Fame (2009) Poster

(2009)

User Reviews

Review this title
81 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
2/10
As to be expected
Film-Slave24 September 2009
Tons of homogeneous talent -- the tooth bleach is blinding. No story, no rhythm (oddly enough), over-processed young actors with expensive haircuts and wardrobe.

This film isn't about a school with young hopefuls, it's about a fictitious institution packed full of painfully beautiful pimple-free young people.

In the original film, a handful of personalities burst onto screen and their characters were revealed as layers peeled away.

In this version, tons of hotties are thrown in and popped like corn. Nothing memorable occurs, no great songs or outstanding characters. This should have been called "Fame: Another High School Musical" Looked up the director on IMDb.com and he produced Briney Spears' tours -- talk about unoriginal, packed with fluff, and emotionally depthless. He brings all those qualities to this film.
104 out of 128 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
Fame - An Unfortunate Snoozer
OgyJoe24 September 2009
I remember when I was younger I enjoyed the original Fame movie. Although I currently can't remember anything about the movie at all, save for the theme song. Tonight I got the chance to see the sneak peek of the 2009 version. Overall, I wasn't impressed. What was wrong with the movie? 1.) The plot…or lack thereof. There were so many "main" characters, that the scenes just jumped from one to another without any real cohesion. Sometimes there were even two scenes going on at the same time with the camera flashing back and forth between the two.

2.) The timeline. Before each "section" of the movie, you got a title like "Freshman Year", "Sophomore Year", "Junior Year", and "Senior Year". This would have been fine if they spent any time in these years. Instead, they went by so fast that the title just threw off the pace. For example, you get introduced to the characters and see "Freshman Year". Then you get to see their insecurities and character flaws all over the course of one day. The next day is "Sophomore Year" and the characters have made no forward progress since day one of freshman year. The movie could have been vastly improved by simply stripping out these time stamps.

3.) Character development. Tied to the first two problems with this movie is the character development. There is so much going on and time passes so fast that you don't really get to see much development of many of the characters. I understand there is only so much time in the movie, but that could have been resolved by reducing the number of "lead" characters. If you reduced the number of people we had to keep track of, we'd be able to see more how those characters evolve, and care more about them in the end.

4.) Lack of resolution. None of these characters really show any sign of improvement until the last scene in the movie, and then we still get no resolution on how things turned out. The last scene is graduation and we have no idea if any of these people amounted to anything after that. Very few even make mention to what they MIGHT be doing after the movie ends. Heck, I would have even settled for the lame freeze frame with written text explaining what people went on to do (which is a pretty cheesy cheat out of writing a resolution to your story as is).

5.) Predictability and memorable characters/scenes. I am going to lump these two issues together, because they go pretty much hand-in-hand. the movie from beginning to end was pretty predictable. There were absolutely zero surprises within. As a result, there was very little memorable about the movie. In fact, without looking at IMDb, I couldn't name a single character in the movie.

So was there anything good about the movie? I guess for what it was, it was an okay movie. No real surprises, and nothing you are going to remember any length of time from now (which is maybe why I don't remember the first movie). But I did enjoy the gratuitous completely unrealistic cafeteria jam session on day one of Freshman Year. And some of the cast music (which I assume was mostly original…at least nothing I've heard elsewhere) was good. Actually, I would have been okay if it was just one jam session after another, because I kinda dug that cheesy scene. Otherwise I say that if you are really interested in this movie, or perhaps a fan of the previous one, wait for the DVD. There are much better movies you could spend your money watching, especially since tickets are so high these days.
82 out of 109 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
They should officially change the name to LAME.
cre8ed23 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
okay.... so first things first.... I was invited to the N.Z. premiere tonight in Auckland of the new "Fame" reboot or remake or whatever you want to call it. I thought free food, a few celebrities to stalk and some free beers and then the movie to end it all, sounds like a good night. I grew up with the 80's fame on t.v. I saw Leroy rocking it weekly on screen... so yeah I was interested to see how they re-branded this film for the new millennium. To be frank, I was not expecting "Fame" to be an academy award masterpiece but I was still very intrigued after watching the trailer, the music sounded cool, the atmosphere seemed a little charged the trailer was cut nicely... but sadly... thats where all the excitement ended in the trailer.....

This movie is b- to- the -oring.!! BORING! So I will be mentioning some spoilers so stop reading here if that's an issue for you.... got an issue grab a tissue.

Basically they take a bunch of very talented up and coming singers, dancers, actors etc and they cram 4 freaking years of this elusive, over the top, hardest school in the world to get accepted to into a roughly 90 minute film. Every 25 minutes was one year.. starting with a "freshman year" title on the screen... then about 25 minutes later fade to black and "sophomore year" then about 25 minutes later "junior" etc etc... this spread the movie extremely thin... although the leads hair grew longer or haircuts changed so you knew they were older and more mature.

