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On Feb. 17, 1984, a movie called 'Footloose' was released into theaters near people who were alive in 1984. On Oct. 14, 2011, a movie called 'Footloose' is being released into theaters near people who are alive today. On this monumental 27-and-a-little-more-than-half-a-year anniversary of the original, does the world need a new 'Footloose'? Is the world ready for a new 'Footloose'? As a service, here is an answer to every question that you could possibly have about the new 'Footloose.'
Q: Have you been working so hard?
A: Yes, actually, on a way to properly review the new 'Footloose.' So far, to no avail.
Q: Are you punching your card?
A: No, I do not have to submit a time card to document the amount of time I spent at the 'Footloose' screening.
Q: Eight hours?
A: 'Footloose' is nowhere near eight hours long.
Q: For what?
A: I ask myself that every day.
Q: Oh, tell me what I got?
A: Well, you've got a brand new 'Footloose' movie, which, surprisingly, is very much like the first 'Footloose' movie. I mean this in the best possible way. Even with the same characters, including Ren McCormack, now played by Kenny Wormald. (Also, you have very bad grammar, that's also what you have.)
Q: Does Kenny Wormald have the feeling?
A: I don't know about that, but Kenny Wormald (taking over the role that Kevin Bacon made famous) does look a little bit like a younger Johnny Depp.
Q: Does Ren feel that time is holding him down?
A: Just like in the first film, Ren McCormack moves (from Boston, as opposed to Chicago) to the small town of Bomont after his mother passes away.
Q: Will Ren hit the ceiling?
A: No ceilings are hit during the 'Footloose' remake.
Q: So he tears up the town?
A: Well, Ren is frustrated because, like in the first film, dancing has been outlawed in Bomont -- which is now in Georgia as opposed to an unnamed western state. "Tear up" is a strong way to word it -- though he does find a Quiet Riot album.
Q: Does he play it?
A: No, because he finds an old 33 LP record, but, inexplicably, Ren has Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" already on his iPod.
Q: So cool?
A: Looking back, I'm really not sure Quiet Riot was ever that cool. But Ren is cool because it's 2011 and he's listening to Quiet Riot. Ren also wears a hip skinny tie to his first day of school in Bomont, which is cool. It's also a bit pretentious. Also pretentious is the fact that Ren is played by a guy who is 27-years-old.
Q: Does Ren obey every rule?
A: Well, just like most 27-year-old teenagers, Ren has a bit of an ornery streak. As a former gymnast, Ren says "no" to dope -- but has no problem breaking city noise violations and that pesky outlaw on dancing.
Q: Does Ren dig a way down into any hearts?
A: Ren becomes a tad smitten with Ariel (Julianne Hough), who comes with some unfortunate baggage: Not only is she the local preacher's (Dennis Quaid) daughter -- whose older brother died in a horrific car accident (shown on screen this time around) which led to the town ban on dancing -- she also has a dick-ish boyfriend named Chuck.
Q: And burning...
A: Just like in the original 'Footloose,' the serious issue of sexually transmitted diseases are not addressed.
Q: No... burning, yearning for somebody to tell him...
A: That he looks too old to be a high school student?
Q: No, that life ain't passing him by?
A: Um... I suppose. I mean, he does become friends with a classmate named Willard (Miles Teller). A classmate who, if this were reality, would never, ever be friends with Ren McCormack.
Q: I'm trying to tell you.
A: I'm listening.
Q: It will if he doesn't even try.
A: To be fair, Ren does try. I mean, he even participates in a very dangerous bus race on a figure eight style track (as opposed to very slow moving tractors).
Q: Yoooo oh oh ohhhh oh.
A: Wait, what?
Q: Yoooo oh oh ohhhh oh.
A: Are you in pain? You sound like you are in pain.
Q: First, we got to turn you around.
A: The new version of 'Footloose' did turn me around. Honestly, I had no desire whatsoever to see this movie, yet, by the end, I was completely on board.
Q: Second, put your feet on the ground.
A: It was hard to keep my feet on the ground considering the music in the film! But that has a lot to do with the fact that two of the original songs -- Kenny Loggins' 'Footloose' (which is stuck in my head right now for some reason) and Deniece Williams' 'Let's Hear it for the Boy' -- are used, which are great to hear again in a theater. Also, we get a cover version of 'Holding Out for a Hero' and Ren performs his angry warehouse dance to The White Stripes.
Q: Third, now take a hold of your soul.
A: I've been thinking about this. Perhaps I have no soul -- it's possible -- but against all odds, I really did like the new 'Footloose.' A lot. And I hesitate to even call it a remake -- it's more of a love letter to the original. (Also, I have a feeling I know how this piece is going to end.)
Q: Will you turn it loose?
A: OK, I definitely know where this is going.
Q: Everybody cut, everybody cut... everybody cut, everybody cut... everybody cut, everybody cut. Everybody cut footloose!
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
[Top photo: Paramount]
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