dunmurderin: icon of Cold War Reenactment Society -- more here: http://pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com/20930.html   (Cold War Reenactment Society)
[personal profile] dunmurderin
Ok, the nostalgia goggles are firmly on and since we had the original, we decided to watch it 'cause screw sleep!

For a more coherent ramble, there's this Cracked article: 5 Reasons 'Red Dawn' Is Secretly a Subversive Anti-War Film, which y'might want to read first. I dunno. I am sooo tired at this point.

Yeah, I used the same joke twice...

Ok, we're about ten maybe fifteen minutes in and already this is a better movie. The pacing is a hell of a lot better; the kids being scared and whiny makes sense. Having to piss in a radiator to get it driving again is a nice touch (and beats hell out of the unstoppable supatruck of the 2012 movie).

And, I'm a bad person but the focus on the "You'll get my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hand" followed by a Russian soldier doing precisely that to a dead American makes me snicker.

The speech Patrick Swayze gives is a lot better too. It's not "Hoorah, USA! USA! USA!" -- which, again, is amazing considering this was made in 1984 as a conservative answer to that liberal hippy downerfest The Day After and was meant to show that America could so fight back after a nuclear war! *footstomp!*

Also nice that they show the passage of time in months, not the days and/or weeks that seemed to go by in the first movie (if there were subtitles showing a longer time period, I missed it).

The kids remind me of people I knew growing up and the small town vibe feels real to me. Even though the small town I grew up in was in Northern Indiana and therefore a lot less middle of nowhere than Calumet, CO is.

Already I know more and CARE more about these kids than I did the characters in the 2012 movie. The scene with Jed and Matty talking to their dad at the reeducation camp is dark and gut-wrenching. This isn't a video game.

Oh boy! The Russian soldiers playing tourist scene! And mistranslating the sign for Arapaho National Forest. And posing for pictures! And being stupid about an arrow. Again, more characterization than the entire North Korean army got.

The Wolverines -- which they're not calling themselves yet -- are really terrible at this guerrilla fighting thing. The bumbling Russian troops/tourists are almost too much for them. Interestingly, it looks like the kids weren't hunting Russians, this encounter was by chance and accident. And they don't turn to killing people easily and they realize that it changes everything for them.

Ok, 2012 movie? When a movie from 1984 gives its female characters more agency than you? You suck. You suck on toast.

Also, nice that the Russians/Cubans first act isn't 'we must destroy these l33t freedom fighters!" but 'ok, nobody goes outside secured areas and let's get some info so we can proceed intelligently.'

And I think that we just had it implied that one of the girls was raped in a very subtle way. Here's the dialogue courtesy of IMDB:

Matt Eckert: Why don't you make yourself useful?
Erica: You wash it! We're never doing your washing again! Me and her is as good as any of you!
Matt Eckert: So what's up your ass?
Erica: Shut up! Don't you ever say that again! Hear me? Say that again, I'll kill you! Hear me? I'll kill you.
Matt Eckert: So what did I do?
Toni: What you said was wrong.

The girls are the granddaughter of one of the guys helping the kids escape; they managed to escape on their own and, their grandpa tells the boys that some of the Russians tried to 'have their way' with them. This scene seems to imply that maybe they did more than try. It's never confirmed or mentioned again, but the girls join in the fight as equal partners.

This movie has a lot of depth. The mayor's trying to do what he can for his town but he's in over his head. The kids are scared -- all of them are losing it, especially after seeing a group of town's people gunned down as a reprisal for them.

And the Cuban general, after a series of raids by the Wolverines, still wants to try and win hearts and minds over simply razing the town to the ground.

Snerks. One of the Wolverines find a downed American pilot and she demands he prove he's an American by telling her the capital of Texas. He says it's Austin and she says "Wrong! It's Houston!" Geography fail for the realistic win!

Aww, the kids are being kids! Playing football with their fighter pilot mentor! And the girl who flipped out on Charlie Sheen has a crush on the pilot! Probably 'cause he's the first decent grown man she's seen in months. And isn't a grotty teenage boy or a creepy Russian.

Yay, he's married and not interesting in underage tail!

Go home old mentor dude, you are folksy! You drink from Ball jars!

Aughh, the pilot and one of the kids dies. And Patrick Swayze/Jed gives this eulogy at the funeral: These were good friends. Take them away from here... someplace safe... where this world's war never happened. And as we remember... please let them forget, O Lord... so they can be little again. Excuse me, I have something in my eye. Gimme a break, it's 4 am.

And another dark scene: the kids find out that one of their own, Darryl, the mayor's son, has betrayed them to the Russians. His dad turned him in and he was tortured. His friends are faced with the decision of what to do with him now. Something similar happens at the end of the 2012 movie but in that movie 2012!Darryl makes the noble sacrifice of staying behind, never to be seen again but presumably to gun down any Commies who come after him to help the others have time to get away.

In the 1984 movie, Darryl begs and pleads for his life while his friends, especially Jeb, lose their collective shit because this is their friend but he's betrayed them and they can't let him live but can they really kill him and ultimately, one of the kids does shoot him but it's not portrayed as a noble thing, it's portrayed as a brutal thing to have to do.

Amy and I were talking about the main difference between the two movies and it seems to come down to the fact that events in the 1984 movie have an impact on the characters and the audience while the 2012 movie is just a feel-good action film with no real sense or pacing or heart to it.

Like I said earlier, possibly in the other post, the 1984 Red Dawn isn't high art or a great film but it does a very good job of showing just how nasty, brutal and hard a guerrilla war would be and the price that would be paid by the ones fighting it. It's jingoistic in its way -- America does ultimately, eventually, win the war (or so we're told in a voice over at the end) but the Wolverines only played a small role in that victory. I get the impression that in the future of the Red Dawn universe, there's a History Channel episode about the football playing freedom fighters of Colorado but that's about it as far as recognition goes.

Except maybe for a dumb action movie...OH MY GOD! 2012 Red Dawn is that future movie! AIEEE! OROBOUROS!!

Ok, movie's almost over, gonna go sleep soon. Nattering time is done.
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