I love it when general audiences walk into a widely-released indie-style movie expecting a standard genre flick and walk out scratching their heads, not exactly sure what they just watched nor how they feel about it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, hang around the cinema this weekend and you’ll see it in abnormally large numbers, since two of such films opens wide this weekend.
I can’t wait to see all of the ‘Notebook‘-loving ladies walking out of Ryan Gosling’s Cannes award winner ‘Drive‘. At first glance, the film appears to be a standard genre flick about a Hollywood stunt driver with a side job as a heist getaway driver. In reality, it’s a super-stylized art house flick. Check out Aaron’s review here.
Not only will ‘Drive’ leave the average audience in a mixed state of confusion, so will the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s controversial 1971 film ‘Straw Dogs‘. Starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård, ‘Straw Dogs‘ tells the story of a husband who moves with his wife into her childhood home in the South. Being a successful and educated man now living in a simple small town, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Even though he tries to fit in, the townsfolk refuse to accept him – especially his wife’s high school boyfriend. ‘Straw Dogs’ comes to slow boil of extreme graphic violence.
Younger crowds unfamiliar with the original film are going to be polarized by ‘Straw Dogs’. Although the film is almost constantly intense, audiences will expect a full-on thriller. For some, the themes and ideas that make the original a film classic will pass right over their heads as they anticipate the action. Those who believe a remake of Peckinpah’s classic is taboo need to shrug off the prejudgment and give the remake a chance. Surprisingly, ‘Straw Dogs’ remains exceptionally faithful to the original. The remake does a perfect job of translating the source material into a contemporary context that shares the same concept, morals and themes with an audience most likely unfamiliar with the original. Instances like ‘Straw Dogs’ prove that some remakes actually are worthwhile.
Since general female audiences will despise every minute of ‘Drive’ and ‘Straw Dogs’, there’s also ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It‘, a film made specifically for women. Any man who dares enter the theater should prepare himself for cinematic castration. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and featuring her trademark narration, ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ is nothing more than a PG-13 episode of ‘Sex and the City‘ where Carrie has a different name and job and two kids. The movie shows her balance a hectic work schedule with her full-time family. Characters frequently utter the line, “I don’t know how she does it.” Instead of featuring an original story, the bland movie relies on the clichés of motherhood, expecting you to forgive the predictable plot points typical of the genre simply because it catches a slice of motherly life. Unless you have personally squeezed children out of a uterus, prepare to want to slit your wrists during this train wreck.
Finally, hoping to ride on the success of the 3D re-release of first two ‘Toy Story‘ movies, Disney has a new 3D conversion of ‘The Lion King‘. I personally believe the success of the ‘Toy Story’ re-release stemmed from the fact that it was a double feature of two beloved Pixar movies. I don’t think ‘Lion King’ stands a chance of reaching ‘Toy Story’ re-release numbers. Out of my own personal curiosity, those of you who love ‘The Lion King’, will you be seeing it in theaters during its two-week run? Or are you just going to wait for the October Blu-ray release?