Sept. 21 2011 12:00 AM

If you want to get 'Footloose,' you're in the right town


When I was in college — around the time that dinosaurs ruled the Earth — my friends and I couldn’t wait to see “Footloose.”

More than 25 years later, my niece is a college student  and she and her friends want to see — yes — “Footloose.”

In my day, it was all about Kevin Bacon,
Lori Singer and John Lithgow; in the 2011 version, Kenny Wormald,
Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid have taken on the lead roles. 

When it comes to remakes, it’s hard not
to go along with the proposal made years ago by critic Roger Ebert:
Instead of doing new versions of movies that were perfectly good to
begin with, why not start by taking another shot at the films that
weren’t very good?  

Unfortunately, no one has stepped up to remake “Howard the Duck” or “The Bonfire of the Vanities” or “Gigli.” Instead, we keep getting freshened-up takes on material that was done perfectly well the first time around, like “The Karate Kid,” “Arthur,” “Clash of the Titans” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Some of them have been OK, some of them awful, but very few have surpassed their inspirations. Now, Craig Brewer (“Hustle and Flow,” “Black Snake Moan”) has tackled the 1984 smash about a city kid who literally rocks a small town by defying its laws against dancing.

I was invited to a screening of the new “Footloose”
about a month ago and I arrived with skepticism intact: I fully planned
to pan it. But Brewer almost instantly disarmed me: His film honors and
celebrates the best elements of the original without being ridiculously
reverent, and he manages to find that same spark that made the first
movie a touchstone for moviegoers of my generation.

Want to see for yourself?

Lansing will be treated to an advance
look at Brewer’s “Footloose” Thursday night, and I’ve got a limited
number of passes to give away. Visit, and look
for the link. And after you see it, let me know what you think — I hope
you are as pleasantly surprised as I was.

’Cave of Forgotten Dreams’

How many works of art can be said to have been clawed by cave bears?

The 30,000-year-old pieces on the walls
of the Chauvet Cave in southern France survived those kinds of
scratches, as director Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man,” “Encounters at the
End of the World”) shows in his jaw-droppingly beautiful documentary,
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” which East Lansing Film Society screens
next week.

Herzog unveils the mind-blowing
portraits that were found inside the cave when it was finally explored
in 1994. They are, Herzog insists, “the oldest paintings ever
discovered — more than twice as old as any other.”

The movie blends together history,
mystery and some of that wonderfully whacked-out Herzog humor into a
thoroughly spellbinding film that’s not to be missed. 

‘Cave of Forgotten dreams’

East Lansing Film Society

7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and

Sept. 29, Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing; 7  and 9 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 2 p.m. Oct. 2, Wells Hall, Michigan State University

$7 adults; $5 seniors; $3 students

(517) 980-5802