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'FOOTLOOSE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
This is one of those movies I really enjoyed a lot because I was expecting so little from it. I never saw the original 1984 Kevin Bacon cult classic in it's entirety (although now I'd really like to) so I'm obviously not a big fan of it and had no unreasonable expectations in that way. I just expected the movie to be light pop teen fare, appealing only to an MTV ADD audience but I was pleasantly surprised. I've read this updated remake is extremely faithful to the original (many critics say too faithful). It was co-written by the original film's writer (Dean Pitchford, who also wrote most of the songs) and Craig Brewer who also directed the film (Brewer also wrote and directed such popular edgy films as 'HUSTLE & FLOW' and 'BLACK SNAKE MOAN'). I can't compare it to the original (nor should I) but this film is definitely a well made crowd pleaser.
Professional dancers Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough were cast as the two leads in the film, rather than actors, and they turn in better performances than most any other young popular stars could in their place (especially the likes of Zac Effron and Chace Crawford, who were originally considered for the leading male role). Wormald plays Ren McCormack, a teen from Boston who recently lost his mother to cancer and moves in with his Aunt (Kim Dickens) and Uncle (Ray McKinnon) in the small town of Bomont Georgia. Ren, being a free spirit, clashes with the ultra-conservative town where several absurd Christian paternalistic laws were put in place three years earlier when the town's popular reverend, Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid), lost his son (along with four of his friends) to a drunk driving accident. The harsh laws include a teen curfew as well as laws against playing rock music too loud and dancing. Shaw's daughter Ariel (Hough) is also a rebellious free spirit who's been sinking further and further into depression since the loss of her brother and absence of her father (on an emotional level). Ren and Ariel hit it off but Ren is of course seen as a virus to the town which begins a moral war.
The movie is very inspiring as well as surprisingly emotionally moving in places. It's also just a great feel good movie thanks in large part to the overall craftsmanship of the film as well as the performances and crowd pleasing soundtrack. Wormald makes an impressive leading man debut and Hough is great eye candy, turning in one of the hottest performances of the year. I know it's missing the Bacon but I think Wormald could be every bit as talented an actor as Kevin (although it's way too early to really tell). Like I said I don't know how good the original was to compare it to (hopefully I soon will though) but every remake should be based solely on it's own merits anyway. This is a good film, it does everything it sets out to do in a quality way. Should please everyone but the die-hard fans of the original.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a fan of the storyline of footloose. not only have I seen the new version but I have watched the original several times and was even involved with a play version at the local theater on Whidbey Island in Washington state. The Pros easily outweigh the cons of this movie. it contains better acting, better dancing, a stronger storyline, and the emphasis of family and friends are portrayed much better, it is also not as racist, and the age of the cast is better portrayed to the characters they play. the reason why I point out that the acting was better is because if you look at the original the cast are just bland in the way they act compared to how they would act if it were an everyday thing. the laws of Bomont are supposed to be considered irregular and yet the original cast act as if nothing has changed. the cast members who do put in emphasis on their feelings go overboard and need to tone down. this movie portrays that not just minor cast members can dance but so can everybody else. in the original one if you watch Kevin Bacon in the Warehouse scene I will be honest but is one of the worst forms of dancing to show his emotions that I have ever scene in a movie. yes he is a gymnast but the scooting back thing he does with his shirt is absolutely unnecessary. in this version Ren has lost his mom to Leukemia and was abandoned by his dad whereas he must go to live with his aunt, uncle, uncle and two younger cousins. in the original he is just a punk kid whining about leaving the big city and not being accepted for who he is. the reason why I feel the emphasis of family and friends is better portrayed is because in this one you see more kindness out of the uncles heart instead of being a jackass for most of the original. he is able to see where Ren is coming from and defend him. in the original one you barely see the cousins or the aunt. now why on earth would the original even think about leaving out family members. the reason why I have pointed out that it this version isn't as racist is because in the original you clearly see everybody in pretty much an all white community whereas in this one the people are consisted of different race and ethnicity. I mean really the original should have gotten over themselves it was in the eighties not the sixties, our country should have been more accepting by then especially in the movies. in the original they couldn't decide between having older kids or younger adults. the girl who played Ariel in 1984 was 27 back then and looked like she was actually thirty compared to the new one she at least looks like she could have pulled off eighteen or nineteen. for my final statement to all those critics who dare dis on the remake get over yourselves one, two if you think your not going to like it don't watch it, three don't actually make comparisons unless you know what your talking about, four let others choose for themselves because everybody has different taste in movies, and finally look at every perspective and detail before judging there is more than you realize putting together a movie. if any of you think you can do better than the directors you can try making a version yourself and then be criticized by millions of people who don't agree with you.
