Straw Dogs UK R2 DVD

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by PoochJD, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Another controversial DVD here, folks, in the form of "Straw Dogs".

    Rented the movie last night, and it was quite good. Having never seen it before, ever, not even any clips, it was a really shocking and disturbing movie about one man's gradual turn to violence, and the effects it has on him and his wife.

    The acting is good, especially Susan George, and the infamous rape scene is truly uncompromising and brutal! Even though I know it was fake, it still disturbed me a lot! :eek:

    Dustin Hoffman looks almost unrecogniseable, but he was very young in them days.

    The DVD picture is quite good, though there are minor scratches and marks around reel-changes. The sound is mono only, though it appears as a two-channel stereo soundtrack. Sadly, the soundtrack is very quiet, and you do need to turn it up very loud to hear the dialogue.

    The extras are pretty good, with an hour of interviews, a short documentary featurette, and lots of text-screens of info about the film and the contentious issues it brought to the screen.

    Their is, however, one downside: for some bizarre reason, when you select "Play Movie" on the DVD, it takes you to 14 seconds into the first chapter. However, if you play the previous 14 seconds, you actually get to see a balls-up of the final few seconds of the film - repeated twice!

    It WON'T ruin anything, but it's a complete mess, as if the DVD was taken from a print that just kept on cycling through, and no one bothered to check this out once the disc had been mastered. Also, there are some spelling errors on the text screen, which can make reading them difficult. Plus, there are no Subtitles of any kind, so deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers are left out in the cold!

    All are relatively minor glitches, but annoying ones, and something that shouldn't have been allowed to happen if Quality Control had paid attention more!

    One final point: the UK release is supposed to be the most uncut version available, running to just over 112 minutes. However, the Anchor Bay US DVD, states a 118 minute running time. Strangely, the full original cut of "Straw Dogs" is 118 minutes, but footage was removed by Peckinpah (the director) before the master cinematic prints were created. So, is the Anchor Bay disc longer than the UK release, or is it just an error?

    All-in-all, a good DVD! Worth it, but be warned - it's not nice or easy viewing!

    Pooch
     
  2. John-D

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    The different running times may also be due to the 4% speed -up of PAL format.

    I remember this movie coming out on video in 1980 (on Guild home video), it then got banned under the video nasty act/[email protected] up!

    JD
     
  3. James45

    James45
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    the BBFC actually refused to give it a cert in the first place as the version submitted to the BBFC for approval gave the impression that susan george's character was enjoying herself during one of the rape scenes... this is still a strict no-no with the BBFC, and it was refused any sort of cert.

    The version we are seeing released includes another rape scene that was not in the version submitted to the BBFC which actually makes the whole thing much more unpleasant but clears up the ambiguity over the rape scene making it obvious she is not enjoying it and has therefore been granted a certificate.
     
  4. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    I've just got this e-mail from the Head Of Marketing, at Fremantle Media - the people who did the "Straw Dogs" UK DVD. Hope it is of interest to all of you.


    Dear Jon

    You would not believe the time and effort that has been put into this DVD release and yes, I am aware of the problems you mention below. To be honest, it is a miracle we actually made it and although this is no excuse for the errors, I hope you agree that the upside of the disk itself outweights the few errors that have occurred in its production.

    To explain the 17 secs of black. The reason for this is the two commentaries, which start with Nick Redmans introduction (17 secs worth) before the film actually begins. Originally we had a new Title there so the film began bang on 0:00. However, all machines jump to Titles and this led to a 1 second skip in the middle of Nick's words. So I took the decision to start the film at 17 sec as this was the lesser of two evils. There was no other way around it. If Nick had begun talking in sync with the opening titles that would have been fine but he didn't, as he wanted Paul Seydor to explain them. However, if you play the film (with commentaries disabled) this will not happen, but it will start at 0:17.

    Now, to the text and car lights in that black. Yes, this is an error by the authoring company - it should have been black, which I asked for. However with 2 Check Disks failing and myself checking the 3rd at 11pm on a Saturday night, and giving the OK to replicate that evening at 3am in order to make our release date, I had no time to make it perfect. We were in overtime and even though I am a perfectionist, I had to press the button.

    On the spelling, yes, there are a few errors. I wrote all the words myself and checked them myself. They were then re-checked by someone else and inputted into Photoshop for the screens and re-check by the operator (who managed to add some additional errors that were not there before, much to my annoyance). Still, we are all human, we were in a huge rush and mistakes were made. With over 100 pages, I would have been surprised if there had be no errors - we always try to mimimise them, but unfortunately they do still occur.

