Not so Lost in Translation


Its pouring out and I’m sitting in my apartment watching one of my favorite movies of all time. I’m a huge fan of the 80’s; I just feel like it had such an aura as far as decades go. I also feel like a lot of the greatness of that decade was lightning in a bottle and will never happen again. The music was great, a lot of people were making good money, and the movies were timeless. The 90’s lead to “the machine” due to the success of the preceding decade. A lot of what happened in the 90’s was more of a gimmick, set out to make money rather than the actual authenticity of the creative process. And now, it seems we have gone back to that era to try and regain some of the quality we’ve lost.

Remakes are something that have always transpired with film. Some of the greatest movies of all time are remakes of other good or great films. Movies like The Fly, The Departed, Scarface and Ocean’s 11 are a few of those remade movies that were also great as remakes. Even this past weekend saw the return of the movie “It” which had a very good opening with box office. But, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes we miss. And sometimes we miss really bad. Many movies of the 80’s have been victim to subpar remakes. Films such as The Karate Kid, Conan the Barbarian, Red Dawn, and The Hitcher are some of the those lackluster remakes that just left us asking “why?”. Even the Robocop reboot (which I actually thought was decent) paled in comparison to the original. This is common though, many good or great movies that are redone fail to live up to the prestige of their original films. None worse in my opinion that Total Recall. The moment I heard the classic was being remade I cringed. On top of that when the casting was announced I literally lost my mind. The sad part is, it was what we thought it was; in my best Romeo Crennel voice. It was a film so bad that I literally got partially through it, turned it off, and watched the original. This leads to our focus of this piece. What 80’s films would actually work well as remakes today? This is something I have always pondered being such a big movie fan.

When I discuss this topic amongst friends and colleagues I have a core four that I think would not only be perfect in our world today, but would also most likely see great box office success, and probably be well received to boot. The first of the four is supposedly already in the works. I feel War Games would be an excellent adaptation in today’s society. With advancements in technology and the current relationships with other countries; I believe it’s an easy decision to make and relatively simple to translate. The second movie is Trading Places. IF, and only IF casted properly this one could work well in today’s times. The plot still applies, simply because it was a comedy that was way ahead of its time when it came out. The biggest issue is what I mentioned; the casting. You had two comedic geniuses not only act in the film but also play a big part in the writing aspect of the film. The next film I feel could do well now is Big. It’s actually the movie I am watching now that inspired this article. Maybe it’s because I’m a kid at heart. Or maybe it’s because the movie takes place partially in New Jersey. It may even be that the movie is a large part of my desire to own a loft with a freight elevator. Big is a classic of the 80s and a fan favorite of many. I feel like as long as the movie wasn’t written or adjusted to be too comedic or too much of a romantic comedy it would do wonders. This leads us to our final film.  For years I have been proclaiming that this film needs to be redone, and it could definitely work nowadays. The Breakfast Club is one of the greatest movies of the 80s and that goes without discussion. The plot was simple enough, but with what teens go through now it could touch an array of topics that need to be addressed. This is another one that would be all in the casting. Another thing that would be crucial is the balancing of comedy, light romance, and current tough topics amongst adolescents these days.

Now, just like any of the inferior films I spoke on, if shot poorly, casted poorly, or less than stellar scripting; they could end up being very regrettable. But, as I mentioned these would seem to be smoother transitions. So now that we have sparked this subject. Are there any movies we missed? What are some of your favorites that you would enjoy seeing come back to theaters?

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