Filmmakers who grew up on movies in the 1980s are remaking their childhood memories into modern adaptations with some surprising excellent results.
The new “Red Dawn” is slated for release in 2010. This time it’s China and Russia teaming up to invade the United States instead of the Soviet Union as with the Cold War Era “Red Dawn” of 1984.
“Red Dawn” is not unique–a whole host of movies have been rebooted for the better as new films in 2010 which saw their original release in the 1980s. Here’s a look at three of the better films out this year.
“Clash of the Titans”
“Clash of the Titans” was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Boys loved the huge monsters such as the Kraken and the flying mechanical owl. For a movie in the early 1980s the effects were fairly impressive. Add to the mix a macho hero’s journey as Perseus saves the girl in the end. Boy’s soak up this kind of thing like a sponge.
What was even more impressive about both movies was the star power involved. The original had Sir Laurence Olivier as Zeus, Maggie Smith as Thetis, and Burgess Meredith as Ammon. The modern “Clash of the Titans” remake featured Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. The only thing missing from the update is a cameo by Harry Hamlin, the original Perseus.
“The Karate Kid”
The remake of “The Karate Kid” is exactly like the original in plot and tone. The original “Karate Kid” goes like this: a single mom moves her teenage son from New Jersey to California. The son upsets the balance at the new high school when he falls for the school hottie and his rivals get mad and start beating him up. Enter the humble janitor who teaches the helpless kid karate through a series of grueling chores. In the end, the new kid wins the big karate tournament.
The 2010 version follows the exact same format. This time the move happens all the way to China and it’s Jackie Chan playing a kung fu master janitor and Jaden Smith playing the boy in a strange land.
“Tron Legacy” comes out Dec. 17 and both my son and I absolutely cannot wait for this one. The look from the original world of “Tron” is exactly the same, right down to the facade of Flynn’s Arcade.
This time I got my wish–Jeff Bridges is in the remake and has a significant role even though it’s Kevin Flynn’s son, Sam, who has to battle other computer programs. The sentinels, light cycles, costumes, and discs are all reminiscent of the original only updated with modern effects. Every time I see a commercial or watch the trailer I get chills. Bruce Boxleitner also reprises his role as Alan Bradley.
“Tron Legacy” is the film I’ve been waiting for over the past 30 years. “Tron” was begging for a remake now that movie effects have advanced thanks to the very computers portrayed in the film. In a precursor to “The Matrix”, Kevin Flynn’s world inside of a computer is one of my favorite movies from the 1980s.
Newer Film Appeal
The best part about all three of these newer movies is that my son likes them. What worked for teenage boys in the 1980s apparently is working in 2010 for Hollywood.
With better effects the movies seem more realistic and more futuristic. Thanks to an entire generation of men like me with boys who want to see movies, Hollywood has no lack of source material from which to draw new fans and more money.
*Note: This was written by an Associated Content contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own movie articles.