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A Tribute to the Original FOOTLOOSE
Over the last few years I have seen quite a few remakes of older movies. I even understand the concept: remake it for a younger generation using younger actors to get the teenagers to come see the movie. To generate money it seems it would be better to offer a wide variety of options and diversify to draw the crowds.What I don't understand is why there was a need to remake Footloose. Footloose is a classic. It is not probably on the same scale as Gone With the Wind or Cleopatra. Nevertheless it is a classic movie. I mean it is like trying to remake Rebel Without A Cause or Breakfast Club. Both of which should never be remade. Footloose is part of the 80's and well some things should just be allowed to stay the way they are. We are in 2013 and the kind of movies that need to be made are ones relating to todays themes and teenagers today. There is a feeling in the original Footloose that makes it touch your heart and while the new cast is great there is a lost in translation feeling in the new one. With the price of tickets at a movie theater being what they are you need to deliver a product that is refreshing and full of life not a three day old fish. That's how you will get them to the movies. Besides what happened to an original idea?
I know that there is a black and white version of The Wizard of Oz. I can't say I remember watching it and I do watch a lot of classic movies, I have seen the color version. Before I started writing this I thought The Wizard of Oz was the only book written by L. Frank Baum so imagine my surprise when I found out that there were 12 sequels and 1 prequel. Maybe the reason they have never made a remake is because there are so many more options. Or maybe the powers that be are just wise enough to know you shouldn't mess with a good thing. Too often though there is tweaking of old movies instead of finding good quality scripts and making new movies.
In any case I really just can't see the point of making a remake of Footloose and making it exactly like the original. I know that this may be obsessive, but I have to stay true to Kevin Bacon and why a remake can't make up for the original. Who can forget when Kevin Bacon came to town and got pulled over for "speeding". And remember when the cop flicked his chin with his license for getting smart. You can't tell me that you did not think oh no he's gonna take a swing. There is no way you can remotely think that the new Ren is going to take a swing. And do you remember when he was at the dinner table and all the adults were telling him that he should just go with the flow of Bomont, but his younger cousin was looking up at him with admiration. Everything in the original made Kevin Bacon seem like a misunderstood, but hot likable rebel. You could feel the oppression in that town like the first five minutes into it. I liken him up there with James Dean and sadly Chace Crawford does not have the same appeal.
Kevin Bacon was hot and lean and even though we now know he did not do all those great flips, the illusion that most of the moves were still his was sexy. It was heart enamoring for any female that this bad-- could also dance his butt off. He was the misunderstood bad boy that was one minute a raging bull and the next minute a romantic lover. I love the scene where he fights Ariel's ex-boyfriend in one scene then wipes the dust off his suit and goes back in to the dance. While the new one is full of great dancers there was a certain charisma that Kevin brought to the screen that made you want to watch him. He still has that charisma even when he is a bad guy so for a movie remake like Footloose to really cut loose in the theaters you need someone who can bring that same charisma to the remake. Certain movies have their time and the way their made adds to that and when Footloose first came out you could still picture there being towns like Bomont. The dust and the feel of small community was more believable and it gives character to the movie. The new Bomont doesn't so much have it's own character as it feels more like how can we make this new one even edgier so there's a feel of competition.
I know I been harping on Kevin Bacon for this whole article so I am going to switch gears. I wanted to mention that the new scenes for Julianne Hough seem forced. I don't know what it is about Lori Singer, but her riding on two cars with trucks heading straight on just seemed believable as a prank a desperate for attention teen would play. Her being on the railroad tracks and playing chicken was very believable because she came across as a trouble making girl. When I watch Julianne Hough I just see rebel and then I think why did we even need Ren in the first place for this remake.ZJulianne Hough could have carried the movie by herself. Lori could play the girl you felt sorry for one minute and then change to the bratty one that needed a spanking the next. This role really was made for her. It's where Sarah Jessica Parker took over the stage too as a sidekick.
I will say that having Blake Shelton sing the main song was a plus. I can basically fall in love with anything he sings so I am unable to say anything remotely off key about his rendition of the "Footloose" song. I find it hard to choose between the old "Footloose" song by Kenny Loggins and the new one so I am still on the fence about that. And with that point I have to mention that the original soundtrack to Footloose fit the movie so incredibly perfectly.The original soundtrack produced five number one hits for the artists that sang on it. Some of these artists were singers who had yet to be heard of and to create that same success today you would need to bring in big names. "Let's Hear It For the Boy" by Deniece Williams was a perfect fit and it would be virtually impossible to find someone to sing it as well as she did. Her song pulled you in and got you to cheer for Kevin Bacon making you want to see him succeed and get the girl. What I can say is that I find it hard to find a purpose for a remake if it only brings a lukewarm appeal and cannot hold a candle to the old. And while it repeats the most important parts of the movie considering you have dancers playing the parts maybe a little deviation with more dancing would have been nice. I mean if your gonna remake something then play to your strengths and you've got some really great dancers. One of the things that would have been nice is towards the end there had been a dance scene with Ariel's dad. I mean that's like a classic thing most dad's do with their daughter's.
The most important thing I have to say is while I am not a fan of the new movie I would see it again. My problem is that I wish that movie directors instead of doing remakes could come up with some original movies and let the older one's be enjoyed in peace. While I would see the remake again I don't have to because I own the original. There are so many people out there with clear writing talent instead of going to the same barrel for answers it is time to move out to the next one and bring some original thought to the screen. Truly the reason Twilight is so popular is because it is an original idea and there are plenty of good books out there that will draw in teens and adults alike. There are so many writing sites that are full of great writers looking for a shot that maybe directors should do some research or polling before considering a remake.There was a time for the original movie and that time has not passed.
Love you kiddos