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Review: Footloose

Oct. 12, 2011by: JimmyO

PLOT: After the death of his mother, Ren McCormack moves in with his uncle and family in a small town called Bomont. As the rebellious new kid, he finds out the hard way that loud music is illegal as is dancing in public, thanks to the towns tragic past. Soon, McCormack gets on his dancing shoes, turns up the beat and fights the elected officials in hopes to bring music back to this sleepy little town. Everybody cut, everybody cut loose FOOTLOOSE!

REVIEW: Could it be that the remake of FOOTLOOSE is the best damn dance flick Ive seen in years? You bet your Kenny Loggins it is! Craig Brewer has taken the original flick (minus Mr. Kevin Bacon) and amped up the dancing, the music and the style. You want booties shakin, hips gyrating and toes a tappin? Youve got it in spades here. With music that will be familiar to fans of the original, including a mix of rap, country and a bunch of classic rock n roll. Too bad this unique fusion of sound didnt find its way onto the soundtrack, which is nearly all the country tracks and nothing else.

The idea of a remake to this pop culture phenomenon sounded pretty dreadful early on. The 1984 version featured a soundtrack loaded with hit singles and a star making performance from Kevin Bacon. Not unlike FLASHDANCE or DIRTY DANCING, there was a time capsule quality about it. To mess with this bit of nostalgia would have been a terrifying commitment for any director. After all, the entire idea of a small town where dancing is illegal just seems ludicrously dated unless of course you live in Utah where the original was filmed. Yet the story works, sometimes in spite of itself, thanks to its dedication to the original film.

Writer/director Brewer (HUSTLE & FLOW, BLACK SNAKE MOAN) brings a southern charm to this update. He and screenwriter Dean Pitchford also add a tragic element to Ren's character, and why he feels the need to fight the anti-dance law. Sure a "no dancing in public law" is a bit ridiculous, but if youve ever lived in a place like this, it is not that hard to believe. When five students are killed in an accident after a dance, local Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) vows to make sure it will never happen again. He and his wife Vi (Andie MacDowell) want to keep their rebellious daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough) safe, as well as the rest of their friends children. Hell, you kind of feel sorry for the couple since one of the five was their own teenage son. Things get all shook up however when a young Bostonian named Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) comes in with his love for rocking out with music and dance.

What Brewer does here is inject this simple story with a dose of reality. Dennis Quaid is outstanding as the moral compass of a town in need. He only wants what he feels best for Bomont, whether it is or not. While the script is down for exploring morality, faith, religion and the fears of growing up, it is still a FOOTLOOSE remake. In other words, this is just entertainment that occasionally seeps into self importance, yet not enough to bring you down. After all, you could debate the hell out of some of these issues, but then youd miss out on all the sidestepping goodness. And if you really feel the need to get angry about something, maybe youll be stirred by this modern day take on Kevin Bacons angry dance with a little White Stripes thrown in for good measure.

As far as the rest of the cast is concerned, there are a handful of bright spots. Julianne Hough is sinfully gorgeous, and she can even act. Yet much like the original, it is Rens sidekick Willard that really stands out. Originally played by the late Chris Penn, Miles Teller shines with a little bit of awkward and a whole lot of charm as the best buddy to Ren. Both Teller and Nia Colon (as Willards girlfriend Rusty) really bring out the grace and humor to this retro flick. It always helps to want to invest time in whoever is on-screen, and thankfully, it is not all that hard to root for the fine folks of Bomont.

Much like the Eighties hit, FOOTLOOSE (2011) is a treat that starts off with a bang. This is a much more entertaining couple of hours compared to something like STEP UP. With a country western vibe and a bright-eyed and innocent look at small town troubles, there is much enjoyment to be had. While there are moments that are much too gosh darned earnest to work, leaving the dramatic elements feeling occasionally forced; whats important here is the music and the mood. So cut loose, foot loose and get down to your local theatre if you are looking for something near criminally fun this weekend. It may not be great art, but it sure as hell knows how to dance.

