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Harry lights STRAW DOGS on fire and won't piss to put it out!


So this is all Trent Reznor’s fault.   I wasn’t going to see STRAW DOGS theatrically.  I’d seen the trailers and could perceive the stank of doom from afar.   I was going to catch it on DVD or BLU…  but there was no need to burn fossil fuels for an ill conceived travesty of talent.   Then I got an email from Trent Reznor asking that I please go to the press screening of STRAW DOGS, that he and David Fincher wanted me to see something unusual that they had planned.


SO…  I was hoping that they were planning a bait & switch screening – and that they would surprise everyone by playing THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO as a public test screening.   Seriously.   That’s what I was hoping.   Instead, we got 8 minutes that promise one helluva film.


However, after 8 minutes of Fincher-y awesome…  and a remake at that…  I was now trapped in a theater…  I was already there…  Might as well see it, perhaps it would surprise me.   Ya know?   Like, why the fuck not.   I like the actors right?  Yeah.  Rod Lurie hasn’t always sucked, right?  Right.  


Right from the get go…  We’ve pretty much all agreed that  the casting on this film is just whackadoodle.   To understand the successful dynamic that made the original work.  James Marsden’s DAVID SUMNER is a jackass pussy Liberal  Atheist Hollywood Screenwriter played by an Ex-Superhero Hunk come Comedian Actor, that I genuinely like…   and it’s the actor’s pure charisma that made enduring the film actually palatable.     But not only is he wrong for the role, but the role has been turned into something so painfully trite.  Casting a superhero for DAVID SUMNER instantly diffuses the awesome that Hoffman unleashed in the original 3rd act.   We know Marsden can kick ass.  He’s built.  The man that plays David has to be someone utterly non-threatening.   Someone you can’t really imagine being a badass…  like… Jason Schwartzman.  There’s something about Hoffman in the role that makes it inconceivable that he could EXPLODE.   That is completely missing from the remake.  Instead, we get some bullshit about how he's writing a screenplay based upon the Battle of Stalingrad - where we learn that the NAZIS had taken 90% of the City and the Ruskies still beat them.   Thus FORESHADOWING that this man was an expert on underdog hopeless battles, lest we think CYCLOPS couldn't handle himself.


Then there’s Kate Bosworth.   I like Kate Bosworth, I’m not one of the haters on her.   I liked her in BLUE CRUSH & Singer’s Superman.   But here… they’ve gone and turned Amy Sumner into a young starlet.   Which just kinda blows.   But the main problem with Kate Bosworth is that she doesn’t look like she likes to fuck.   She’s cute.  She’s sweet.  But Susan George…  Susan George was SENSUAL.   Susan George’s Amy was sexual.  You really saw the history between her and her ex.   You felt that there was a part of her that didn’t WANT IT, but that remembered it and remembered it well.   Now – I know that this isn’t necessarily Kate’s fault, but Rod Lurie as director, because in WONDERLAND and RULES OF ATTRACTION – Kate looked primed.   But here…  she just isn’t sexual.   The Chess piece scene in this version makes the Animal Crackers in ARMAGEDDON seem like Bertolucci. 


The last colossal fuck up of casting was with Alexander Skarsgard.   An actor, like the two above, that I am very fond of.   Skarsgard is preternaturally hot.   He is a modern sex symbol because of his role on TRUE BLOOD – and casting a sex symbol as your rapist – is just…  It turns the scene into potential fantasy material…  which is just fucking gross.   Skarsgard just feels wrong in a film that is just wrong headed at every turn.


Lurie’s SOUTH is woefully stereotypical.   Feeling like a man that has only seen the South in bad straight to video movies.  James Woods feels like he came out of Oliver Stone’s JFK set.   They transformed the “simple man” that is the impetus for the 3rd Act siege…  into LENNY from OF MICE & MEN, but don’t think about that brilliant performance from Lon Chaney Jr.   Take all the soul from the character and just cast that type.   Woods’ daughter has been cast as a beautiful underage cheerleader…  which completely robs the point of her character as feeling like no man would touch her, and transforms her into something of a disturbing slutty type.


You know what’s so offensively wrong with the film?   It isn’t the wrongheaded casting, nor the real cookie cutter South bullshit that Lurie infuses it.   It’s that they tried to make STRAW DOGS a sexy film.   STRAW DOGS is not sexy.   STRAW DOGS is the exact opposite of sexy.   It is an ugly brutal film – and Lurie makes it light.   He robs the film of its resonance.   Instead, audiences end up with a film that isn’t ugly or hurtful, other than in the ham-fisted way it treats EVERY SITUATION FLIPPANTLY – almost with a slight wink.   Our audience giggled at the rape, which turned my stomach, and they guffawed at the bear trap.  


This is a film to miss.   It’s just a total load of shit.  


Lurie is so fucking stupid, that even though David Sumner is no longer a mathematician, he still does the Jump Rope line about counting to a hundred in BINARY…   In the original, the line is fun because you might actually believe that Hoffman did jump rope in binary.   Then – they basically have a house that they live in that looks like it should be IRELAND, but definitely not in the South.


THE CONTENDER was a solid damn fine film.   I like THE LAST CASTLE.   But this?   I can’t imagine a single critic liking.   This is so bad, that I’m actually worried that I’ll never be able to watch the original, without getting pissing mad about this version as I watch it.   That Lurie was a fucking damn fine critic, but then make a remake of a classic tough as hell, brutal masterpiece from Peckinpah – and then show zero understanding of the material at every single turn.   It makes me want to just dismiss him as a filmmaker, because this movie sucked so hard.  


Fuck this movie. 


I saw FOOTLOOSE again tonight and as I watched Craig Brewer’s movie, I just marveled at the South he created.   It is… frankly, dead on right.   Craig gets it.   Craig is deeply passionate about his film.  Lurie “jokes” about hoping he didn’t muck it up too badly in his tone-deaf commentary for the original STRAW DOGS trailer on TRAILERS FROM HELL.   Well Lurie, you mucked it up so badly, that you lost a fan.   I’ll see your next one, but I’ll be going into it wishing I didn’t have to.   Especially since it seems you’re mining similar material.   For fuck’s sake, get it right this time.


Remaking a film is like the ultimate act of Film Criticism.   Because every decision you make, is essentially either repeating the original or moving away from it.   In STRAW DOGS’ case – it just shows how far Lurie is from being a shitball hanging from a grey ass hair in the crack of Peckinpah’s shitter.   This could’ve been a master thesis type of film by Lurie, instead…  it’s a lifeless dead waste of time.  Spend your money instead picking up STRAW DOGS on Blu Ray.   Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Ebert gave it 3 1/2 out of 4

    by SchwarzenGollum

    His taste in movies changed since his cancer...maybe because he can't literally "taste" shit anymore.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:16 a.m. CST

    yes, but was it 3 Musketeers (2011) bad?

    by antonphd

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:19 a.m. CST

    THANK YOU!!!

    by Candice

    Harry can hand out an ass kicking! I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. I kinda want to see the movie just so I can share in your anger. But I'm sure that will be years from now when it's part of a lame Sunday doubt feature on the CW.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST that looks like it should be in IRELAND..

    by Tony fucknuts

    So, what, it's recently dropped in value, is poorly constructed and ultimately will go into receivership? Ha. Recession humour. Topical.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:21 a.m. CST

    did you catch Warrior, Harry?

    by antonphd

    i just watched it a second time today. i brought my wife this time. i cried the first time i watched it and had to hold it back this time. later, while talking about the movie on a drive she burst out crying. the movie kind of hits anyone with a rough family past right in the gut. as for Straw Dogs, i leave to go to the bathroom or something when the trailer plays in the theater it's so awful looking and i also like all of the actors in it. i'm going to see Sarah's Key and Drive tomorrow.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:25 a.m. CST


    by JethroBodine

    And coming form HARRY no less. Again, WOW. But, I coulda told ya it stunk, and I didn't have to even see the movie.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:26 a.m. CST

    wtf, really Ebert?

    by wash

    The trailer for this looks TERRIBLE.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:27 a.m. CST

    As soon as I heard...

    by bsjett

    that a Straw Dogs remake was in the works, I feared exactly what you wrote. I feared they'd make it sexy. The only thing that should be sexy in Straw Dogs is a well fitting sweater. I'll be sure to miss it and stick with Peckinpah.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:29 a.m. CST

    The casting did seem seriously off...

    by Andrew Coleman

    I like all the actors don't get me wrong but in the trailer everything seemed very off. I will avoid this movie. But frankly no one should ever care that this film is coming out. Sure some morons might see it and never see the original... Fuck them though. This remake will just fade off and end up in the $1 bin at Wal-Mart in a year.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Harry liked Bosworth in Superman Returns?

    by georgecauldron

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh. If you want to talk miscasting, no greater evidence than Bosworth as Lois Lane.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:30 a.m. CST

    As it was expected.Typical HW.fuck this shit.

    by KilliK

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Here's news you can take to the bank...

    by JethroBodine

    If HARRY says a movie stinks, then the movie stinks worse than a skunk with diarrhea running through a non-air conditioned morgue with a dog turd in it's mouth.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Why does Lurie get all the blame?

    by Jarek

    The film is a studio produced remake made solely to grab cash based on name recognition, etc. Why is Lurie to blame? You don't think he had a team of producers basically co-directing the movie with him, like most major films? Everyone jumps right into blaming the director the moment a film isn't good - it takes an army to make a film, not just the general. The film probably isn't very good... but considering we're talking about the director that made Deterrence and The Contender, I wouldn't jump to just blame him.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:12 a.m. CST

    There's the Harry I know and love

    by eveelcapitalist

    Needed more references to faggotry and whale semen but otherwise would read again. ****/***** good job

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Im' worried...

    by scrote

    ...about Dragon Tattoo now. Most films these days that Harry gives the thumbs up to, stink. Anytime Harry starts waxing lyrical and getting himself pumped up for a movie, the alarm bells start ringing... Sorry Harry...just sayin...

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Fuck this movie.

    by eveelcapitalist

    Right in the goat ass? Right in the goat ass? Please say right in the goat ass.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Right in the goat ass.


