Put down the VHS tape and stop remaking 1980’s films before someone else gets hurt

The big, bold minds in Hollywood are at again, announcing their intent to remake a beloved ’80’s movie because they are out of ideas and want the cash.

From Deadline.com:

Universal Pictures and Silver Pictures will remake Weird Science, the 1985 ultimate nerd wish fulfillment comedy that was written and directed by John Hughes. The film will be produced by Joel Silver, who made the original with Hughes at Universal.Michael Bacall will write the script. He scripted the sleeper Project X for Silver Pictures and wrote the script for 21 Jump Street, another 80’s-centric property that became a hit for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

And let’s not forget the imminent release of the Carrie remake, after having its release pushed back, again:

Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Carrie, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as the bloody and bullied telekinetic teen, has been moved out of the (thematically relevant) prom season and into the (also thematically relevant) Halloween season. Wrapped last September, the film was originally slated for release on March 15, but the MGM/Screen Gems production has been pushed back seven months to Oct. 18 to better capitalize on the pre-holiday horror season. That gives it a week’s head-start on the other major horror release, the now-annual shaky-cam spookery of Paranormal Activity 5.

Sometimes an older film calls out for a remake. It contains a timeless core story that if updated and done well, produces a great movie experience. I’m thinking in this case of “3:10 to Yuma” (a remake of 1957 original), “The Departed” (a redo of the international 2002 hit “Internal Affairs”), and “The Fly”, David Cronenberg’s update to the 1958 version.

Recently, however, there has been a run on remaking movies from the 1980’s. There was the abomination that was the “Footloose” (the Kevin Bacon version is what corny looks like done well), “Hairspray” (the 2007 version makes John Water’s fans cry), “The Karate Kid” (a horrible waste of time designed to promote Will Smith’s son), “Red Dawn” (the original was bad but had a heart and some emerging stars), and “Total Recall” (Arnold’s version came out in 1990 but come on, it was an 80’s movie).  Oh, and I almost forgot, they are remaking “Robocop” for crying out loud.

Each of the remakes was a total flop with audiences and critics (or will be in the case of Robocop). Why?

Because the original movies, for the most part, captured the mood of the country. Yes, the stories are the same ones as have been told for a very long time, but they were bundled in a particular way and unfolded in a fashion that was the 1980’s. Paul Verhoven’s critique of American culture just drips off Robocop, for example.

There have been a ton of good films made in the last few years, it is a shame that some of these hacks are ruining it. On behalf of humanity and someone who loves 80’s movies, please put down the VHS tapes of Sixteen Candles, Streets of Fire, Project X, and walk away from the film room before anyone else gets hurt.


The unbearable badness of Batman and Robin

If you liked Batman and Robin, please turn away now (I can probably count that number of people on two hands) because this amazing video demonstrates the people making the movie knew it was a joke. I don’t know why I’ve never seen this before but it is fantastic stuff.

I find it interesting that they also speak so highly of Batman Forever, which I, too, loved but felt alone in my praise.

Dictator Kim Jong-un or: how I stopped worrying about the Korean peninsula and learned to love the crazy

When North Korea started to ratchet up the rhetoric several weeks ago, I was concerned. While many foreign policy experts see Iran as the greatest current threat to American security, I viewed nuclear weapon armed North Korea as far more dangerous. Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, has a modicum of democracy, and a vast number of young people who consume pop culture, and, for the most part, admire the United States. North Korea is the most closed society in the world controlled by a leader we know little about. In fact the only photo we had of him until his accession to power was one taken when he was 11.

But as the crisis has escalated I can’t stop giggling.

I feel free to do so because first and foremost I am convinced, by people far smarter than myself, that North Korea is doing what they always do and they understand that any significant attack against South Korean, Japan or the United States would result in swift annihilation.

This whole situation reminds of Dr. Strangelove with Kim Jong-un riding the bomb all the way down. I can hear Peter Sellers in my head saying what the North Korean’s apparently told reporters in London today:

At the North Korean embassy in London, they are answering the phone but saying little.

“As far as we know, we are not giving any statements,” a North Korean official told Reuters, declining to give his name and saying all necessary information was already available on the website of the North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Yesterday you had word of North Korea advising Russia and other countries to remove their diplomatic staff. Again, Peter Sellers, “You must leave sir.”

If North Korea was saying nothing but moving troops and equipment, I might be worried. Until then, I’ll stick with Dr. Strangelove.