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The Red Dawn Remake

Sometimes it seems like both policymakers and pundits yearn for the halcyon, clear-cut days of the Cold War … back when foreign policy and morality in trans-Atlantic relations had the ambiguity of a coin toss, and the whole world felt just one accident away from nuclear annihilation. It was a hell of a field day for Hollywood as well, which churned out the doomsday blockbusters with prolific flair. Perhaps it says something about where we are today in U.S.-Russia relations that a movie studio is rushing to do a remake of America’s popular 1984 sonnet to the Cold War, Red Dawn – an impossibly patriotic action movie featuring teenagers in a Mid-Western town who mount a mujahideen-like resistance to the unexpected Soviet occupation of their city. In other words, it was preposterous, scaremongering, and completely entertaining. David Plotz has a pretty entertaining column about the remake of this trashy B movie (really not comparable to The Russians Are Coming), which he argues “embodies conservative nutterdom in a way few films not made by Mel Gibson have ever managed,” and “…on re-viewing, Red Dawn isn’t a stark reminder of Cold War fears. Rather, it’s a pretty good movie about Iraq, with the United States in the role of the Soviets and the insurgents in the role of the Wolverines. Also, the Russians are getting into this propaganda film stuff also…