Footloose [Blu-Ray] Craig Brewer

Footloose [Blu-Ray] Craig Brewer
Depending on how cynical your initial expectations are, the 2011 remake of 1984's Footloose may pleasantly surprise you. It's certainly very far from a cinematic masterpiece, but manages to avoid some of the traps that remakes of beloved cult films often fall into (for example, the strained attempt to differentiate the new version from the old). In fact, 2011's Footloose isn't much more than a humble love letter to the original, complete with vintage-inspired costuming and style choices, as well as a tame and unpretentious approach to light comedy. The plot is the same as the original: dancing is outlawed in a small rural town, a city boy dares to challenge the rules, young fun lovers versus old fun haters, etc. Even though the contemporary version takes place in the present day, the atmosphere evokes a kind of non-time in which nobody owns or uses a cellphone or computer, and cowboy boots are an unquestioningly eternal fashion staple. Granted, the main character (played by the very talented young dancer and choreographer, Kenny Wormald) does briefly sport a tiny, old iPod, but the time-based references end there. Dancing with the Stars regular Julianne Hough plays the main female character (the repressed yet rebellious preacher's daughter), but Hough's overly tanned face betrays her 24 years (especially with the clarity of Blu-Ray) and doesn't translate well to the attempted depiction of high school innocence. The Blu-Ray offers the standard special feature fare: the cast and crew discuss what a blast it was making the film (and they hope we have just as much fun watching it), while the producers and director meditate on the original Footloose and how much they tried to pay homage to it without doing any disservice. Three official music videos (one for the film's theme song and two country tunes included in the film) contribute to the intentional anachronisms, since music videos are hardly a common product anymore. It's certain there was no disservice done to the original, since the contemporary version is inoffensive, similarly stylized, light-hearted and appropriately predictable. Still, some of the sharp jokes resound surprisingly well and you may catch yourself mindlessly enjoying the film during a hung-over Sunday on the couch. (Paramount)