Don't mess with a man's best friend! I'm borrowing that phrase from our own Eric D. Snider, who used it to describe the plot of Red, a thriller starring the great Brian Cox as a man on a mission to avenge the death of his beloved dog at the hands of a bunch of teenage punks.

As Eric noted, Magnolia Pictures picked up distribution rights for the movie and planned a late summer release. Well, it must be later than we thought, because Dread Central now tells us that Red will be unleashed to theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, August 8, followed by a "slow rollout" to more theaters nationwide.

"An emotionally gripping if slightly overwrought drama," is how Eric described Red in his review from Sundance, where the film premiered. Later he called it "a solid B-minus effort, and Cox's performance makes it eminently watchable." In addition to Cox, the cast includes Tom Sizemore as a bad father, Kim Dickens as a TV reporter, and Robert Englund and Amanda Plummer as white trash parents of one of the juvenile delinquent kids responsible for the death of the titular dog.

I've loved Brian Cox in many roles (Braveheart to Manhunter to 25th Hour to X2: X-Men United to Zodiac), so I have to believe he's a major plus for audiences looking for something a little different in August. How about you? Do you have any interest in seeing the Cox-avenging Red?