Red Dawn remake hits trailer

The Red Dawn remake has been bouncing around for a while. Originally it was going to be released on November 24, 2010, but then MGM went all bankrupt and baby got put in the corner. As we all know from corners and babies, no one puts them in corners even if Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze (RIP) aren’t in your remake of their film, thus Red Dawn is finally returning again for the second time in 2012!

Thus, we’re getting hit with posters and trailers up the ying yang. Many featuring star Chris Hemsworth, who you might know as everyone’s favorite thunder god, Mulungu! Josh Hutcherson of Detention fame also is advertised a lot, making girls hungry for a game of Q and A starring the handsome young actor. Also other people are in the film, but they haven’t gone on to be famous so fuck them, they don’t get much facetime!

Red Dawn being remade has caused a lot of groaning, because the original had the specter of he Cold War backing up the fear and paranoia the film fed on. Now, the Cold War has been over for a decade and an entire generation has grown up not living in fear of instant nuclear annihilation from the Commies. At worst, the only real dangers are the threats of terrorists attacks, which would be brief disruptions that would launch the US into wars far away leaving the average kid unconnected to in any way. So the concept of America being invaded by an occupying force is rather laughable. Okay, it’s fucking stupid.

It got even more stupid when March 2011 saw MGM digitally altering the invading villains from Chinese to North Korean to not tick off China and keep access to their theaters to make megabank for their other films. Producer Trip Vinson said: “We were initially very reluctant to make any changes, but after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous Red Dawn that we believe improves the movie.”

By “improves the movie” he means “improves the movie’s chance of making it’s $75 million back. Please see our movie. Please.”


I mean, I’ll have an open mind. Maybe.

What is odd, is the altering of the villains from Chinese to North Korean makes the film strangely similar to the video game Homefront, written by John Milius – one of the writers of the original Red Dawn along with Kevin Reynolds. Homefront is totally plausible, according to the consultant they overpaid – “We went to a very rigorous, academic research process to make sure to not only look at North Korea’s current state but to look at historical examples how things could parallel and turn events. History repeats itself. From today to the day the invasion starts in the game, if you combine everything, the odds are very very slim this becomes true. But when you look at the storyline step by step, every step is a coin flip but a plausible step. So once you get there, it’s plausible. And from there the next step is plausible as well. Even though the whole thing is fictional, it comes with plausible baby steps.”


Open mind, open mind, open mind…

So the Remake Red Dawn is written by Jeremy Passmore and Carl Ellsworth and directed by Dan Bradley. Here is a cast list I copy/pasted from somewhere a year ago:

Chris Hemsworth as Jed Eckert
Josh Peck as Matt Eckert
Adrianne Palicki as Toni Mason
Josh Hutcherson as Robert Morris
Isabel Lucas as Erica Mason
Edwin Hodge as Danny Bates
Connor Cruise as Daryl Jenkins
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Lt. Col. Andrew Tanner
Alyssa Diaz as Julie
Brett Cullen as Tom Eckert
Michael Beach as Mayor Jenkins
Will Yun Lee as Captain Lo

Now, beyond the fact the original film has been basically adopted by the Right as something everyone needs to prepare for, it also featured a lot of good writing and nuanced characters on both sides. It was even a sort of metaphor for Mujahideen guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. I really doubt there will be that much interesting things going on in the remake, which will probably be as bland as humanly possible in a film involving lots of explosions. Judging from the trailer, there will also be far too long before the country gets invaded, so that’s not a good sign, either.

But open minds….

Propaganda posters from the filming of Red Dawn featuring Chinese symbols including the August 1st star. I do not know how these will be altered for the final film with the villains changed to North Koreans:
Red Dawn Propaganda

Poster for the remake:
Red Dawn



Written by Joseph Kahn and Mark Palermo
Directed by Joseph Kahn

Fourth walls? Where we’re going, we don’t need fourth walls! Yes, it is time to review Detention, which I got to see at an advanced screening for free (Tars sells out again! Damn you, Tars Tarkas!) Detention is basically Scream by way of The Breakfast Club and Juno, with more references to the 90s than you can shake your beeper at! If you aren’t familiar with Joseph Kahn, then you need to drop everything (after you’re done reading this and every other article on the site) and go get his other film, Torque, the greatest street racing film ever made. If you think there is a top for things to be over the top, Kahn proves you wrong by going so far over we’re under again, and then even more over! Kahn’s career in music videos serves him well in creating a stylized whirlwind of awesome visual tricks, camera angles, text segments, flashbacks, and crazed editing.

Detention is a comedy, no doubt about that. But there is a killer on the loose, and following the tradition a popular girl is slayed in the opening sequence. Talking to the camera the whole while, she sets up the general feel for the film while spouting the kind of spoiled teenage nonsense you expect from and MTV reality show. So by the time she dies, you’re starting to believe in a higher power. The killer is dressed as “Cinderhella”, a character from the movie within the movie. The killings take a backseat for large parts of the film, our actual protagonist is another girl, who is about as popular as Casey Anthony Baby-sitters Club Adventures.

Riley Jones (Shanley Caswell) – This is what a Feminist looks like” declares her t-shirt written in Sharpie. Riley Jones is your sarcastic put-upon heroine who is the invisible dork of the school. Her futile crush on her longtime friend Clapton Davis is going nowhere, her life is a series of disappointments and disasters that her knowledge of 90s trivia and sarcasm can’t defeat, and worst of all, Cinderhella is trying to kill her. Shanley Caswell makes Ellen Page look like Kim Kardashian.
Clapton Davis (Josh Hutcherson) – The cool skater guy that all the girls want to love and be loved by. Clapton is a step away from being tossed from high school forever unless he saves the universe, a mean bully wants to kill him because he’s dating the bully’s ex-girlfriend, and he runs a website where he reviews…music. And, yes, Josh Hutcherson was in The Hunger Games
Ione (Spencer Locke) – A mindless cheerleader with a head that’s a steel trap for knowledge of 90s music, her passion for it claims Clapton’s heart. Ione used to be best friends with Riley until she suddenly change and Clapton became her man despite knowing of Riley’s crush. I think I enjoyed Spender Locke’s performance the most of all the actors, her portrayal of airheaded knowledge made you think she could keep up with the 90s reference zingers while still throwing around retro dance moves.
Principal Verge (Dane Cook) – The embittered and scarred principal of the high school, who has become the embodiment of hate for the student body. Anyone who falls behind becomes the problem that he needs to solve, permanently.
Time Traveling Mascot Bear (Himself) – Okay, I couldn’t find a good picture of the bear, but I already wrote this and am lazy. The mascot for Grizzly Lake High School is a stuffed grizzly bear that’s been there forever, and one of the characters turns it into a time travel device. Also the bear was probably sent here by aliens. Maybe.

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