There’s some pain found in this one little post, and now it’s hard to keep from punching the monitor.
Soooo. Being something of a giant Peckinpah dork, I was
filled with a seething murderous rage dismayed to learn that Screen Gems is remaking 1971’s Straw Dogs. For those who haven’t seen it, go rent it. Right now. I’ll wait. It’s a particularly brutal movie, in Peckinpah’s violent, twisted, misogynistic way. It’s also an incredibly good movie. It’s also a movie that I don’t need repeated viewings of, despite my Peckinpah worship. And it’s now being remade.
Now, ignoring the absolute lack of a need to remake such a seminal work, all is not necessarily lost. Rod Lurie, a very capable director who has done some brilliant work (2000’s The Contender jumps to mind), has been tasked with writing and directing, so it will hopefully just be disturbing and frightening, but not necessarily exploitative. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the lurid subject matter, particularly a series of distinctly disturbing and controversial rape scenes (that Ranylt and I once spent an entire afternoon discussing).
The casting, however… not so much. The film is about a hapless Hollywood screenwriter (to be played by James Marsden — it was Dustin Hoffman playing a mathematician in the original) who moves to his wife’s hometown in Mississippi. The wife will be played by Kate Bosworth. OK, now look. Bosworth’s pretty enough — a decent compliment to Susan George, who played the original role. And I thought Blue Crush was enjoyable summer candy. But she’s not exactly an acting juggernaut, and this is a role that, believe me, calls for one. Bosworth simply lacks the chops for this particular role.
Alexander Skarsgård (“True Blood”) will play her high school boyfriend (played by Del Venney in the original) who sees her arrival as a second chance, only he’s a little bent — but not quite as bent as some of the others in the town.
At the end of the day, this is just another remake that is simply unnecessary. It’s not like the original is a greatly flawed picture that will benefit from a remaking. And seriously — Marsden’s a likable actor, but how in the bughumping fuck is he going to compete with Dustin freaking Hoffman? Tell me that? TELL ME!
Goddamn you, Hollywood.