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Published: Friday, 6/11/2010

The '80s are back on the silver screen


Today, the 1980s get revenge.

For a decade of pop culture that is often derided and dismissed as crass and uninspired, there remains a great deal of nostalgia to be mined by the money-minded. This weekend, pure capitalism and target marketing combine forces to give moviegoers an '80s two-fer: 'The Karate Kid' and 'The A-Team.'

The former was a surprisingly sweet film drama exploring the awkward high school year of a bullied teen. It was well-received by critics and audiences.

The A-Team was a mindless, family-friendly network TV show that promoted nonviolent conflict resolution through violence that appealed to teens, and left critics mostly puzzled by its popularity.

Neither of the new films is inspired — nor did either top anyone's list of "movies I'd like to see." But brand recognition is important to film studios — audience familiarity means a built-in fan base, an easy marketing strategy, and lofty opening-weekend projections.

Can "Cheers: The Movie" and a remake of "The Goonies" be far behind?

Only box-office receipts and licensing rights will say for sure.

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