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Revisions give 'Footloose' remake a different look and feel

Times change and Footloose changes with them. Not only with its countrified soundtrack and less emphasis on religious demagoguery, but also details that devoted fans of the 1984 version will notice. Cut loose with your opinion about these revisions made in the 2011 version.

REN'S WORLD

Teenage rebel Ren McCormack moves to Bomont from Chicago in the original; now it's Boston he once called home. And Bomont moved from Utah to Georgia (explaining why Ren now works in a cotton mill rather than a flour factory). Ren already owned the Volkswagen Beetle he drove in 1984; this time it's a gift from his uncle. Oh, and Ren's mother is dead in the reboot. Tough break.

CHUCK NEEDED TO CHILL

Ariel's ex-boyfriend, Chuck, made his frustration clear in the original Footloose by beating her bloody. That would bring howls of feminist protest these days. Instead, Chuck only picks on people his gender — but still gets what's coming to him. There's also no reprise of a brick-throwing assault on Ren's house, scaring his young nieces awake.

, IT GETS BETTER

Ren's penchant for wearing neckties to school was mocked by Chuck as being for "pansies" in the original. The remake inserts a stronger epithet, making Ren's retort about jerks using that word into a timely swipe at gay bashing.

LESS RISKY BUSINESS

In the original Footloose, Ariel proved her rebellious spirit by straddling two vehicles speeding down a country road. There's an urban legend that real-life teenagers died while imitating the dangerous stunt. Director Craig Brewer isn't taking any chances, so the scene is left out of the remake.

, CHICKEN COUP

Ren and Chuck engaged in a pretty dull game of chicken with tractors in the original. Brewer ups the ante and aesthetics with a figure-8 race between the rivals driving multicolored school buses.

'WE'RE ALMOST DANCING.'

In the original Footloose, Rev. Moore hears those climactic, conciliatory words while hugging his wife. Now his daughter Ariel shares the hug that melts his heart.

BEST SONG MISSING IN ACTION

Most of the original's Top 40 smashes are covered in the remake, with one infectious exception. Where is Shalamar's Dancing in the Sheets? Plug in this earworm: "I feel the need to sweep you offa your feet. You and me we should be dancing in the sheets." Make sure to hit the sliding falsetto on "sheets."

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

Revisions give 'Footloose' remake a different look and feel 10/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:30am]

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