You can’t throw a Dwayne Johnson in Hollywood these days without hitting some over-hyped, classic ‘80s remake. Whether it be Point Break, Big Trouble in Little China, or Weekend at Bernie’s (just kidding about that last one,we hope) ‘80s reboots are what’s on the box office menu in 2015. While sometimes the results are amazing, like the critically praisedMad Max, overwhelmingly they’re universally panned, like this summer’s Poltergeist. But as long as the Hollywood machine is running (albeit on Scientology and foreign child labor), ‘80s remakes are going to keep getting green lit. So Hollywood, if you insist on messing with our classics, here are a few that could actually use a modern perspective.
Goonies is the quintessential '80s adventure movie. It introduced moviegoers to Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, and new techniques for shaming their fat friends. There’s no question Goonies is an undeniable classic, but despite what grown men who wear Fraggle Rock t-shirts tell you, the movie feels dated. It just lacks the ADD-inspired visual style the touch-screen generation is used to. The film’s pace is slow, the effects borderline silly, and the story is small in scale compared most adventure movies these days. Because of these reasons, there’s a whole generation that can’t picture a person when you say the words “Sloth, Chunk, Data, or Mouth” and dammit, that’s a shame! Anyone over a certain age knows Goonies NEVER say die, and we for one would love to see this story get its second chance.
Gremlins is a movie that we hold close to our hearts because it has the perfect mix of fun, horror, and what can only be described as hilarious animal cruelty. The franchise has already undergone a mini re-imagining with Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a sequel that interestingly parodied its predecessor years before 22 Jump Street was praised for a similar treatment. So why another update now? Because if any classic of yesteryear could capitalize creatively off innovations in CGI, it's Gremlins. Think of all the new dimensions computer graphics could add to the story, allowing filmmakers to take these critters from a small town to a global stage, showing millions of the monsters replicating at once. Not to mention the plethora of new technology these guys could tinker with! Haven't you ever wondered what makes your Apple Maps so glitchy?
The NeverEnding Story
Every '80s kid remembers this story of a (not so) far away land full of lucky dragons, empresses, and horrible monsters that would put the average child today into years of therapy. In case you suppressed it deep down inside, NeverEnding Story had that super brooding, dark tone associated with kid’s movies of that time. Remember the scene where Atreyu’s horse dies in the swamp of sadness? (If you just suddenly burst into tears at your desk, you do you). What kind of sick bastards thought that movie would be “fun” for kids!? And more importantly, how did kids today get so lucky that they don’t have to suffer through it like the rest of us? Screw Frozen, let's give this thing the reboot and teach today’s youth that the world is a sad, dark, frightening place. Otherwise, how will they be prepared for high school?
John Carpenter movies are no strangers to the remake treatment, in fact both Starman and Big Trouble in Little China have recently been in talks for upcoming remakes. But there’s only one Carpenter film we actually want to see updated: 1988’s They Live, an ambitious film known for its campy charm, now iconic "Obey" imagery, and corny one liners (“I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum”). Despite its over the top acting and B-movie effects, this movie had a universal theme of control through mass media consumption. What better time to resurrect this story than now, in our world where we’re constantly having our minds manipulated through cellphones, targeted advertising, and internet list articles (21 Best Reasons to OBEY!). They Live’s prophetic themes are 10 times as relevant today than they were in 1988. Maybe it’s time we spit out our bubblegum and do something about it.
A movie about romance, bromance, and questionable shirtless volleyball was one of the biggest hits of its time. This movie was so popular, the actual Top Gun school is rumored to have instituted a five-dollar fine for anyone who references it. (Don’t even ask what the punishment for beach volleyball is.) The thing is, we no longer live in the “simpler” time of Cold War tension, and Russia has transitioned from the neighbor trying to burn our house down to our annoying neighbor we reluctantly have to invite to our BBQ. America’s military technology has also changed dramatically since the '80s—there’s been an entire generation of technical advancements in air warfare, from the creation of thousands of types of drones to more complicated and deadly anti-aircraft technology. Just imagine an Iranian drone pilot biting into a donut from his comfy chair in a bunker only to see Maverick flipping him off in his monitor. Man, just thinking about a Top Gun set in the modern military era makes us feel the need, the need for....dammit—there goes five bucks.
Photos by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection, Universal/courtesy Everett Collection, Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection