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Entries in 2011 (3)

Tuesday
Oct042011

Straw Dogs compared: an in-depth look at the 1971 original and 2011 remake

As the release date for this year’s version of Straw Dogs approached, I noticed that expectations among my friends and fellow film-lovers were strikingly polarized. Those already familiar with Sam Peckinpah’s version decried the remake as blasphemy, boldly proclaiming that it would never pack the same punch as its predecessor. On the other hand, many were unaware that it was a remake at all, having never seen, or even heard of, the 1971 version. Though I was familiar with the original, I had never given it a proper viewing (it languinshed for years in the depths of my “to watch” list). But seeing the remake stoked my curiosity, and I finally sat down to watch the original and gauge for myself what all the fuss was about. What follows below is a fairly comprehensive comparison between the two--thoughts and impressions on several major components of each film, and how they stack up.

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Friday
Sep162011

Contagion review - gripping, poignant, unemotional

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion unfolds as quickly and ruthlessly as the virus around which it is centred. It doesn't occupy its audience with ambiguous shot composition and framing; it is concise and to the point. While the performances from its stars are not award-worthy, they are swift and calculated. At times the film looks and feels sterile, yet remains imbibed with the kind of energy and emotion that many of us have grown accustomed to in recent times, assaulted as we so often are by images on television of natural disasters, war, terrorism, and of course--lethal and misunderstood illnesses.

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Sunday
Sep112011

Warrior review - An underdog story with two underdogs

Everyone likes a good underdog story, especially when it ends in a big battle. Sylvester Stallone has made a career out of being an underdog. But while Rocky worked in the 1970s, these days you can't get away with a simple David vs Goliath fight. That's why most recent fighting movies have a lot of family drama too. Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, and last year's The Fighter got their Oscar nominations by layering on the hardship. Warrior kicks it up a notch. You've seen the standard underdog story a thousand times before (learn about why we like underdogs here), but have you seen two underdogs in one movie?

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