Footloose (40th Anniversary Edition): 4K UHD Review

Just in time for its’ 40th anniversary, Paramount brings the Herbert Ross directed 1984 pop-culture classic, Footloose to 4K UHD for the first time. This is the film that made Kevin Bacon and helped make Kenny Loggins the go-to 80’s movie soundtrack king. Loggins contributed to Caddyshack, Footloose, Top Gun and his song in Caddyshack II was the only good thing in that film.

Big City teenager Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) and his mother Ethel (Frances Lee McCain) move from Chicago to the small town of Bomont to live with Ren’s aunt and uncle.  While Ren is not too happy about the relocation, he becomes increasingly frustrated when he learns that the things he loves the most (rock music and dancing) are banned in the town, due to the untimely deaths of a couple of kids a few years back. Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow) is the one who helped lead the charge to make these things illegal. However, his daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) has no problem rebelling against her father. The reverend’s wife Vi (Dianne Wiest) clearly doesn’t agree with everything her husband stands for. Ren does make a couple of friends at his new school, the main one being Willard (Chris Penn).

Ren also befriends Ariel which makes her boyfriend quite jealous. The reverend isn’t happy either, as he feels Ren is a bad influence.  All Ren really wants to do is fit in and dance, so he takes it upon himself to help show the local teens how to party (in a safe way). However, with the ban on music and dancing, Ren must figure out a way to get through to the city council and the reverend, so that the kids can have a senior prom. Of course, he finds a way and the film ends with a fun and memorable dance sequence.

The new 4K UHD is a massive improvement over the 2011 Blu-ray. The 2160p Dolby Vision with HDR10 presentation fixes many of the issues that plagued the previous release. Skin tones look more detailed and realistic and certain sets definitely pop much more. A perfect example would be the prom-ready basement set used for the film’s final minutes. The blacks are much deeper, which is very noticeable during Ren’s big solo dance moment, when he is releasing some steam. The audio track is a bit of a downgrade from the Blu-ray but truthfully, the switch from 6.1 DTT-HD audio to 5.1 wasn’t even noticeable to me.  The music really soars and that’s important when it comes to a film like Footloose. The bonus content included here are previously released legacy features, but the real star of this release is the video upgrade. If you are a Footloose fan, this release is worth picking up here.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary by Craig Zadan and Dean Pitchford
  • Commentary by Kevin Bacon
  • Let’s Dance! Kevin Bacon on Footloose
  • From Bomont to the Big Apple: An Interview with Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Remembering Willard
  • Kevin Bacon’s Screen Test
  • Kevin Bacon Costume Montage
  • Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 1
  • Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 2
  • Footloose: Songs That Tell A Story
  • Theatrical Trailer

By: Marc Ferman