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The Movie Guy: Red Dawn and Project X

By   /   December 4, 2012  /   Comments

Red Dawn (Now in theaters)

Hollywood has a problem with making anything remotely passing for original these days. All too often we the audience are treated to some movie that remakes, rehashes or in general is just plain derivative of some other movie from just a few years ago. When words like ‘remakes’ or ‘reboots’ are the common parlance, it’s both sad and a little aggravating to try to find something original to watch at the theaters. Most of these movies are little more than scene for scene remakes of the originals.

The original gave birth to the careers of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey, yes that same Jennifer Grey from ‘Dirty Dancing’, they were all in this movie before they all ever had real careers. When you think about this movie, most people probably remember it from TBS, Spike and F/X…but what some of you might not realize is that the original ‘Red Dawn’ was released in 1984.

That’s right, almost thirty years ago.

So what is the story behind ‘Red Dawn’, well the United States gets invaded by North Korea and they are able to occupy and dominate the North-western corridor with the help of ‘others’ and a magic macguffin that I’ll get into in a minute. A group of high schoolers are lead into insurgency by a Marine who, with a training montage, manages to turn them into a fighting force worthy of taking out North Koreans like they’re Imperial Stormtroopers and this movie was Star Wars.

So how is the movie really? To be honest, it’s not that bad, for a remake. I was surprised at how much they strayed from the original movie but kept the plot intact.  The action and idea behind the story holds up well enough; the execution of the movie though has a few flaws. Is there anyone note worthy in the movie, anyone you might have heard of? Other than Chris Hemsworth (Marvel Comics: Thor), Brett Cullen (who was in ‘Lost’…) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (‘Watchmen’ and ‘Supernatural’) are the big names…unless you count one of Tom Cruise’s children in a small part.

So where does the movie go wrong?


Well for one, I might have bought into the whole idea of teenagers in the 80’s turning into rebels fighting for their country all those years ago but unfortunately I’m not buying it with the modern generation. The ‘Me’ generation is to indulged by their mommies and daddies wanting to be their friends, to drugged up, insecure and stuck on themselves to care that their country was invaded by some outside force hell-bent on taking over. The ‘me’ generation would roll over and just surrender so they could go on playing x-box 360 while eating whatever junk food they could find.

Secondly, North Korea? Really? North Korea somehow manages to develop technology that wipes out all of our electronics allowing them to invade and take over Spokane, Washington? I can see China being able to invade on a movie scale, I mean hell, at least they have massive enough army to do it, but North Korea? I’m not buying it and neither do the characters in the movie who make the comment that it doesn’t make any sense. At least there is a line about them having outside help, but the idea that they would take Spokane, Washington seems just crazy.

I can’t say that the movie is bad, as it’s different enough from the original to merit an existence of its own. I enjoyed it in spite of the fact that no one from the original makes any sort of appearance in the movie, which in light of Charlie Sheen’s ‘winning’ behavior of late, it might have been for the best.

3 Stars our of 5, welcome to the home of the free and the land of the brave.

Project X (On DVD now…)

Yet another ‘found film’ movie chronicling an ‘epic’ party that results in thousands of dollars in property damage and drug use. Wow, yet another example of ‘pitch any movie and Hollywood will make it…’, this is an example of how the studios have too much money and pander to lowest of the common denominator.

I just gave you the plot of the movie and its end game all in one paragraph. It’s horrible and if you have the money to rent a movie, find something else or better yet save your money and buy your child a Christmas present…


0 Stars out of 5, another fine example of generation ‘me’….



Keith Kilburn and his wife, Dawn, live in Leesburg with two cats and dog named Godzilla. He’s written for Herorealm.com before they were bought out by corporate interests and has written a novel that he’s working on publishing. It’s rumored that he’s seen more movies than Blockbuster rents in a year and knows more about comic books than Stan Lee himself!

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