They have the cliché young black guy who is full of torment and angst that his father left him, who sits all melancholy in the stairwell while everyone else is in the cafeteria dancing on tables and plugging in guitars and hitting bongos. There is the young black woman who is being forced to play classical piano by her parents when all she really wants to do is be free and sing her heart out... because no one cares about her needs. There is the typical geeky video guy who always seems to have a camera in his hands when you see him, the gay male ballet dancer who no matter how hard he tries cannot cut it and impress his teacher.... blah blah blah and the young girl actress wannabe singer who starts singing in a little tiny voice all shy and quiet, so you would expect that bam she will find herself and come out of her shell like her teachers have been telling her the ENTIRE 4 YEARS!!!!! BUT NO.... nothing changes... she doesn't get a big voice, stays wooden and timid and shy... I mean seriously I thought this school was supposed to be only accepting the best of the best! They just spent the first 20 minutes showing us auditions and having the school principal tell everyone that thousands audition but only a few hundred are accepted!! There are so many cheesy moments, from the black guy saying "aiightt" to the "I just want my parents to be proud of me" to the boyfriend "I'm just going to sing to you and give you a big hug and then cartoon rabbits will come out and doves will lower a silk scarf around your neck and there will be world peace and God bless you tiny tim"... what?!?! Okay so maybe I'm going a little over board but there was more cheese in this then a stuffed crust pizza from domino's.

I think the biggest problem with this film is you walk away with a "who cares" mindset. The fact that they have approx. 10 main roles and follow them for their four years of tuition which is crammed into 90 minutes of movie is so thin... you just don't care about the characters at all because you don't get to know them. Each person maybe gets about 15-20 minutes screen time max. Then you are left wondering so what about him or what about her or did she make the album or did he get kicked out or did they stay together or how did the father handle the news????!? The story is not interesting, it extremely average, there is ZERO edge to this reboot.... no pizazz no hype no excitement. It's plain dull.

I'm sure that young girls aged between 5-13 will like this, is this who 'fame' is catered towards??? I mean if tweens is the fame target demographic then it may do okay for a week or two. Sadly the biggest audience reaction from tonight's "Fame" premiere was when the "New Moon" trailer screened before the start.

Some good things..... The singing is amazing... the dancing is as you would expect incredible but over all that's it. The acting a big thumbs down, I came away from this feeling like it was a very expensive made for TV movie. The story is all over the place, spread top thin and unlike the trailer again I say there is no edge, It's like a pilot for a new TV series... actually.... is that what it is suppose to be?!?

FAME is LAME!
54 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
to quote --- http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/movie-review-fame-2009#comments
starrybucks828 September 2009
The movie had such a good vibe in the early stages before we actually started to shoot it. In fact, it had such good energy going on, that it was a pity it ended up being cut-up/chop-chopped and 'sanitized'. There were a lot of scenes that unfortunately did not make the final cut. These scenes showed stories about true friendship, love, passion, relationships, sexuality, disappointments and successes in detail thru character development. Though the locked version was 'tamed down' because of the PG rating, a DVD directors cut would probably show the actual stories of the 10 different characters.

It seemed that Mr. Tancharoen forgot (maybe intentionally?) that he had 10 characters to develop. It appeared that there was concentration on one, Ms. Panabaker (and how could her character pass such a rigid audition?), Mr. Book, Mr. Pennie, Ms. Naughton (who sang very well) and Ms. Payne. Whatever happened to Mr. Iacono, Mr. McGill, Ms. Perez de Tagle, Ms. Flores (Did you notice her? what character did she portray?) and Mr. Perez? What are their life stories or experiences? Being part of the crew, I witnessed a number of scenes where Joy (Anna Maria), Kevin (Paul McG, who plays a gay dancer…did you notice?) and Neil (Paul I, obsessed film maker) developed and established their friendship. There was a dramatic/touching scene where Joy and Kevin made the whole crew shed tears and I thought that would have been a clincher in the film. But sad to say, it ended up in the editors bin. Ms. Perez de Tagle should have been given more substantial scenes. She really is a "Joy" to watch. If I may add, Mr. McGill as handsome as he is, should have been given the same opportunity. In my opinion, these three characters would have been able to show the true color of FAME.

Needless to say, Mr. Tancharoen should have captured the true essence of the "New York PA youth" by utilizing and developing all of his characters evenly. In my opinion, he could have done that, if he had chosen to do so. However, it seems that Mr. Tancharoen concentrated on just one character's development……….Jenny (Ms. Panabaker)….whom he had 'captured' and "captivated" way before the filming was over. Sad, utterly sad, but true.

Give it a chance, view it in it's entirety. Maybe a PG-13 rating would have made the FAME re-invention……….'live forever' Thank you.

