Thursday, June 14, 2012

Loose Feet

Footloose (1984)
Director: Herbert Ross
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker
Released: February 17, 1984

Oscar nominations:
Best Song - "Footloose"
Best Song - "Let's Hear it For the Boy" (lost to "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from The Woman in Red)

Footloose (2011)
Director: Craig Brewer
Cast: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDonnell
Released: October 14, 2011

The last time I reviewed two movies where one was a remake of another was The Karate Kid. Now the remake of that movie wasn't a total clone of the original; it just had a similar story. The characters didn't have the same names, the remake took place in another country, there were a few changes to update it, etc. Now with the update of Footloose, while they have made it more current (characters listen to iPods instead of tape decks; the clothes aren't badly dated, etc.), the movie is pretty much an exact clone of the original. Same names, same scenes, same lines. It's almost an exact clone...almost. There are a few differences. One of the biggest is that they don't have Ariel (Singer and Hough) in the remake doing that stunt where she has one foot in her friend's car and another in her boyfriend's car while both cars are driving next to each other. They probably didn't have that scene because kids are dumb and would have probably tried to emulate it. Instead, in the 2011 movie, they showed Ariel as a badass when she rides in her boyfriend's race car. Ooh, you're a rebel, Ariel!

That said, even though they're both playing the same character, I found 2011 Ariel to be a lot more tolerable than 1984 Ariel. She is rebellious in both movies because her father (Lithgow and Quaid) is a preacher, so she doesn't want to seem like a goody two-shoes, and also, her brother died in a car accident, which is one of the reasons there's no dancing in her hometown of Beaumont. In the remake, we're immediately introduced to her brother when he and three friends are driving home from a party. They're singing "Footloose" (and really, what teen in 2011 would even know that song?) and aren't paying attention when an oncoming truck crashes into them. In the original, we don't hear about his accident until the middle of the movie and for awhile I was wondering if it was something new they had added to the remake. (I saw the remake before the original, but I had seen the original about twelve years ago).

Even though Ariel is a pain in the ass, Hough plays her much more likable while Singer is just irritating. She befriends the new kid in town, Ren (Bacon and Wormald) who is shocked to find out that dancing is outlawed in this town. The only difference between the character in the two movies is that 1984 Ren listens to a Walkman and 2011 Ren listens to an iPod. Oh, and it's established that 2011 Ren is a gymnast whereas 1984 Ren just can randomly do flips. The "anger vent dance" he does in both movies is one of the stupidest scenes I have ever seen in my entire life. Besides, everyone knows the best dance scene in a movie is from Center Stage where they ride motorcycles on the stage and dance to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel!"

"Footloose" is not a great movie to begin with, but if you had to watch it, I would recommend skipping the original and watching the remake because the original makes the remake look like an Oscar winner.

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