The Eighties keep coming
11 Images

More of the ‘80s: Don’t call it a comeback

The Eighties keep coming
By Jevon Phillips and Robert Vivoda

To say the ‘80s are making a comeback in entertainment would be an understatement: The decade has been en vogue for years. The fanboy faction is staking its claim, too, by bringing back, or planning to bring back, favorites to the big and small screens. “Bionic Woman,” “Knight Rider” and “Battlestar Galactica” have had their shot, with results ranging from euphoric (“BSG”) to not-even-a-season-completed (the other two). In film, “Transformers” blew in, setting records at the box office, while “G.I. Joe” launched its assault and “Tron Evolution” continued a beloved story, both with middle-of-the-road success. Despite the mixed bag, no one is shying away from the decade.

Here are a few retread projects, listed in terms of what they were and what we want them to have in any future incarnations -- and if they’ve already happened, what the result was. (NBC / Paramount)
G.I. Joe
We had: Two miniseries ran in 1983 and ’84, but after that the real action began. In 1985 a main series began, but was canceled in ’86 after 95 episodes. Watching Joe as a real American military hero was just like saluting the flag.

We got: New recruits Channing Tatum (Duke), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord) and crew tackled Cobra. The team was an international mix of heroes, so not as gung-ho (so to speak) “real American hero” as the cartoon. The second film, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” centered on Dwayne Johnson and crew fighting the odds. The Rock is the people’s champ, but we need more.

We want: More individualism, a tad less militaristic monotone. That’s what made the series fun and popular. Recent superhero movies like “X-Men” proved you probably can’t be as flashy as comic book/cartoon characters in live-action, but give us something to differentiate. (Frank Masi / Paramount Pictures)
We had: A war broke out between the Autobots and Decepticons in 1984 and ended in 1987, at least on TV. The series had a brief stint in the mid-'90s as well, airing from 1993-95. And even if you didn’t watch the show, the toys were pretty sweet.

We got: Over $2.5 billion between three movies, and a mass of metal warriors rolling around. Michael Bay even apologized for the second film.

We want: It looks as though we’ll get to see a few more of the characters with a fourth on the way. Still, we demand Dinobots! (Paramount Pictures)
Alvin and the Chipmunks
We had: The TV series about the musical group of rodents ran from 1983-87, when it then switched production studios and ran through 1990. A movie, “The Chipmunk Adventure,” was also released in 1987.

We got: The live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was released in 2007. The film was successful enough that “The Squeakquel” was produced and made a minor splash in 2009, and a “Chipwrecked” third film bombed in 2011.

We want: Alvin slips up sometimes with his delusions, but remember when the Chipmunks just cared about the music and not big record deals and partying like rock stars? Where did those Chipmunks go? (20th Century Fox)
We had: Batman’s popularity, if you can believe it, was not as hot in the early ‘80s. Then came Frank Miller’s reinvention of the Dark Knight and the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton film hit in ’89.

We got: Since then, George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale have donned the cowl and made their gravely-voiced way through Gotham City criminals, including an Oscar-winning Heath Ledger as the Joker and the Oscar-winning Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

We want: Because the new iteration takes a more realistic, less super-powered approach, reinventing villains along the way, maybe another team-up. Tom Hardy as Bane was great, but maybe someone would like to add a cameo of another hero, even if it’s sans cape. Filmmakers want their creations to live in a vacuum, but really, that shouldn’t be the case. We hear Superman/Batman is ont he way. (Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.)
The Smurfs
We had: Papa Smurf and all his little blue friends were on for eight years until 1989. The cartoon originated in the ‘50s, but wasn'’t a TV show until 1981.

We got: “The Smurfs” 2011 movie and the 2013 “Smurfs 2,” both, like “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” live-action CGI. Gargamel is still a jerk.

We want: More than what we see in the trailers. Katy Perry was a coup, but more recognizable voices might be fun. Maybe even a Smurfbrunette? (Peyo/IMPS)
The A-Team
We had: Murdoch, the crazy guy. Faceman, the chameleon and infiltrator. B.A. Baracus, the specialist with weapons and a certain customized van. Hannibal, the leader who loves it when a plan comes together.

We got: Murdoch, the crazy guy. Faceman, the chameleon and infiltrator. B.A. Baracus, specialist with weapons and a certain customized van. Hannibal, the leader who loves it when a plan comes together.

We want: We got what we wanted. Firing a tank downward in mid-air while dropping from an exploding plane to slow your descent? Awesome. ‘Nuff said. (NBC)
We had: The 1982 sci-fi film was about computer programmer Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) and his problems at work when his program is stolen. It only gets worse when he is digitalized and sent into the computer and must battle the evil forces that exist.

We got: A continuation of the story in the “Tron Evolution” sequel. Flynn’s son is lured into the computer world and must help his father stop a digital invasion of our reality. There’s a digital disco and a race of digitally organic beings found. We also got Daft Punk, Michael Sheen and Olivia Wilde.

We want: Olivia’s character, and possible powers(?), in the real world is something to explore next. (Walt Disney)
We’ve had: The original anime cartoon and defender of the universe, “Voltron” ran briefly from 1984 to 1985. There were lions, then cars in a later iteration, that all formed a giant, helpful robot warrior.

We got: The TV show “Voltron Force” took flight in 2011, but not much excitement followed.

We want: A movie ... with robot lions! Trucks are overrated, and minivans have terrible acceleration. Yes, “Transformers” and even “Power Rangers” have planted their flags with machines that change around, but Voltron predates them, is more outer space-based and should have its say. (Anime Works)
We’ve had: In the ‘80s, he was a tough-X-man adventuring, memory-loss having, authority-balking, cigar-chomping, hit-'em-first-ask-questions-later mayhem-causing Weapon X mutant in comics and cartoons. Later he toned down a bit, but he’s still the best there is at what he does.

We got: Three “X-Men” films, his own “Origins” story, an anime version and a 2013 movie.

We want: Hugh Jackman got to tell the personal story many wanted to see. Now? Back to the X-Men interaction, and “Days of Future Past” is on the way. (James Fisher / 20th Century Fox)
We had: The television series ran for five seasons from 1985-90. “"Thundercats-HO!,"” the animated feature film, was released between the first and second seasons.

We got: A 2011 Thundercats TV show with younger characters and a bit different origin story, and an oft rumored movie.

We want: Lion¿O wielding the Sword of Omens, like he’s doing in the photo here. Unless there is singing and dancing, leave the leotards in the past. (Cartoon Network)