I’m going to have to hold my thoughts on this footage for Rod Lurie‘s remake of the landmark Sam Peckinpah film Straw Dogs, because after watching the trailer a couple times I’m still second-guessing what the intentions are.

What I can see is that this trailer is selling a very straight-up thriller, in which James Marsden and Kate Bosworth (both looking better than I expected — this might be a career high for Kate Bosworth, not that such a thing means much) have to deal with the advances of a bunch of tough rednecks when they move back to her hometown in Louisiana. The trailer gives most of the structure of the film away — basically two acts of intimidation followed by one extended siege setpiece — but doesn’t really give away what the movie is doing. So is it really a straight thriller? I doubt it, because that’s not in the DNA of Peckinpah’s original, and I suspect Rod Lurie’s plans to remake the film were more ambitious than delivering a mere thriller.

Check the trailer after the break and see what you think. Read More »

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When Hop came out last month, bringing James Marsden back into the public eye, I wondered one thing: where the hell is Straw Dogs? Rod Lurie scripted and directed a remake of Sam Peckinpah‘s polarizing film nearly two years ago, putting the movie into production in late 2009. Doing so attracted no small amount of negative attention, as the original film was one which sharply divided audiences but stands as one of Peckinpah’s most significant achievements. How does one make a new version, especially with James Marsden standing in for Dustin Hoffman? (No offense to James Marsden, but some simple truths must be faced, and one is that very few actors are equal to a young Dustin Hoffman.)

We’ve not seen any footage from Straw Dogs, and in fact we’ve had a peek at barely any materials at all. So here are some of the first real images from the movie. They’re not wildly exciting — neither will give you any idea of how Rod Lurie has actually handled the remake — but they serve to remind us that the movie does in fact exist. Read More »

Briefly: Hopefully we’ll be all done with the casting updates for The Three Stooges by later this week. Our last update was that Will Sasso was looking like a lock for one role, with Moe and Curly as the 50/50 split for his choice. Curly was the obvious way to cast him, and that’s where Peter and Bobby Farrelly have gone.

So that’s one down, and with Will Sasso set as Curly, the Farrellys are free to cast the other Stooges. Word is they’re looking at Hank Azaria and James Marsden. Read More »

‘Hop’ Trailer #3

Universal Pictures’ Illumination Entertainment (the guys behind the computer animated feature Despicable Me, have released a third movie trailer for the upcoming Russell Brand Easter Bunny comedy Hop. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Belgium has an international profile in some circles — it is a resource for joke writers and beer connoisseurs — but in the film world it is more notable as a location or reference (In Bruges, The Brothers Bloom) than as the base for a thriving Flemmish-language film industry. But there are the occasional breakout pictures, and the thriller Loft was one. The 2008 film was a local hit, and is now spawning an English-language remake that will likely star Patrick Wilson and James Marsden. Read More »

‘Hop’ Trailer

In Hop, from Alvin and the Chipmunks director Tim Hill, Russell Brand voices a CGI version of the Easter bunny and James Marsden plays the human who gets stuck taking care of him. Well, it isn’t the Easter bunny exactly, but a young bunny who has been tapped to be the next global deliverer of eggs and candy. Close enough.

We’ve seen one teaser, which basically consisted of a CGI bunny playing drums, but now there is a full trailer. If you think you can be convinced that this idea is a good one, by all means press on to the point beyond the break. Read More »

Despite the headline proclaiming that Russell Brand voices the Easter Bunny in Hop — and, indeed, he does — there’s nothing to that effect in this teaser. All you’ll see of the film is some drumming bunny animation. And what of the story with James Marsden playing a guy who takes in the Easter Bunny after he accidentally injures the not quite mythical beast? None of that here, folks. But it does inform audiences that the film is from the folks behind Despicable Me. Check out the teaser after the break. Read More »

i-hop-cast

Want to see Russell Brand play the Easter Bunny? You won’t be able to see him do so, exactly, but you’ll hear his voice bringing the venerable Hallmark card company mainstay to life in I Hop. Described as “the world’s worst houseguest,” Brand’s bunny is accidentally injured by an unemployed slacker played by James Marsden, who then allows the holiday creature to crash at his house. As one might expect, wacky hijinks ensue.

The film is planned as a live-action / CGI blend, which seemingly describes a great many movies these days, but in this case is meant to imply that Brand’s Easter Bunny will be CGI while the rest of the film is live action. Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks) is directing. The script is by Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch. The trade report says that both characters eventually “learn what it takes to finally grow up,” but hopefully they’ll do the growing up during the credits, and leave most of the movie to the funny stuff. [THR]

After the break,  Naomi Watts moves into a house with Daniel Craig. Read More »

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