KW, Beverly Hills, CA
27 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
Fame seems pretty awful
forchristsake926 September 2009
Don't be fooled by the trailers, Fame is not as dazzling and inspiring as it may seem. Strip away the fancy lighting, music and camera work and you're left with nothing less than a cast of one dimensional, mundane, and unlikeable characters. The movie doesn't give enough time for any of the characters to develop and therefore, I ended up feeling like I barely knew the characters at all, even at the end of the film. I don't even think I could name all of them. The actual script and dialogue is not any better and the plot feels forced and irrelevant to what the movie claims to be about. From the looks of it, no one in the movie is cut out for actual "fame" with the exception of Payne's character who is portrayed as an arrogant and selfish dancer. The cast had a lot of potential to become very likable characters but because of the poor script, their performances fall flat and feel fake. I entered the movie with hopes of being entertained even if it was on a strictly "crowd pleaser" level. I left feeling like I had just wasted an hour and a half of my life learning that "success is love." There are no real resolutions to any of the character's trials and tribulations. Life must suck at this performing arts school because no one learns anything particularly profound or life changing. Don't waste your time with this movie, and if you still want to, at least wait for it to come out on DVD. The large screen, dark theater, and popcorn won't make this movie any better than the dud that it is.
46 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
A Nutshell Review: Fame
DICK STEEL25 September 2009
I had watched the original Fame movie when I was a kid, enough to know the theme song sung by Irene Cara, but little else. Fast forward to today, I'm pretty sure I still enjoyed the reworked theme song, but the film unfortunately is a disaster, with predictable story lines, cardboard characters, and while I'm quite OK that it may have tried to be more documentary like in its presentation, it just fell short on almost all accounts, save for some of the set musical pieces.

Despite its hip trailer aimed specifically at its demographic audience, the film just didn't work out, and tried too hard to resemble plenty of dance movies already out there, except that it did a lot more worse by injecting too many characters having everyone bear the brunt of the burden in carrying the film through its runtime, through supporting role appearances at best. Having cast a relative bunch of good looking unknowns also helped in providing the fresh-facedness required, but it's akin to watching a bad episode of American Idol, except that you don't get to choose who stays and who goes.

Granted it wanted to be more "School like" encompassing all the various subjects taught from dance to acting, in quite an elitist fashion in getting mere hundreds amongst thousands of applicants, and if quality control was so stringent, it provided critical flaws to the plausibility of the show. For one, these characters are talented folks, and it's just no good treating talented folks like toddlers in school, picking on every little thing they do wrong in hoping to polish those rough diamonds. Also, the screening of candidates, while provided some Audition hilarity, was mostly based on the whims of the various instructors, hence the kind of petty issues they dredge up for themselves, like the angry actor who thought the stage was his calling, throwing tantrums and in need for some serious counselling.

But the most critical flaw of them all, for a movie in its genre, is whence the buildup and character development? We're suppose to believe that after their graduation they're all "ready to make it" in the big, bad, unforgiving world of fine art performance. Unfortunately the output's pretty much the same as the input, save for a few characters who turned into perfect gems overnight, with nary any focus on their transformation. The best just coasted through school, while the worst (amongst the best) turned in much better performances through the sprinkle of magic dust or through the rubbing of shoulders. There must be something in the diet served by the school's canteen as well it seems.

Fame fell short and became plain, formula, predictable, and ultimately boring. The screenplay reeked laziness - who needs yet another teenage movie where it tells you that even the best amongst us suffer from trouble dished out by disapproving parents, romantic relationship roadblocks, yet another naive girl becoming bait for hot looking predatory guys, wanting to fulfill a deep desire and break out of routine, discrimination, trust and integrity. The list just goes on, no thanks to individual cardboard characters being assigned some thematic homework, and turning in the results in little episodes and scenes, without allowing the audience to build any emotional connection, or to even root for the underdogs.

It's ambitious too in its setting, taking on the entire school journey of these select group of youngsters, albeit without a real story, nor gelling them together in one coherent way. Technically, director Kevin Tancharoen (who had so far done music videos) and cinematographer Scott Kevan had opted for the shaky cam technique, for what reasons I do not fathom, and came off quite irritatingly. Someone should start preaching the virtues of mounting the camera of a tripod, versus making it a lame excuse to want to do it documentary style, or to allow for fluid motion in capturing the performances, not!

The only saving grace here, are some of the performances, be it group dance ensembles, or solo acts. I had preferred the former a lot more for their energy and choreography, and amongst all the disciplines, I personally enjoyed the dances a lot more, compared to the others like acting, or even singing, due to the rather lacklustre tunes and mediocre lyrics.

