Cassidy/Pam (stage name and real name) tells him to go see his daughter. The only problem is they haven't spoken in years. He hasn't been a father to her, he doesn't know what music she likes, what type of person she is, or even her birth date. He tries his best to re-connect with her and pours his heart out. I wanted this relationship to work more then the one with the stripper, this one felt more real. I can't say too much about Evan Rachel Wood, she plays the clichéd teen angst daughter. We've seen her do this before with the film Thirteen.

As good as Rourke is in the film, there was not one scene that particularly jumped out at me as amazing. I was waiting for a scene in which he would knock me out of my seat, yet that never happened. It could be because he's really good throughout the entire thing and that the entire film is his one scene that will knock you out. The film is not to be outdone by Rourke's performance either. I was never bored, and always connected.

The soundtrack ain't to shabby either.

Taken from review thread.