1980s Remakes


Few years in the history of recent Hollywood have gone by without a sizable pile of ‘80s remakes. Typically, those remakes are at least somewhat spread out. But this Valentine’s Day weekend greeted us with a grand total of three remakes, all bearing (with the exception of a conspicuously absent ellipsis) the titles of their predecessors: RoboCop (original: 1987), About Last Night (original: 1986), and Endless Love (original: 1981). So many ‘80s clones haven’t opened wide the same weekend in two and a half years, when Footloose 2.0 battled the prequel to re-re-make of The Thing. Recycling the ‘80s is hardly exclusive to cinema. Indie and mainstream pop have been revisiting the era of New Wave and post-punk for years. Sometimes this results in uncanny synergy, like two singles from the past few months referencing the opening sequence of The Hunger. And, of course, in the political sphere the ‘80s are ever present, as the exponential concentration of wealth to the very rich have forced a public conversation rethinking Reaganism and neoliberal economics. Few films used popular culture as a platform for exploring this political climate quite like RoboCop and About Last Night. So rather than taking to task whether these remakes are “worthy” or “necessary” or not (is any?), I’d rather mine how the subtle differences between these revisitations and their originals betray our complicated relationship to the era of “Just Say No” and “Where’s the Beef?”. Perhaps we keep recycling the ‘80s because that decade in particular, invited […]


Endless Love Movies

Because nobody, absolutely nobody, even in this day and age is immune to the dulcet tones of an expertly tuned snyth or a finely-wielded keytar, two of the 1980s cheesiest offerings in the romance department are getting the remake treatment this week. Or three if you consider the stirringly deep enchantment of RoboCop. Endless Love and About Last Night, two films known for their immense subtlety and timeless love stories (Just kidding! It’s teen sex and voluminous bangs!), are being brought to the modern age because today’s youth needs to know: why is forbidden love so much sweeter when it also has the same name as a Lionel Richie song? and does navigating singlehood get any easier if you add Kevin Hart to the mix?


Summer School

For some reason, Paramount has been trying to remake Carl Reiner’s Summer School for more than a few years. Amongst the 1980s teenage, sexy, goofy romps, this one is at least in the higher realm of notability. The story of a gym coach who is forced to cancel some sweet summer plans to teach a bunch of dumb kids in an English class, it’s now found a willing champion in Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison Productions. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that they’re going to team with Paramount on the remake. There’s nothing more to the story except speculation and whatever Sandler jokes can be mined from it. Of course, there’s also the movie nerd subplot to the movie where two of the students are obsessed with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and horror movies. So will the remake feature two students obsessed with found footage horror? With Paranormal Activity? Or will they scrap it all together? These are the questions we all have when there’s no real information to go around.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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