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:00AM on 10/12/2011
I love how everyone bashes remakes/reboots and then Footloose and The Thing are getting decent word of mouth.
I love how everyone bashes remakes/reboots and then Footloose and The Thing are getting decent word of mouth.
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10:55AM on 10/14/2011
Decent word of Mouth for The Thing and Footloose? Both reviews came from Jimmy O. This is what I mean! Everyone trusts this site, and this dude's opinion believe it or not is going to make people go see this shit. Sad really.
Decent word of Mouth for The Thing and Footloose? Both reviews came from Jimmy O. This is what I mean! Everyone trusts this site, and this dude's opinion believe it or not is going to make people go see this shit. Sad really.
11:30AM on 10/12/2011
Lol where the hell are you seeing The Thing gettin good word of mouth. It's gettin skewered. Hell, the fact the dumb asses showed so much in last trailer speaks volumes about how shitty it's gona be. The film needs to be done as a "slow burn" building to a big "reveal" and they got that wrong.
Lol where the hell are you seeing The Thing gettin good word of mouth. It's gettin skewered. Hell, the fact the dumb asses showed so much in last trailer speaks volumes about how shitty it's gona be. The film needs to be done as a "slow burn" building to a big "reveal" and they got that wrong.
9:54AM on 10/12/2011
I'm only going to see the Thing cause its free.
I'm only going to see the Thing cause its free.
8:04AM on 10/12/2011
THING is not getting good word of mouth.
THING is not getting good word of mouth.
9:25AM on 10/12/2011

Trust in Craig Brewer

So glad I can still say that.
So glad I can still say that.
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10:16AM on 10/12/2011
Wow, 8 out of 10? Guess I'm really wrong about this movie. Gonna give this a shot.
Wow, 8 out of 10? Guess I'm really wrong about this movie. Gonna give this a shot.
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+7
10:40AM on 10/12/2011

8/10?

Yeesh...
To each their own, I suppose, but this makes me want to write my full length review as soon as possible. Caught a screening last week and was really disappointed. Here's my mini review:

Craig Brewer's first misfire lacks the grittiness found in his past work. It's as if his visions of the South have been held under the "studio steam press". Now, everything is "prettier" & "more accessible" in order to please younger audiences. Dances are either shot too close or unfocused during
Yeesh...
To each their own, I suppose, but this makes me want to write my full length review as soon as possible. Caught a screening last week and was really disappointed. Here's my mini review:

Craig Brewer's first misfire lacks the grittiness found in his past work. It's as if his visions of the South have been held under the "studio steam press". Now, everything is "prettier" & "more accessible" in order to please younger audiences. Dances are either shot too close or unfocused during grander scales. Even as an outsider to the film, it still felt as if I was watching a mundane school production.
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10:48AM on 10/12/2011
Not a huge fan of reboots with the same basic plot so no need to see this since I know how it ends. But a well written review though.
Not a huge fan of reboots with the same basic plot so no need to see this since I know how it ends. But a well written review though.
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4:39PM on 10/12/2011
don't confuse the terms remake with roboot, this is clearly a remake, Batman is a reboot.
don't confuse the terms remake with roboot, this is clearly a remake, Batman is a reboot.
-2
11:27AM on 10/12/2011

-_-

"Craig Brewer has taken the original flick (minus Mr. Kevin Bacon) and amped up the dancing, the music and the style."


Sooo, in other words it is a glossed over piece fo s*** that has a fraction of the substance of the original. Just like almost every other remake out there.
"Craig Brewer has taken the original flick (minus Mr. Kevin Bacon) and amped up the dancing, the music and the style."


