It’s a evidence of the potency of Straw Dogs’ story (Sam Peckinpah’s adaptation of Gordon Williams’ novel) that this 2011 remake is still entertaining despite its numerous shortcomings in the complexity and artistry to its predecessor. Director Rod Lurie’s retelling trades conflicted characters and intricate ideals of bravery and cowardice with plain-dealing motives and basic revenge; Peckinpah’s flair for operatic visuals is sadly absent. So too may be the contemplative nature from the whole affair – the ambiguity and subtleties within every character’s actions are already substituted for spoon-fed notions of right and wrong. It’s impossible to avoid comparison towards the original film, and this would be a disservice to the discerning viewer. Those that loved Peckinpah’s creation will likely find little value in Lurie’s version, however for people that haven’t seen it, the remake has a humble taste of the brilliance you’re losing. http://www.magweb.com Ambitious CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) works a dead-end job like a safe house guard. Longing for excitement plus a more prestigious position, Matt gets his wish when much talked about defector Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is created to his facility for interrogation. But when heavily armed mercenaries unexpectedly arrive and try and capture Frost, Weston must escort the damaging fugitive to safety – all while dodging bullets, crooked government agents, and also the treacherous efforts of his cunning prisoner.

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When Valerie’s sister is available slashed to death through the werewolf, a party of vengeful villagers goes in search of computer. They kill perhaps the most common gray wolf and believe they’ve dispatched the menace once and for all, but legendary monster killer Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) arrives just with time to prove them wrong. His is a deliciously evil role, an unhinged character that Oldman plays often and quite entertainingly, quick to persecute, invade privacy and harm without mercy. It’s a Van Helsing of sorts, fused with the maniacal methods of a preacher intent on forcing others to don his beliefs via abuse, detailed with wild-eyed problem reports along with a giant metal elephant of torture.

Most reviews I’ve read with this film have pinpointed its numerous references being a concern. Apparently, it will require from the film, in lieu of enhancing it. I disagree fervently. With Shaun from the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg and Frost have basically cemented their place in the Apatow genre (think The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up), as their films really are a veritable “what’s what” of references and homages. If you don’t expect that opting, you’re not as prepared for the film when you must have been. It’s turned into a staple of Pegg/Frost pairings to spend respects to those who inspire them. They have a big list of muses, and everyone should be recognized.

Don’t get me wrong, Megamind provides some decent entertainment (albeit mindless) and is a moderately amusing movie. However, what definitely seems to be Dreamworks’ solution to Pixar’s The Incredibles fails to deliver in that effort with Pixar again showing it’s superiority. And Dreamworks again showing why these are, in reality, an undeniable number 2.