This week, two new movies come out, and strangely enough (or perhaps not so strangely), they're both remakes of stuff from the 80's. With this probably-planned coincidence, I thought this a good time to do my first-ever double Popcorn Pick.
First up (alphabetically, anyway) is The A-Team, a big, loud action movie based on the classic TV show. Four soldiers are wrongly accused of a crime, break out of jail, and proceed to blow stuff up. The thin plot is structured around the four main characters and allows them to do crazy stuff with visual effects and guns. Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley (District 9) and UFC fighter 'Rampage' Jackson are the testosterone-filled good guys; the film co-stars Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen). Sure to be, if nothing else, an adrenaline-charged thrill ride.
The other, slightly more promising film this week is The Karate Kid. The 1984 film is well-loved all around the world, so remaking it is a very risky move for everyone involved. They seem to be doing the right thing by taking only the basic concept of the original and putting it in a whole new location with younger stars. A young boy moves to China with his mother and gets bullied mercilessly by the local kids. A mysterious maintenance man takes him under his wing and teaches him how to defend himself. Jackie Chan plays against type as the grandfatherly master to the kid, young Jaden Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness; yes, he's Will Smith's son). They replace "wax on, wax off" with "take off the jacket, put on the jacket," but the scenery is beautiful and the karate is all real. If anything, it probably improves on the cheese factor of the original, but honestly they're trying to stay as far away from comparisons as possible by creating an original film and not a remake per se.