Tag Archives: James Marsden

HBO’s Westworld Debuts First Full Trailer

Turns out whatever shaky ground we may have thought HBO’s Westworld was under could prove false worries. The series looks to be near completion and with that arrives the very first, full trailer for the series.

Check out the trailer:

Continue reading HBO’s Westworld Debuts First Full Trailer

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HBO’s Westworld Halts Production

HBO has temporarily halted production on its long-gestating television adaptation of Westworld, claiming that writers/executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy need more time to fine tune the final four scripts for the series’ first season.

The project is closing down for two months so that Nolan and Joy can catch up on the final four scripts. Westworld was first ordered to series in November 2014, and fans got a first look video from the series back in August. The series was originally set to premiere during the last quarter of 2015, but was pushed to an unspecified date of 2016. Now with the halted production, that premiere is looking closer to early 2017.

Continue reading HBO’s Westworld Halts Production

Grizzly Review: Straw Dogs

Back in May Dr. Kronner wrote an article about the new Straw Dogs remake. Allow me to start off by saying, unlike him,  I have not seen the original version of Straw Dogs or read The Siege of Trencher’s Farm, the book that the original film was based on. So I watched it and did my best to judge the movie as it stands on its own merits, rather than how it compares to the other versions.

*Spoilers Ahead*>>>>>>>

“Los Angeles screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden) and his wife, Amy (Kate Bosworth), move back to Amy’s hometown in the Deep South. Tensions begin to rise due to Amy’s former lover Charlie Venner (Alexander Skarsgård, True Blood), who rapes Amy after having his friends lure David out into the woods and strand him. When David agrees to help one of the locals (Walton Goggins, Justified), whose mentally retarded brother Jeremy (Dominic Purcell) has been falsely accused of rape, the normally pacifist David offer the two sanctuary and prepare to defend their home against Charlie and his friends, who seek to eliminate the people in the house.”

Thanks Wikipedia!

The film was directed, produced, and written by Rod Lurie. A former film critic who has turned out some fairly good films such as The Contender, The Last Castle, and Nothing But The Truth.

Something a lot of critics seem to be complaining about are the minor changes Lurie made to the story. Like changing David’s profession from math teacher to screenwriter, or changing the location of the film from rural England to the American south. I don’t feel any of the changes made have hurt the plot or the feel of the film.

I have also read that this version of the story is less dark and disturbing than the original film. Now, personally I didn’t feel like Lurie pulled any punches and if the original was darker and more disturbing I really don’t know what else they did to make it that way.

The rape scene alone was fairly unnerving not to mention all the killing.

One of my favorite moments in the film was when David refers to Charlie and his pals as a “…Bunch of straw dogs.”  When questioned he explains “In ancient Chinese rituals, dogs made out of straw were used as offerings to the gods. During the ritual they were treated with the utmost reverence. When it was over and they were no longer needed they were trampled on and tossed aside. They become nothing. When their football careers are over that’s all these kids become Straw dogs.”

Overall I felt the acting was really good. James Woods and James Marsden actually impressed me the most. It was also nice seeing our buddy Walton Goggins even if it was a minor role.

I recommend seeing this movie; it’s a little slow at the start but picks up in the third act.

3.5/5 Bears

Side Note: One critic (who I will not justify with a link) let’s call him Bob, complained that it made no sense that Amy didn’t tell David about her rape, and stated that this movie ended with the couple having bonded through their shared trauma. Bob is a moron. Clearly he knows nothing about how rape victims, considering more than half don’t report the crime. Also that movie ended with the main characters being horribly broken, Amy in particular.

Straw Dogs: Remaking a Classic…

In 1971 Director Sam Peckinpah released a movie called Straw Dogs. It was based off of the novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm, written in 1969 by Gordon Williams. The film sparked controversy with concerns over the rise of violence in film. It didn’t help that it came out the same year as movies like A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, and Dirty Harry, which all received similar criticism. In today’s film world, filled with stylized violence and gratuitous bloodshed, it’s surprising how well this actually holds up.

The movie was a story about David Sumner, an American intellectual (Dustin Hoffman) who moves with his wife Amy (Susan George), back to her hometown in England. Once there he becomes enamored with his work and she gets bored. She starts to flirt with some of the locals they’ve hired to fix up there house, one of which is an old boyfriend of hers. The men see Dave as a coward and start to push him bit by bit until things escalate out of control…

This movie was my first introduction to Sam Peckinpah back when I watched in High School and still my favorite of his films. It gets down to base of what a man is capable of when forced into a bad situation.

Well the movie is now being remade by someone with decidedly less pedigree, but not a terrible track record – Film Critic turned Director Rod Lurie who is most famous for The Contender. Cast in the leads are titans of mediocrity, repaired for some reason after Superman ReturnsJames Marsden and Kate Bosworth. And quite frankly, I just don’t think they have the acting chops of Hoffman and Susan George.

What is interesting though is the cast that surrounds them, namely our villain – Alexander Skarsgård, who is best know to True Blood fans as the Vampire Sheriff Eric Northman. For me, he is the most likeable part of True Blood (Well, aside from Deborah Ann Woll anyway —> ).

Here is the new trailer…

Ok, so OBVIOUSLY it doesn’t look as epic as the original. It’s no longer set in rural countryside England, but now instead in “Small Town USA”, where there is never a shortage of rednecks and idiots. However, 2 of the best cast pieces aren’t even shown in the trailer, and that’s James Woods (Casino, The Hard Way, Cat’s Eye) and Boyd Crowder Walton Goggins (The Shield, Predators, Justified).

Also appearing will be Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell and recently unemployed star of The Chicago Code, as well as another ‘Gone too Soon’ type of show The Black Donnelys,  Billy Lush. Overall, cast looks good even if Cyclops the kid from Disturbing Behavior Marsden isn’t my favorite actor, he’s not terrible.

I have no doubt this will pale in comparison with the original, but I’m pretty sure I’ll see it anyhow. It is set for a US release September 16th of this year.