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Running Time:
1 hour, 49 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This is a well made remake of the 1971 grisly thriller. It is also one of the most brutal films in years.

Additional Info:
Added DVD Features: 4 Featurettes: Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic; The Dynamics of Power: Cast; Inside the Siege: Stunts; Creating the Sumner House: Production Design; Commentary with Writer/Director Rod Lurie.

CAST:
James Marsden ... David
Kate Bosworth ... Amy
Alexander Skarsgård ... Charlie
James Woods ... Tom Heddon
Dominic Purcell ... Jeremy Niles
Rhys Coiro ... Norman
Billy Lush ... Chris
Laz Alonso ... John Burke
Willa Holland ... Janice Heddon
Walton Goggins ... Daniel Niles
Anson Mount ... Coach Milkens



Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs starring James Marsden: DVD Cover A successful screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden "X-Men") is planning to get away from the hustle and bustle of L.A. so that he can concentrate on his latest project, a film about the 1943 battle of Stalingrad. He and actress wife Amy (Kate Bosworth "Wonderland") are going to take their extended vacation in her backwater hometown of Blackwater, Mississippi, where they intend to stay at her late family's secluded lakeside home. Amy reunites with the people she grew up with and quickly realizes that she should never have returned, while David hires some acquaintances from her past, led by her part-charming, part-creepy high school flame Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård "Zoolander"), to fix the damaged barn roof on their property. David's big-city ways don't exactly mesh with the locals, but he is determined to make the best of it even when he's met with a whole lot of passive-aggressive attitude. Tensions mount between David and Amy, between the couple and Charlie's gang, until finally the killing of their cat strikes a warning bell of the danger they seem to be headed for.

For anyone familiar with the 1971 version directed by Sam Peckinpah, this remake has few changes, and those are largely cosmetic. Instead of England, the setting has been moved to America's Deep South. Instead of being a mathematician, David is a Hollywood writer. Director Rod Lurie ("The Contender") has duplicated both shots and sequences from the original; from the broken beer glass near the beginning, to the chess-playing/jump-roping bedroom scene, to the use of the chalkboard in David's study, to every last method of murder and mayhem that appears in the climax.

What is most interesting about this version, and what was also interesting in the 1971 original, is that while this Straw Dogs could have easily become a run-of-the-mill thriller about urban dwellers terrorized by psychotic country bumpkins, in this particular world, things aren't as black and white, and therefore no one is completely innocent of what they are driven to do in the grisly conclusion.
 






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