Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Footloose (2011) (PG-13/113 Min.)


“Let’s dance!!!”

This evening I dragged Leann kicking and screaming to the pre-screening of Footloose. She is loyal to her original Footloose and wanted nothing to do with the remake. She was adamant. She was not going. I told her I’d bake apple pies for her for the rest of her life if she’d go with me. OR! I asked her last week if she wanted to go with me and she said something along the lines of, “Sure! But I don’t want to like it.” I’ll let you choose whichever scenario you want to believe. But I do agree with what she said. I was determined that there was no way this was going to be as good as the original. So maybe I was wrong in some ways. A little. It does happen on occasion.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that you two or three people who read my little blog have seen the original movie. Okay? Okay. Did you know that this is loosely based on events that happened in Elmore City, OK? I didn’t either until, before the movie started, a local DJ shared that tidbit and then introduced us to a couple of the people in the audience about whom the movie was, once again, loosely based. Cool, huh? Well, it was interesting anyway. What I don’t get is why, if it was based on an Oklahoma city, the movies are set in Utah and Georgia.

Anyway, since you’ve already seen the original (again…assumptions) I’m going to use this post to compare the two movies. Let’s begin shall we? And, if I make any mistakes, feel free to correct me. I did watch the original for 100th time a few months ago and I still could be missing a few things. It does happen on occasion. Just a warning…this is completely filled with spoilers for the new movie.

1984 – Ren moves with his mom from Chicago to Bomont, UT.
2011 – Ren moves from Boston to Bomont, GA to live with his aunt and uncle because his mother has died from Leukemia.

1984 – We hear about kids having been killed playing car tag on the way home from a party. One of the kids killed is the main female character’s (Ariel) brother.
2011 – We see kids driving home from a party lose control of the car and run in to a semi. All five kids are killed. The driver of the car is Ariel’s brother. The little girl sitting in front of us turned to her mom and in a very loud voice asked, “Are they dead now?” Totally broke up the tension of the scene.

1984 – Ren and Chuck play chicken while driving a couple of tractors. Ren wins but only because his shoelace gets caught on one of the tractor pedals and he can’t jump.
2011 – Ren and Chuck race buses in a figure eight and end up in a game of chicken when Ren’s brakes fail.

1984 – Ariel’s act of daring-do is balancing on the window sills (are they called that?) of a car and truck while they’re driving down the road and a semi is headed towards them. She jumps in to the truck at the last second.
2011 – Ariel’s act of daring-do is sitting on the window sill of a race car (with her legs inside) while her boyfriend Chuck drives it around the track. This scares her best friend for some reason who then cries and tells Ariel to find her own way home. Why on earth would this scare anyone?

1984 – Rev. Shaw changes his mind about the dance after stopping a book burning rally.
2011 – Rev. Shaw changes his mind about the dance after Ren comes to talk to him.

1984 – The music. What can I say? Who didn’t love the Soundtrack? You didn’t? Well, besides you.
2011 – The music was good and they remade a couple of the old songs but I like the original tunes better. I wonder if I would’ve felt the same if I’d seen the remake first. I liked the new version of “I Need a Hero” but I agree with Leann in that it wasn’t as good as the 1984 version. It was country instead of rock.

1984 – Ren dances in the abandoned warehouse to “Never” by Moving Pictures. At the beginning of the scene he has flashbacks to different bad things that have happened since he moved to Bomont.
2011 – Ren dances in the abandoned warehouse to a song I’ve never heard of and didn’t much like. At the beginning of the scene he yells at a room full of nobody. It’s everything he wanted to say when he is talked down to throughout the first few scenes.

1984 – Ren brings his yellow VW Bug with him to Bomont.
2011 – Uncle Wes tells Ren he can have his yellow VW Bug if he can fix it.

1984 – Ren is pulled over and given a $25 ticket for blasting “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”.
2011 – Ren is pulled over and ordered to appear in court for blasting “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”.

1984 – The uncle is a jerk.
2011 – The uncle is very supportive.

1984 – Ren is on the gymnastics team (squad?).
2011 – Ren was a gymnast at his old school but is now on the football team.

1984 Ren (Kevin Bacon) – A guy who has a bit of a spastic style of dance and not much of an accent to speak of (no pun intended).
2011 Ren (Kenny Wormald) – A guy who has a bit of a spastic style of dance and has a thick Boston accent. And! Sorry Kevin…he’s way cuter than the original Ren. It was somewhat painful watching both of these guys dance. Says the person who couldn’t dance if you lit a fire under her.

1984 Willard (Chris Penn) – Goofy good ol’ boy befriends Ren who ends up teaching him to “dance”.
2011 Willard – (Miles Teller) – Goofy good ol’ boy befriends Ren who ends up teaching him to dance. As with Ren, I liked the new Willard better. He was hilarious. I think I might have known a couple of this Willard in high school. And I like the way he dances much better than I liked original Willard.

1984 Ariel (Lori Singer) – Rebellious PK who gets in as much trouble as possible just to get her daddy’s attention. Not a bad dancer.
2011 Ariel (Julianne Hough) – Same as above except better dancer. At least I think so. Both of them get in to a fight with Chuck after they break up with him.

1984 Rusty (Sarah Jessica Parker) – Ariel’s best friend. I liked this Rusty better than the remake. She’s more outgoing and funny.
2011 Rusty (Ziah Colon) – Still Ariel’s best friend. Her and Willard’s relationship just sort of springs out of nowhere.

1984 Chuck (Jim Youngs) – Ariel’s boyfriend. He’s a jerk in both movies and I can’t decide in which movie I like him better. We’ll call it a tie.
2011 Chuck (Patrick John Flueger) – Still Ariel’s boyfriend. I think he totally looks like Patrick Swayze.

This could go on and on and on but it’s way past my bed time. Oh who am I kidding? It’s not 2 a.m. yet. Let’s break it down.

Cussing – Yes there was with the favorite being $#!+.

Sex/Nudity – We have/get to see Ariel take her shirt off and use it as a flag. She is wearing a bra. We know someone is about to have sex but we don’t see it happen. The original shows guys behinds. Not so in the remake.

Drinking/Drugs – Yes. Quite a bit of beer and one joint.

Violence – Two-and-a-half fight scenes. One between Chuck and Ariel. One between Ren and Willard and Chuck and his friends. Half between Willard and a guy from a dance club. I say half because Willard gets knocked out with the first punch.

I wanted to be able to tell you that the remake totally stunk and you should just save your money but I can’t do that. I really really liked it. Except for the music. No one can replace Kenny Loggins, Deniece Williams and Bonnie Tyler. For Footloose anyway. I can’t remember if I saw the 1984 version at the theater when it came out. I’ll have to ask my parents. I was only 2 at the time. The only reason I’d say this isn’t for kids is because of the cussing. I don’t think young children would understand what is happening in the we-know-they’re-about-to-do-it scene. The kissing did bother the little girl that sat in front of us though. She cracked up everyone around her when she yelled, “Eeeewwwwww! Gross!”

We got to see this movie for free but I wouldn’t have minded paying to see it. I will definitely own this and would recommend it for anyone who liked the original and for those who never saw it. If you never saw the original you should rent it before you see the remake. Watching the remake first will, more than likely, ruin the 1984 version for you. And since it’s 1 a.m. and I’m still wide awake I think I’ll put in the original movie and try to go to sleep.

P.S. There are plenty of names to make fun of in the credits but other than that there is no reason to stick around.

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