    On the upside, I am already planning a 2 Disk Special Edition next year with a brand new transfer from ABC's restored print and even more special features. With less rush, this will be faultless.

    Finally, to sign off, I appreciate your e-mail an hope I've explained
    our position. This disk has already be hailed by 2 journalists as the best UK region 2 ever and I am extremely proud of it especially when you compare other worldwide releases). There are errors agreed, but hey, it's still a cracking DVD!

    Best wishes
    Ken Law
    Head of Marketing - Fremantle Home Entertainment
     
  5. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    So does he want us to buy it again next year then?
    That's nice of him
     
  6. juboy

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    As succinctly put by James45, this draws to a close yet another entry in the ridiculous annals (pun most definitely intended) of the UK and the BBFC's censorship history.

    I wonder if the BBFC realise that the decisions they made back in the early 80s (and many since) merely turn out to be excellent marketing angles many years later?
     
  7. Jay2000

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    I really cant see what all the fuss was about. Sure, I can see why it was considered uneasy viewing 30 years ago but I see absolutely nothing in this film that warranted a ban until this year! The violence is very very tame by today's standards and as for the rape scene, well, i would hardly call it shocking! The first rape could hardly be called that as she was obviously 'up-for-it' (sorry, but she was!) and the second, yeah, definite rape but hardly in the same league (visually) as say, Jodie Foster in The Accused for example.

    It was my first viewing as well this week and I have to say I was very disappointed, the film itself looks very dated, the story takes eons to kick in and the acting (with the exeption of Hoffman/George) was terrible! Its only saving grace was Susan George's fabulous breasts! :)
     
  8. gringottsdirect

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    Excuse me, but I have to say I have seen better hooters in many other films.
     
  9. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Jay2000, you said:

    "I really cant see what all the fuss was about. Sure, I can see why it was considered uneasy viewing 30 years ago but I see absolutely nothing in this film that warranted a ban until this year! The violence is very very tame by today's standards and as for the rape scene, well, i would hardly call it shocking! The first rape could hardly be called that as she was obviously 'up-for-it' (sorry, but she was!) and the second, yeah, definite rape but hardly in the same league (visually) as say, Jodie Foster in The Accused for example."

    1) If you can't see what all the fuss was about, then you must be very nieve or very stupid! It should be patently obvious to anyone with an ounce of intelligence, why this fillm is considered so disturbing!

    2) The film warranted a ban because of the nature of the "rape scene". It wasn't the film as a whole that was problematic, but that one scene.

    3) The violence isn't overly graphic, in comparison to some films made these days, I agree, but it's very powerful stuff in the context of the movie.

    4) You saying "The first rape could hardly be called that as she was obviously 'up-for-it' (sorry, but she was!)" is completely shocking to me! :eek: How can you actually say that?! Have you even seen the film, or did you write that statement from memory of seeing the film 30-odd years ago?

    If you'd seen the recent re-release, then you should be able to tell that Susan George's character is most definitely NOT "up for it", as you so shockingly put it! Yes, she may have feelings for this man, but at no point does she demand or ask to be raped! It is only through the second rape, that the viewer discovers that what she wants is love - something her husband isn't giving her.

    5) You also say: "It was my first viewing as well this week and I have to say I was very disappointed, the film itself looks very dated, the story takes eons to kick in and the acting (with the exeption of Hoffman/George) was terrible! Its only saving grace was Susan George's fabulous breasts!"

    Disappointed?! What did you expect - a damn bloodbath? Something akin to the uncut versions of "I Spit On Your Grave" or the "Guinea Pig" series of films?! Jesus!! How stupid can you be?!

    Probably the only reason that you think the story takes "eons to kick in", is because you're the kind of viewer who wants instant film thrills. I bet you're the kind of viewer who thinks something like "The Matrix" is the best film in history, huh? And as for your final comment, about Susan George, I think that just proves to everyone on this forum, how unintelligent you really are!

    Go watch one of your many hardcore porn videos, if you're only interested in seeing the rape of women, and breasts! :mad: You really are a complete ingrate!

    Pooch
     
  10. juboy

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    ...head over to www.dddhouse.com, they'll hook you up :D
     
  11. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    Hong Kong "sex movies" have very little sex left in them due to horrificly harsh censorship.