  • Did you not see "The Rules of Attraction"? I'm sure you mean in *this* movie she looks like she doesn't like to fuck, but I don't believe that is possible.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:20 a.m. CST

    And turning a sex symbol (Skaarsgard) into the rapist is smart

    by D.Vader

    It changes the dynamics of the scene even more than in the original. Now the rapist is a great-looking guy, possibly better looking and more built than the current guy. It psychologically changes the dynamics and makes it more gut-wrenching and hard to watch. I really have to look down on you if you think the casting of a great-looking, well-built guy as the villain is bad for the movie. Really, that sounds like you've got a tinge of the "THE ORIGINAL IS AWESOME. THE REMAKE AUTOMATICALLY SUCKS," syndrome.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Right on, Mr Incredible

    by D.Vader

    Right fucking on.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Surprise, sur-fucking prise

    by BenBraddock

    This was a movie that didn't need remaking, but then when has that ever stopped Hollywood? Disastrously cast as you said Harry, it has "cash-grab for modern audiences" written all over it. They even re-made the poster badly. I worry for the future of film. Hollywood is eating itself. Anyway, great review H.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Movie review credibility

    by antonphd

    anyone accusing someone of not having movie review credibility needs to stfu and get laid

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:36 a.m. CST

    DONE, antonphd

    by D.Vader


  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Bosworth does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Vader, to be fair Harry says Kate Bosworth in RULES OF ATTRACTION 'looked primed'... However he also says he liked her Lois Lane in SUPERMAN RETURNS, who I found to be prob the most unlikeable female lead in any superhero film ever. So there is that. Hang on wasn't James Marsden also playing opposite her in SUPERMAN RETURNS or was that some other equally disposable forgettable guy?

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:58 a.m. CST



    Got 600 words into the review for RISE - and just didn't like my review. I just wasn't happy with what I was writing. It happens sometimes.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:36 a.m. CST

    If only

    by Shivv

    they had invited Harry to the set, they may have gotten a favorable review. Live and learn I guess

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:43 a.m. CST

    Love Talkbacks Sometimes

    by aceldama

    creepythinmanforever (love that you took your name from a movie that he loved, by the way. To be fair, he just loved Carmens "swirly ass" mostly, though), while you ultimately may be right, what do you have to show that you are right now? You know that it is a"fucking wretched Footlose remake" though give no idea you've even seen it. If you've seen it, say so and your opinion might matter. You seemed to base a big portion of your argument on the fact that he gave a positive review of Footloose. Yet, based on what you said here, and what you said in the Footloose talkback, you don't seem to have seen it yet. Why do you think Harry is wrong? Based on past track record? Based on Godzilla (13 years ago)? Based on Pearl Harbor (I may be remembering wrong, but didn't he also get crap for liking it when watching on an aircraft carrier on a junket? Can't find the actual review for that specific event. I know he didn't like the film after the fact.)? PLEASE Don't bring up the Clone Wars review situ w/ Drew! You claim he is bought, and that when he isn't, he goes after a movie with venom. Got any actual examples that he actually didn't get anything for a movie he hated? Heck, he never hid what he got for Green Lantern and his review was that it was good, but he wanted it better (me paraphrasing). And you claiming that in the past few months, he has just not posted reviews of movies he did or didn't like is damn insulting. Dude's going through real life issues. If he doesn't feel like reviewing a movie, good or bad, that's his perogative and doesn't need to be taken as a sign as to his opinion or reasoning. Grow the fuck up. Want to know the reason that I personally think he didn't review Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes? Because it was "meh." It wasn't good enough to rave about and it wasn't bad enough to tear into. It just didn't deserve any attention. Guess that speaks volumes as well as to why he didn't review The Smurfs! One concession: again, because of his real issues, he usually only bothers to post when he cares about a film deeply, and lately it's been deeply positive. But you're reading too much into that. As for being paid off in Twinkies, that is just a stupid comparison. ANYONE would give a positive review to anything if they got a truckload of Twinkies for it. Even you, if askedd to give a positive review of the book "Common Sense," though you were totally confused by it. (OK, that last sentence made no sense. Just wanted to throw in some allusion to creepythinmanforever not understanding common sense.) Anyway, go ahead and rip into me (I actually won't see them. I won't be back to this thread to see any replies, since I'm not too concerned what anyone wants to say about what I post) and call me some sort of name implying to do immoral stuff to what you consider a fat, red-headed shill, if it makes you feel better. Usually I personally wouldn't have replied to you, but you just came across like an attention-wanting child. And I was bored.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:48 a.m. CST



    Like I would go to this after turning down going to the AVENGERS set? Get real. The only sets I really have a hard on for, are my own.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:49 a.m. CST

    "The Contender" was crap.

    by BlueDjinn1

    It had a great premise, and strong performances from a stellar cast...but then it shit all over the WHOLE POINT OF THE MOVIE by revealing the truth about "was it her or wasn't it her" to the audience in the final moments. The *entire point of the movie* was that a) IT DOESN'T MATTER whether Allen's character was a slut in college or not, and b) IT'S NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS if she was. By letting the audience know the answer, it yanks the rug out from both of those points. Furthermore--and I say this as a fairly solid progressive/lefty--they WAY overdid the point. Gary Oldman's character was a cartoon character, and over-the-top parody of a right-wing Republican Senator in 2000. On the other hand, since that time, the real-world GOP has caught up to that parody, so perhaps the film was just being prescient... Still, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Cant wait for the Thing remake review.

    by KilliK

    From the trailers,it looks to be even worse as a remake,than Straw Dogs.HW never disappoints me.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:20 a.m. CST

    House in Ireland?

    by Lee

    What's that mean? Have you ever been to Ireland? Those little cottages from the West coast that prop up in Hollywood films are a load of bollox. As for the movie itself, why anyone would ever dream of remaking Straw Dogs is beyond me

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Any good R rated horror flicks on the horizon?

    by OgreYouAsshole

    Tired of seeing previews that look promising, only for them to end in "Rated PG-13". Lame.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST


    by SpaghettiWall


  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Well, that was honest

    by BackwardGalaxy

    You know what I love about this review? Harry looks at the first film, analyzes the material with a critical mind, and then explains why the remake of the material failed using that analysis. It's a well thought out argument with only sprinkles of fanboy irritation thrown in to add color. That's a nice review, Harry.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    casting a non-dweeb for the lead actually made me more interested in this

    by Spandau Belly

    I haven't seen the remake, but I actually think the movie could be more subtle than the original by not casting a total nerd in the lead role. The world is full of guys who do lots of excercise and look in good shape and take karate lessons, but who wouldn't last a minute in a real struggle. And deep down inside, these guys know society protects them. They're pacifists who like action movies and video games and want to look like Jason Statham, but are actually averse to confrontation. We've seen plenty of cases in real life where outcast nerds go on killing rampages. After more than a decade of school shootings we are well aware that these guys are sensitive and angry and capable of violence because they see themselves as outcasts and victims of society. I find it more interesting to make a movie about a guy who should feel safe, who should feel protected and embraced by society but who doubts he would last a minute in the jungle. Again, I'm not saying this movie is good. I haven't seen it, but the casting and the re-interpreatation of characters intrigues me.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Luire bears the blame for this remake

    by Samuel Fulmer

    He went on record saying he wanted to make this because he didn't think it made sense that one of the home invaders from the original wore a jester hat, because that's not menacing. Also he said Dustin Hoffman wanted him to do it because Hoffman didn't agree with the original films politics. It's funny that Hoffman was either too stupid or too stoned when he was in the original that he didn't realize that Peckinpah was not gloryifiying his character, and actually was making him out to be the villian.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Bring on the Wild Bunch remake

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Can't see how the current Hollywood pussies screw that one up. Maybe Shia and some Euro pansies can play bank robbers.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Is it still hotter than LV426 in Texas?

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8 a.m. CST

    Ebert circa 2011

    by Samuel Fulmer

    He's definitely become more of a I like the ideas/message behind this movie than I am the actual execution in the past decade. His support of Crash (2005) was sort of the tipping point for this philosophy.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    "Fuck this movie"... TRANSLATION: Harry didn't get any freebies.

    by Graphix67

    An on-set invite... maybe some autographed posters... exclusive interviews... behind the scene photos... these are just some of the things that would have turned Harry's "review" positive.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Stellan is about as sexy as my diarrhea.

    by dead youngling

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8:18 a.m. CST


    by TheManWhoCan

    Good man yourself! You hit the nail on the head there.<P> Headgeek is still lurking around the talkbacks I'd LOVE to see him defend himself!<P> BTW better think of a new username, cos you are probably going to get banned. (ill repost your comment if you do!)

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Marsden is "built"

    by Autodidact

    Like a very imposing 15 year old.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Bosworth as Lois Lane was terrible casting

    by Autodidact

    She was just too young, to begin with. She was like 22 or 23.. 25 at most. This is supposed to be Lois after Superman has been gone for, what... six years or something? Let's not even talk about her actual performance.

  • Why in the fuck do they care so much about their bullshit suggestions algorithm? Are they part of some FEMA program to weed out who will be selected to survive after they kill 80% of the world's population off? If I watch human centipede will I be filed into the save or kill bin? Does anyone want their kids and family seeing what they've watched? Anyone out there? Didn't think so. Yup. Definitely part of a huge conspiracy

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Netflix was cool five years ago

    by Samuel Fulmer

    But now having virtually killed the video store and basically becoming a monopoly though hasn't really made things better for film lovers.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Let's be honest: remakes are for the kids

    by Beezbo

    These movies are made for young people who have never seen the originals. That's where the money is - teenagers go to movies constantly (I know I did). I've been living a remake-free existence for years now (I think the last one I saw was Friday the 13th on HBO - it was basically a sequel anyway). Unless Scorcese or Spielberg is directing it, I don't even read news about remakes anymore.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    In ten years, when Skarsgard puts some age on his face, I could see

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    him as the next reboot of James Bond. Picture the guy in a tuxedo, you know I'm right. If they went blond with Craig, might as well stick with it.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    So Harry..when is this week's DVD column coming out?

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    Curious about your take on the Star Wars Blus...."NNNooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!"....

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Ebert likes this because it slams the South

    by gumbyandpokey

    It's really a shame that Ebert lets his politics influence his reviews so much. And I can't understand how a studio would want to release a movie that looks down on a good portion of the country that also buys tickets to movies.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    I was going to ask about Ebert's rating...

    by Autodidact

    .. without any racism at all, I was gonna make this comment: Does the movie contain some kind of direct or indirect pro-black tone? Because Ebert has developed a serious issue with letting any kind of pro-black or anti-black content or themes totally decide his rating of a movie. So if the movie is anti-south, that would explain the 3.5/4. Just for the record I AM NOT A RACIST. It is not racist to notice or comment on such things.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by arthur

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    The funny thing about Ebert's review

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Is that he claims he was shocked when he saw Peckinpah's film back in 1971, and wasn't so shocked by this one, but that he gave the original a bad review because it hit too close to home for him at the time (seems he had his own issues with being a nerd and masculinity), yet he says the new film is superior without really giving any real reasons. I also wonder when was the last time he saw the Peckinpah film, since over the years Ebert has gone back and given films that he initially dismissed or disliked positive reviews.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST

    The only thing that looked good in the trailer

    by dukeroberts

    Was Kate's ass when she was jogging down the road (But barefoot? Stupid.). I would love to spank the hell out of that sweet, little ass.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:38 a.m. CST

    a negative review from Harry?

    by lostboytexas

    this film must be awesome then!

  • You still want that affilliate sales money, don't you, you Fuck!

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    How does it stack up to the Turkish version?

    by Ed Glaser

    Betcha "Kartal Yuvasi", the Turkish version of "Straw Dogs" is superior.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by Stifler's Mom

    Harry was referring to the Blu-Ray of the original. There's a much better version of the movie starring a guy named Dustin Hoffman.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11 a.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    If you're NOT a Racist, why would the words "pro-black or anti-black tone" even enter your mind, much less would you feel the need to type them? Roger Ebert gave a one star review to Diary of a Mad Black Woman, the first "Madea" movie. He had some misinformed black people calling him a racist for that bad review. He's married to an African American woman and has an extended black family due to her children and grandchildren from a previous marriage. So maybe he does get a bigger kick out of something like AKEELAH AND THE BEE than the average white male critic his age might. But so what? And while I haven't seen the STRAW DOGS remake, there don't seem to be a plethora of "Negroes" in the ads. Does that make it have a "pro-white or anti white tone"? Do Fellini's films have a "pro Italian or anti Italian tone"? Was Bergman "pro Swede or anti Swede"? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    I saw the test screening of this a while back.

    by Playkins

    I was absolutely REPULSED by the fact that 90% of the girls in the audience sounded as if they wanted to be in Bosworth's place in "the scene" (well, up until the twist). I totally agree w you, Harry. The whole thing played like fan fiction. Horrible remake that missed the point (and the tension) of the original. Maybe they've tightened up the third act, but as it stands I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    The rape scene does involve anal,like in the original?

    by KilliK


  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    A turkish remake of straw dogs?

    by KilliK

    i bet the rapists are greeks.yep.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    stiflers mom

    by FKRMunkiBoi

    I guess it's too much to expect Harry to actually specify that. It's not clear at all from Harry's writing and not everyone knows the original is out on Blu. Of course, Harry still wants that affiliate money when this remake comes out on Blu!

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The original was just released as a bare bones blu

    by Samuel Fulmer

    There was an excellent now out of print version put out on DVD about ten years ago.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    That was a personal attack, Harry

    by JTStyler

    Harry, I'm disappointed in that review. You may not have liked the film and I have no doubt that is a poor film but that review is deeply unprofessional and very personal. The internet seems to have made it OK to insult people in any way one sees fit as there is no accountability - Rod Lurie has made a bad film but does not deserve this sort of personal attack. Call me old-fashioned and I understand the emotions driving your review, but you are better than this.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Harry, "cum" in the Latin sense and "cum" in the sexual sense...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...are different things, pronounced differently. So you can't change the spelling to "come" as if you were reviewing porn. <p>I'm glad, though, that you are continuing to defend "Footloose." People seem shocked that it's roundly being praised, as if a commenter's opinions on a trailer is the be-all-end-all of sitting through an actual 90-120 minute film.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    I'm not a racist. Don't go running to Google to try to prove I am. "Pro-black or anti-black tone" are real things in our culture.. they enter my mind because the human brain is a pattern recognition machine. Lots of people, from the idiots on this site to idiots on talk radio, have pointed this out before me. I guarantee you this is not a 3.5/4 star movie. Ebert is becoming increasingly hormonal and emotionally-driven, and like all aging women just wishes the world would be a "nice place" that reflects his shrinking world view. It's an interesting thing to witness. Ebert is married to a black woman and he tends to give bad reviews to movies that paint black people in a bad light, and vice-versa. It's not a 100% correlation, but it's a pronounced trend that anyone who has read a lot of Ebert reviews would not deny. So go fuck yourself.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Anti-south = indirectly pro-black

    by Autodidact

    If semiotics on that level are not completely obvious to you, I would recommend wearing a helmet at all times.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Bosworth as Lois?

    by Gary Cochran

    She was the worst thing in the movie. A manequin for sure.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    2011 - The Year People Started Laughing at Rape

    by Sick Fixx

    Seriously, they laughed at an underage girl being molested in Hick at Fantastic Fest, and now they 'guffawed' at the rape scene in this one? How can one look at that and not see the devil's influence in pop culture? He gains more ground every year, it seems. I mean, who would have ever thought we'd have a documentary glorifying bestiality? But we do! It's called Zoo.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    This review ends with a SECOND Footloose mini-review? Wow.

    by Quake II

    If you remake a classic and fuck it up you should be blacklisted and never work in Hollywood again. That's my opinion. How many directors would take on these projects if the threat of early retirement lingered over their heads? Probably just one. Gus Van Sant ( his Psycho was a shot-by-shot remake so he didn't really take a huge risk).

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    so there are no good looking rapists in real life?

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • I love the internet.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Harry, what would you rate as the worst film you've seen? Is it still NOTLD30?

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    The review was epic

  • You're in HOLLYWOOD, you gilded fucks. How about greenlighting some original scripts.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    How many great original screenplays sit undeveloped?

    by Quake II

    Probably hundreds if not thousands. If you took a poll I bet less than 10% of the population would prefer seeing a remake to something original. I wish the Hollywood beaurocrats would just go away and the independent visionaries would take over completely. There is some talent in Hollywood but none of it is sitting in a boardroom looking at charts and audience test screening scores.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Harry what about DRAGON footage????

    by Turd Furgeson

    You don't have to give detail just give us your feelings...

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Watched the original Criterion version last night...

    by Guy Grand

    ...with my 15 year old grandson, who was jonesing to see the latest remake. I just let it play without any comments. Afterwards, he simply said that there'd be no way the remake would touch the discrepancies in Susan George's character -- her sexuality, her immaturity, her repulsion/attraction to her former lover, her ultimate love of his taking her, and her emotional collapse by the end of the movie. It would all just be surface shit with no depth whatsoever. I agreed. He said they'll probably just make Kate Bosworth's character a doting neglected wife who takes up an affair with her former flame but they will never nail all of the underlying psychology going on between the married couple and the real theme of the story. Thank baby Jesus I have a smart grandson. Gives me some hope for the young-un's out there. He's no longer going to go see the remake.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by SpaghettiWall


  • This.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by the Green Gargantua

    and than nothing....

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by the Green Gargantua

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by the Green Gargantua

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST


    by the Green Gargantua

  • I would believe in you again Mr K. Long time no see.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Enough with the remakes...

    by Andrew Coleman

    This and Footloose look like literal cancer. Fuck the people who see these movies.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by 3774

    Well done, sir.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    So this is more of a casting review? Ok. But how was the movie?

    by torontoxic

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Ebert? Who gives a fuck what Ebert thinks?

    by Mugato5150

    He gave Die Hard two stars. Die Hard. Two stars.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    did ebert change his review to 3 stars?

    by professorjack

    it now says 3 stars at Couldve been an error earlier b/c i remember seeing he gave "Drive" 4 stars and now it says he gives it 3 1/2. still a thumbs up

  • You just can't remake Peckinpah. You can't. You can make a movie with the same title and basic story line, but it can't reach the level of Peckinpah. I'm not even going to acknowledge this mistake's existence. I won't be watching it. Ever. To me, it never happened.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8 p.m. CST

    This is a good film.


    I've never seen it.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 8:50 p.m. CST

    In other words....

    by accidentalvisitor

    modern Hollywood casts films like a Univision telenova. Only pretty people are allowed even in roles that call for the complete opposite. No surprise.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST



    Now you know how the dipshit hipsters who Went to the secret screening of Dragonslayer felt... They expected a bait and switch and when disappointed with what they were given, walked out. Not that I'm siding with them. Fuckem--they missed an awesome flick! Hey at least you got 8 awesome minutes.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Two points.

    by Van_Dammes_Forehead_Lump

    Point the first: If HARRY says this movie sucks, it probably sucks like an Electrolux. Harry likes everything. Point the second: Roger Ebert has become the stereotypical liberal athiest douchebag. He loves anything that puts down the southern Christian republican douchebags.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I can’t imagine a single critic liking

    by BigTuna

    Ebert gave it 3 and a half stars and said it was better than the original.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:44 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I don't really think you're a racist. I'm just trying to point out what you're saying SOUNDS racist because it doesn't make any fucking sense. EVERY movie that has characters of different races in it (or characters of mostly the same race for that matter) has characters that are good or bad. Heroes or Villains. Or hopefully just characters that behave like real human beings in all their complexity.Unless we're talking about THE BIRTH OF A NATION, how can a film be "pro-black" or "anti-black"? Take IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT for example. You could probably argue that film is "anti-South" and "pro Black" if you wanted to. Or you could simply accept that the film is a fairly accurate portrayal of the sort of things a Black police detective from the Urban North would have dealt with helping a White cop in the Deep South in 1967. The reality would have probably been worse. Spike Lee's early films focus mainly on Black characters. Some are good people. Some aren't. Is SCHOOL DAZE, for example "pro-black" or "anti-black"? Is Mookie from DO THE RIGHT THING a "pro black" character? Is Buggin' Out an "anti black" stereotype? Is the film "anti Italian" because of what happens to Sal's Pizzeria? Most of you AICN talkbackers have a hard on for THE WIRE. I love that show too. Is THE WIRE a "pro black" or "anti black" TV Show? Do you see how stupid this discussion is, autodidact? When somebody actually makes a film that says "Black People are all Good, White People are all Bad" let me know. Until then, if you can't handle Drunk Violent Southern Rednecks being the villains in a half assed "anti-South" remake, cry me a river. What the Fuck does that have to do with Black People? If the husband in the remake was a black man bringing his hot blonde white wife back to her hometown & facing prejudice & violence, maybe you'd have an argument. But you don't. So why did you even bring it up? THAT'S what makes you SOUND racist.