Sooo, in other words it is a glossed over piece fo s*** that has a fraction of the substance of the original. Just like almost every other remake out there.
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+7
11:29AM on 10/12/2011
What???? 8/10?
What???? 8/10?
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+2
12:42PM on 10/12/2011
Can't believe this negativity. It doesn't LOOK like an 8/10 and it's hard to believe that a remake of Footloose could be memorable in any way but let's not get bent out of shape just yet. Giving it a shot on DVD.
Can't believe this negativity. It doesn't LOOK like an 8/10 and it's hard to believe that a remake of Footloose could be memorable in any way but let's not get bent out of shape just yet. Giving it a shot on DVD.
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1:54PM on 10/12/2011
Do they explain how all the teens learn to be great dancers by the end of this one?
Do they explain how all the teens learn to be great dancers by the end of this one?
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2:06PM on 10/12/2011

Its GREAT

I saw it in Atlanta about two weeks ago and it was awesome. Its funny, heart wrenching and has some amazing dancing :) Give it a chance guys you might love it
I saw it in Atlanta about two weeks ago and it was awesome. Its funny, heart wrenching and has some amazing dancing :) Give it a chance guys you might love it
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4:38PM on 10/12/2011
Julianne Hough is damn hot though, DAT ASS!!That is all tyvm.
Julianne Hough is damn hot though, DAT ASS!!That is all tyvm.
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5:06PM on 10/12/2011
That's not a tragic new twist added. It's the exact same reason they outlawed everything in the 1st film, including it being her older brother. Did they still drive off a bridge in this one?
Anyhoo, I'll watch it when nothing else is on and it hits cable.
That's not a tragic new twist added. It's the exact same reason they outlawed everything in the 1st film, including it being her older brother. Did they still drive off a bridge in this one?
Anyhoo, I'll watch it when nothing else is on and it hits cable.
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12:51AM on 10/16/2011
I believe its the fact that the character, Ren's mother has passed away. Not that the mother had much impact on the original anyway.
I believe its the fact that the character, Ren's mother has passed away. Not that the mother had much impact on the original anyway.
6:39PM on 10/12/2011
You are correct, thanks for the the heads up. The new film is very similar, just a little bit edgier. However, the dark twist actually has to do with Ren's character.

I have a feeling it will be a movie people catch on cable and end up really enjoying it.
You are correct, thanks for the the heads up. The new film is very similar, just a little bit edgier. However, the dark twist actually has to do with Ren's character.

I have a feeling it will be a movie people catch on cable and end up really enjoying it.
+0
12:10PM on 10/14/2011
Hey guys, don't give Jimmy such a hard time. This thing has 74% on RT, so it's not like he's alone in thinking positive about the film. Still, I have zero interest in this. I guess I'm just not the target audience for this kind of film, but something about the need to update this kind of film, throw in a bunch of modern and edgier songs and dance, irks me. The original had that 80's vibe, and it worked for the film then. Today, this is just laughable. Not to mention that the awful trailers
Hey guys, don't give Jimmy such a hard time. This thing has 74% on RT, so it's not like he's alone in thinking positive about the film. Still, I have zero interest in this. I guess I'm just not the target audience for this kind of film, but something about the need to update this kind of film, throw in a bunch of modern and edgier songs and dance, irks me. The original had that 80's vibe, and it worked for the film then. Today, this is just laughable. Not to mention that the awful trailers didn't sell this movie at all.
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8:36PM on 10/17/2011
Saw it today! It was fantastic! The only things that made the original better was Kevin Bacon being naturally more of a charmer. Also the songs Never (moving pictures) and Heaven Helps The Man (kenny loggins) were sorely missing in this one. The Warehouse dance was great, but the music it was set to was pretty substandard. A new version of Never would've been nice.
Saw it today! It was fantastic! The only things that made the original better was Kevin Bacon being naturally more of a charmer. Also the songs Never (moving pictures) and Heaven Helps The Man (kenny loggins) were sorely missing in this one. The Warehouse dance was great, but the music it was set to was pretty substandard. A new version of Never would've been nice.
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10:20AM on 10/21/2011

ghey

ghey, for this bullshit Jersey Shore generation.
ghey, for this bullshit Jersey Shore generation.
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