Recent DVD Release: Red Dawn

Published April 14, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Edwin Hodge, Brett Cullen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Rated: PG-13.  Action.  Running Time: 1 hour 33 minutes.

Remakes.  They are the bane of my existence.  IMO, we don’t need a new Footloose or another Total Recall.  But Ross was interested in seeing this one and I agreed with modest expectations.  The 1984 original was one of my family’s classics and coined such famous lines as, ‘Avenge me boys!’, which we still toss around with giggles today.  Just check out this list of Hollywood remakes set to release in the near future:

I’m not sure why, but I feel irked when I read through this list.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a few remakes that aren’t bad, but don’t we have any new material?  At least in the case of such endeavors as Red Dawn, I understand the premise behind remaking the film.  The special effects that are available in this age of cinema add a crisp, new edge to films of this nature.  But Footloose?!?  Will there ever be anyone who can replace Kevin Bacon as Ren?  And did someone seriously choose to put Colin Farrell in the role of Douglas Quaid/Hauser?!?  I love seeing his hot, black Irish mug on the screen, but he won’t soon replace Schwarzenegger.  Honestly, I haven’t seen it, but I just can’t picture him saying ‘See you at the party Richter.’  Perhaps I am just a salty cynic, but I love the classics.  I don’t mind a few remakes surfacing every couple of years, but I don’t want Hollywood getting too complacent with churning out old shit because it’s easy.  Read some new scripts!  I’d love to see something different.

Oh man, 1984, what a year!  Not only the year that Maria and Rachel were born, but also arguably, one of the greatest years of movie releases ever.  How about: Ghostbusters, The Terminator, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Amadeus, Sixteen Candles, Footloose, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, Splash, The Natural, Revenge of the Nerds, Romancing the Stone, The Last Starfighter, Purple Rain, Bachelor Party, Body Double, Against All Odds?!  Can you believe that line-up?  And you know what the most popular movie of all was in 1984?  Yup, Red Dawn.  Everyone knows the story, right?  America invaded by Russians and Cubans in the original, the more appropriate North Koreans in this version.  In both, it’s the local high school kids who rise up, led by the slightly older former football star.  Patrick Swayze in 1984 and Chris Hemsworth this go round.  Hey I’m not stuck in the past, but the original was kick ass, with Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Harry Dean Stanton, Powers Boothe.  Wreaking havoc on the invaders, guerilla style to the battle cry, Wolverines!!  Great stuff.  So I was indeed curious to see the updated version, albeit with very low expectations.  And honestly, it wasn’t horrendous.  The crew is pretty much matched up, and Hemsworth is a worthy leader.  Not what I would call A-list material just yet, but with Snow White, Thor and Red Dawn, he’s getting there.  Josh Peck was adequate in the Sheen role of the younger brother, and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) could have had a harder edge in his rendition of Howell’s Robert.  But the bad guys were hugely inept.  They had our heroes dead to rights like five times and couldn’t put them away.  This Red Dawn will never reach the classic status of the original, but if you rent it, you probably won’t fall asleep or wish you could get the hour and a half of your life back.      

It was O.K.  That’s the best way I can put it.  The best part of this movie was the first fifteen minutes – up to the visually pleasing scene when North Korean paratroopers drop into town.  It probably doesn’t help that we’ve also seen, ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’, an Australian flick about teens fighting an invasion of their hometown.  To my astonishment, this movie gives no claim to Red Dawn, but I assure you it is loosely based on the same plot.  And how coincidental that Red Dawn is released in the Redbox right around the same time that we find ourselves in a precarious situation with the North Koreans.  I jokingly had a conspiracy theory that it was all planned, but in truth, that fat bastard from N.K. is just as insane and unpredictable as his dead dad.  If our diplomats had any sense, they’d just bribe him with a Twinkie.


Would it kill him to buy a treadmill?  Or try some of the native fish?  Anyways, I digress.  Red Dawn will not be taking the place of the original, or winning any awards, but it was worth a watch.  And proved to have some relevant plot twists.

Oh come on Maria, give Kim Jong Un a break.  He can’t help he’s so fat, he doesn’t shit after all, just like his Pop.  Hey, we kicked their ass in Red Dawn and we’ll ruin them for real if they keep this nonsense up.  “America, fuck yeah!  Lick my butt and suck on my balls!”  Last song quote courtesy of two great Americans, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

 Maria’s Rating:  1.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Ross’ Rating:  2.5 Gummies.


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