This was a good movie, if it wasn't a remake. If they had never come out with the original footloose and this was a random movie that was made and not a remake it would have been worth watching, but knowing how great the original Footloose was this movie was abysmal. Julianne Hough, did a good job, but doesn't compare to Lori Singer, the original Arial. It seemed as if she didn't put enough effort into the character she was playing, and when they gave her a line that was word for word from the original script she tried way too hard to make it right she butchered the original line.However, Kenny Wormald did an OK job as Ren MacCormick, but he could never out shine the original actor, Kevin Bacon. Yes he is a great dancer and yes he did a good acting the part, but when it came to having the charm and problems of Ren MacCormick he was no good at making it believable. The part that really made me wanna turn away from the movie was the scene when Ren is upset and lets out his anger in dance. they ruined the scene the original scene was much more heart racing and more wow then the one in the remake most definitely. That said, another thing that made me not like the remake is the way they killed the original songs, either use the same song or a different one don't have new singers remake the song and use it! One of my favorite songs in the movie is Hero originally sung by Bonnie Tyler. In this remake they decided to make it a slow song and that was a major mistake! However, Blake Shelton's remake of Kenny Loggins Footloose was amazing! The only character i cared for was Miles Teller who played Willard. He sounded and had the same sense of humor as Chris Penn who had played the original. I think he is the only one who had actually kept me entertained and brought me back to the original. Im not even gonna go into detail of Dennis Quaid's part of Shaw. Just gonna say awful! all in all this was an OK movie but i have to say, major disappointment!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There have been remakes both good and bad... This is as bad as they
get. When Molly Shannon played a High school girl in "Superstar"
despite having been 30 something it was funny. This mess was nothing
short of tragic. They all looked like 30 something hipster dufises.
The updated premise was awful I can understand a Preacher being against the writhing and temptation of modern Dance. This hunk-a-junk blames dancing for careless driving and intoxication. Like teens won't find a way to party dance or no dance.
The performances were flat and contrived @ best. I'm not one of those people married to the original cast and film. I have seen 5 different productions on stage and liked 3 of them very much. This was mindless drivel by comparison to even the 2 I didn't like.
Plain and simple save your money avoid this turkey @ all costs!!!
This modern remake of a cultish classic is at least as palatable as the
original. The updates work well for this kind of film, which is,
admittedly, a semi-musical. So I was pleasantly surprised that it was
worth the price of admission, with some change back to boot.
To make it enjoyable the film at least had to do the music and dancing well, which it did. The two young stars, Julianne Hough as Ariel Moore (a preacher's daughter) and an unknown for me; Kenny Wormald as Ren MacCormack, did deliver on the dance floor. Both of them are superb dancers and Hough, especially, looked great in the saloon, line dancing scene. I think part of the reason she's amazing to watch is because she looks like she's having the time of her life.
But music and dancing can't be the whole movie, we hope, so there has to be dabs of acting to weld the disparate pieces together. The sparks to accomplish the welds are some fine moments by all the supporting actors. It leads off with Dennis Quaid, playing Hough's ministerial father. He's turned into an excellent actor over the years and is believable in the role. There is also Ray McKinnon as Wormald's uncle. He's an asset to the film, one of the best actors on screen that night. Miles Teller as Willard, Wormald's side-kick was surprisingly good, an engaging personality that gave some comedic relief to the rest of the proceedings. The rest of the supporting cast were assets as well; Andie MacDowell as Hough's mother. Then there was Patrick John Flueger as Chuck Cranston, the resident bad guy along with the town meanie played by Brett Rice as Roger Dunbar. Also, worth note was Ziah Colon as Rusty; Hough's friend.
But the real acting surprise, and treat, was Ms. Hough. She was not only believable in just the right degree at the serious, crucial, points but solid throughout. The character she played called for a fair range of emotions and it was a genuine pleasure to watch her deliver every time. Even in the films early scenes, she looked radiant sans makeup. I appreciated the addition of those glimpses of her natural state, because as a trained artist I saw them as a great study in the structure of a classic beauty. I think she's the rare girl who looks just as beautiful without the makeup. And on top of that she can act. In this instance, she clearly outshines the female lead in the original. Hough's stunning looks are soon overshadowed in the film by the sheer talent she so effortlessly gives the audience.
By Bruce L. Jones http://webpages.charter.net/bruce.jones1/
A terrific remake on par with the original from 1984 with Kevin Bacon.
TMG generally scorns remaking good films, but this one hits the mark.