This is one film that I'd rather not remember its name, and could be called anything else other than a remake of Fame.
46 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
OK, but not spectacular.
Masterofschemes2428 September 2009
I really enjoyed seeing how talented they were, and it gets you feeling rhythmic. At first, I thought it was going to be a good movie, seeing how the auditions went. But, after that part and they went onto freshman year, I got a little disappointed. They showed the students' problems, and what they're going through to make it to be famous, but it almost seems like the director got bored of the movie itself, and just skipped through a lot in the movie. You don't see how the students' problems were faced and how they were solved, you first see them upset, and then at the end, they're happy and ready to graduate? That's not a very good plot, actually, there isn't a plot at all. I am upset with the movie, but the dancing was great. Overall, it really was enjoyable.
13 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Baby, Remember My Name
thecinemaview2 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The 1980 original, "Fame", was a gritty depiction of life at a public performing arts high school in New York City. The 2009 remake, "Fame", is a puff piece, never daring to handle any of the intense (yet still relevant) subject matter that was handled so eloquently by its predecessor. Rather than abortion and sexual assault, it focuses on stuff like troubled teen love and disapproving parents. Staying well within the parameters of its PG-rating (the original was rated R), it lacks the edginess and aforementioned grittiness that defined the film it emulates and, instead, closely resembles something that Disney might have produced as a vehicle for the likes of Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers. Fortunately, I like Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers...and, all flaws aside, I surprisingly enjoyed "Fame". It is not the important and relevant film than it probably wants to be, but it is a fun, well-made, and nicely-acted display of its young stars' undeniable talent.

Read My Full Review Exclusively At: www.thecinemaview.blogspot.com
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
In the light of Art school films, just more development!
brownah1813 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If you're thinking this is just another Step-Up, Save the Last Dance, or Raise Your Voice, you're wrong, but there are definite similarities. This features a school for the arts, much like the other film, but this one goes through a bit more character development.

Everyone has to audition to see if they have what it takes to get into the school. Starring Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammar, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles Dutton, and other stars that aren't really well known to me. The bigger names are all teachers who help the students with their musical and acting talent. This movie gets into what families struggle through to get their kids into a really good school. Including making hard decisions and in the end letting them make their own choices. Relationships are tested and if you really care about someone, you will not let anything get in the way. This movie may seem dull at first, but it was a good one to watch and might just be more exciting than the others I have mentioned.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
Screenwriter Bit Off More than he/she could Chew
ryan_mccafferty27 September 2009
Definitely, a niche movie that only relates to teens already in the performing arts. To me it felt like the writer crammed 4 seasons of Degrassi or all 3 High School Musicals into 140 minutes. All in all, there wasn't a sufficient amount of time to flesh out any aspect of the movie.

Way too many characters. Dull musical numbers. Bland choreography. Uninteresting AND unnecessary romantic subplots.

The movie should have focused more on the professional growth of each student over the course of freshman year by really spotlighting the student/teacher dynamic.

Instead the movie flaunts the futile personal endeavors of each student over a four year span at a prestigious academy. So by the end, the high school backdrop felt completely pointless because the students learned absolutely nothing to separate their senior level experience from the original insecurity of their auditions.
30 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Go in expecting a collection of enthralling dance numbers and you will be walking out a satisfied customer
Troy_Campbell30 September 2009
Kevin Tancharoen's rambunctious first feature film (after directing a series of music TV shows like "The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll") isn't as mawkish or amateur as you may expect. He may not have Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg looking over their shoulders, but Tancharoen clearly knows how to shoot a dance sequence. Thankfully he understands what the audience want from a movie like this and it isn't lengthy conversations or scenes to showcase the young stars' acting chops, we want exceptional dancing mixed with an ear-pleasing soundtrack. From that standpoint this first-timer delivers.

We meet the characters during the introduction as they audition for a spot in the highly sought-after academy, each one of them showing their obvious skills over a well crafted montage that establishes the tone for the rest of the movie. From there we go from one rhythmic set piece to another, of varying enjoyment levels, with the absolute highlight coming from a Halloween party boogie at the halfway point. The gigantic finale goes for broke however doesn't quite reach the heights it should. Also worth noting is Tancharoen's ability to ensure non-dance enthusiasts (like myself) will be entertained no matter what art form is on display; those who think they could never take pleasure in ballet just try and not be entranced with the routine led by the lithe Kherington Payne in the second half.

Every film needs a plot and character arcs mind you and this is where Fame's failings become quite evident. The massive ensemble cast is simply too big; trying to follow the amount of individuals on offer is often frustrating. When you start to like someone they disappear for 30 minutes whilst we see the other dozen or so stories unfold, and only randomly do they intersect each other. Of the young cast Kay Panabaker, Asher Brook and Paul Iacono are the pick whilst the wise and wonderful teachers are best served by Bebe Neuwirth and Charles S. Dutton.

