There are few things in life more infuriating than seeing a beloved film of yesteryear get introduced to a new generation in the form of a subpar remake. Now, not having yet seen Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate Kid, I can't fairly speak to its quality. But let's be real here. It's going to be pretty hard to accept Jaden as the karate kid when he's not doing any karate in the movie. (The decision to make The Karate Kid a kung fu movie has to be to be the early front-runner for the Biggest WTF? Moment Award at next year's MTV Movie Awards.)
Whenever a remake as unnecessary as The Karate Kid pops up, I find myself scrambling to buy DVDs of the original for all the kids I know in the hopes they will be brought up on the correct versions of these movies. But that can be exhausting and expensive work. So instead, I propose a definitive "No Remake" list of the '80s films I grew up with and do not want to see tarnished. Here are the films I feel are most in need of protection.
The John Hughes Power Trifecta (The Breakfast Club/Pretty in Pink/Sixteen Candles)
These teen comedies are all now well on their way to turning 30, but not a single one of them is showing any signs of their age. Today's kids don't need updated versions of these films, because they are still not only finding and enjoying the originals, but continuing to quote them and put the posters on their walls. Besides, considering how much these films have influenced every teen movie that came after them, from 10 Things I Hate About You to Twilight, remakes would just feel redundant.
Back to the Future
Universal Studios may have deemed this film no longer relevant when they closed down its ride at their theme parks, but that doesn't mean it's time for a remake. Back to the Future was an action/adventure comedy from a simpler era of moviemaking, before special effects began to rule over character development. A movie about a mad scientist and a teenaged boy travelling through time in a Delorean wouldn't be half as charming with an overblown director like Michael Bay behind the wheel. Let's just accept that this Future is now in our past and cherish the memories rather than try to re-create the magic.
Like Back to the Future, Ghostbusters is a movie where I feel a remake would most likely replace charm with technology. But more importantly, it would be a fool's errand to try to replace the chemistry of this legendary cast. Also, hope is not completely dead for the idea of reuniting the team for a third film. Although making a much delayed sequel poses its own risks (see: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), I'd much rather see the old gang back together than young imposters attempt to take their place.
Desperately Seeking Susan
Some trends just belong to a certain era, and the amnesia/mistaken identity plot device clearly belongs to the '80s. Desperately Seeking Susan is still a fun movie to watch, if only to see Madonna at the height of her lace gloves/floppy-bow fashion glory, but a remake of a movie with a plot as silly as this one (bored housewife buys a leather jacket, gets amnesia, gets mistaken by the mob for Madonna) would be relegated to the Lifetime/ABC Family TV movie ghetto.
Between video games and the Internet, today's kids just don't seem to have time for things like searching for pirate treasure anymore. The Goonies was a gem of a movie that perfectly blended its foul teen humor with a genuine sense of adventure and wonder. The teen stars that would be available to star in a current remake, whether it be Miley Cyrus with her desperation to be edgy or cast members from CW's cynical roster of teen soaps, all seem like they'd only bring one half of that equation. This proves the point that although I might not want to see my beloved '80s movies remade, I wouldn't mind it if some of today's movies were able to capture their fun, silly spirit.