Straw Dogs

Featured In Issue 164, February 2012

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Strong brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, pervasive language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Rod Lurie
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In this remake of the 1971 classic Straw Dogs, David and Amy Summer (Marsden and Bosworth), a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts reemerge with the locals, including Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie (Skarsgard), leading to a violent confirmation. Based on the ABC motion picture screenplay by David Zelag Goodman and Sam Peckinpah, and the novel The Siege Of Trencher's Farm by Gordon Williams. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Writer/Director Rod Lurie and four featurettes: Courting Controversy: Remaking A Classic (HD 07:01), The Dynamics Of Power: The Ensemble (HD 06:20), Inside The Siege: The Ultimate Showdown (HD 07:29), and Creating The Summer House: The Production Design (HD 04:09); plus previews and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p AVC picture is very filmic in appearance, with a generally natural saturated color palette enriched with light grain. Hues are rich and warm, with strong primaries. Black levels are deep and satisfying. Contrast is well balanced, with revealing shadow delineation. The scenes in the forest during the hunting sequence are visually engaging, with excellent dynamic contrast. Resolution is generally excellent, with revealing fine detail in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. At times the imagery is incredibly filmic and appealing. This is an engaging visual experience that captures a sense of suspense against the Mississippi ambiance. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is superb! Hauntingly poignant and tensely real, the fidelity is excellent. Atmospherics and sound effects are perfectly balanced and dimensional sounding, exhibiting excellent integration with the other elements. Surround envelopment is aggressively dimensional, with subtle directionality. Shotgun shots sound frightfully real, with a natural boom trail. The music score is dynamic and fully supportive and effectively delivers a suspenseful backdrop. Deep bass, at times below 25 Hz, is effectively delivered by the .1 LFE channel. Dialogue is perfectly integrated spatially and consistently sounds natural. The final siege scene is a tour de force, enveloping holosonic® experience that is terrifying. This is an exceptionally dramatic and haunting soundtrack and is well recorded with an engaging enveloping soundfield presentation that is absolutely engaging. (Gary Reber)