Editor's note: Heyo, this is a new feature where we kind of just pick something at random at our local Redbox. Could be good, probably bad.
Ladies and Gentlemen, today we have a battle to the death between two welterweight champions of '80s lore!
In this corner... Straight from 1982, directed by John Carpenter... shot grimly with Wilford Brimley... Remade quite aloof with the girl from "Death Proof"...
So THAT'S what happens when a mind is blown...
And in THIS corner... the 1984 version of Glee... the stinger with Lori Singer... pulled out of the sewer by director Craig Brewer...
I think the tagline on the poster is a Churchill quote...
Going into the battle, my handicap is in favor of "The Thing." History may have more memories of "Footloose," but "The Thing" holds a kind place in the hearts of those who remember it.
ROUND 1: THE PLOTS!
"THE THING:" A group of scientists in the arctic locate an alien spacecraft, along with it's pilot. Once the alien breaks free of it's icy fate, it begins killing off the scientists by shapeshifting into them.
"FOOTLOOSE:" A young city boy moves to a small country town after his mother's death. When confronted with the culture change, including a ban on public dancing and music, he instigaes the town's youth into fighting back through dance.
ROUND 2: EXECUTION!
"THE THING:" The original film relied heavily on psychological terror; what do you do when the monster could be the person right next to you? The remake, however, heavily relies on CGI and jump scares, opting to give you shot after shot of a monster that's psychological bark far outweighs it's flashy bite.
"FOOTLOOSE:" The memory of 1984's "Footloose" left me expecting a heaping pile of cheesy, over-glamorized dance routines a la Step Up and a looser plot than "Star Wars Episode 1." I WAS DEAD WRONG. The director (previously from "Black Snake Moan" and "Hustle and Flow") keeps a basic structure but enlists some charismatic young talent and some real intelligence into what could have been just another teen dance off.
ROUND 3: RATINGS!
"THE THING:" Due to it's cheapening of a classic horror flick and all around "same old same old" feel, "The Thing" is, at best, a C for cheesy.
"FOOTLOOSE:" Maybe it's just low expectations, but between subplots and supporting acting that raises the bar, a successful rookie leading male (Kenny Wormald) and writing that only sometimes plays down to it's audience, "Footloose" gets a B+ for beating my cynicism into submission.
THE WINNER: "Footloose." Even if you cringe at the mention of the title, at least see it to know what a "dance flick" can be. The supporting cast (namely Ray McKinnon as the guiding uncle and Miles Teller as a respectfully done hick of a best friend) adds some unforeseen self respect to the show, and if you can forgive some cheesy moments and Dennis Quaid, you may end up being satisfied.