Saturday, April 3, 2010


Five!! 80's Films That Could Use An FX Update

I was in my middle school social studies class the first time I saw Clash of the Titans. It took three days to watch, and there are as many things that I remember vividly from that specific viewing. The first is Mr. Seck forgetting to fast forward through Andromeda's bath scene (like I said, I was in middle school). The second is being completely awed by the film. And the third is thinking how completely out of date the special effects were. And that was in the 90's.

Now it's 2010, and Clash of the Titans is arriving back on the big screen. My feelings are mixed. On the one hand Liam Neeson is playing Zeus, on the other I have a gnawing fear that Bubo will have been cut from the epic. But good or bad, we've already seen the night and day difference between the updated beasts and creatures and their original counter parts. So here are five other 80's movies from my childhood that I'd love to see get an FX make over, and -because I'm feeling playful- some options for casting.

Innerspace (1987)
For me, this movie is a classic. It's an epic journey of molecular size, that takes the "second chance to get it right" storyline and twists it with all it's might. Chalk full of stars (some of which remain and some of which have faded... or started wearing fat-suits) and cutting edge special effects for it's time, Innerspace is not only an excellent choice for a special effects remake, but done right it could easily end up the poster child for 3D experiences.
My Cast: Nathan Fillion as Tuck Pendleton, Joeseph Gordon-Levitt as Jack Putter, and Grace Park as Lydia Maxwell.

Flight of the Navigator (1986)
David was blown away by how different the world was just 8 years later, imagine if Max had brought him from 1978 to 2010. He'd go from the year of the first Senate radio broadcast to the year of iPhones and e-commerce. His then 8 year-old younger brother Jeff would be 32 instead of 16 like in the original, with his own family- maybe even a son of his own? And of course with today's technology the CG for Max would be pristine, but more importantly- he wouldn't sound like PeeWee Herman.
My Cast: C.J. Sanders as David, Alan Tudyk as Max, and Anthony Mackie as (Adult) Jeff.

Labrynth (1986)
Jim Henson's kid friendly gem chronicles the story of a 15 year-old girl learning to accept the new family members her fathers re-marriage have forced on her. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that the divorce rate has gone up a bit since 1986, and hence this movie is still relevent. Or, if we're trying to darken it a bit (which we probably shouldn't), maybe it could even be her own baby that she wishes away- further reinforcing Sarah's acceptance of responsibilities and maturity that we see towards the end of the original... just a thought.
My Cast: Emily Browning as Sarah, and Bon Jovi as Jareth with a David Bowie cameo as Sarah's Father.

The Thing (1982)
Creature effects abound in one of the greatest sci-fi thrillers in history, and The Thing is a relevent re-make for the decade that comes to a close this year. The alien could be anyone, anywhere. The man your talking to right now could be an alien. Every other man here could be an alien, and you'd never know until they'd already struck. But if you act against him or them, it could turn out he or they, were just as scared of the alien as you were- potential allies who's blood is now on your hands- and the alien would still be out there. Now replace the word "alien" with the word "terrorist".
My Cast: Sam Rockwell as R.J. Macready, and Terry Crews as Childs.

The Last StarFighter (1984)
Yup, you saw the picture, you knew it was coming. These lists, for the most part, are posted in random order, but in this case I definitely left my favorite and most fitting pick for last (Though it was the very first title that came to mind). Anyone who's watched this movie knows two things about it: 1.) At it's core it has a universal (no pun intended) story about never backing down from your potential. 2.) The graphics look like they're a video game you should be playing with a track ball.
My Cast: Jay Baruchel as Alex Rogan/Beta Unit, Willem DaFoe as Grig, and Christopher Plummer as Centauri.

Other titles you'd love to see get a second FX life? Other casting visions? Let me know! Otherwise I see you next week with my review of Clash of the Titans and Hot Tub Time Machine.

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