  • ..a teenage boy with a wig on. I don't think she's devoid of talent but that had to be some of the worst casting ever. She was barely able to buy a drink legally and she was a chain smoking, pulitzer prize winning mother of a 6 year old (or whatever) and lived in an Architectural Digest model home. She was absurd in that movie.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:20 p.m. CST

    arteska, that's what happens when gays direct movies

    by Bobo_Vision

    The female leads are played by female man-boys.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Pro Black and Palin

    by triplesixclickqueer

    Ignoring both being black and Palin While never forgetting Ma

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:06 a.m. CST

    @autodidact well said

    by KilliK

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:14 a.m. CST

    I knew they would fuck it up when I saw the casting

    by chien_sale

    So uninspired. So pointless. It was like they were trying to transform this great concept into the typical Hollywood glossy shallow bullshit progect. Everyone is too good-looking and the one person that needs to be sexy, the girl(Bosworth), has always came off as asexual. Laurie must have had a strong idea behind his head to want to do this movie, give it a new take. What was it?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:36 a.m. CST

    watched the original last week...

    by The_Ritty

    and it was a complete piece of shit. Utter garbage.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:40 a.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    I only sound racist to reactive small-minds who lack discernment.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Cymbalta, I recommend less advanced media for you

    by Autodidact

    Something not laden with symbols, analogues, reflections of the greater culture, and other things to interpret. I would suggest fingerpainting or fucking yourself up the ass.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:45 a.m. CST

    This is why you can't have an intelligent conversation

    by Autodidact

    Some imbecile who can't keep up is always trying to derail things via half-baked parsing. Meanwhile, all they accomplish is to distract from any meaningful discourse and call attention to their own stupidity.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 10:45 a.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I didn't "derail" the discussion. YOU did. The rest of us were discussing the STRAW DOGS remake. Which is stupid to begin with, since Harry seems to be the only one who's actually seen it. Have you seen the film autodidact? No. So WHY did you introduce RACE into the discussion? With the preamble that you're NOT a Racist? Because the film has violent drunken Redneck characters in it, you assume it's "pro black" and "anti South"? Would you say that about a show like JUSTIFIED or WALKER, TEXAS RANGER? I'm sure the White protagonists on those shows dealt with violent drunken Redneck bad guys on occasion. Like the White protagonists in this movie do? And using $3 words trying to sound like William F Buckley arguing with Gore Vidal doesn't make you sound smart. It makes you sound like a condescending douchebag who can't actually defend his arguments. And killik keeps saying "well said" even though you haven't... actually... said... anything. You're the one engaging in preemptive "half baked parsing" of a film "laden with symbols" that you haven't... actually... seen. Project much?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    autodidact part 2

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    And once again, I don't think you're a racist. You don't have to actually be a racist before preemptively defending yourself by announcing you're not one and then introducing race into a discussion that race has nothing to do with. Any moron can do that. Feel better now?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    the key to Ebert's review

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    is how he views the subject matter. He puts it in, right at the end. He says that as far as revenge fantasy films go, this is one of the best. See, he's missing the point - and Ebert is a pretty great discoverer of intent when it comes to film. He drew a bead on "Fight Club" back in the day and drew a lot of criticism for what was finally a quote taken out of context, mainly by the film's own marketing department when they used the quote for the Special Edition clamshell - his quote about the film haveing a fascist tone. He didn't actually say it had a fascist tone but that due to its strange mixture of intelligence and sexy brutality, it would be the brutality and smugness of Tyler Durden's commentary on Jack's life that would resonate with young men - and not the satiric image of a lost world that. And, in fact, he was quite prophetic. With fanboys, he's taken a lot of flak for a review that actually respected the film but also understood the film much more than its core fanbase. He was afraid of the film and how it would be perceived, and very up front about his concerns. My point being, he has a great gift for seeing films as they are and how they will be perceived. My second point being, he either does not like or is confused or terrified of the first Straw Dogs film, but entertained by the second. And all you fans of the first, I think almost all of us agree that the first film is a piece of art, something that acts on us emotionally and deeply, and not a piece of entertainment. I can't think of the end of the film as merely an action set piece. I can't think of it without thinking of what it means for that relationship ultimately. That they are not made stronger by it, but are revealed by it. Ebert doesn't get the original film. Plain and simple. And it happens - there are films I don't get occassionally. But for those of us who see "Straw Dogs" not as a pinnancle of violent filmmaking in the 70s, but as a pinnacle of personal storytelling from one of the great filmmakers of all time, well - this new film apparently is not for us. And that's a shame. Because for most people now, the current "Straw Dogs" will be the watermark, it with its watering down of Peckinpah's blistering study of a relationship, already strained internally by a lack of understanding, by an overreliance on the physical element that exists ("Junebug" is another really great film with that element), suddenly being at the forces of a society wherein the players must make choices as to what side they are on, what they believe, and ultimately must except the consequences of those opposed beliefs and the concussion created by their collision. It is the ultimate film about suppression of emotions, and the dangers of kettling those emtoions like a reserve, of allowing yourself to be a point of contention in a matter in which you are actually not invested, but harbouring grief from old wounds - and yes, they could have made it a Southern film and it could have worked, we having a lot of suppressed rage down here, but it doesn't appear as though they made it work. Now it will just be "that movie with the fuckin' bear trap." "And didn't Kate Bosworth get raped in that movie? Yeah, I liked that movie." As for me, I will always remember the posterimage. Because it says it all for me. It lets me know that every time I think of that film or view it, I will be dealing with subjects as thin and fragile as glass and once broken, they have a tendency to cut. Frankly, it is a subject that Ebert won't tackle due to the fear of being cut. ("Clockwork Orange" is that film for me, personally. But if they made a mainstream film of it that was previewed on "THE 20" advertisement reel before half the movies I'd seen that month, treated like a run of the mill thriller, damn. That would be a shame, and I would call it that.) Brothers, Ebert just don't get it. "The horror, the horror," could have easily been a line in the first. Now, we just use it to describe our reaction to the release of this... contraption. Sad, really.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Guy Grand

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Well, I think I would have too much temerity to show the original to a 15-year old. But it seems as though he is quite wise and you have a respect for that wisdom. You showed him a film you have respect for and expected the same from him. And it sounds like he nailed it. Susan George is easily Peckinpah's most complete female (even though she is terribly flawed) and one that Peckinpah counters with an equally flawed male. Thinking of it now, it is almost as though he made a disaster movie. This woman and this man = that glacier and that big boat. I am glad you posted. (And in a way, that film is an inheritance. It is a picture from a different time that has a lot to say about the state of things then, important subjects that would have reprecussions for later generations. A film about a world in flux: things that were changeing, and things that would never change.)

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Oh, and: "Contagion" is the best horror film out right now.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 11:29 a.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Some films make Ebert so uncomfortable that he can't simply detach himself and say "It's just a movie." He has a visceral, subjective emotional reaction. His BLUE VELVET review is a good example of that. I think the real STRAW DOGS had that effect on him too. This new slick Hollywood remake doesn't hit him as hard. Also, since he knows the original, he's already prepared for most of what happens in this one. That's what I think he's really saying. I understand how Ebert feels. I know on an intellectual level that RAGING BULL is Scorsese's greatest film and I've seen it. But it's hard for me to "enjoy" it the way I enjoy his other films. It makes me uncomfortable. In a way that GOODFELLAS or TAXI DRIVER doesn't. It's a completely subjective personal response.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Love how you hate it but Ebert LOVED it

    by LoLWut

    Geeks man, Geeks.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    James Marsden should have played Hal Jordan this past Summer....

    by Orbots Commander

    ...over Ryan Reynolds, not that the acting was the sole thing wrong with the movie; it had larger problems.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    Killik's not the only one who chimed in to say I'd made a good point. I don't see anybody posting to agree with you. Maybe you should shut the fuck up and admit you're wrong? I absolutely didn't derail the discussion in this thread. I made a very cogent and valid observation about Ebert's review of the movie and how it aligns with his changing patters. Leading up to my comment, multiple people had mentioned Ebert's review (of THIS MOVIE) and questioned the validity of the rating. You derail our discussion by insisting that I'm a racist. I pre-ambled with "I am not a racist" in ironic self-awareness that it would press the buttons of mental midgets like yourself.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    Go argue with the high school drama kids. Maybe they'll accept a stunted retard like you.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Thanks Cymbalta4theDevil for the reply

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    "Clockwork Orange" is that film for me. I can never balance the elements. I can never get to the humanity of it. (And I'll have to read the "Blue Velvet" review; I know intellectually that I've read it, as Ebert is one of the first people I go to after watching a film, but I don't remember it right off hand. Should be interesting. Thanks.) And yes, I did sort of generalize things, saying he didn't "get it." But that is what it feels like, that he doesn't "get" the thing that makes the movie matters for others. He can maybe see it. Maybe intellectualize it. But he just can't like the movie. But it did offend me that he would like the current one because it made him feel better, make the subject more enjoyable, "a revenge fantasy." That is the exact thing that "Straw Dogs" does not need to be. That said, I will see it. It will be interesting to see how the two films differ, how and where they divide (Lurie said this one would be more from a female perspective, which again paints the original as mysognystic - a false belief I feel, as it appears to me the least objectifying of women of all of Peckinpah's films, except for maybe "Ride the High Country). Hopefully, the new one will make me view the original more completely, with different eyes, see it better. I hope so. It is my favourite Peckinpah, and the easiest for me to stand up for. (Even more than "The Wild Bunch," as I truly FEEL the sad heart beating at the centre of "Straw Dogs." "The Wild Bunch" I love as pure cinema. "Straw Dogs" seems to me something more. More real. More heartbreaking. Ebert's Peckinpah film in that distinction is "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," as he ties it to his personal image of meeting Peckinpah around that time, an alcoholic, as Ebert once was. That film for Ebert is about all the misplaced dreams of that period of his own life. All the haunted quests.) And, dude, thanks for feeling the need to defend Ebert and doing so. I was reading the man at around age 10 in the local newspaper. He prepared me for the films I would see later in life, and was just a plain-out good example of fine writing and craftmanship. He thought me to take film seriously. So someone who respects him and speaks as well and gently, but persistantly, as you, I appreciate also.