So how much is the final result affected by the hit-and-miss acting (the romantic scenes between the teens are excruciating), unfocused screenplay and ridiculous reasons to break out in song and dance? Not all that much to be honest. A film that can be this fun to watch doesn't deserve to be hung up on faulting elements such as these. Go in expecting a collection of enthralling dance numbers and you will be walking out a satisfied customer.

3.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
22 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
FAME? I think not.
taiiiintedlove25 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Fame was quite a let down I must say. I feel like I've just wasted about 2 hours of my life and $10 on a movie that I literally got up to use the bathroom during and had no drive to return to the theater other than it being my friends birthday. To start, there were so many main characters I didn't even catch half their names during the movie...except when there was some overly dramatic (yet insanely slow paced and boring) scene about how they were leaving school in which case their name was no longer important because their character was eliminated. It was hard to connect or feel any type of emotion for any of the characters because they were so disconnected and their background stories (if they had any) were incredibly vague. Needless to say I felt nothing when that one boy whose dancing career would supposedly amount to nothing contemplated suicide, he should have jumped, it would have brought something into this story. Its almost as if the people who created Fame felt some sympathy for every Broadway reject who couldn't make it into the chorus or background of a real show. Their careers will probably amount to just being "Dancer #1" in the credits of a movie. The singers, while very talented, were just showcased off for that. I have a feeling that this was the peak of their performance and in about two years time each will have a solo album thats being sold for $7.99 at the checkout line at your local Kmart. There is so much more to be said about this movie, but I feel like its being to harsh. Simply put: Fame sucked.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Fresh New Faces; Same Old Lessons
jsweeney4213 October 2009
My first impression of the movie was that "Wow! They've kept the same feel of chaotic creative energy as the original movie." As I watched, I kept looking for Coco and Bruno and Angelo and Shorofsky and all the other people I remember from the original. When I finally stopped doing that, I was able to focus on what they were doing with the new cast of characters. I saw minor elements and situations from the original, but these played out differently based on the character. The students themselves were fresh and new, with a wonderful modern take. The teachers had the same real-life lessons for the students - a nice touch of consistency. The one negative I noted is that the students this time did not seem to have the same level of character development as in the previous version. These students do not stick in my mind as strongly as the original cast. All-in-all, I would call this a great sequel rather than a remake.
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Seriously this movie doesn't even deserve a star
JadoreHC8 January 2013
I watched this movie by accident without any expectations... Therefore there were no standards set high in my mind that this movie couldn't reach. Little did I know, i was about to waste an hour and half of my life for nothing... I always like to highlight good things about stuff before writing a negative critique, however, there was literally nothing good.. The movie and its characters had no sense whatsoever. It was SUCH cliché and stereotypical in every way... It is obviously better to pack 15 story lines into a movie and not follow one to the end than to focus on 4 or 5 to provide the characters with some depth... No good acting or at least artistic performances (interesting to see kids in talent school having no talent), no interesting, unpredictable or original story lines, no good songs.. There was nothing to relate to, nothing whatsoever... If you are about to watch this movie, go to the Board of this movie and see "Things I learnt from Fame"... you'll understand why not to watch this movie... too bad i saw the board forum after watching this movie, not before... could have saved my precious time...
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
See the real "FAME" movie.
Jetset97127 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Man, watching this tripe filled remake of the vastly superior 1980 version of "Fame" made me want to just abandon this disaster and break out the older flick. To be fair, at least they didn't just rip off the old characters and story lines and transplant them over. On the hand, considering what we are left with here, maybe they should have. Despite the acting caliber of Grammar,Newerth, and Dutton, it still suffers from a bad TV movie script. Were is the gritty realism of the 1980 film? I know they wanted to keep this version a PG, but that just destroyed all the things that made the original work. This lame, tame, tepid remake just makes you walk away with a curse on your lips. What a lousy film.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
"People will see me and cry"
This remake was doomed from the start. The original film is iconic- even those who haven't seen the film know the theme tune. How can you compete with Irene Cara's original version? The r'n'b remix that this new film uses is terrible. But it's not just the title song that this remake has to compete with. The remake cannot free itself from the shadow of the original.

Remaking Fame was not an entirely ridiculous idea. The original was thirty years ago and with the advent of Facebook, YouTube, and all those X-factor type shows, shortcutting your way to fame seems like a real possibility. And the cast actually look like they could be at high school, instead of the original cast that looked like they could have children who were at high school. There was a lot of potential for the director and writer to make a film that didn't try to compete with the original, but was an alternative that could be equally enjoyable.

