1. Footloose (Paramount, 3,300 Theaters, 113 Minutes, Rated PG-13): As Hollywood makes its way through remaking all of its iconic films, we once again return to the 80s dance film genre. After Fame and this one, can a Flashdance remake be far behind?
The plot remains the same. An urban teenage boy moves to a bucolic farm town that has banned dancing. But the boy loves to dance so he leads a rebellion of the town’s youth against the stuffy lawmakers. Who will win? The kids, of course. But if you are at all interested in this film, you probably already knew that.
Another thing that is the same as the original is the use of 20-something actors to play the high school teens in the film, although the 27 year old Danny Wormald and the 23 year old Julianne Hough are younger on average than the then 26 year old Kevin Bacon and then 27 year old Lori Singer.
2. The Thing (Universal, 2,900+ Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated R): While Hollywood sure like remaking 1980s dance films, the love remaking “classic” horror films. They love it so much that some horror franchises have been remade twice.
This film might seem like a remake of the 1982 Kurt Russell version, itself a remake of 1951’s The Thing From Another World, since it has the same “scientists at an Antarctica research site come across a body snatching alien–fear and paranoia ensues.” However, this film is actually billed as a prequel to the Kurt Russell film. Not that it makes it any more original, but still.
And is it too early to call Mary Elizabeth Winstead the modern day Jamie Lee Curtis? Her career trajectory–horror films mixed with genre flicks and the occational action film or comedy–is remarkably similar to Curtis’. Aptivia people, keep an eye on Winstead. She might just be you spokesperson 20 years from now.
What’s more, it’s based on a true “sport,” which was profiled in the non-fiction book by the same name. A sport that many people take VERY seriously. That is custom-made comedy right there.
That being said, I have reservations about the film. Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black have all been funny a lot of comedies. But they have also been awful in a lot of comedies. One could argue that such a true-life high-concept film doesn’t really need comedic actors. But if it does, it would have been better if they got starts that had a more consistent track record.