Kenny Wormald

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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When Craig Brewer was announced to direct the Footloose remake, there were a more than a few heads being scratched. The director behind the fantastic Hustle & Flow as well as the excellent fable Black Snake Moan taking on material which is considered by most to be cheesy was a surface-level surprise. But once you dig deep into the original, there are more than a few themes that tie to Brewer’s work — expressing yourself through art, family issues, sexuality, etc. There are some mature themes in the original. Themes that didn’t quite hit their mark. However, Brewer managed to make those themes fly. The 1984 film had major tonal issues. After witnessing Chris Penn have a five-minute dance montage, you see Ariel (now played by Julianne Hough) get beaten by her boyfriend. Dance montages and girlfriend beatings usually don’t go hand in hand, tonally speaking. This time around, there’s a real care for tone. Footloose is a movie that has its cake and eats it too. Apologies for that dreadful expression, but it’s true. It strives for a seriousness, which is earned. Brewer also aims to make a great crowd-pleaser, and that’s where the film exceeds wonderfully. As someone who despises not only High School kids, but also dancing, I never thought I’d say, “That’s cool,” when the two joined forces.

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It’s not actually shot-for-shot, but see if you can spot all of the exact replications of scenes, moments, and Drivers-License-to-chin-flipping-action that Footloose stole directly from Footloose. Write them in the comments section, and we may find prizes for people or something. As a hint, there are at least 15 similarities. This is definitely not helping my optimistic argument to give remakes a chance. You can’t just shove Stomp the Yard and Step Up into Footloose, call it Footloose, and call it a day creatively. Which of things is just like the other?

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Craig Brewer needs a hero. He’s holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night. Fortunately, according to the fancy press release from Universal I received earlier today via our Mojo Machine, his wait is over. Plus, he’ll be getting a lot more than one hero. Frankly, there’s not much to say about the young talent that’s taking over the iconic Kevin Bacon role in the new version of Footloose or the not-as-iconic Lori Singer role. The first is Kenny Wormald who has appeared as a dancer in a few movies and on “Dancelife.” The second is Julianne Hough who was on “Dancing with the Stars” and other episodes of “Dancing with the Stars.”

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