This film focuses more on dance and music than it does acting (perhaps because the actors can't really act). We get the same types of characters that we got for the original, however in the original these characters didn't come off as stereotypes. They were fleshed out and I was gripped by their problems, which were far darker than this film. As a viewer you actually wanted to make an effort to follow all these different characters in the original. However in this film the characters are so cardboard and the situations so clichéd that it's easy to forget who they are. It makes the lyric in the title song: "baby, remember my name", amusingly ironic. For the time that the characters are on screen, most of them are annoying. The naive/stupid 'plain' girl and her wet boy-band reject love interest are particular standouts in that department.

As in the original, the film marks each year of the characters' time at the school, starting from auditions to graduation, however the time gaps seem to be massive. Random characters and relationships will just come out of nowhere, and so the characters never really progress. Instead it's like amnesia occurs at the end of each year.

You can tell which of the songs are from the original film because the other ones are so bland. There is a nice version of Out Here on My Own, although it doesn't compare with Irene Cara's version either in the musical or dramatic sense. Cara's character (Coco) was the showoff star who was actually more vulnerable than she appeared to be. In the new version, she's a bit of a loner- the equivalent of Bruno in the original.

But what about those who haven't seen the original? You'll probably be even more lost than the ones who've seen the original and know what to expect. Because the film is character-driven, the lack of interesting characters will make the film seem infinitely long. It attempts to be gritty by adding in a few swear words and 'serious' issues but this just makes it worse. If it was really cheesy at least it might have been entertaining.

In short, this film has nothing to say about fame, current or otherwise.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Started really strong but could not keep the pace
peter010519 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I was really enthralled by the beginning of this film. I found it great. Great dancing, great music, very good acting, especially the profs. I thought I was on the way to a classic, like Slumdog Millionaire.

However, along the way, the film lost its pace. It became too focused on little stories, moving away from the art. Granted, you can't really have a non stop dancing and music but indeed the story line just drifted too far off the artistic performance which should have remained the main focus.

I liked the way the black singer kept faithful to her team mate in spite of tempting offers - which gave way to one of the best artistic performance of the film at the end - and there were many of those, which is why I give it an 8 in spite of the weaker story line.

A truly enjoyable film about which mostly the rhythm and music will linger in memory.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
FAME - maybe not
missige2 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, having seen the original Fame a number of times and having sung the theme song aloud in public on a few embarrassing occasions, I guessed that I would probably not be a big fan of the Fame re-make. But, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer awfulness that was this film.

Two friends from work and I went to go see it and all three of us sat there, mouths open in disbelief that this piece of twaddle actually made it onto the big screen (or any screen).

There is absolutely nothing endearing to say about this poor, scum of a film that managed to plummet the legend that is FAME into a murky puddle of repulsive acting, uninspired singing and dancing and sheer lack of substance. The characters are uninteresting, and unbelievable (apart from the classically trained pianist turned singer, none of the other PA kids have an ounce of real talent). I can't even recall the names of any of the characters, because I was that uninterested in their over-the-top, cheesy, teenage angst performances. I found myself upset that the kid with the imitation flock of seagulls haircut was saved from jumping in front of a subway train.

I feel for former Frasier star Kelsey Grammar, whose cameo performance aptly reflects his regret at agreeing to this shoddy piece of cinema, and the under-used, and abused Megan Mullaly who got my only snicker of a laugh throughout the entire film for a sarcastic remark.

As for the story lines - they were weak, poorly-developed (at one point the blonde ballerina, who we think may have been dating one of the PA students, just disappears from the film and no one seems to notice or care). The characters of Marko and his pretentious, overly-acted girlfriend had all the cheese, and none of the chemistry (read acting talent) to pull off an honest romance.

As for the choreography, simple, pedestrian and definitely not what you would expect from the top performing arts students in the country. Personally, the burlesque, slutty dance performance towards the end of the film was in poor taste and, in my opinion, a meager attempt by the director to gain some audience interest - sadly to no avail.

Dance films are supposed to inspire and have a general reputation of feel-good cinema, and all Fame made me feel was anger - at one point my friend actually drop-kicked the screen (I am not exaggerating).

To the scriptwriters who wrote this film, the producers who commissioned it, the director who took it on, the future D-List actors who were cast in it, and everyone who contributed in some way to the making of this film - you should be ashamed ...
10 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A surprise
alienworlds23 November 2009
I saw this film by myself in the cinema which gave me the chance to really focus on it-since I went to an early show. I thought the film would be a flop-I was kind of just killing time-in a nutshell. Surprisingly, I found the film very well done, hard and soft in all the right places-and bang on in its portrayals of the disciplinarians that exists in many American families. I was completely blown away by some of the music in the film. All in all I had a really good time and wasn't expecting to at all.I saw the film Rent when that came out and I was expecting to have a better time than I did at it-I found Rent depressing whereas this one was really very life affirming in many ways.I guess you either get it or you don't, just like you either appreciate the better dance and trance tunes or ya don't.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
Fame; It Wont Last Forever
wwefreakjon29 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"What was the point of making this movie?" I continually asked myself this question during the 107 minutes after the previews were over. There were 10 main characters, none of which have enough screen time (not that their acting talent merited more) to make you care about them. It is so filled with old teen and musical movie clichés that the plot can be predicted by the time the "freshman" sequence is over.

