Flashback Friday: Footloose (2011)

There are some IPs that are begging to be rebooted. There is something about this particular narrative that still appeals to a modern audience, even after a few decades.

In 2011, a remake of Footloose hit theaters. Replacing Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, and John Lithgow are Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Dennis Quaid.

As in the original Ren MacCormack (Wormald) is a big-city kid who is forced to move to a small town where dancing and rock and roll are outlawed. He loves nothing more than cranking up the tunes and losing himself in the moment. After falling for Ariel (Hough), whose Reverend father (Quaid), has made it his business to keep Ren’s first love illegal for the under-18 set, Ren goes on a crusade to overturn the legislation.

Unlike other sequels/remakes that are based on nostalgia, this film works. It has the narrative bones of its predecessor. But it is deeper, more diverse, and a reminder of why the original is still beloved.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

P.S. The music is still awesome.

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Flashback Friday-Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)

These days, divorce, re-marriage and blended families are completely normal. But that does not guarantee that these new blended families will get along.

In the 2005 film, Yours, Mine & Ours (a reboot of the 1968 Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda film, Yours, Mine and Ours) Admiral Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) is a widower with ten children. His military lifestyle has extended to his home life, using it as a way to keep order in his large and busy household. Helen North (Rene Russo) is a widowed artist with an equally large household, though her children live a much freer lifestyle than Frank’s children.

Former high school sweethearts, Frank and Helen reunite after decades of separation. They quickly decide to get married, which does not sit well with their respective children. Though Frank and Helen are in the throes of love, their children are not so in love with the additions to their family and make a plan to end the marriage.

As movies go, this movie hovers somewhere between mildly charming and harmless. It’s not the most cerebral of films, but it is also the kind of film that one can watch on a rainy weekend afternoon and not feel like one has wasted two hours of their time.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Flashback Friday-World War II Movies- For The Boys (1991) and Come See The Paradise (1990)

Sometimes, the best stories come out of the greatest tragedies. World War II is no exception.

In the early 1990’s, two movies exemplified this idea.

In For The Boys (1991), Dixie Leonard (Bette Midler) and Eddie Sparks (James Caan) are entertaining the boys overseas during World War II. After the war, they become America’s favorite on screen couple, until the Red Scare forces them apart.

I like this movie. World War II movies usually focus on the men fighting, they seldom focus on the entertainers who put their lives on the line to entertain the troops.

Come See the Paradise (1990) is about the dark side of America during World War II. In 1936 Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid), takes a job in a movie theater in Los Angeles neighborhood of Little Tokyo. He falls in love with Lily (Tamlyn Tomita), who is the boss’s daughter. Lily’s father does not approve of the relationship and they must escape to Seattle. But then war breaks out and Lily and their daughter are forced into the concentration camps with the rest of the Japanese American citizens.

I also like this movie. The subject of the forced internment of the Japanese-American population during World War II seems to be over looked most of the time. This movie is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

I recommend both.

Flashback Friday-It’s The End Of The World As We Know It- Independence Day (1996) & The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Director Roland Emmerich likes to destroy the world, at least on screen.

In Independence Day (1996), it is two days before July 4th. Communication systems around the world are failing for what seems to be no reason. At first, the reason is though to be meteors. Then David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that Earth is about to destroyed by an alien race. The day before July 4th, many of major cities around the world are destroyed by the aliens. The survivors have one more chance to save Earth. Can David and Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) save the world on July 4th?

For a movie that is more science fiction than fact and more action than plot, it’s not bad. Considering that it was made in 1996, the special effects are also pretty decent.

In The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist. He discovers that a rather large ice sheet has separated from a glacier and could potentially affect climates around the world. At the same time his son, Sam, (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in New York City for a school trip. When the upper part of the United States is hit by a giant wave and then frozen over, Jack will go on a daring and dangerous mission to rescue his son.

Before I go any further, I will warn that anyone who sees this movie for the first time, must watch on a large screen. Watching this movie on a small television, the impact is lost.  This movie hit’s home for me, especially with the idea of climate change. Now granted, this is a movie and I am sure that some liberties were taken with the plot. After Hurricane Sandy hit two years ago, this movie had elements that were very real. Especially the large wave hitting downtown Manhattan (I see that view nearly every day).

I recommend both.

Flashback Friday-Careers That Could Have Been-The Parent Trap (1998) & What A Girl Wants (2003)

There are two types of child stars. There are the child stars, who despite their pasts, grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults and have long, successful careers.  Then there are the ones who end up in the newspaper tabloids. These former child stars are known more for their nightly activities and their day trips to court more than their latest movie.

The latter is the subject of this flashback Friday post.

Hollywood is all about remakes. One cannot go to the movie theaters without seeing at least one trailer for a movie that is being remade. In 1998, Lindsay Lohan burst into Hollywood with remake of the 1960’s movie, The Parent Trap.  Like Hayley Mills in the original 1961 movie, Lohan played identical twins whose divorced parents (Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson) split the girls up as infants. They unknowingly send their daughters to the same summer camp. When the girls realize that they are sisters, they hatch a plan to bring their parents back together.

The British are known for their stiff upper lip and strong adherence to tradition. But what happens when an American teenager, convinced that a British politician is her father, forces herself into his life?

Daphne (Amanda Bynes) was raised in New York City by her single wedding singer mother, Libby (Kelly Preston). Daphne has been told stories about her father, but has never met him. Without telling her mother, Daphne travels to England to meet her father, Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth). Henry has aristocratic lineage, but has given up to the title to run for Parliament.  All is well in Henry’s world, until the American teenaged daughter he never knew he had crashes into his world and could possibly ruin his election.

These movies are so good. Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are naturally gifted performers.  Sadly, we talk of their careers in past tense instead of present tense.


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