‘Straw Dogs’ remake cannot compare to Dustin Hoffman’s original

Kate Bosworth in 'Straw Dogs' (2011)
Kate Bosworth in ‘Straw Dogs’ (2011)

[rating=1]Starring: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard, James Woods
Director(s): Rod Lurie
Writer(s): Rod Lurie

In 1971, Straw Dogs starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George and directed by Sam Peckinpah was released to much attention. Over 40 years, it has become a classic that stands as one of the finest achievements of the director and actors.

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‘Island of Lost Souls’ still retains its power to horrify

Kathleen Burke in 'Island of Lost Souls'
Kathleen Burke in ‘Island of Lost Souls’

[rating=4]Starring: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Director(s): Erle C. Kenton
Writer(s): Screenplay by Philip Wylie, Waldemar Young; based upon the book by H. G. Wells

The early 1930s is thought of as the golden age of horror films, and for good reason. This was the era that gave us DraculaFrankensteinDr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeMFreaksVampyr, and King Kong. And now thanks to the Criterion Collection, Island of Lost Souls officially makes its way to DVD and Blu Ray for the very first time.

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‘Secrets in the Walls’ only worth watching for Jeri Ryan

Jeri Ryan in 'Secrets in the Walls'
Jeri Ryan in ‘Secrets in the Walls’

[rating=2]Starring: Jeri Ryan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Kay Panabaker, Peyton List
Director(s): Christopher Leitch
Writer(s): William Penick, Chris Sey

A family moves into a new home, which seems like an improvement from where they last lived. It doesn’t take too long after that for someone, most likely one of the children, to realize there are things going bump in the night. The protagonist character is skeptical but decides to do some digging and discovers that these strange events have some connection to a cold case crime from long ago. Then it’s up to our hero, possibly with the assistance of someone who dabbles in the supernatural, to set the wrongs of the past right and make the home a happy place again.

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‘Malibu Shark Attack’ is a poor man’s ‘Shark Night 3D’

[rating=2]Starring: Peta Wilson, Warren Christie, Chelan Simmons, Sonya Salomaa
Director(s): David Lister
Writer(s): Lindsay James

Is that supposed to be a shark in 'Malibu Shark Attack'? Apparently
Is that supposed to be a shark in ‘Malibu Shark Attack’? Apparently

Last summer’s tail end saw the piranhas, but this one belongs to the sharks. Presumably to capitalize on the buzz from Shark Night 3DMalibu Shark Attack has finally found its way to DVD. Made for television and airing on the Syfy channel two years ago, ARC has put the film out as part of the Maneater line.

This movie, which I think can be best described asJaws meets Baywatch meets Hurricane Katrina, succeeds a bit in being an entertaining diversion, but suffers from some key problems, ones that even the most casual viewers will find.

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