Thursday, June 23, 2011

They're Remaking Sarah Jessica Parker's Childhood!

Earlier today I posted another film trailer on Facebook as a part of the "30 Day Film Challenge" - a project that, like every other project I partake in, has taken far longer than I had originally anticipated. For Day 29 I had to list my favourite movie as a child and, without even so much as a second thought, I selected Flight of the Navigator. A Disney movie that was released in 1986, but which I remember most fondly from years of VHS repeats. I loved that movie growing up, and I still do!

Nevertheless, I was saddened to see that there is a remake in the works. Thankfully, that news apparently came through the pipeline all the way back in 2009 and there hasn't been a peep about it since so hopefully they've ditched the idea. I can see how easy it would be to remake, but... ugh. I hate being one of those people who holds their childhood memories ransom to a new generation of moviegoers, but Flight of the Navigator just wouldn't quite feel the same without the endearing dated futuristic visuals, Paul Reubens' voice work as the spaceship and Sarah Jessica Parker's adorableness as a frizzy-haired NASA employee (?!) It's just not right, I tellsya!

Perhaps my continued fondness for Sarah Jessica Parker stems from how ingrained she was in my childhood. No matter how many Did You Hear About the Morgans?', Failure to Launch's or I Don't Know How She Does It's she makes with her Sex and the City residual rom-com fame I'll always fondly remember the '80s movies, which were followed by films like LA Story, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks and The First Wive's Club. And, of course, the brilliance that is Sex and the City (the television series, at least).

It's not just Flight of the Navigator from Parker's youth that Hollywood wants to remake! Her seminal '80s dance movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun (co-starring Helen Hunt, Shannon Doherty and Lee Montgomery - *sigh* Lee Montgomery...) has also been put into the big machine. It seems particularly pointless to remake that one since it's plot has already been recycled so many times to the point of redundancy.

And, seriously, who would want Girls Just Want to Have Fun with this?

Not me!

Anyway, despite all the talk about remakes of Flight of the Navigator and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, the one Sarah Jessica Park teen flick that has indeed made its way down the remake pipeline is, of course, Footloose. Far more famous for it's classic soundtrack and being one of Kevin Bacon's breakthrough movies (alongside Friday the 13th) than for anything Sarah Jessica Parker did, it's still a vital part of her early career. Let's take a look at the poster for Footloose circa 2011 first, shall we?

"This Is Our Time" you say? Wasn't that 1984 when this movie was actually new and original? Hmmm. I like the typeface, but that's about it. Also: No walkman. Disappointing! No matter how average the poster is - and that's all it is: average - nothing could have quite prepared me for how bad the trailer makes this movie look. You truly have to see it to believe it.

Oh boy. This looks like a lame direct-to-DVD sequel cash-in, doesn't it? It's been a while since I saw the original and I'm sure it was made with very intentions, but there's no denying that if it continues to have a life in this day and age then it is as a culty comedy of incredibly '80s-ness. To see the material treated with such seriousness is quite off putting. Dennis Quaid laying down the law over crunk dancing? Oy... The film's star is some dancer/actor named Kenny Wormald who is exactly as famous as you would expect from that name. He, sadly, looks like the typically bland male lead these movies all get nowadays. Kevin Bacon was never the most attractive man, but there was a time when teen movies featured actors that didn't all look perfect. Not that they're not in the same pretty boy file, but I wish Zac Efron or Chase Crawford had ended up making this film like originally rumoured. They would at least give it a bit of pizazz. As it is, it just looks lame.

I think the tweet I made last night says it all:

Have you actually watched Footloose lately? It is not a good movie (apart from the soundtrack.) I can spot several visual cues within this remake's trailer that begs comparison to the original and, sadly, those are the best bits! Sadly, no mention of gymnastics and uneven bars. Nostalgia has a lot to answer for!

The one aspect of the trailer that makes me genuinely curious is the inclusion of Miles Teller. He was so good in Rabbit Hole, opposite Nicole Kidman, and seeing his face pop up here in the Chris Penn role was cause for a double take. If he's having fun and getting a decent pay check then good for him. As for Footloose though? Well, I'll be there with bells on like I am to virtually any dance movie, but I just don't see how it's possible that Footloose will be anything other than one of the worst movies of the year. I would, however, love to be proven wrong!

1 comment:

Walter L. Hollmann said...

1) I have seen the original Footloose lately, and I love it without irony. I love how serious everything is, and that this, of all movies, is the one where John Lithgow dials it down. I love the angry gymnastics dance and Dianne Wiest's monologue near the end and the soundtrack and everything.

2) Craig Brewer's previous films are great, so I'm on board for that alone. Dennis Quaid could get me to see anything. And Andie MacDowell, who has never excited me as an actress, but whose presence in things post-90s intrigues me.

3) On a personal note...I was in the stage version twice. In sixth grade, I played the reverend; my senior year of high school, I played KEVIN BACON. This was a year after I played WILLIAM HURT in Children of a Lesser God, so my lifelong goals of being either Hurt or Bacon was realized rather quickly.

4) Put it all together and what have you got? One VERY EXCITED Footloose fan.