  • Way, way, WAY too harsh a review of a good movie. Almost smacks of a smear job. I refuse to believe that someone as smart as Harry didn't understand what Lurie was going for with changing the profession of the protagonists. And seriously, there are positive representations of the south in the film. He wasn't making a generalization on all the people in the south. The main local characters who were jerks in the film were featured because...THEY WERE THE ANTAGONISTS. Their purpose in the film was to stir up trouble. You can dislike a film, but this was over the top and frankly almost suspicious. I thought Capone's review was much more fair and accurate.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Harry, where's your review of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

    by david starling

    I've just been to see it this afternoon - it is truly a superb movie!! A stellar cast, direction and 'look', probably the best film I've seen this year. Utterly brilliant.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    SIGH. Go back and RE-READ Harry's review and the Talkback. Here's a brief summary. Harry complained about "Lurie's stereotypical SOUTH" and its "cookie cutter" portrayal. He made no reference whatsoever to RACE. I'm a white male from the South, autodidact. I was born in Georgia. Lived in Virginia and Louisiana and Texas and Florida. There's dozens of stereotypes about Southerners that I could pull out of my hat that have no reference to overt or covert racism. Everyone talks with a drawl and eats fried foods and shops at Wal-Mart and wears gimme caps and drives a pickup truck and they all go to the High School football game on Friday and the same C/W bar on Saturday and the same Church on Sunday. YEE-HAW! See what I did there? schwarzengollum and wash and samuel fulmer all mentioned Ebert's review. None of them brought Race into it. gumbyandpokey said Ebert likes this because it slams the South and mentioned his politics, but again no reference to Race. You brought Race into a discussion that had nothing to do with it. To show you how out of nowhere and wildly inappropriate that was, I'm going to repeat your words below. But I'm going to replace the word Racist with Anti Semite and the word Black with Jew.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    autodidact part 2

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    "without any antisemitism at all, I was gonna make this comment: Does the film contain some kind of direct or indirect pro-Jew tone? Because Ebert has developed a serious issue with letting any kind of pro-Jewish or anti-Jewish content or themes totally decide his rating of a movie... Just for the record I AM NOT AN ANTI-SEMITE. It is not anti-semitic to notice or comment on such things."

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    autodidact: This is Fun. Try it this Way.

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    "without any Homophobia at all, I was gonna make this comment: Does the movie contain some kind of direct or indirect pro homosexual tone? Because Ebert has developed a serious issue with letting any kind of pro Gay or anti Gay content or themes totally decide his rating of a movie... Just for the record I AM NOT A HOMOPHOBE. It is not homophobic to notice or comment on such things."

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I'm a big Ebert fan. Don't always agree with him. He couldn't handle BLUE VELVET. He didn't like RAISING ARIZONA. But I always enjoy what he has to say. Reading his memoir LIFE ITSELF right now in fact. Thank you for agreeing to disagree civilly hahaha.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Neither of your examples is prejudicial you imbecile

    by Autodidact

    Neither of those comments make you sound anti-semitic or homophobic to a discerning listener/reader. "Does the movie contain [etc]" is a QUESTION about the content of the movie. By definition, I'm not assuming anything if I ask a question. I also didn't say anything about the south, other than "anti-south = indirectly pro-black" which is completely true. You're such an idiot.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Why are you capitalizing the word "Race"?

    by Autodidact

    Again, I "brought race into it" because race is inherent to any discussion of the occasional, and increasingly frequent correlation between racial themes and his ratings. Stop trying to be captain save-a-ho and admit you fucked up.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:48 p.m. CST

    And autodidact

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I have no way of knowing if you're a racist. This is the Internet. For all I know you're a gay Chinese woman. But sleeping next to a black woman every night hasn't made Ebert give better reviews to Wayans brothers comedies or Tyler Perry dramadies. Hasn't affected his taste at all. He doesn't see everything through the prism of race. Neither should you.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:49 p.m. CST

    "his" being Ebert's

    by Autodidact

    I don't want to assume you'll connect any dots.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST

    The reason for the question in the first place

    by Autodidact

    It's a process of logical deduction about the validity of his review. Either: 1. The movie does contain pro-black themes of some sort (maybe the "friendliest antagonist" is black or something). This would fit with the concept that Ebert tends to overrate movies with such themes. Hence, the review should be ignored. 2. The movie does not contain any racial themes, or has material which could be taken (on any level) as anti-black. This would lead me to have more faith in his review.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    So you ignore Roger Ebert's reviews if the "movie does contain pro-black themes of some sort" and you only have faith in Ebert's reviews if the "movie does not contain any racial themes, or has material which could be taken (on any level) as anti-black." WOW. That doesn't sound racist at all. Keep digging that hole you're in. And why does "anti-south" = "indirectly pro-black"? You still haven't explained that. There are plenty of reasons to be "anti-south." We let religion infect our politics and school curriculum, especially when it comes to sex education or treating homosexual couples with dignity, for example. That has nothing to do with skin color. Or is it Ebert enjoying and encouraging films that have positive portrayals of black characters that you have an issue with? Did the white actors in THE HELP think they're in a movie that's "anti-south" and "directly or indirectly pro-black"? Or were they just telling a story, albeit a candy coated one with a cute white protagonist, about how racist and backwards the south used to be when the movie was set? When I watch a truly multicultural show like TREME, I enjoy its portrayal of the diversity of human beings in America. Are you sitting there trying to figure out if the "racial themes" are "directly or indirectly pro-black"? Sucks to be you.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    You're not convincing anybody. Unless you're trying to convince me you're stupid. In that case, good job.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Was Sarah Palin being "anti-south" and "pro-black" when she fucked a black basketball player from Michigan instead of giving you that blow job you're currently in dire need of?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Now you're just being stupid

    by Autodidact

    I'm going to address you one last time. I inquired about the content of the movie based on the fact that people said Ebert gave it a 3.5/4 when it's obvious that unless lightning has struck, this latest remake out of the Hollywood machine is liable to be of lower quality than the original. Ebert has a known pattern for letting his personal feeling skew his ratings. I believe you made a comment stating exactly that in this thread. One of those things is pro or anti black content. More specifically, whether Ebert thinks it will offend his wife or not. I'm not a racist. If you think my statements make me a racist, you're either: 1. Reacting to your own latent racism 2. Possessed of low reading comprehension 3. Emotionally driven on this issue due to your status as a southern guy I'm not going to explain to you why on a semiotic level anti-south is inherently pro-black. I shouldn't have to.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:48 p.m. CST

    One last thing..

    by Autodidact

    You need to stop using fallacious rhetorical questions in arguments or confrontations like this. It really just makes you look stupid, like you don't understand what the argument is about. It's pretty much debate 101 not to argue with rhetorical questions. Usually the other person would not give the answer you're trying to paint as obvious.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST

    And autodidact

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I'm not asking these questions to be a dick. I'm offering you a chance to defend your argument. Was Ebert being "anti-south" when he gave SWEET HOME ALABAMA a three star review? Should it have gotten four or five? Was he being "pro-black" when he gave SOMETHING NEW a three and a half star review? Did the fact that it had a white guy in a romance with a black woman make him give it an extra half star? Was SOMETHING NEW a better, less formulaic film than SWEET HOME ALABAMA? I haven't seen either one of them. Have you? Did you see one and not the other based on your "faith" in Ebert's reviews? This is an interesting argument. Or would be, if you were actually capable of engaging in it. But you're not. You just say things as if they were facts and everyone should agree with you. You have nothing to back them up. Anyone can spend five minutes on and pull out random examples of how wrong you are. I'm happy to keep doing that.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Oh good more stupid questions I'm not going to answer

    by Autodidact

    See my last comment, genius.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    If I didn't have faith in a review

    by Autodidact

    I would read another review, stupid.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Is there something wrong with being "pro-black"?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    You still haven't answered that one. Can you be "pro-black" without being "anti-white"? Try to answer these questions without sounding racist. That should be fun reading.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    I did see Sweet Home Alabama

    by Autodidact

    It was onerous. And I remember reading Ebert's review afterwards.. there was nothing remarkable about it. Usually I don't read reviews until after I see the film.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    I'll indulge you one of your stupid questions

    by Autodidact

    No, there is nothing wrong with being pro-black. Did you think there was any possibility I was going to answer "yes" to that question? Why ask it? Yes you can be pro black without being anti white. What's it like to live in such a confusing world?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I'm a Southern White Man

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    who enjoys listening to both Public Enemy and Lynyrd Skynyrd. And I find both Reese Witherspoon and Sanaa Lathan attractive. So I'm going to watch those other movies I mentioned Ebert recommending instead of this Straw Dogs remake. And leave the discussion on racial issues until some talkbackers show up who can actually defend their points and aren't afraid of answering questions, rhetorical or otherwise.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    If there's nothing wrong with being pro-black

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    why would that effect your reading of Roger Ebert's reviews?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST

    If there's nothing wrong with being pro-black

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    why did you bring it up in a discussion it had no bearing on to begin with?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:13 p.m. CST

    You haven't asked many actual questions

    by Autodidact

    Most of your questions have been truly stupid and rhetorical, and most are outright irrelevant. I came into the thread with a perfectly valid and relevant contribution and you took it as an opportunity to play some kind of hero. You only ended up coming off as an emotional nitwit.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Beauty Shop- 3 Stars. Taxi- 1 Star.

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Is Ebert "pro-Latifah" or "anti-Latifah"?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:16 p.m. CST

    There's nothing wrong with being pro-sandwiches either

    by Autodidact

    But if Ebert overreacted to sandwich related themes on a regular basis I'd probably notice that, too. It would make me slightly suspect of his reviews of sandwich-related movies. Doesn't make me for or against sandwiches. Are you able to follow this simple analogy? I'm honestly surprised that you cant' follow the logic here.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    There's no Emotion involved.

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I just find it amusing that you throw out random opinions as if they were gospel truth and refuse to explore their implications because you have no real defense for them. It doesn't make me Angry. I find it humorous.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Does STRAW DOGS have any racial themes?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Why did you mention them if it doesn't?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Try to absorb the sandwich analogy I just made

    by Autodidact

    Compare it to your "anti-semite" and "gay" examples. Try to see how far off-base you are and then go get another concussion.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    How can you even ask that?

    by Autodidact

    Now you've retreated to being intentionally fatuous. As I've said repeatedly... and as was clear in the original post that you took such offense to: I asked if STRAW DOGS has racial themes because Ebert supposedly gave it 3.5/4 which was way high and I was trying to eliminate his racial bias as a potential reason. If you still can't understand, seriously man go commit suicide.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Monster's Ball: 4 Stars. Catwoman: 1 Star.

