‘Footloose’ review and holiday previews
When a city slicker moves to a Texas town of 20,000, he learns that the teens there can’t dance. Five died in a fiery tracker trailer accident after a dance so, although alcohol and drugs were involved, the town outlawed swinging to the music.
Kevin Bacon will not be found in or connected by six degrees to the remake of “Footloose,” though he’s starred in over 50 films (Apollo 13, Mystic River, Few Good Men) since his character, Ren, challenged Bible Belt beliefs in the 1984 version.
Julianne Hough plays the preacher’s daughter whose reckless character cheats death on railroad tracks and race cars when she isn’t busy locking lips with somebody. Kenny Wormald reprises Bacon’s role in the 2011 release.
Hough oozes sex appeal while Wormald dishes out Yankee smarts and sassy retorts, such as “reading, writing and redneck” training. The stars have great chemistry.
Soundtrack of familiar tunes aside, “Footloose” strongly condemns the use of religion as a means of controlling curious, fun-seeking and respectable teens from enjoying each other’s company and learning confidence by lowering their time spent with their parents. The challenge to authority literally emerges in politically comfortable and respectable fashion. Maybe the filmmakers desired a slight message – if you want to play in an adult world, you have to approach things the way an adult would, not as a flaky teen.
CAPSULE HOLIDAY MOVIE SCHEDULE
When the year-end triple holiday period approaches, Hollywood has schedules packed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and just after the New Year. Although January tends to be leftovers, the first and second months of 2012 will each contain lead blockbusters.
Before hitting the highlights and the schedule, one film – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” – starring Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn and Sandra Bullock, must be designated in a category of its own. It’s a drama of events surrounding the September 2001 terrorist attacks. A boy having lost his dad at the World Trade Center believes that a key left behind opens a nearly magical door. But the kid faces millions of doors in NYC to find the answer. The film opens before Christmas in larger cities and in mid-January in smaller ones.
“Tower Heist” – The flick may have Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck and Eddie Murphy, but this revenge of the Ponzi scheme thieves has a troubled history in terms of rewrites. Specifically, a group of victims hatch a scheme to raid the wealthy man’s safe on the top of a high rise.
“The Immortals” – Tarsem (“The Cell”) Singh directs this “Clash of the Titans”-type tale of a mortal chosen by Zeus to stop Greece’s King Hyperion from destroying the world.
“J. Edgar” – One of the season’s award contenders, Clint Eastwood directs a biography of FBI leader, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose public crime fighting image was distorted by back room secrets.
“Jack and Jill” – Adam Sandler goes drag in a Turkey Day meet up between two identical opposite sex twins. Katie Holmes and Al Pacino join the acting mix, while Dennis (“You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry,” “Grown Ups”) Dugan has the director’s chair.
“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)” – “Dreamgirls” and “Gods & Monsters” director, Bill Condon, has the task of putting fangs into the “Twilight” two-parter, which brings the birth of Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) child.