My Thoughts: The original is lightyears better than the remake; 80’s movie are my favorite! Also, I relate to this movie to the point where it is almost unnerving.
Recommendation: I think this movie is great. It’s well-done, fun to watch, and it has a killer soundtrack. I definitely recommend it!
Writing/Screenplay: I think a lot of people take this movie and see it as a group of teens sticking it to their parents and all moral authorities in their life, but that is not how I see this movie at all. Part of the reason I think that the original is so much better than the remake is because it does a fantastic job of showing the destructive nature of two different moral extremes. When Ariel dove too far to the left she developed a self-destructive (suicidal) nature and it ended with some punk guy who saw her as nothing more than his whore whaling on her. On the other hand, when Ariel’s father (Rev. Shaw) dove too far to the right it ended with the burning of books and the town being so constricting that even his wife couldn’t breathe anymore. In the end the two of them had to learn to communicate and meet somewhere in the middle. That being said I do think that the writing was a little heavy handed in certain places. They got a little sloppy when dealing with the destructiveness of conservatism in the end (particularly with the book burning scene). I felt like the director was hitting me over the head when I watched that scene. Now I do think that’s how I was supposed to feel, I think it was intended to really make the audience feel the frustration that Ariel and the other kids in town were feeling. While I think that is good in theory, in execution it was not conducive to making the film a good film. I was also a little sad because I don’t think there were a lot of great quote take-aways from this film (comment below with your favorite Footloose or just movie in general quote). All in all, though I do think the idea behind this story is a really original one!
Acting: The acting in this movie was all around decent, but not exceptional in any way. Kevin Bacon did well and I really enjoyed watching his cool/smooth (dare I even say righteous or totally tubular) performance. What can I say? I love the 80s; I truly feel I was born on the wrong decade! Now I have to say I was thoroughly underwhelmed by Lori Singers performance. I can’t put my finger on it, but it was just off in some way. Everyone did well, but I’m not shocked that there weren’t any Oscar nominees.
Cinematography: I was pleasantly surprised by the cinematography in this film. I had pretty low expectations, but they were exceeded beyond what I would have thought. Don’t get me wrong the cinematography was not by any means extraordinary, but there were a few choices here and there that pushed it above average. I like the opening scene where everyone is in church listening to the sermon and Rev. Shaw is preaching about how Jesus doesn’t want us to be bored with our responsibilities. As this all is being said the camera is panning over a very bored and disinterested congregation. Shots like this throughout the film added a certain level of interest throughout the film that I wasn’t expecting. Well done Herbert Ross, Ric Waite, and Paul Hirsch.
Soundtrack: And now we get to the radest part of any 80s movie, the rokin’ soundtrack. Seriously this movie soundtrack was fantastic! It was nominated for two Oscars. The one thing I will say is that for as awesome as this soundtrack is, Ren had horrible taste in music. I mean who in their right mind picks Men at Work and The Police for their favorite bands. Yes, they have some good songs and they don’t totally suck, but common they’re no Bon Jovi. Just saying! That said, the soundtrack was really great. I had no idea that so many classic 80s jams originated with this movie. The music was by far and away my favorite part of this movie.
Overall Score: 31/40
Mr. Gurntz: “He was trying to teach *that* book down at the school.”
Mrs. Allyson: “Slaughterhouse-Five, isn’t that an awful name?”
Ren: “Yeah it’s a great book… Slaughterhouse-Five, it’s a classic.”
Mr. Gurntz: “Do you read much?”
Mrs. Allyson: “Maybe in another town, it’s a classic.”
Ren: “In *any* town.”
Willard: “You won’t get any dancing here, it’s illegal.”
Ren: “Jump back!”