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Footloose (2011) Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: A
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
  • Run Time: 113 Mins.
  • Studio: Paramount Home Media Distribution
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • List Price: $44.99

[amazon-product]B002ZG97M4[/amazon-product]


Purchase Footloose on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Sometimes the movie business takes funny twists and turns. The original Footloose dates all the way back to 1984 and featured some of the bright young talents of the era, Kevin Bacon, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lori Singer, anchored by established stars, John Lithgow and Diane Wiest. Very much a movie of its times, the 2011 Blu-ray reissue of the original showed that this film has still aged pretty well.  So why did Paramount Studios redo it, nearly three decades later? The obvious answers: to update it for a new youth audience, to introduce some new fresh faces, and, drum roll, to make money. This deluxe BD packages also includes both a standard DVD and digital copy code for downloading from the internet.

For those who grooved on the original, this new Footloose, while not a line-for-line remake comes pretty darn close in many of the critical scenes. At least no one tampered with the storyline about how young people eventually teach their elders that dance is not a bad thing and that youth should occasionally be served. This time the new kid, Ren (Kenny Wormald) comes from Boston, and Ariel’s (Juianne Hough) bad-ass boyfriend (Patrick John Flueger) is a hot-rod driver. Oh, and “Bomont” is now a hick town in Georgia. Screen veterans Randy Quaid and Andie MacDowell handle the roles of Ariel’s parents.  The real bright new face here is Miles Teller (Ren’s friend Willard).  Director Craig Brewer might have thought it a good idea to use attractive professional dancers like Wormald and Hough in the principal roles and to spice things up with break dancing and line routines. But films do require a bit of acting and the new version comes up somewhat short in this department.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

One of the strengths of films that were originally shot for release in Blu-ray medium is that picture quality is generally sharp and the colors can be eye-popping. There is no question that Footloose 2011 has these qualities all over its 1984 predecessor. Close ups are gorgeous, the young stars are quite attractive, and there is very little grain to the print. Extended group dance sequences are very well handled with the camera making sweet love to the participants.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The good news is that the sound is awfully good. The bad news is that most of the new music tracks fall far short of the originals, with some feeble attempts to “country up” some of the film’s previous hits.  Dialogue is well recorded, not necessarily to the advantage of a reworked script which is no improvement over first Footloose.   There are no surround effects to speak of, not a great loss here.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are some enjoyable if frothy extras. “Jump Back: Reimagining Footloose,” and “Everybody Cut: The Stars of Footloose” try to make self-serving cases for updating this film. “Dancing with the Footloose Stars” is the most enjoyable of these short features, showing how the choreography was put together. Deleted Scenes, Music Videos, and a somewhat painful Footloose rap complete the package. In some respects, the extras are more generous than those with the first Footloose; however, you don’t buy a BD for the extras.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone. Footloose, an attention-getter nearly 30 years ago, had a top-notch cast, great music, and the excitement that its dance fever generated. Those who have seen the older version will find nothing really objectionable in the remake but nothing really exceptional either. Professionals like Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald may be better dancers than were Lori Singer and Kevin Bacon but their limiting acting skills are significant liabilities. Supporting performances by Quaid and MacDowell are solid but less authentic than those of Lithgow and Wiest. I was most impressed by newcomer Miles Teller’s portrayal of Willard, certainly on an even ground with that of the late Chris Penn. The decision to give a country flavor to the soundtrack will appeal to some viewers and turn off others who like more up tempo, less maudlin stuff.  In any case, you will not come away humming many of the new film’s new songs.  While viewers will spend a reasonably enjoyable two hours this new version will not make you forget the somewhat raw magic that was the original Footloose.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B002ZG97M4[/amazon-product]

Purchase Footloose on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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