June 22, 2011
The trailer for the remake of Footloose is out. If you're like me and you watched the original over and over again back in the 80's, you'll notice that there are many near-identical shots and sequences:
But because this is the 21st century, there's also 100% more backing it up.
Though the world has known this for over a year, I somehow totally missed that the guy directing this remake is Craig Brewer, who also made Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan, two movies about poor people living in Memphis, driven by their situations to extreme, desperate behavior, such as working as a prostitute, laying down a crunk track with DJ Qualls, or chaining Christina Ricci to your radiator. They're flawed movies, but they have incredibly compelling characters, excellent soundtracks, and dark story lines that stay with you even though they're wildly unrealistic.
So, Footloose? It turns out that Craig Brewer is an intensely devoted fan of the original, and used to listen to an audio recording he made of the entire movie on his way to and from school. "I know every moment of Footloose," he said in an interview from back when he started working on the remake.
He also wrote the screenplay, scrapping an early, probably far sunnier version, and putting his own spin on the story. He calls it an example of "working-class cinema", so I'm guessing it's grittier and a lot weirder than it started out.
One other good sign: remember Willard, the rhythmically-challenged kid who befriends Kevin Bacon and adorably succeeds in learning some smooth moves in the "Let's Hear It For the Boy" sequence, which was one of Chris Penn's better roles? Willard is going to be played by Miles Teller, who was totally great as the teenage boy in last year's very heavy Rabbit Hole. Looks like the original sequence is faithfully recreated (see above) except that the guys' outfits are, sadly, nowhere NEAR as tight as they were in the original.
Basically, if you're interested in watching Footloose, but with more bare midriffs and less Kenny Loggins, this is your movie.
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