Rod Lurie

Rod Lurie

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Straw Dogs Review


Good
This remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 British thriller is deeply unpleasant but very well-made. It's also bravely packed with all kinds of mixed messages that force us to think about some extremely difficult themes.

Hollywood screenwriter David (Marsden) moves to the backwater Mississippi home of his actress wife Amy (Bosworth), who is immediately sucked back into local life. This includes her former flame Charlie (Skarsgard), who is now a contractor working on David and Amy's barn with his chucklehead hunting buddies (Coiro, Powell and Lush). But soon, the tension between Charlie and Amy erupts into sexual violence, as David is taunted about his manhood. And a simple-minded guy (Purcell) turns out to be the catalyst for an eruption of violence.

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Straw Dogs Trailer


David and Amy Sumner are a happily married couple who live in L.A., when Amy's father dies the couple dicide to relocate from L.A to Amy's childhood home in the south in order to repair the damaged home to prepare it for sale.

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What Doesn't Kill You Review


Weak
A recovery film being touted as a crime thriller, What Doesn't Kill You suffers from the problem of most recovery stories in that it essentially has no final act. With the average character study this isn't really an issue, but for a film that starts off with an armored car robbery going badly awry (narration over a freeze-frame of a robber desperately blasting away tells us: "Never do armored cars"), the lack of satisfying denouement seriously damages what is otherwise a perfectly solid drama.

The movie is billed as the true-life story of the film's director/co-writer Brian Goodman, a South Boston guy who spent a few years in jail before getting his break in Ted Demme's Monument Ave. and showing up in several projects by Rod Lurie (a producer on this film). Being that Goodman made a career in Hollywood as the kind of square-jawed tough who got mowed down by the G-Men in the final reel of an old Republic serial, it's fitting that his first project as filmmaker would be this scrappy piece about his pre-Hollywood life as a second-string Southie hoodlum.

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Picture - Rod Lurie New York City, USA, Thursday 13th November 2008

Rod Lurie Thursday 13th November 2008 at a speclal sneak screening of Nothing But the Truth held at Cinema 2 New York City, USA

Picture - Rod Lurie and Dakota Goyo Los Angeles, California, Wednesday 22nd August 2007

Rod Lurie and Dakota Goyo - Rod Lurie and Dakota Goyo Los Angeles, California - at the premiere of 'Resurrecting The Champ' held at the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Arrivals Wednesday 22nd August 2007

Scenes of the Crime Review


Weak
Tip for those of you who want to make a gangster thriller flick: Don't set it largely in a van parked outside a dingy deli. Not really the glamor scene you're looking for, even if you do have perennial actor's actor Jeff Bridges trapped in back. While this cat and mouse game is woefully lacking in grandeur and carries few surprises in its plot, it's got a few goodish performances and soliloquys that make the two hours something better than truly awful.

The Contender Review


Terrible
A day after The West Wing ruled the Emmy Awards, Rod Lurie's White House drama The Contender screened at the Boston Film Festival. With that kind of timing, comparisons are unavoidable. So with The Contender boasting an intriguing storyline (woman nominated for the Vice Presidency) and a top-line cast, how is it that I was pining for Martin Sheen by movie's end? I blame Lurie, for what I believe to be a true dud of the fall season.

Lurie is an L.A. film critic-turned-filmmaker who made his debut with last year's virtually unseen Deterrence, with Kevin Pollak as the President. Lurie's back to politics again, and this time it's Jeff Bridges as Commander-In-Chief, and he'd like to appoint Senator Laine Hanson (Joan Allen, in a role written especially for her) to the VP vacancy. Not so easy. The Senator has enemies, like Gary Oldman's Congressman Sheldon Runyon. His team digs up dirty pictures from Hanson's youth, and all hell breaks loose for the Senator.

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Deterrence Review


Excellent
It would be easy -- almost mandatory -- to dismiss Deterrence as a ridiculous piece of late night paranoia (Plot: The president (played by Kevin Pollak!?) is stuck in a Colorado diner during a blizzard, where he finds himself entering a nuclear war with Iraq over a new invasion into Kuwait, by Saddam Hussein's son!). Well, it's a ballsy plot, to say the least. And in fact, it's quite gripping, and I'd be hard-pressed to script a better film given the basic scenario described above. Sure, former film critic Rod Lurie (The Contender) hamstrings himself with a low budget, a single location (a la Albino Alligator), and a crummy film editing job, but considering the obstacles, Deterrence is quite a ride.
Rod Lurie

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