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DISMAL IMAGE QUALITY NEEDS TO BE "CUT LOOSE"!
on September 26, 2004
Herbert Ross' "Footloose" is one of those feel good flicks from the 80s that has dated at about twice the rate of most films from other decades. Its story is based in fact: that of a town ordinance that banned any form of public dancing. When Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) arrives with his family he can barely contain his distemper over the outdated law. He's young, rebellious and full of energy that just needs to be expressed. Together with the rest of the town's high school brethren, Ren resolves to challenge the law and its most ardent supporter, Rev. Shaw Moore - who lost his only son after a night of drunken abandonment and a fatal car accident and thereafter blamed rock music for everything. Moore's daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) is behind Ren's move to ditch the law. Actually, she's the model of good girl/bad girl, staying out late, smoking and making out with her studly boyfriend. The film also co-stars Chris Penn as Willard, a clutsy cowboy who becomes a high steppin' catch after Red teaches him all the right moves. And somewhere in this little trifle you'll find Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty, another high school senior in desperate need of a better hairdo and a lot less lipstick.
Before you pull out you're wallet and cut loose you may want to consider that Paramount's new Special Edition of "Footloose" offers NO improvement over the previously issued DVD. The transfers are identical in their image and sound quality and a complete and thorough disappointment to watch. An incredible amount of film grain plagues many of the opening scenes. There's also more than ample digital grit and aliasing and edge enhancement problems to go around. Age related artifacts crop up everywhere and are distracting. Colors are muted and, at times, extremely muddy and dated. Black levels are never black but a tonal mess of brown and gray. Really, there's nothing to get excited about here. Extras include a three part documentary (it's beyond me why Paramount continues to take one documentary and chop it into three short featurettes that can't be simultaneously played) that includes interviews with the cast and crew and the film's theatrical trailer. Truthfully, though, this is not an outstanding or even ample effort for the folks on the mountain.