80’s Movie Reboots … They’re What’s for Dinner

15374.original-5947No matter how sacred the property, Hollywood is always looking out for something to exploit. That’s the business. And for now, it seems 80’s culture is where it’s at.

Remember those early 90’s beef commercials “Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner”? The magic of the ads were that they were telling you (instead of trying to convince you) that beef was for dinner. It implicitly tells you that beef is the preeminent supper-time meat. And if you don’t agree, clearly the problem is you.

Dang it. Now I’m hungry.

In any case, this seems to be the stance that Hollywood has taken with its recent bevy of 80’s remake films. They are where it’s at … because Hollywood says so.

And so far, this nostalgia has reaped dividends. 21 Jump Street was a big success spawning the upcoming sequel 22 Jump Street. And just this week, it was announced that Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan will be returning for Karate Kid 2. I have no doubt that the sequel will be just as good if not better than the first.

But now, Hollywood might be taking this 80’s craze a bit too far. Just this week it was announced that a sequel to The Goonies is in the works. And there is a call for the original cast to return in some capacity. At the same time,  Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame are said to be working on a reboot of the Police Academy movies. Yes. The house that Steve Guttenberg built.

I’m all for smart remakes, reboots, and their subsequent sequels. But some properties should just be left alone. The Goonies is sacred. And while I can see how a sequel could be entertaining, the risk that they will crash and burn is way too high. And the Police Academy movies were bad by 80’s standards. I don’t see how you take that concept and make it current. Especially with how crowded the comedic police arena has become.

And don’t even get me started on this Jem business.

But beyond all of that, the most disturbing aspect of these movies is that nostalgia will drive people to the theaters regardless of how good or bad the movie is. Even completely ill-conceived 80’s remakes Robocop and Red Dawn, managed to rustle up about $45-50 million (nowhere near their budgets, but still large).

So what does this all mean? It means that we really have little control over what movies are made just as we don’t decide what music plays on the radio or what fashion trends are hot. The people who control those decisions run corporations. They tell us what we want and we follow.

It’s just like beef. Until they decide differently, the 80’s rehashed is what’s for dinner. Eat up.

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

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