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On the horns of a dilemma: Jumpin’ Jack Flash vs. Red Dawn

An anonymous reader asks:

If I have a choice to watch either Jumpin’ Jack Flash or Red Dawn, which mid 80s movie should I watch?

I first want to point out that this is a free country, and you are not obliged to suffer through either of these movies. However, perhaps you’re in a different country (I should add a location field to my question form) where the citizens are forced to endure such things; I suppose it might dull their sensibilities and make them less likely to question the government.

I haven’t actually seen Red Dawn, but I am an expert in it because I read the wikipedia entry and looked it up in Jumpin’ Jack Flash is, unfortunately, seared in my memory, so I didn’t need to look it up. Now, it’s possible that is seems worse in retrospect than it was at the time, because I can neither forget nor forgive that Whoopi has since been in Burglar, with that annoying squeaky sidekick, and Sister Act 2, which prompted me to write members of the California legislature to urge that bad scriptwriting be made a capital crime. It’s a little hard to believe that one can go downhill after Jumpin’ Jack Flash, but there it is.

I guess the bottom line comes down to your personal preference. Would you rather see a film with a few laugh lines but sloppy acting and plot holes you could drive a T-72 tank through? Or would you prefer to see one with cardboard villains that glorifies violence, with an average rate of 2.23 violent acts per minute? My wife won’t watch films with icky bits in them, so if I had to choose one I’d probably re-watch Jumpin’ Jack Flash so at least I wouldn’t have to suffer alone. But I would bring a good book along.

By the way, if you just require a good mid-80’s movie, and it doesn’t have to be one of these, may I draw your attention to ‘Back to the Future’?