Released in 1987, Robocop holds a special spot in the pantheon of 80’s action movies for anyone who has seen it (and its various lesser sequels and spin-offs). Written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner (by far the best script either has done), director Paul Verhoeven‘s satirical, violent, and over-the-top tale of a critically wounded Detroit police officer turned into the first cybernetic soldier by an ominous corporation with its own agenda gets an obligatory, and completely unnecessary, remake. Thankfully this one fares better than the last Verhoeven filmHollywood decided to remake.
The follow-up to director J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 relaunching of the Star Trek franchise is a mostly disappointing affair that cribs heavily off other films, including one of the franchise’s own, in an attempt to offer a sophomoric version of what is generally considered the best of the original franchise. It’s nearly impossible to discuss the film in any length, or its myriad of problems, without giving away a few of its secrets. So after a few broad points about Star Trek Into Darkness you’ll forgive me I move dangerously into spoiler territory.
In 1984, director John G. Avildsen and writer Robert Mark Kamen presented the world with a coming-of-age story about young high school student named Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) who moved to California and learned karate from kindly handyman Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).
The Karate Kid was a hit and cultural touchstone for anyone who grew up in the 80s. It produced two sequels (and a third with Hilary Swank replacing Macchio), an animated series, a videogame for the NES, and countless merchandise. It also introduced the world to Elizabeth Shue, earned Morita a best supporting actor nomination, and forever cemented William Zabka (Johnny) in the minds of millions as a total dick.
Twenty-six years later director Harald Zwart and producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have remade the film for new audiences (coincidentally also giving their son a star vehicle). The plot is very similar to the original, but includes a few important departures in an attempt to allow the remake to stand on its own. So, how does The Karate Kid compare to the original? Well…
The first hint that something was fishy about the “Clash of the Titans” remake was the trailer. There was almost no dialogue. All it was was a wordless montage of every CGI monster and 3D special effect in the film, ending with Liam Neeson as Zeus saying the signature line: “Release the Kraken!”
The bad news is that if you’ve seen that trailer, you’ve already seen all the movie has to offer. The 1981 film was a cheesy, inaccurate—but fun—journey through Greek mythology. The main reason it’s held in high regard now is because of Ray Harryhausen’s legendary stop-motion animation.
Stripped of that charm, this new version plays like a videogame, only with less character development.
To help promote the new Clash of the Titans flick Warner Bros. has released two little flash games, Scorpioch Strike and Medusa’s Curse, just for you. There’s nothing here to bowl you over, but if you are one of the folks looking forward to this remake you might want to give them a couple moments of your time.