'Footloose' misses the fun, 'Ides of March' is first-rate

‘Footloose’ remake misses the fun

When it comes to unnecessary remakes, the list keeps getting longer. You can add “Footloose” to that list.

This update begins at a barn dance and kegger, where the teen toe-tappers are dancing up a storm to – what else? The song “Footloose.” Within minutes, tragedy strikes when a car with five of the revelers collides head-on with a semi. One of the victims is the son of Rev. Moore, played by Dennis Quaid, who reacts by outlawing music in the town of Bomont, Ga.

Three years later, following his mother’s death from leukemia, Ren moves from Boston to Bomont to finish his senior year of high school. He quickly winds up in hot water for playing the music too loud on his car’s souped-up speakers. From there on, it’s outsider Ren clashing with the town folk.

Whether he’s kicking ass in a school bus demolition derby, getting pawed by the preacher’s daughter (the generic Julianne Hough) or being accused of dealing drugs by the school principal, the dude can’t win. But he’s not going to give up easily. He sets his sights on overturning the town’s restrictive laws and throwing a good old-fashioned dance.

Custom-built for the NASCAR set, with tons of loud motors, trucks and twang, “Footloose” is a bit nastier than the original –both in terms of sexual frankness and violence. But it’s nowhere near as much fun.

Although the cheap and easy shots at Rick Perry’s people of the South are good for a few chuckles, on the whole “Footloose” is clumsy and pointless. And as Ren, Kenny Wormald, who has trouble maintaining his Boston accent, is no Kevin Bacon.

“The Ides of March” is a first-rate political thriller

As if to prove that being a handsome, Oscar-winning actor simply isn’t enough, George Clooney once again takes his place behind the camera (as well as in front of it) in the first-rate political thriller “The Ides of March.”

Treachery and betrayal abound in this story of rising young campaign staffer Stephen, played by the increasingly stunning Ryan Gosling, and campaign manager Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman). They’re working on the presidential primary campaign of Democrat Mike Morris (Clooney) in Ohio.

Morris is one of those candidates who always says and does the right thing. He’s a dedicated family man who already looks the part of a chief executive. Everyone is drawn to him, and the eager and wide-eyed Stephen is a major asset to his team.

Stephen appeals to high-profile New York Times reporter Ida (Marisa Tomei). And he charms the pants off intern Molly (Evan Rachel Wood). During one of his rendezvous with Molly, Stephen makes a startling discovery: She’s pregnant with Morris’ baby.

“The Ides of March” effectively captures the behind-the-scenes hubbub of a primary campaign and amps up the intrigue with the pregnant intern story. In true powder-keg fashion, the fuse is lit in the first frames, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing blows sky high.

If political thrillers and hot men appeal to you, then “The Ides of March” deserves your vote.


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