Quick Movie Review: Footloose (1984)

It’s very rare that the missus and I can decide on a movie from the instant queue to watch. It’s not that our general movie tastes are so wildly different, but that the queue is full of movies I chose, mostly horror and action movies. Well recently Footloose became available for instant watching and I added it because I had never seen it. As it turned out, neither had she, so we watched it last night while a perfectly good, brand new episode of SNL was on with Jon Hamm. Ah well, we both really enjoyed the movie, so it was worth it.

I’m sure everyone already knows the plot: Kevin Bacon moves into a small town where dancing has been outlawed thanks in part to Jon Lithgow’s Reverend Moore whose daughter is kind of a slutbag. As you might expect, Bacon falls for her and has to deal with small-minded country folk while also making some friends in the form of a young and thing Chris Penn. I was surprised with how emotionally invested I got in the movie. It’s clearly meant to play on every young person’s sense of helplessness at the hands of adult overlords, but then flips the script and gives them power to do something as simple as dancing. I’ve also got to give it to Lithgow for playing his role very evenly, not making his character too one-sided. You can understand why a man would try and outlaw the thing that contributed to the death of his son, but he at least listens to Bacon and reason and, of course, the movie ends with a dance (and a very cathartic fight right before that). The script by Dean Pitchford was written very well, leaving room where it was necessary to and creating some wonderful characters and director Herbet Ross directs the whole thing very masterfully, getting very real performances from a cast that could have easily veered into campiness. And, of course, you can’t talk about Footloose without talking about the awesome theme song played by Kenny Loggins, the master of 80s movie theme songs. I was actually dancing around the room after the movie finished, playing the song on my iTunes (I bought his greatest hits last year and it was worth every penny). The alcohol may have contributed to all that, but I’m pretty sure I’d be dancing even if hooch wasn’t involved.

Live Blogging Best of the Best (1989)

One time in high school my group of friends rented a cabin in a place called Maumee Bay State Park. We did this on a number of occasions, so I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but we were up pretty late watching Best of the Best 3, making strange comparisons between the main character and Chad Mikrut‘s dad (like Chuck Norris-isms). Suddenly, the power went out and we were all a little freaked out because we were kind of in the middle of nowhere with one dad (not Chad’s) and no weapons. Being the horror fan I was, I used my knowledge to freak my friends out. Eventually the power came back on and none of us were killed. With that kind of memory attached the the third Best of the Best movie, I had high hopes for the original.

Unfortunately, this flick isn’t good for any of the reasons it’s supposed to. I was hoping for a pretty badass action movie and instead got one of the slowest in history. But, on the plus side, it stars Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones and Chris Penn. Without further ado, let’s get into this. The movie’s about Eric Roberts who gets picked to join a team of fighters who are facing off against the North Koreans in some kind of championship. Jones is the trainer (along with, gasp, a woman!). Roberts is the main characters and Penn’s one of the other fighters. We also have Phillip Rhee as Tommy Lee, the fighter with a sex tape (or a shadowy past, I can’t remember).

*Is that Hobie? [Nope, it’s not Baywatch’s Jeremy Jackson, but Edan Gross, who plays Roberts’ kid.]

*Eric Roberts looks the freakin’ same! [I only really remember him from Heroes, but he hasn’t changed much.]

*What the hell is James Earl Jones doing in this movie? [You’re DARTH VADER!]

*Chris Penn as a fighter? [I’ve only ever seen Penn in Reservoir Dogs and Stasky and Hutch, so seeing him kick ass was kind of a surprise.]

*There’s an ass-kicking team? [The whole plot of the movie centers around these guys getting picked and trained to fight. Not really sure why, but there’s medals involved.]

*The Buddhist guy looks familiar. [Because he played Andrew on Touched By An Angel, one of my mom’s favorite shows.]

*I love the fighting nerd. [He’s their tech guy and has video and stats on every fighter in the world. Old computers make me giggle.]

*Uh oh, bar fight incoming. [For once I was right. This is the last actual fight until the end of the movie…sigh.]

*”I want him, I want his balls.” [Said by the antagonist in the bar fight, hilarious.]

*A girl’s joining the team? No way! Whew, just as a trainer. Look out boys!

*Holy jeez, dual training montages.

*Ha, young Ahmad Rashad as a sportscaster.

*This movie’s kinda boring isn’t it? You get some cool scenes in the beginning then a bunch of training and drama and now finally the ultimate tournament.

*James Earl Jones Invoked the title!!!

*Finally, the tournament.

*Sonny’s not looking so good, loses. [The guy who played Sonny, one of the five on the team, never acted again, huh.]

*Virgil (the Buddhist) probably gonna win, uh, oh, he’s looking like a punk. He loses!

*Now Chris Penn has to win, otherwise they’re out of it, right? A demonstration of strength decides it. Whoever breaks the most bricks. Aw, he freakin’ lost!

*Oh, total points decide the winner, thanks Ahmad. They probably should have made that clear int he beginning. Well, they might have and I missed it.

*Roberts’ moves look really slow, he just seems to hit hard. A martial arts master would whoop him silly.

*”I’m gonna take your head off.” [I assume Roberts said this to his opponent, but I really don’t remember.]

*”Pop it, pop it, pop it!” [Haha, I think James Earl Jones says this to someone, but I can’t remember!]

*Ahmad keeps staring right at the camera, which makes sense because he’s commentating, but it looks weird.

*Haha, Roberts beats that guy with one arm after getting hurt. Still, should have been more badass.

*Holy shit, Kane Hodder’s in this as Burt, one of the guys in the bar fight. Thanks IMDb!

*Ooh, big showdown, one-eye vs. Tommy. [I didn’t take notes during the middle of the movie, but Tommy’s brother was killed by this one eyed dude in a tourney. Tommy was afraid to unleash his full power because he didn’t want to hurt anyone. Or something. Whatever, now they’re fighting.]

*Tommy needs to stop being such a bitch.

*Even this feels slow and it’s supposed to be the big one.

*Berserker rage!!! That’s what you get one-eye!

*One-eye looks like a zombie.

*I don’t think James Earl Jones REALLY wanted him not to kill that guy. A brief “no” and a headshake don’t make me think you’re serious.

*They f**king lost? Stupid movie.

*Tommy was in all the BOTB flicks, even directed the last two. [More IMDb facts while the movie’s wrapping up.]

*Gag, one-eye apologizes and then “offers himself as your brother.” Blarg. Kick his head off! Did a dude actually write this movie?

*Now they’re all giving the Americans their medals? This is stupid.

*Roberts’ kid is the voice of flounder.

So, I can’t really recommend BOTB for anything other than a potential drunken marathon of all four films with plenty of MST3K or Manly Movie Night-style jokes tossed out.

If you’re still looking for a good, rad movie, I’ve got to offer caution and instead recommend you watch the following clips. That’s all you need. First up, the bar fight.