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Footloose
BLU-RAY disk
10.07.2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
Footloose order download
Director:
Herbert Ross

Actors:
Kevin Bacon
Lori Singer
John Lithgow

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Teenager Ren McCormack and his family move from big-city Chicago to the small town of Bomont, a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. With the help of the Reverend Moore’s daughter Ariel and some other classmates, Ren takes on the town to make dancing legal again and to breathe new life into Bomont.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Guilty pleasure movies of mine include various dancing movies and musicals. I definitely wouldn’t put FOOTLOOSE into the musical genre and while the movie revolves around dancing, I’m not sure that I can say it’s really a dancing movie per se. It’s more of a romantic drama that happens to be about a town where dancing is illegal. Let’s just be honest right off the bat, while I know that stuff like this really happened (the story was actually loosely based on events that occurred in the small town of Elmore City, Oklahoma in 1978. Dancing had been banned for nearly 90 years until a group of high school teens challenged it), the story does generally seem a bit silly. Silly story aside, the movie still works.

At this point in time, Kevin Bacon was still pretty well a newcomer. He had roles in Animal House and Friday the 13th, but FOOTLOOSE really put the man on the map. It was essential to his career that this movie did well and luckily for him, it ended up producing ten times what it cost to make, grossing $80 million for a movie with a budget of $8 million. It’s kind of weird to see such a young Kevin Bacon after just finishing up watching X-Men: First Class. Bacon pours all he has into the role and with his smooth moves he set the hearts of young women everywhere a flutter.

Lori Singer is an equally gifted actress and breaks out in her role as Ariel, the troubled daughter of Reverend Moore. In addition to being a gifted actress, Singer is also an accomplished dancer and was a prodigal cellist (she was accepted into Julliard at the age of 14). She beat out Madonna for the lead role in FOOTLOOSE… like THE Madonna (not that I’m a big fan of Madonna, but still).

FOOTLOOSE is a classic for a variety of reasons, with each reason varying from person to person. Maybe it’s because you related to the film because you’ve felt oppressed in the past (apparently all you need to do is just drink and dance is out like Kevin Bacon). Maybe it’s because you’ve wanted something more from life, like Ariel in the movie. Or maybe it’s because you just really like movies about dancing. Whatever your reasons are, the facts remain the same.
THE EXTRAS
Let's Dance!: Kevin Bacon on Footloose: Kevin Bacon talks about the role and what it was like to work on the movie. Bacon talks about how he got into acting and his early days in show business. He talks about how the studio really didn’t think the Bacon had the skill to back up the movie and they wanted to cast someone else instead. However, after watching just thirty seconds of his screen test, which involved doing a bunch of different scenes, the studio approved Bacon as the character of Ren for the film. To ensure that Bacon did the best he could in the role, he even went so far as to enroll in the local high school where FOOTLOOSE was being filmed and attended the school to channel his character better.

From Bomont to the Big Apple: An Interview with Sarah Jessica Parker: SJP talks about getting cast in the movie and the relationship she held with her costars. She talks about how working on FOOTLOOSE really taught her about show business and how things were then versus now.

Remembering Willard: A Tribute to Chris Penn: Interview with Chris before his death in 2006 (at the young age of 40), as well as interviews with the cast about what it was like working with him. Penn played the character of Willard in the movie and prior to being cast in the role, had (according to Sarah Jessica Parker) never danced a day in his life. Penn signed on to do the movie before he knew it was a dancing film and it took a lot of work for him to get the moves down. SJP goes on to talk about how Penn was her first love and she talks about their relationship together.

Kevin Bacon's Screen Test: Basically how Kevin Bacon ended up getting cast in the iconic role. He wasn’t the studios first choice and they needed a lot of selling to get Bacon on board and the screen test was what sold them.

Kevin Bacon Costume Montage: This is basically exactly what it sounds like… a series of clips and images of Kevin Bacon wearing various costumes from the movie.

Audio Commentary with Kevin Bacon

Audio Commentary with producer Craig Zadan and writer Dean Pitchford

Archival Features from the 2004 DVD Release:
• Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 1
• Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 2
• Footloose: Songs That Tell a Story
• Theatrical Trailer
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
While FOOTLOOSE would probably not be my first choice for a movie to watch on a rainy day, it is a pretty enjoyable flick to check out every now and again. The film, restored on Blu-ray looks excellent and fans will be excited at the new special features that have been added in. FOOTLOOSE is a reminder of a different time when people didn’t have cell phones or computers to rely on for entertainment. I remember going to dances in the small town I grew up in and it’s crazy to think that in some places dancing really is illegal (mostly just under certain circumstances these days).

Silly and a bit dated, FOOTLOOSE remains one of those films to brighten a day as needed. Good performances by the cast, fun story (albeit a bit hokey) and just an all round entertaining movie to be enjoyed by everyone.
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