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Is Ebert "pro-Berry" or "anti-Berry"?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:24 p.m. CST

    So now Ebert has a racial bias & you don't?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Didn't make him like BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Keep looking up reviews of movies with black people in them

    by Autodidact

    While ignoring their content and narrative and how it might be perceived by Ebert's wife... ... if you want to continue being a dishonest simpleton.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Also, keep ignoring the fact that I used qualified language

    by Autodidact

    It doesn't apply to every movie with black people in it. Try to argue honestly.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST

    So now Ebert's wife is unduly influencing his Reviews?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Would she think SOUL PLANE is a funnier film than AIRPLANE merely because she's black?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    No, she'd probably be offended by Soul Plane

    by Autodidact

    You should really stop posting and pop a handful of pills.

  • Imagine if you were married to a black woman.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Watched the original last night for the first time.

    by Isaac R.

    Two things. Amy loved it. If I never hear another fucking Limey say "Mistha Summnaaa" I'll die happy.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    I just think your whole premise is Hilarious.

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I'm picturing Ebert secretly enjoying Madea movies and his wife glaring at him so he goes home and gives them a bad review.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Have you watched any Medea movies?

    by Autodidact

    I'm pretty sure a black man strikes a woman in almost every single one of those movies. I haven't seen any of them, and I can't remember what podcast it was, but someone (some black comedian... maybe Kevin Hart) was pointing that out, like "give us a break... lots of people are seeing these movies and you make every thanksgiving at a black family's house seem like Don King is promoting it!" Maybe that's why Ebert would review it so poorly. Or maybe he just didn't like it. It doesn't really matter to me because as I said, the only consequence this has on my life is whether I cock an eyebrow when reading one of his reviews. That's it.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    "Pro-Black" or "Anti-Black" doesn't sound like Qualified Language

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    It sounds like you're reducing the movie down to whether the movie has black people in it and whether they're portrayed positively or negatively, and judging Ebert's review accordingly. If Ebert's wife was Chinese would you take that into account when he reviews Hong Kong cinema? If she was from India would that make him "pro-Bollywood"? And once again, why did you introduce this argument into a thread about Straw Dogs? If the threatened couple in the movie was Will Smith and Beyonce that might have made sense. Every time Ebert gives some crappy film a pass do you check IMDB to see how many African-Americans are in it? I know you don't. At least I hope you don't.

  • I've literally answered you three times on this question. You're clearly too stupid, or too determined to come out of this looking like some kind of hero, to even understand what I've typed.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    You don't understand what qualified language is

    by Autodidact

    Honestly. Stop with your nonsense.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Is your relationship to time broken

    by Autodidact

    To answer another stupid question: If Ebert's wife were a goddamn purple alien, I would still notice if he had a skew in his ratings around material that touched on race. And maybe you are too stupid for this to be obvious: To the entire rest of the world outside the south, the "southern states" is equivalent to "used to own black slaves" the same way "I'm german" is equivalent to "your grandparents could have been nazis". This is why almost any anti-south subtext or theme is liable to have a pro-black tinge.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Qualified Language

    by Autodidact

    You're so dishonest. I never talked about movies being binary pro-black or anti-black. Saying "contains pro or anti black themes" is FULLY QUALIFIED LANGUAGE that allows for a movie to have anywhere from just a little to a whole lot of racial themes one way or the other. You must be real fun in a relationship with all your bullshit.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:36 p.m. CST

    The Straw Dogs Remake is set in the South

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    How does that make it "anti-south"? Was the original film "anti-British" because it was set in a fictional village in Cornwall? You and gumbyandpokey jumped to conclusions you shouldn't have jumped to. You refuse to admit that. You brought race into the argument because you thought that might have something to do with Ebert's review. WHY would you assume that? Ebert loves a black woman. Has that made him more aware of the dearth of good roles for black actresses? Sure it has. So what? I consider that a plus, not a minus. If you're not a racist, and you don't have a problem with him loving a black woman, or seeing black actresses get more and better opportunities, then why could you possibly have an issue with Ebert on this? Name five movies that you feel should have been given negative reviews that he gave positive reviews based on how his wife would feel about them. Name one movie that fits that criteria. You can't. At least you haven't. You opened the can of worms, not me. I just keep pulling out individual worms and saying is THIS the one you have a problem with?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Imaginary can of worms

    by Autodidact

    Arguing with you is like arguing with my friend who turned out to be paranoid schizophrenic.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    I made no assumptions. I have no issues.

    by Autodidact

    You just have extremely poor reading comprehension. I don't know why I kept arguing with you after you posted those two re-statements of my original post, which showed how completely appropriate and innocuous and qualified it actually was.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:55 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    If it was appropriate, innocuous and qualified: why did you need to preface it with "without any racism at all" and restate "I AM NOT A RACIST"in all caps after it as a preemptive defense? You knew it sounded racist as soon as you typed it. Obviously someone other than me has pointed this out to you when you've brought race into some previous argument that race had nothing to do with. If Ebert gives a positive review to the new Taylor Lautner action film ABDUCTION, will you assume John Singleton snuck some "racial issues" into it?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I prefaced it that way

    by Autodidact

    To ward off this argument, and in ironic self-awareness that it would bait a moron like you. I have already answered this question BTW. Try to keep up.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Do you have any other stupid questions

    by Autodidact

    the answers to which you'll ignore?

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    I just wish you'd answer them honestly

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    And cite actual examples.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Recent Films with "Racial Themes" Scoreboard

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    THE HELP(2011) is at 73% on the Tomatometer with Critics and 93% with Audiences. Ebert gave it 3 Stars. OUR FAMILY WEDDING (2010) is at 14% with Critics and 48% with Audiences. Ebert gave it 2 Stars. PRECIOUS(2008) is at 91% with Critics and 80% with Audiences. Ebert gave it 4 Stars. THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (2008) is at 57% with Critics and 78% with Audiences. Ebert gave it 3 and 1/2 Stars. THE GREAT DEBATERS (2007) is at 79% with Critics and 86% with Audiences. Ebert gave it 4 Stars. That's five films with prominent "racial themes" where Ebert is completely in line with the general critical or audience consensus. autodidact has yet to name one film where he isn't. Unless autodidact wants to suggest Ebert's wife Chaz is the reason Ebert liked SHE HATE ME (2004)? He gave it 3 stars even though it only has a 19% with Critics on the Tomatometer. But Guess What: It has a 60% with Audiences and Ebert's readers averaged it at 2 and 1/2 Stars. So again, he's in line with the audiences even when the critics disagree.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    See autodidact?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    That's what's known as citing examples to defend an argument.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Ebert's "She Hate Me" Review is pretty great

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Ebert is clearly bewildered by it, but unable to not address the clear power of it. Plus, that was one of our first Anthony Mackie films - and that in itself is something of note. I mean, it is a highly sexualized Frank Capra film about issues of race in America by Spike Lee. Ebert points his readers in the direction of whether they would be interested at all in it, which Ebert has always says, even beyound being a taste-maker, is his job chiefly: pointing people in the direction of the films they may or may not like. And as far as Ebert's bias go, it is usually with directors, occassionally stars. Watch the way he promoted "Carlito's Way" even though the general critcal opinion was against DePalma and Pacino at the time. Or how he was an unabashed "Knowing" supporter. And even before Neil Labute started makeing African American-centric films, Ebert has always ALWAYS supported his intelligence and wisdom when it came to material. I've never seen Ebert subvert his job; if he is in favour of something, he is clearly in favour with it and admits it. The closest I've ever seen him to loseing this level-headedness was during the second Iraqi war. His political view point sometimes got in the way of his criticisms being the works of art that they are; if you were not of his viewpoint, they were not the most fun things to read. But that was a pretty extreme time - for me, too. Look at how he interpreted "Tree of Life," when he is clearly an agnostic individual, one who believes firmly that death is the end of life. To make Ebert out to be a fanatic is to indict all of us. The things that Ebert appreciates is intelligence, artistry, and persuasiveness. If you are trying to tell a story any other way, he will probably disagree with you. There are plenty of films about the South that Ebert appreciates, and not merely ones that demonize it. He merely expects them to have intelligence and the power to make thier audiences react.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Harry nailed it..

    by Aidan

    ..with the Schwartzman casting choice. That would've been perfect.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 8:25 p.m. CST

    And then you had lunch with Obama and the Dalai Lama

    by Foucault

    you pretentious douchebag.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST


    by gumbyandpokey

    You mentioned me before, but I never thought of race at all while watching the film. IMO, Lurie (as he did with The Contender) lets his political biases become much too evident, to the detriment of the movie. His version of Straw Dogs is a sledgehammer-subtle vehicle of disgust at Southerners and Southern culture. It is most definitely a Blue State vs Red State film. And Ebert has become almost completely predictable in that if a film has a Liberal POV, he will praise it to the hilt. IIRC, he even gave a rave review to the awful Redacted, when most critics realized it was an unfairly slanted piece of work.

  • Sept. 17, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Harry is Right..Bosworth is as unsexual as you can get.

    by BigTuna

    Same with Alba. They're hot but boring. Nothing sexual about them.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 12:28 a.m. CST

    70's remakes

    by Manatee

    Hollywood should really REALLY steer clear of remaking films from the 70's. Films from the 70's had a point of view. They had something to say. They WANTED to provoke a response from people. Movies today... not so much. Any remake of an important film from the 70's is going to look like homogenized shit compared to the original.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 12:35 a.m. CST

    I guess you didn't get a set visit then, huh?

    by Rocketman

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Nah,the real question should be: Does Straw Dogs the remake

    by KilliK

    involve anal in the rape scene like in the original? i hope it does.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 3:18 a.m. CST

    I hate to say this,but Autodidact is correct.

    by KilliK

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Doesn't seem like you hate to say it at all kilik

    by Juggernaut125

    <p>as you have agreed with him already on his side of the argument.(without giving any specific reasons why.) I, personally, do not hate to say that cymbalta4thedevil has the stronger position in the debate because he is questioning Autodidact's reasoning for Ebert's rating and the legitimacy of his so called 'quallifying language' citing examples that can be researched and confirmed. Whereas, Autodidact has simply stated an opinion without any actual examples to lend credence to his theories.</p> <p>Auto claims that one of Ebert's criteria for giving quesionable ratings is a tendency towards films with pro/anti-black themes but never cites any examples to corroborate this theory. Then he goes on to attact cymbalta, for questioning him as if his opinion should be taken as gospel. Claiming cybalta's questions are rhetorical. But they are not. If Auto has seen this alleged pattern in Ebert's reviews, then it should be pretty obvious to point to more than a few of them as examples to support his claims.</p> <p>Let me state clearly that this is not a judgement on Autodidact as a talkbacker. Merely an extensive weigh-in on the debate itself. Cymbalta4thedevil questioned the verbiage of Auto's initial post which not an uncommon tactic when setting up an opposing view. But Auto's responses were more derogatory towards his opponent rather than giving factual support to a tenuous position.</p> <p>At this point, anyone who agrees with Auto, should be aware that you are basically agreeing to an unsubstantiated opinion. If you can give legitimate examples to help support his argument, then I'm sure even Cymbalta would be willing to acknowledge its legitimacy. Otherwise, in the end, it all comes off as sounding... racist.</p>

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:34 a.m. CST

    @juggernaut125 oh no the hate thing has to do with a

    by KilliK

    a personal conflict we had in previous talkbacks.nothing to do with the current 'sensitive' subject you are discussing.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Good Job Harry!

    by Dave

    Well, this is refreshing. Harry, this was one of the better reviews of yours in some time. No gushing fan-boy shit here! Now I shall go through the rest of my day with the vision of Peckinpah's pooper...

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:13 a.m. CST


    by Juggernaut125

    oki doki.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:51 a.m. CST

    i could tell

    by azmodeous

    From the preview trailers that were put out that this was going to be a light movie that would completely lack any of the impact that original had. I actually remember reading almost a year ago now that they were going to remake Straw Dogs and told a friend about it and the first thing to come out of his mouth was: "Let me guess, It's going to be set in the south with all the Hollywood south cliches and they're going cast a superhero to play Dusting Hoffman's role?" He pretty much nailed it even a year ago! Thanks for the brutally honest review Harry, you made my choice a lot easier to not even bother renting this movie!

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Most of his questions are rhetorical

    by Autodidact

    You fucking sock puppet.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST

    harry, you like the contender? WTF??

    by jsfithaca

    that movie was more unrealistic then fast five. yea a POLITICIAN up for the vp slot is gonna refuse to answer about her college experience when she didnt do it. and the president just dosent care when she tells him. i sympathized more with gary oldman by the end of the movie than allen or bridges, and im a liberal

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:13 a.m. CST

    You say I am racist for pointing out a liberal bias on Ebert's part

    by Autodidact

    And then spend half the thread discussing this liberal bias with other people in the thread. Guess what chump, people with a liberal bias will have a bias against anti-black themes. I'm not going to look up examples for you.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Here's a Question that's NOT Rhetorical

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    WHICH Ebert reviews can you cite to support your position? I've already cited SIX recent ones that demonstrate he's NOT going against the general critical or audience consensus when it comes to most films with "racial issues." And pointed out numerous random examples where he gave one star to crappy films that happened to star black actresses he's otherwise praised in the past. Ebert treats each film as its own entity. And there's nothing wrong with rhetorical questions. I was using them mainly for satiric and comedic effect to point out the ludicrousness of your position from the jumpoff. And you're calling some of them rhetorical because you're afraid to answer them. "If there's nothing wrong with being pro-black, why would that effect your reading of Ebert's reviews?" isn't a rhetorical question. Neither is "If there's nothing wrong with being pro-black, why did you bring it up in a discussion it had no bearing on to begin with?" Those are perfectly valid questions that cut to the heart of what you originally said was a "real issue". But you have yet to prove the "issue" is "real" or explain why you feel it's an "issue" in the first place.

  • You're still going to act like I didn't answer this question. My last answer to this question was "I have literally answered this question 3 times already." and I have. Shut the fuck up and go get ass cancer.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 10:28 a.m. CST

    I know why you SAY you brought it up

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I'm trying to get you to examine why that particular knee jerked. STRAW DOGS has nothing to do with racial issues. You assumed "anti-south"= "pro-black." I've pointed out numerous stereotypes or issues regarding the south that have nothing to do with racial relations. Maybe the movie just happens to be set in a small town in the south, because it's more believable that it would occur in an isolated rural setting far away from rapid police response. The original film didn't take place in Downtown London for example. I suppose they could have set it on a farm in the midwest or in a mountain cabin somewhere in the north if they wanted to. If critics and audiences were panning a new Woody Allen or Pedro Almodovar film, but Ebert gave it a positive review, you wouldn't immediately assume it must have some "pro-black" themes in it. You say you were merely suggesting that as a possible reason for Ebert's review rating it more highly. But you have yet to provide any examples of Ebert actually overly praising a film that doesn't deserve it, based solely on a "pro-black" take on "racial issues." If you were trying to prove a pattern scientifically, shouldn't you have examples? gumbyandpokey says the film shows a "disgust at Southerners and Southern culture" and doesn't mention race. But he doesn't go into specifics either. Are violent rednecks hostile to outsiders a stereotype? Sure. So are black pimps and hispanic drug dealers. Does that mean they don't really exist and shouldn't be portrayed as antagonists in a movie? Did anyone assume The Rock's remake of WALKING TALL must have "pro-black" issues in it because it was set in the south? Do people in Boston feel that THE DEPARTED and THE TOWN are "anti-Boston" films? These aren't just rhetorical questions. They point out satirically the problems with your original premise.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I just don't trust "bad" Harry reviews anymore

    by proevad

    He never just ups and shits on a film like this anymore. I think there is something personal going on here. Harry is a silver lining kind of a guy and sees good in every film. This is just weird.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    You got me with all those rhetorical questions

    by Autodidact

    I admit it I'm a big ol' racist.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I never said you were a racist

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    But someone who announces "Not with any clownishness intended" and then proceeds to squirt water out of his lapel flower and begins making balloon animals for the kids before taking a pie in the face and shouting I AM NOT A CLOWN! before driving away in a clown car, you seemed awful clownish to me.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    That's because you're a simpleton

    by Autodidact

    As I've said repeatedly.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Your world view

    by Autodidact

    me: "is there any racism in this film?" you: YOU FUCKIN RACIST... WHY ARE YOU AGAINST MOVIES THAT ARE PRO-BLACK? me: WTF?

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    me: "is there any racism in this film, because that might explain the 3.5/4, which seems high" you: WHY DO YOU ASSUME THERE IS RACISM IN THE FILM? me: wth is wrong with this guy?

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    Me: "I've noticed a pattern and I'm wondering if this movie reinforces the pattern or not." (valid intellectual inquiry) You: USE GOOGLE TO SATISFY MY NEED TO BE A HERO Me: go die.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    You never said I was a racist

    by Autodidact

    Except for where your every comment directed towards me was meant to imply it. Asking someone rhetorical questions that start with "If you're not a racist" is equivalent to calling them a racist. This is why I just come right out and call you a fucking moron and wish death on you.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Ebert didn't call it a masterpiece for chrissake

    by proevad

    He gave it 3 stars and said his attitudes towards violence in film had changed over the years. Said it was basically a carbon copy re-make. You guys are idiots and yes racists for trying to say that he has an ulterior motive because he is married to Chaz. Fuckers.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Two things happen when Harry Reviews a film...

    by paul james atwood

    He either spends three quarters of it talking about his childhood, or uses any excuse to name drop whatever big celeb has contacted him last.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    by Juggernaut125

    <p>I have just re-investigated the thread completely up until your initial Ebert post. Before that, you make one comment about Marsden's physique, which anyone is entitled to concur with or deny, it's a minuscule issue as to be certainly considered an offhanded remark.</p> <p> </p> <p>Your second post is a comment of Bosworth's roll in Superman Returns, the context of which, I am 100% unequivocally in agreement with you. Terrible casting and makes Superman a deadbeat dad who skipped off after knocking up an 18 year old girl. (Horrible movie.)</p> <p> </p> <p>Your next comment is thus:</p> <P> I was going to ask about Ebert's Rating ... without any racism at all, I was gonna make this comment: Does the movie contain some kind of direct or indirect pro-black tone?{This is not actually a comment, but a question. The 'qualifier if you will. But this next part may be considered libelous, unless you can prove it to be true.}Because Ebert has developed a serious issue with letting any kind of pro-black or anti-black content or themes totally decide his rating of a movie.</p> <p>{You are basically, calling in to question the reliability and fairness of Roger Ebert and the reviews that he gives based upon racial context of what ever movie he is reviewing. You state this as if it were fact, but it is only YOUR libelous opinion. In order to prove that you are not attacking Ebert and his livelihood, but rather accusing him of a known racial bias, you MUST cite examples in his past reviews that support your claims. Otherwise, you are not citing facts but rather stating an opinion which at this point has no basis in truth.}</p> <p> </p> <p>So if the movie is anti-south, that would explain the 3.5/4. Just for the record I AM NOT A RACIST. It is not racist to notice or comment on such things.</p> <p>{Cymbala has already cleverly pointed out the error in this reasoning. anti-south does not always equal pro-black despite your objections. And how do we know this? Because he gives examples. Therefore, the 'anti-south' slant of the movie (with only white actors mentioned in the review) still has no bearing on whether Ebert gave the review 3.5/4 due to your alleged racial bias.}</p> <p> </p> <p>The funny part of this post is that you bracket your question and comment with a defensive posture. (without any racism at all. I AM NOT A RACIST.) However, you were the only one to broach this subject. (Gumbyandpokey gave a somewhat libelous statement, albeit not quite so defamatory, immediately before yours based upon Ebert's political biases, he then follows it up with an actual example to show that his argument has merit. But he was not so clever as to armor himself with "without any politcal agenda at all... I AM NOT A CONTORTIONIST!") and you obviously knew that taking on this argument would paint you as such and any attacks on your argument would start there. Cymbalta took up the opposing view and attacked your argument. Your defense was to attack him AND Ebert AGAIN, once more without giving any references to support your mounting libelous claims. Stating that anyone who reads Ebert's reviews would come to the same conclusions as you is not factual, but opinion without proof.</p> <p> </p> <p>Afterwards the debate breaks down as thus. Cymbalta attacks your view, your wording and your opinions and gives examples to support his opposing view, you brush off his objections and then you attack him. He retorts your attack with more examples, you call him stupid. You defend your initial post with more claims of Ebert's inefficiencies as a film critic without citing a single example. Basically saying if Ebert reviews a movie with a black protagonist it should be ignored and if not, then it's a worthy read.</p> <p>And back and forth and back and forth.</p> <p>In the end, I show support for Cymbalta's argument. And you insult me. Well, two can play that game. You're a shitbag. Learn how to debate.</p>

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Ebert married Chaz Paliminteri?

    by Roger Moon

    Fuck I gotta get out more.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 6:41 p.m. CST

    You're a sock puppet

    by Autodidact

    TL DR

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by proevad


  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:22 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Thank You.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Ebert paints evety black films as masterpiece

    by chien_sale

    you think his wife doesn't affect his perception? I wish it didn'T but i've seen examples of this time and time again and it was funny how you would see Sisklel go silent rather than argue about this. Case in point Crash. he's complelty a slave to this woman.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:19 p.m. CST

    why even write this review


    did you see Drive?