It helps greatly that newbie Kenny Wormald started dancing when he was
only six years old. The story is exactly the same. So is most of the
music. Dennis Quaid takes the role of the father-preacher held in the
original by John Lithgow and does a decent job. So why does this film
work so well again? The dancing is literally off the wall great. Visit
ArtandJoyofMovies.com and listen to America's No.1 radio show on
The Footloose story is loosely based upon the history of Elmore City, Oklahoma, not the fictional city of Bomont, Midwest Somewhere. While Elmore had banned dancing for 100 years until high school kids changed things in 1980, both 1984 and 2011 versions are based upon a ban arising from a tragic car accident after a party five years earlier. All said, the story plays second fiddle to the dancing and music. Great film? Maybe not. Great entertainment? You bet. TMG loved it!
Sorry.. but aside from a few moments.. it's a very very sad misguided
bad attempt at the original.
#1.. pro dancers s "real" characters... that alone sunk it.
#2.. horribly unneeded remakes of original songs... really???? #3.. BS "acting" from above mentioned pro dancers. They can dance.. no one will argue.. but god help them when they try to act.
Sorry but HORRIBLE is the end result for those of us that know better.. and have lived it.
Elaboration beyond this is a waste of typing other than as a warning to those knowing the original and contemplating this POS.
Oh and "DonFishies" nailed it for the last paragraph... possibly the only real redeeming performance.. sad as I am to say it.. :(
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So, I won't lie, I went into this movie very skeptical and scoffing at
the idea of a remake of Footloose. After seeing it advertised endlessly
and not generally being interested, I only went with friends because it
was one of the few movies we could agree on. Two hours later, however,
I walked of the theater with a grin from ear to ear.
This might be attributed to the great atmosphere in the theater; between my friends and everyone else there, we were all having a great time laughing and cheering and commenting on things. However, the movie itself was quite entertaining as well. Without going into to much detail, this is Footloose, almost just like you knew it, just in the modern day and with new actors. Not all of the actors are perfect, but, as a whole, they have a charm about them that makes you like them.
The dancing, obviously, is wonderful. Almost all the dance scenes are energetic and interesting, filled with some great moves from all cast members. The music, while still retaining some of the classics, is updated with mixed results. Not all of the songs are as fun as the originals but it is understandable for the modern tone here.
On a bad note, though, there are some parts of the film that aren't the best. Some plot holes (a character getting arrested but showing up later) and a story we all already know by heart don't make the plot anything to write home about. There are also some questionable scenes that feel odd in how they were updated (I'm looking at you new "tractor race" and solo dance in the warehouse).
Overall, though, I had a blast. I laughed, I jived as much as my seat would allow me, and I genuinely had a good time which is what I went to the movies for in the first place. I'm not sure why everyone is being so hard on this movie; it's quit a good adaptation that brings Footloose's energy and excitement to a new generation. If you go in with an open mind, and fun-loving people, expect to have a blast; just don't hope for anything new.
*** (out of 4)
Remake of the 1984 cult classic about a small town who pretty much shuts down all alcohol, loud music and dancing after five seniors are killed in a car crash after a party. Soon a guy from Boston (Kenny Wormald) coming to town and wanting to see things changed. He ends up involved with a troubled young girl (Julianne Hough) who just happens to be the daughter of the preacher (Dennis Quaid) keeping everything under control. There's not a single frame in this remake that comes close to the appeal of the first movie but based on its own merits, this here really isn't too bad and it's entertaining enough to make it worth sitting through once but if you're unfamiliar with the Kevin Bacon version then that's definitely the one to start with. There were a few problems with this version including the fact that the film really drags at 112-minutes. The movie feels quite long at times and especially the final thirty-minutes when things turn a bit too slow. Also, you have to take into consideration that this is pretty far from original as it's basically just a straight remake, although this one here updates some of the music. Still, for the most part I found the story to be entertaining and the characters, while not as good as in the original, fun enough to make this worth sitting through. I thought Wormald did a pretty good job in the lead, although that annoying Boston accent seemed to come and go in ever scene. Hough made for a good good girl trying to be bad. Quaid was fun in his supporting role and we even get Andie McDowell playing his wife. The rest of the teens fit their roles nicely. The music here is another plus as it sticks to some old stuff as well as mixing in the new while also sampling from many genres. This remake of FOOTLOOSE certainly wasn't needed and as I said it doesn't improve on a single thing but it's still an entertaining movie.
This is not a full review of the movie, as I would hope everyone knows
the premise of Footloose!
The original is a modern classic. But I would have to say that, after seeing the original again last night, I am really impressed with the remake.
Overall, the characters are more believable and the set-up for the story, the reason why Ren ended up in the town, the death of the son in the car accident and the impact it had on the family is just more believable to me.
Sure, Kevin Bacon, overall plays a better Ren. But Kenny Wormald did a great job too... looked great and can DANCE! It must be hard to play such an iconic character that is associated with one particular actor.
My one nark is that Julianne Hough is too old to play a high-schooler.
So, don't get too emotional, looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses. Rewatch the original (For the movie - not reminiscing about the memories it invokes) and you might just be impressed with the new version.
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