Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing one of our heroes, or even just a regular guy, get pushed so far they absolutely snap. It reminds us that we’re not alone on the occasions that we’re full of rage and want to lash out. That’s why the movies are great! We can watch people do it for us so we don’t have to go to jail or actually hurt anyone!
Sony Screen Gems’ Straw Dogs (official website), a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 classic, arrives in theaters September 16. To say Dustin Hoffman ‘loses it’ in the original Straw Dogs would be an understatement, so if the remake is anything like it – and it probably is – expect James Marsden to have some seriously crazy blood on his hands by the time he leaves that country cottage.
In the reboot, “David and Amy Sumner (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth), a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy’s ex-boyfriend Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård), leading to a violent confrontation.”
Hit the jump for PART ONE of our Straw Dogs sponsored compilation of people losing their cool on film!
James Gunn’s Super is one of my favorite films of the year. Often described as Taxi Driver meets Kick Ass, I think a lot of people miss an element of what makes this film so relatable – it’s also “Curb Your Enthusiasm” with a pipe wrench. Sure Frank D’arbo doesn’t have the money, intelligence or sanity of Larry David but his outrage at those who break the social contract (and his outrage at what passes for the social contract) is more than palpable. Initially I was going to use a clip of him screaming “the rules” into Kevin Bacon’s face near the end of the film (which I actually find cathartic), but I feel this clip really shows where he begins to cross the line.
9. DRAG ME TO HELL (2009)
Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell is one giant freak-out of a movie. Christine is pretty much losing her sh*t (and her anorexic mind if you subscribe to that popular theory) throughout the film. If you’ve ever worked in an office environment (or any environment) you’re aware that people are always out to throw you under the bus at every turn. When she yells at Stu, “keep your filthy pig knuckle off my desk!” she practically becomes the Norma Rae of post-pc office politics. Spewing blood on the boss is just the icing on the cake.
8. EVIL DEAD 2 (1987)
Two Sam Raimi freak-outs in a row. This may be one of the best examples ever of that horribly annoying “when life gives you lemons…” parable. The few times in my my life when I’ve been in this situation I’ve done the exact same thing. Skip to the minute mark to hear what I’m talkin’.
7. THE MIST (2007) (Spoiler)
Please don’t watch this if you haven’t seen Frank Darabont’s modern classic The Mist (hopefully in black and white), it’s the very end of the movie. This clip is sort of long, but you kind of need the build-up to really appreciate the abject madness Thomas Jane’s David Drayton is suffering through at the very end. This is a freak-out that will last the rest of his life.
6. SEVEN (1995) (Spoiler)
“What’s in the box?!” is, I suppose, what the kids call ‘a meme’ these days. But this scene is still incredibly effective and cruel. It’s a rare person that could put themselves in the shoes of Brad Pitt’s Detective David Mills and say they wouldn’t lose it like he does. Fun Fact: At one of the film’s test screenings David Fincher and Bob Shaye stood near the back of the theater. After the film was over they overheard an audience member declaring, “The people who made this movie should be killed.” Maybe they pushed someone else towards their own Falling Down moment.
BONUS – MATCHSTICK MEN (2003)
Very few people saw Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men upon its release in 2003. If I had been in charge of the marketing campaign this quote would have been the tagline on every poster and billboard. The film would have made Avatar money.
Check back soon for PART TWO of this list!