Fame is about the New York City High School of Performing Arts and 200 students who spend four years of their lives going there. That is the plot and then there are all the different characters whose stories are so stereotypical that they have all been told in another movie at some point. There is the under-privileged, talented, black boy from the ghetto who falls for the girl who's a piano virtuoso but really just wants to sing, but her father won't let her, the uptight white girl who finds a guy who helps her loosen up, the director who gets scammed out of $5000, the guy who isn't talented enough to make it and tries to kill himself, and so many more.

The characters are all completely one dimensional except for the teachers, who have some substance but not enough screen time to make you care about them more than you care about the students. The writing is very limited and the direction is no better than most of the other dance movies to have some out in the past five years. The choreography wasn't bad but you can find much better in other films (i.e Take the Lead). The high points of this film are the cinematography and the film editing which were very good, but you forget about the look of the shots after all the mindless droning of the characters.

The only suggestion I could give to the producer's would be to take the cast of the faculty (which included Kelsey Grammar, Bebe Neuwirth and Megan Mullay of 90's sitcom fame) and some of Sinclair's dancers, actors, and singers to launch a TV show. That would at least have some talent and would be worth spending the hour a week to watch.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
What a waste of time!
ashtonskakle30 September 2009
I haven't seen the old version, so i can't compare it to the old version.

Before i went in i wasn't expecting much, to me it looked like a hip-hop dance film, which would be pretty similar to the likes of Step Up 2: The Streets. But i was pleasantly surprised to see it was not another remake of Step up, but equally disappointed to find no real interest in this film. Not only did two people i went with fall asleep, the characters were so unlikeable, i felt myself coming out the cinema wondering why i spent my time even going.

Strip away the fancy lighting, music and camera work and you're left with nothing less than a cast of one dimensional, mundane, and unlikeable characters. The movie is only 90 minutes long and with 10 main character story lines to follow, there wasn't much depth to them. I don't think i can even name any of them.

I don't even know why any of the characters would want to go study at this preforming arts school to start with, none of them seemed to improve during the four years they study there. And also a big emphasis is made how lucky they are to be in this school, yet most of the main characters leave the school before the four years is up...i didn't get that point? And the most important disappointing factor in the whole movie - there was no hot male lead! Only one guy came close and even then he wasn't much of a looker. Definitely a thumbs down for that aspect of the film.

So overall Fame is not as dazzling and inspiring as it may seem and it was pretty much a waste of 90 minutes of my life.
19 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
A Remake of a Classic 80's film,that falls flat quick.
raysond2 October 2009
There is a general consensus that remakes are in trouble. The remake of "Fame" even though it masquerades as a reinvention,is no exception. The last time "Fame" was in theatres was in back in 1980. With the direction of Alan Parker,and at the time an unknown cast,this was indeed a preppy tale trailing a bunch if gifted kids at the prestigious New York performing arts high school had some electrifying energy as well as some incredible musical numbers and some pizzaz. The movie also introduce some newcomers at the time including the theatrical debut of a teenage looking Irene Cara. That was back in 1980. What was once fresh and innovative and newly created then is now tired and dull,not to mention a lack of interest. And it shows in this new version,which was hyped up during its theatrical trailer is hopeless and completely pathetic. Basically the film follows the same exact formula.

You have thousands of teenagers that are united by the same dream: attending the New York High School of the Performing Arts. Over Ten-Thousand auditions,200 places-which was a very selected school where only one in a chance are accepted where survival is the fittest to succeed. In this version,every student thinks that he or she has a special talent and from there the culture reeks with everyone's sweaty desire to accomplished the impossible goal......the desire for fame. The style of this film opens like an American Idol-esquire opening with the scene proves otherwise. Other flaws are abound in this movie and it shows in this remake in which my opinion should haven't been tampered with or remade in the first place. First,there are flaws that are cringe-worthy attempts to take some of the material out of its original context. Unsure whether it wants to be a "mock" documentary,or just drop trou and be a musical,this film falters on both counts. The only time the screen jolts awake are moments when the director Kevin Tancharoen finally and actually lets someone perform. The film does have some real talent. Naturi Naughton excels as an aspiring singer and Kherington Payne shows some innovative and unbelievable moves to music of some of today's hottest pop and R&B talents.

