Dirty Dancing

The Weinstein Company

It’s November, which means the air is getting crisp, fallen leaves are crunching beneath people’s feet, and we’re missing all of it because we spend all of our time sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Starting to run out of things in your queue due to your couch prowess? Don’t worry, you won’t have to go outside or anything. New movies are being added to the service all the time, and here we have a list of good ones that have shown up recently. As always, click on the films’ titles to be taken to their Netflix pages. Pick of the Month: Django Unchained (2012) Quentin Tarantino’s first few movies are pretty much universally loved. Not only were they great, they were also at the forefront of a new movement in Hollywood, so they’re guaranteed to be remembered for a long time coming. Around the time he put out Kill Bill things started to change, though. His movies became more about style and less about substance, and the reactions to everything he put out from that point on began to vary quite a bit. Well, for my money, Django Unchained is the best thing this already legendary director has put out since the 90s, which makes it well worth your time. Not only does this movie have plenty of that patented Tarantino style to spare (all the riffs on Spaghetti Westerns, the carefully cultivated pop song soundtrack, etc…), it also deals with heavy subject matter that comes pre-loaded with emotion, […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like any great franchise that’s been in your heart for many years (or just over one year), it keeps coming back whether you want it to or not. Always with more big questions. Not always with more answers. Maybe we can get Damon Lindelof to write this, too. It could use a good rewrite now and again. We begin this evening with a look at Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, a film that brings Gondry back to the world of the surreal. It’s got a delightful could car in which Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou ride. Adorable.

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If the attachment of High School Musical director Kenny Ortega to Lionsgate’s “musical reimagining” of Dirty Dancing didn’t clue you into the type of movie the studio is trying to make, then the film’s latest screenwriter certainly will. Here’s a hint – this thing looks to be going right for the teen-buck. Variety reports that Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk has been hired to rewrite the film’s script as first written by Maria Maggenti. While we don’t know too much beyond that this new film will likely hedge to the side of “inspired by” the Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey-starring new classic, we do know that it will “incorporate classic songs from the 1960s, hits from the original film and brad new compositions.” So, pretty much what Glee does (and not nearly as well as it used to) every week? You know it. For the sake of the project, let’s just hope Zac Efron is available for the new school take on the Johnny Castle role, because it would be pretty surprising if Ortega went after anyone else.

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Aural Fixation - Large

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day (which I know came and went two days ago, but I wanted to keep the romance going) I decided to get into the spirit of things by looking not just into romantic movies, but movies that featured romantic moments where music played a big part in the delivery. We all know the moment when the music swells and our two leads finally lean in, run for or jump into that kiss or embrace created to make our hearts swoon. But I’m not talking about those moments. I’m talking about the moments where the music was just as important as anything said or done and it was the music that truly helped bring the romance to the scene (granted most of these moments were usually also paired with two good looking actors making eyes at each other). Grab your leftover chocolate and conversation hearts and join me in watching these love birds sing, dance and profess their love through the magic of music in these movie moments that are as much about the tunes as they are about the love.

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If I was a different sort of person, the advent of a Facebook game for Dirty Dancing would send me into fits of rage, during which I’d say that Lionsgate was destroying my childhood with this little 16-bit diversion that involves Patrick Swayze’s gorgeous face or Jennifer Grey’s doe-eyed mug telling players just how to earn “romance waves” and “watermelon currency” – but, wait, did you read that right? It’s a 16-bit game that features Patrick Swayze’s gorgeous face or Jennifer Grey’s doe-eyed mug telling players just how to earn “romance waves” and “watermelon currency” – that’s just intrinsically amazing. We already know that Lionsgate is launching a remake of the film (to be directed by original choreographer Kenny Ortega from a script by Maria Maggenti), but the new game doesn’t just nod to the 1987 classic starring Swayze and Grey, it’s almost totally rooted in the trajectory of that first production. If Lionsgate is trying to keep up buzz for their new flick, they’re doing it, and doing it while paying serious homage to the original. Now that’s how you make fans happy.

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A few weeks back, the inevitable happened – Lionsgate announced that they were tangoing and jitterbugging and some other type of dancing that no one does anymore right back into the Dirty Dancing fold with a remake of the smash eighties hit. But before fans could throw themselves into corners or off charming little Catskills bridges, Lionsgate also announced that Kenny Ortega, the original choreographer, had signed on as director. When the remake was first chattered about, way back in 2009, Lionsgate announced that Julia Dahl (Uptown Girls) would be scripting it, but with no attachment of Dahl’s name to the Ortega announcement, a new writer seemed inevitable. And now we know who she is – Maria Maggenti. Who? Maggenti’s resume is, in one word, bizarre. But bizarre in the way that it’s hard to get a feel for what sort films Maggenti is best suited to pen – there’s just no broad, sweeping generalizations we can draw from it (what a pickle). Maggenti most recently wrote the screenplay for Monte Carlo – but with no less than three other people contributing to a film adaption of a novel written by another person altogether. That’s five cooks in the kitchen. Even if Maggenti had a more established career and trademark style, it would still be hard to pin down her exact contributions to the film and how that will translate to this new Dirty Dancing.

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We’ve known that Lionsgate was setting up a remake for Dirty Dancing since 2009, but after announcing that they’d hired Julia Dahl (Uptown Girl) to pen the script, news went dry. But, as is the case with any even somewhat viable property (blood from stones, the usual), it looks like we’re still getting that remake, with the news that Lionsgate has picked Kenny Ortega to direct the film. Dirty Dancing geeks (there have to be some, right? Like, all women everywhere?) will surely note that it was Ortega himself who actually choreographed the original film from 1987, and is the one credited with conceiving of the actual ahem, dirt, of said dirty dancing. Thank you for that, Kenny Ortega. He also directed two episodes of the Dirty Dancing television show from 1988 that nearly everyone has forgotten existed, which is tragic, because it starred no less than Melora Hardin (The Office) and Paul Feig (Bridesmaids). The show lasted 11 episodes, but I’d cut off my own two feet to get it on DVD.

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swayze-ghost

Patrick Swayze died yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of fifty seven. But we all know that actors live on in their work, frozen forever at different stages of their lives and their careers. Some of them, like Swayze, are imprinted on our minds in roles that make them larger than life.

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dirty-dancing-header

In an attempt to show the world that remakes will be the downfall of cinema as art, the folks at Lionsgate appear to be working on yet another useless rehash — a remake of the 1987 romance classic Dirty Dancing.

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Test your boyfriend.

Love is in the air for some reason, so we’ve developed a fool-proof way of testing whether your significant other is worth your time. Now for girls!

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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