    I think Pooch had a bowl of rusty iron filings for breakfast this morning.:p
     
  12. Squirrel God

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    Now I know that Pooch is really called Jon (possibly Jonathan due to the spelling), which must mean the D is the initial of his middle name - I'll plump for Davina :D
     
  13. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    I bet he only gets called Jonathan by his mum when he's been naughty. I know I do:blush:
     
  14. Jay2000

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    Pooch

    Please chill. Insulting me the way you have in your last post only goes to suggest that YOU may be lacking in the intelligence department. My points are valid, if you bother to re-read my original post then you will notice that I agree that the film would no doubt have been very shocking when it was originally released 30-odd years ago. My point is that by today's standards it is very tame indeed and certainly did not warrant a ban for the length of time that it has. My understanding is that the BBFC only passed this version because of the inclusion of the second rape that had previously been omitted. According to the gods at the BBFC, the portrayal of this second rape is fine because it illustrates that Amy was not enjoying it. By that rationale, the BBFC also believe, as I do, that during the first rape, Amy was appearing to enjoy it. If you have studied that scene objectively you cant fail to notice that Amy is definitely getting a degree of enjoyment from her ordeal and after battling with her guilt over her lasting attraction for her ex-boyfriend, gives in to his advances and has sex with him. The second rape is, indeed, just that and yes it is a hard subject to deal with. All I am saying is that by today's standards it is very tame (graphically) and did not warrant the ban it received.

    I am certainly not some dumb thrill seeker who thinks 'The Matrix' is the best film ever made (although I do like it), I have a very varied taste in movies and basically enjoy anything with a good story and fine acting. I just dont subscribe to the idea that just because a film was banned for 15 years then it automatically deserves recognition and acclaim on its re-release. A bad film is a bad film - period. Look at 'I Spit On Your Grave', in my view a pretty naff film which was shockingly edited just in order to get a certificate for the guilible masses like yourself who seem to snap up any old tosh that was banned after the 'video nasty' scare of the mid-eighties.

    However, each to their own, and I respect your views on Straw Dogs even though I dont agree with them. Pity you didnt have the decency to respect my views too, but hey...

    Jay
     
  15. enajh2

    enajh2
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  16. Squirrel God

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    D'oh indeed :D
     
  17. juboy

    juboy
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    Should someone desparate for money be spending ca$h on hiring out DVDs right at this moment?
     
  18. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Juboy - This was the first film I;ve rented in over 2 months, so I think I am entitled to do so. And, all money that is being pledged to me, is being kept safe and sound in a separate account. So no one here, is funding me for anything that they shouldn't be.

    Jay - My sincerest apologies! :( I feel a right pillock, and I agree with everything in your second post. When I read your original points, I got my undergarments in a knot, so to speak, and I then wrote a rather vitriolic response, nee flame! Not a good thing to do, especially from a Moderator.

    Please forgive my indiscretion, and for any undue offence I may have caused you. ;) It wasn't my intention to be so rude or abrupt. Honest.

    Oh, and my real (full) firstname is Jon. Not Jonny, Jonathan, or Jonathon, or any other variation! :D Sorry to disappoint you guys! And, as others have already noted, the D in JD isn't for Davina!... or Doris, or Dianne, or Damian, or David, or Derek, or Damon, or Dan, or Darren, etc, etc, etc.. ad infinitum.

    Pooch
     
  19. Jay2000

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    Apology accepted Pooch ;)

    Was rather taken aback by your initial response as I remember your name from a couple of years ago when I used to frequent this site much more than I do now, and you were always a top bloke! (This was back in the days when Duncan Wardle used to get on everyones nerves, what happened to him?)

    And by the way, how on earth did you manage to reach the dizzying heights of Moderator???!

    Jay
     
  20. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi Jay,

    Glad you accepted my apology! ;) I don't normally write stuff like that, but there have been occasions when I've regretted writing something, after a respondee has been taken aback - just as you were.

    As for reaching "Moderator" status, I guess it's down to a few factors:

    1) Spectre's request a few months back now, for new Moderators.
    2) My high amount of posting, and regular (almost daily presence) on the AV Forums.
    3) My request to be a Moderator for just the DVD Talk forum, and
    4) Spectre giving me a trial, and then being okay with how I did the job.

    Alternatively, it could just be down to me being a really top bloke :D but somehow, I severely doubt that! ;)

    Pooch
     

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