But the rest of it really falls flat. And some of the cast members that includes Broadway and Tony-award winner Bebe Neuwirth, along with Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammar, Charles S. Dutton, and Debbie Allen cannot save this picture. Not even the cameo appearance by Irene Cara(who was in the original film along with Debbie Allen)wasn't even the risk. All the singing and dancing can't skew the fact that none of the unknowns cannot act a lick, a fact that which ruins the point of doing a classic 1980's flick like this in the first place. The fact that this film needed actors and a narrative that could have save this picture because the dancers and singers are just brilliant,and it could have save this picture from falling forward. By the way,where are the gay people here? The ones that aren't ready to commit suicide? Who remembers Leroy?
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Companion To The Original
Chris Davis31 January 2010
As a big fan of the original movie I rushed out and saw this film when it released in theaters, I was not disappointed but there is room for improvement.

I recommend the Extended Film Version because their seems to be a better balance to the story versus the Theater Version.

Overall this film is entertaining and appeals to certain people who might enjoy this as a companion to the original film, but don't go see this film for the originality because lets be honest, it really is not.

Fame (2009) Does have it's original moments like Alice and her dance with Sam Sparro's Black & Gold is priceless and worth the admission of the whole film.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Entertaining.
poultrygirlaleka25 October 2009
I can't really understand why everyone's making such a fuss about what a bad film this is- maybe it's because the stage production's so good.

Taken out of that context, this is actually a pretty decent film, especially if you're planning to watch it with kids. The singing/dance numbers are great, and there are some really fun scenes. Granted, the story doesn't string together very well- it's very bitty.

However, I don't think it's at all deserving of the bad rep it's been getting; if you don't go in expecting something Oscar-worthy, you'll probably enjoy yourself. There's a lot of talent in here, and if you try to compare it to the previous incarnations, you're not going to see it.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
"FAME" – REMEMBER their Names (& Don't be afraid to SUCCEED)!
jimchudnow-125 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
(Based on an advance screening).

This is a remake of the 1980 film by the same name, about attending the specialized New York Academy of Performing Arts. It uses a large cast to follow the trials & tribulations of students, their interactions with each other, their parents, the staff & the (very) "outside" world around them.

Jenny (KAY PANABAKER) is an initially "mousy" type of actress-singer, with little confidence or understanding in what she does and the motivations of some people around her. She's encouraged (& later romanced) by self-assured & generous-spirited MARCO (ASHER BOOK) who'd sung for years in his father's restaurant (& has a good & pleasant-sounding voice, such as in performing "Someone To Watch Over Me" & "I Just Got To Be Happy"). Denise (NATURI NAUGHTON) is a talented classical pianist, altho she dislikes doing just that & being forced to do so by her pushy father.

Kevin (PAUL McGILL), who has a dance-teacher mother back in Iowa, wants to be a dancer-- tho the instructor isn't very encouraging about his talent. Malik (COLLINS PENNIE) wants to be an actor, but, his teacher (CHARLES S. DUTTON) points out he comes across as overly angry.

Outgoing comedic Neil (PAUL IOCONO) loves doing video work all over the place, & carelessly urges his dad to put up money to produce a movie. Walter (VICTOR TAVERAS) likes to produce & arrange music. Alice (KHERINGTON PAYNE) is an accomplished dancer who eagerly wants a career in that field (rather than concentrating on romance in her life). Joy (ANNA MARIA PEREZ DE TAGLE) is a dedicated student.

Various segments feature some of the older, well-known stars: MEGAN MULALLY (as singing teacher Fran who's urged to perform by some of the kids at one point); KELSEY Grammar (in an understated performance as acting instructor Joel); BEBE NEUWIRTH as teacher Lynn; and, as Principal Simms, you have DEBBIE ALLEN (who played 'Lydia Grant' in the ORIGINAL 1980 version of the film, plus the same role in 131 episodes of the TV show rendition from 1982-1987).

The film has a wonderful ENERGY in many of its musical and dance numbers (such as 'Out Here On My Own' and 'CarnEvil', and the large closing one with drums). Some performances are so impressive in the film (such as ones by Naturi), they got APPLAUSE from people in the movie theater audience. I liked the way they individually 'PRESENTED - INTRODUCED' the main actors separately during the credit section at the end (as movies "used" to do).

But, by sort of hurrying through what they say is a "4-year" period at the school, certain elements of the DRAMA are periodically "RUSHED" and a bit weak compared to the musical & dance elements. As a friend commented, he felt the film showed little real "growth" by the performers thru the period featured, & thus came across as somewhat "cliched". While I feel there's some accuracy in that position (in that the drama sections are a trifle "feeble" by comparison), I felt that the MUSICAL & DANCE elements & overall acting are so strong (& the main "point" of the film), they MAKE UP for that in providing a very EFFECTIVE entertainment vehicle (& a bunch of the young actor / performers are people to "WATCH" & REMEMBER for the future!).
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews