In the year 2012 and the 11th month, Hollywood's darlingest cocaine snorters decided in their vast wisdom to release a digitalized remake of the 1984 masterpiece motion picture Red Dawn to the American public.
My first impression of Red Dawn  was - as you can probably guess - that it was not nearly as good as the original. This latest effort begins with a glimpse of normal American high school life, as in the first movie. But when the digitalized paratroopers were landing, this time in heavily-treed suburbia, I envisioned dozens of parachutes stuck in our ubiquitous elm, honey locust, and maple trees. However, all of the foreign military paratroopers somehow managed to land clear of such obstacles which were all around. Or at least, the audience was spared the hilarious consequences of trying to land with a parachute in a heavily treed area of a town. Foreign military vehicles also drove into town, although the method of their arrival on American soil was not mentioned in the movie, which takes place in and around land-locked Spokane, Washington.
Gone is the eeriness of the original movie, the distinct feeling that, yes, this could happen here, given the right political conditions. One day, you could be sitting normally and innocently in your classroom when, from out of nowhere, you see through your window foreign military paratroopers landing in the field next to you. And then, you are privileged to witness your school teacher shot down in cold blood.
Throughout the rest of the original Red Dawn, the audience is emotionally drawn into the struggle for freedom against foreign invaders. The freedom-fighters watch as their parents are murdered. Certain necessary sacrifices are made, and the audience is spared nothing. The actors and actresses could be our sons and daughters. Probably the eeriest scene in the original movie is the tank battle scene, which occurs toward the end, in which there is nothing but empty wilderness and tanks presumably containing soldiers who are never seen. No great speeches are necessary, it is a simple matter of kill or be killed.
The original Red Dawn was filmed in the 1980s, an era when movie-makers allowed tension to quietly build up. By contrast, in the 2000s we have an era of noisy blockbusters and great speeches. But Red Dawn  was no blockbuster. It was an average remake made by an average (if not below average) movie studio, by average cocaine-snorting movie producers who are out simply to make a profit off of the successes of Hollywood's past.