Blu-ray, DVD Release: Straw Dogs (2011)

Release Date: Dec. 20, 2011
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Straw DogsThe 2011 remake Straw Dogs stars James Marsden (X-Men) and Kate Bosworth (The Warrior’s Way) in the roles Dustin Hoffman and Susan George played in the original 1971 thriller.

Directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender), the movie tells the story of quiet screenwriter David Sumner (Marsden) and his wife Amy (Bosworth), who relocate to her hometown in the Deep South. As tensions build between the couple, tensions also build with locals, until they become a threat.

James Woods (Once Upon a Time in America), Dominic Purcell (TV’s Prison Break) and Alexander Skarsgard (TV’s True Blood) also star in the R-rated film.

Despite the name actors and cache of the past cult classic, the new Straw Dogs didn’t score at the box office, grossing only $10 million in wide release. Maybe it was the bad reviews that kept viewers away. Although Lurie was praised by critics, the movie didn’t get much approval. Stephen Cole of the Globe and Mail said the movie is “a routine, if rather gruesome thriller with attractive leads ducking in and out of danger.”

Or perhaps audiences recognized that the original didn’t really need to be re-made. As Philip French of the UK Observer said, “Ultimately Lurie’s film isn’t in the same class as Peckinpah’s flawed classic, but it’s a respectable, respectful and rather good film.” You be the judge.

The original film was nominated for an Oscar for its original score and helmer Sam Peckinpah was awarded Best Director by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle.

The DVD and Blu-ray comes with a host of special features. On both versions are:

  • commentary with writer/director Lurie
  • “Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic”
  • “The Dynamics of Power: The Ensemble”
  • “Inside the Siege: The Ultimate Showdown”
  • and “Creating the Sumner House: The Production Design.”

The trailer is appropriately chilling. Check it out:


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.