Sometimes, Intel watches things so you don’t have to. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” for example. Today, we train our bloodshot, battle weary peepers on the brand-new Paramount/MTV Films trailer for the remake of the locally filmed “Footloose,” starring “Dancing With the Stars” hoofer/country singer Julianne Hough (in a less than flattering brown ‘do) and newcomer Kenny Wormald. The film was shot in Covington, Acworth and Atlanta last year.
Our first impression of the flick due in theaters in October? It’s a painstakingly faithful remake of the original 1984 film directed by Herbert Ross.
We’re talking a shot by shot homage to the original. The high school hallway dance with Ren and Williard? Check. The school bus race? Check. And bless his heart, Wormald even attempts to recreate Kevin Bacon‘s now-legendary warehouse “angry dance” music video sequence, originally accented by the synth-dripping “Never” by Moving Pictures. It remains unclear if Wormald, who was born the year the original film came out, was allowed Bacon’s original key props for the scene: a cigarette and a bottle of beer. Side bar: In a town where dancing was forbidden, teen smoking, drinking and driving were all apparently permissible. . .
It’s all uncomfortably reminiscent of what director Gus Van Zant attempted in 1998 when he remade Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1960 classic “Psycho” shot for shot. Only it could be argued that Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is a masterpiece of horror and suspense. Complimentary fondue sets, meanwhile, would have enhanced screenings of the original “Footloose.” Primarily, the 1984 “Footloose” became a hit largely due to its MTV-ready soundtrack. Well, that and the fact that sexting and “Angry Birds” had not yet been invented to adequately distract America’s youth.
Another curiosity is Wormald’s accent in the trailer. Is he supposed to be from Australia? Boston? Regardless, the kid can dance which is evidenced in the strictly forbidden hip-hop booty shaking parking lot scene shot at Atlanta’s beloved Starlight Drive-In. In the trailer, character actor Claude Phillips plays a Starlight Drive-In Snack Bar counter guy (named Claude, according to IMDB.com) who gravely warns the rebellious teens: “First sign of the police and I’m gonna pull the plug!”
As you might expect, Starlight Drive-In fans were appropriately snarky when the trailer was posted in the drive in’s Facebook fan page Tuesday evening. Wrote: Joel Burkhart: “I liked ‘Footloose’ better when it was called ‘Footloose.'” Added Slade Gulledge: “Everything is better with Bacon, including ‘Footloose.’ One redeeming quality of the remake is that portions were filmed in Acworth.”
Intel, meanwhile, is secretly hoping for a hip-hop-inspired update of Shalamar‘s “Dancing in the Sheets” to be included on the 2011’s remake’s inevitable soundtrack release.