Zoë's Blu-ray Review: FOOTLOOSE

Hollywood has recently been lacking original ideas and, instead, recycling films that aren’t even old enough to be considered classics quite yet. It’s almost embarrassing seeing the film industry reboot franchises, and I held firmly to this mentality when sitting down to watch the 2011 rendition of Footloose; but I'm glad to say I was proven wrong. The story is more intense, the dancing is bigger and the stakes are higher in this surprisingly entertaining and lively film.

The Film

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No matter how cheesy or unnecessary you may think this remake is, you will fall in love with the citizens of Bomont all over again. Kenny Wormald is an excellent Ren McCormack. He grants the film with a memorable, leading man performance without trying to copy the iconic Kevin Bacon. Julianne Hough (Dancing With the Stars) offers the perfect blend of sexy and small town charm as Ariel; and the supporting cast -- particularly Denis Quaid and Andie McDowell -- are great to see in these roles. My personal favorite character, Ren’s best friend Willard, is played superbly by Miles Teller.

Acting aside, what makes this film work are the renovated songs and brilliant dance sequences. Blake Sheldon’s rendition of the title song is a respectful and fun nod to Kenny Loggins’ original hit, and the rest of the movie is jam packed with tunes that make you feel the need to dance. I have no problem admitting I downloaded the soundtrack as soon as I finished watching the film, and it’s worth every penny. If for nothing else, the dancing is the the main reason this remake earns the right to carry on the Footloose legacy. There are newer songs and bigger numbers more in tune with this generation, blending fiction and realistic desire into a relevant anthem.

Nothing will replace the cult classic, but this film is a worthwhile homage. Give it a chance and I don’t think you'll have a hard time loving the result, or at the very least appreciating a quality film.

Special Features Breakdown

Jump Back: Re-Imagining Footloose - At nearly 15 minutes, this featrette is a nice comparison of the 80s classic to it's remake chock full of interviews with the cast and crew. I liked learning everyone’s intention and motivation behind wanting to redo such an iconic film, despite inevitable mass criticism.

Everybody Cut: The Stars of Footloose - Also running about 15 minutes long, this compilation offers details about the actors in the film and their background. I didn’t know anything about Wormald or Hough before and here I found out more about their personalities, which even in hindsight made the film more enjoyable.

Dancing with the Footloose Stars - The film's choreographer explains how he wanted to directly reference the original film and yet make it bigger and better. There is some footage from rehearsals spliced with behind the scenes clips, which I think is crucial to maintaining viewer interest in any special feature.

Deleted Scenes - A handful of extra scenes that don’t add too much to the plot but go into more detail about the characters. Although not needed, I liked watching them.

Music Videos - Three videos that can be found on YouTube, but HD versions on your TV are fun to watch and not a lot of home releases include these anymore. Excellent bonus fodder.

Footloose Rap - At a screening of the film, the director had a girl perform a Footloose inspired rap that she wrote. It's a cool extra snippet to an already wonderfully packed Blu-ray.

5 Stars

Boasting high-energy dancing, an inspirational story and an impressive cast of rising stars and screen veterans, writer/director Craig Brewer’s (Hustle & Flow) modern update thrilled audiences of all ages with its combination of youthful spirit and infectious fun. Newcomer Kenny Wormald stars as Ren MacCormack, a city kid transplanted to the small town of Bomont where dancing has been outlawed. Ren goes up against Bomont’s reverend (Dennis Quaid) to challenge the ban with the help of the minister’s daughter (Julianne Hough, “Dancing with the Stars”) and in the process reminds the entire town that dancing is more than youthful exuberance—it’s a celebration of life. The film also stars Andie MacDowell (Beauty Shop) and Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole) and features an outstanding soundtrack with musical artists including Blake Shelton, Big & Rich, Ella Mae Bowen and more.

The FOOTLOOSE Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes over an hour of bonus features such as deleted scenes, a look back at the original film, featurettes on the stars and their dancing, commentary by Brewer, music videos and more. In addition, all Blu-ray and DVD releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – safely and securely – to a variety of devices.