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Here We Go Again

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Gene Siskel HAS been pretty silent on this issue since he DIED TWELVE YEARS AGO. Ebert's had a black wife since 1992. Yet noone in this talkback can name a specific film where his rating was wildly divergent from the critical or audience consensus purely because it was a "black" film. CRASH is at 75% with Critics on the Tomatometer. 89% with Audiences. It won Best Picture at the Oscars. Ebert gave it 4 Stars. Wow he really went out on a limb on that one. Try Harder next time.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:46 a.m. CST

    he gave Bad Boys 2 4 stars


  • much less someone I would trust with a review

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 3:19 a.m. CST

    if he couldn't get it together...

    by quantize


  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:58 a.m. CST

    this talkback became colourful.

    by AsimovLives

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Straw Dogs

    by manny zavala

    Man this I think is better then the first one I didn't any one could replace Dunson huffa

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by mcgoocain

    You claim that Ebert "has developed a serious issue with letting any kind of pro-black or anti-black content or themes totally decide his rating of a film." and you say this as a negative judgement of Ebert's abilities to properly review some films without bias. Racist statement, or not? Doesn't matter. Your statement just isn't true, and you know there is no possible way for you to validate your statement with examples. So, you might be a racist, but you are most definitely an idiot for making such a dumb statement, racist.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Using the word "rating" was probably a mistake

    by Autodidact

    Read the text of his Crash review. Does anyone else watch that movie and think it might change the world?

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    My problem with Ebert on this one

    by Samuel Fulmer

    The guy says in his interview that he didn't like the Peckinpah film because when he saw it back in 1971 he had his own issues with masculinity and being a nerd, but he likes the new version because he's come to grips with these issues. So how does this make the new film better? It's better because Ebert isn't so uptight anymore. Maybe he needs to go back and watch the 1971 version again.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    And yeah Ebert as of Crash

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Will give even a poorly constructed film a pass if he agrees with the socio-political content. Crash is the perfect example of this. The ideas in Crash were not what I found fault with in the film, but the actual exectution of the film (directing, script, acting, camera, etc.)

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    autodidact/samuel fulmer

    by mcgoocain

    geez, you guys, I often disagree with Ebert, yet I continue to respect him as a reviewer. Neither of you guys can prove your blanket condemnations of Ebert, because thay are not consistent truths, and you are both full of shit with your hyperbolic, sweeping statements. So, the new Straw Dogs seems to be inferior to the first, Ebert has specific reasons for liking this film, specific to Ebert. So you disagree with him, like a lot of thre filmgoing public does on this one. Big deal. Just stifle both of your petty needs to conflate your disagreement and your incorrect internal thoughts into something you both imagine, but is not there, ok, folks. Or prove your point, or continue to sound like idiots.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I asked a fucking question

    by Autodidact

    I don't disagree with Ebert or assume anything about the movie or his review. I'll cop to using some hyperbolic language in my original post, and being arrogant about it when I could have defused the argument by restating... but an impression formed from years of reading his reviews is not a false internal thought nor is it trivial to prove it with GOogle searches when you can't get past all the results from people angry at Ebert for claiming to have a better understanding of black hair than Chris Rock does. I really don't care if I've slandered Ebert. So long as people don't sincerely think I'm racist you can believe I'm as far off base about Ebert as you like.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by mcgoocain

    I want to believe you are not racist, as you also want to believe. But you might also try a little introspection, and see why you might have asked your question the way you did, and then try to eliminate that from your repertoire of thought patterns. We can all be better versions of ourselves, with practice, over time, myself included. I saw Ebert's review, disagreed with it, and move onto something else, not assess Ebert based on a review I disagree with, and make that into something it's not, and then spew it here in a accusatory manner. Oh well, move along, move along.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Go fuck yourself

    by Autodidact

    I explained that I framed it that way in full self-awareness of how it would have the opposite of the supposed intended effect. I tried to be a bit deferential in tone towards you because you displayed some intelligence. But go fuck yourself assface!

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I don't sincerely think you're a racist

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I myself have been accused in the past by black people of using "paternalistic" language when speaking positively about them. Which is almost as bad as being called "racist" for speaking negatively. I just thought your original post was odd and bordered on offensive language. And you seemed to know some people would take it that way. It came out of nowhere and had nothing to do with the movie being discussed. In my opinion, anyway. And Ebert was JOKING about knowing more about black hair than Chris Rock. He was alluding to his wife without mentioning her. He typed Smile right after typing that. And for the record: GOOD HAIR is at 95% on the Tomatometer with Critics and 64% with audiences. I guess all those people are married to a black woman too.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST


    by mcgoocain

    I figured the true you would rear it's ugly face. Same to you, racist. Oh and your mother never loved you. You know it. It might explain a lot.

  • He is in love with films that have a message that he agrees with, even if the film is poorly constructed garbage. And no I'm not saying these are the only films he likes, I'm just saying there's a lot of this going on in Ebert's reviews of recent years. As far as Straw Dogs (2011) goes I don't know if this is the case, but I think it really makes him come off bade when he says the the 1971 version is bad because at the time he saw it he hadn't come to grips with his masculinity (or lack thereof), but says the new version is superior because he's not so uptight in 2011. Here's a good idea for Ebert, he should go back and watch the original, and then review it now. It would be like me saying, I didn't like Psycho (1960) because I found it too violent, but the 1998 Psycho is a better film because I am now more comfortable with screen violence. I mean if Ebert thinks the new Straw Dogs is a better film, than good for him, just his reasoning makes me think his reviews are becoming more and more irrelevant, and this is coming from someone who used to religiously read his movie guides.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    And no I don't buy the wife thing with Ebert

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I don't think he gives a good review based on ethnicity, but he does (and sometimes all film lovers are guilty of this) give certain talent some slack when they put out an awful film. So yeah, the guy loves Spike Lee, so even if it's a bad Spike Lee film, he might give the movie a slightly higher rating then someone else would. He also loves Scorsese, and does the same thing when he puts out the occassional substandard film.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    A successful remake seems like...

    by boardbrtn

    it should've been completely different than the original. Come at the same idea, but from a different angle. Maybe casting a sex symbol as a rapist IS fucked up, and that's what they had done intentionally (it's not). Beyond that, making him the dominantly sexy character, over the female lead could lead to some ideas about sex and rape. And lastly, they should've had Marsden's character been a complete pussy the whole way through. More so than one might expect in this film. Maybe he witnesses his wife getting raped, doesn't tell her, and it takes him a while to really get into revenge mode. From there, utter chaos. The biggest problem this movie will run into is that everyone already knows what is going to happen. They advertised the main character losing his shit, and in turn, they've completely ruined the surprise in the film.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    samuel fulmer

    by mcgoocain

    Any film can still have worth, even though it might fail to fire on all cylinders. It is recognizing this worth, while recognizing the faults, that provides the balance. Reviewers can't always maintain this balance 100% of the time, and as you acknowledge, biases are all part of the reviewer's game. And good reviewers are entitled to their biases. The trick is finding one that speaks to you, biases and all. Your paraphrasing of Ebert's review leaves a lot to be desired, and sort of misses his point. Ebert questions his own conlusions about himself, for one. Anyway, so you disagree with his review of the new Straw Dogs. Valid. Your other crticisms are also valid. I have seen the way he writes change in the wake of his illness. A changing style and tone. Perhaps not as deep or intellectual, or even as consistently well written. But, he continues to write. And for that I admire his fortitude in the face of such adversity, and he will always be a hero to me. Even if his reviews become so bad I disagree with all of them. But I still read him, and he is a film reviewer god of sorts. And I respect anyone who disagrees with me. Just stifle the need for hyperbole, in general.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Ebert has been accused of this shit ever since

    by proevad

    he came out so strong for Do the Right Thing. Whitey didn't like him for it then, and they still don't. No mystery here.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST


    by mcgoocain


  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by mcgoocain

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST


    by mcgoocain


  • Sept. 19, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    It would really be funny if a lot of people were accidentally renting Croenenberg's CRASH instead of the one that won Best Picture at the Oscars.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Also, here it is. Ready? I'm about to win the Ebert argument

    by proevad

    Roger HATES Tyler Perry movies. All of them. (or damn near).

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    and while you're at it, ask Eddie Murphy what he thinks of Roger

    by proevad

    Ebert even took a shit on the first Beverly Hills Cop.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    so many people

    by mcgoocain

    are just so fucking full of shit. Defending made up stuff at length, instead of just being able to admit a mistake. Fucking internet saps.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Do AICN Talkbackers actually READ Ebert's reviews?

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    His reviews of Beverly Hills Cop and its first sequel are actually very good time capsules of the rot that began to set in when Hollywood and Eddie Murphy decided merely having him in a movie made it funny. When he ceases being the scrappy underdog and becomes "the Star", he turns into a bigger jerk than the people he's supposed to be lampooning. 48 Hours worked because Murphy had a strong presence in Nick Nolte to bounce off and he played a consistent believable character throughout. In the BHC films he's just riffing, coasting and yelling at receptionists. 2 and 1/2 Stars & 1 Star are about right.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    The only thing I might admit to

    by proevad

    is that he is too easy on Herzog sometimes. They are really close friends--so maybe he isn't as objective with some of his stuff as he could be. That being said, Herzog hasn't made a bad movie, so that's hard to judge.

  • Sept. 21, 2011, 7:18 p.m. CST

    I probably shouldn't..

    by Autodidact

    go wishing cancer on people, even if it's "just on the internet". I've been feeling bad about typing that. It's not funny, we've all lost people to it. My apologies to anyone offended.

  • Sept. 23, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Bosworth and Sam Worthington must have the same manager

    by Knobules

    They are both dead sticks in everything they do. Yet Hollywood props them up in these things like they have some kind of divine power at getting people to buy tickets. Really, who would get in a car, pay 10 bucks and sit in a room full of snorting hogs because "Its a KATE BOSWORTH movie!" Nobody. And double the venom at Worthington who has zero business "acting" in anything.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Straw Dogs review - Dead On!!

    by Badville Mojo

    Thank you. Your review was completely on the mark!

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Saw it

    by proevad

    Ebert was wrong on this one. Star and half too generous. Harry pretty much nailed this one.

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    by zip