Thursday, October 13, 2011

Footloose the Movie Starring Julianne Hough

Okay, Footloose also stars Kenny Wormald as Ren; Dennis Quaid as Reverend Moore; Miles Teller as Willard; Andy McDowell as Ariel's Mom, Vi; Ziah Colon as Rusty etc. But none of them are related to me, so don't you think I should give Julianne top billing? Yeah, I thought so...

Utah made a bid for this film,(I'm sure they wanted to recreate the movie magic of the original film shot in 1984 at the Lehi Roller Mills), and Craig Brewer who directed and lives in Memphis tried to get it made in Memphis… but Georgia just gave away too many incentives. Living in Utah, it would have been fun to have my little girl working in-state for a change.

I was a big fan of the original for all the reasons you might expect..great soundtrack and great dancing. Kevin Bacon was totally awesome and I really liked Dianne Wiest as long-suffering but wise wife of the overbearing Reverend Moore. In the updated film, I liked the fact that the role of Reverend Moore wasn’t as caricatured with Quaid as it was with Lithgoe. It was more about protecting children from harm than over zealous religiosity. Today's version also provided better context to explain the relationship between Ariel and her father.

I actually like Ren's back story in today's film better. It made him more sympathetic and I especially liked the interaction with his uncle played terrifically by Ray McKinnon. (you may remember him as the suitor to George Clooney's wife in "O Brother Where Art Thou", another favorite of mine.) Miles Teller as Willard didn't steal the show, but he delivered a performance that with weaker leads would have overwhelmed them with his appeal. He was great. And can I say that the Teller scene with Ren's nieces is one of the best new scenes in the movie.

When my wife and I saw a sizzle reel of the movie before it was finally edited, we saw the scene where Ren gets off the bus... tosses his duffel over his shoulder, puts on his sunglasses... and immediately knew this kid had his "cool" on. My wife gave a little swoon to confirm that the girls will definitely like this boy. And, oh by the way... he can DANCE! Big Time!

I’ve seen the movie three times (including the premier in L.A.) and every audience (including the usually jaded L.A. crowd) loved it… lots of interaction between the audience and film.

Oh and Julianne? She did make me tear up at least twice in the film… you can probably guess where when you see it. That should say enough about how I felt about her performance. Yes, I am a very proud papa.

Doing a remake is always problematic… but I believe Director/Writer Brewer and Co-Writer (and original author) Dean Pritchord were able to effectively honor the past and still make the new film appropriately contemporary for today’s audience.

I hope you get a chance to see it... I'm going again at a theater near me.

P.S. My boy Derek played Ren on the West End in London and through out Great Britain to rave reviews a few years back... and Julianne's sisters all danced in the country line dance sequence in the movie as well... just look for the blondes!


CaptainSteve said...

Hi Bruce, Great review and recap of this New Footloose, I'm looking forward too seeing it in a theater this weekend with my fellow concert friend. I remember seeing the original at a drive In when I was young. loved it then and will love this one, pretty sure on that with all these rave reviews. & whats not to love about Music and Dance. Your daughter has that covered.

Bruce don't know if you ever stumbled upon my photo's but I'm a (non profit) country music Photographer for the fans of the artists, I have seen your Julianne in Concert 5 times, here's my portfolio there's a few of Julianne. there's also links in there to all my concert reviews.
if any pictures jump out at you and you want a print, well there free and give me a email And send back the HQ jepgs to you.

Cheers and again Stellar review here of JH's new movie. woohoo for the Houghs. btw Derek is gonna win again this year! he and Ricki are working GREAT together.

all the best

Dennis Frank said...

It's great to see your kids doing so well! We love to watch DWTS and see Julianne and Derek excel. They remind me of a younger Bruce & Marianne at the Disco in the late 70's. After such a great movie review you gave, we'll make sure that we go see "Footloose"!