Movie Poster Dance Off

Posted: November 9, 2014 in Assignments
Tags: , , ,


For my movie poster comparison I chose Footloose, originally made in 1984 and remade in 2011. Now I’ve never actually watched the remake because the original was one of my favorite 80’s movies, one of a collection of movies I hold sacred and feel any remake would ruin for me. Others include The Breakfast Club, Labyrinth, Dirty Dancing and Goonies. You hear that movie companies? Come up with some original ideas and leave my childhood alone! That being said, I figured it would be interesting to compare these two posters and what impression they get across.

We’ll start with the wording and font on each poster. The title of the movie is the prominent text on each poster and they are relatively similar.  The 1984 version has the very hip 80’s vibe, it’s cursive and modern (for the time) and fun. The 2011 poster utilized the same font for the title but made it appear like a neon sign to modernize it. It almost appears to be the name of a nightclub which lends itself to the dance theme of the movie poster. They used the same effect for the tagline of the movie, however, the taglines are very different. The 1984 version lays out more of the plot directly at the top poster, stating, “He’s a big-city kid in a small town. They said he’d never win. He knew he had to.” Then, placed next to the Walkman on his hip, “The music is on his side.” The 2011 poster simply states, “There comes a time to cut loose,” which seems to be a nod at the song “Footloose” and a simplified explanation of the movie plot. Neither poster features the actors’ names in a prominent position, so in both movies they are depending on the theme of the movie to draw people in rather than big name stars.

The images are the most prominent aspect of the posters and they both feature the main character dancing. The 1984 version features Kevin Bacon and his glorious hair rocking out solo. In the background we see farm buildings and a church which represent the small town. He looks rebellious and heroic at the same time. The 2011 version of Ren is wearing the modern equivalent to the 1984 casual cool look of jeans and rolled up sleeves; a T-shirt and jeans gives the same vibe. The girl’s outfit of cut-off short shorts, tied up shirt and cowboy-ish boots is modern but country, it gives off that small-town vibe. The 2011 version features the main character and his love interest dancing extremely close while there is a blur of dancing in the background. I think this plays into the popularity of “dance movies” like Step Up (aren’t there like 20 of those now?) and You Got Served (also too many to count), and the whole “sex sells” approach. Without prior knowledge of the original movie, one would assume this movie is more about a couple trying to “cut loose” than a “big-city kid in a small town.” My belief is that this aims to portray this as a “date movie” and to appeal to a broader audience.

I am actually a little more interested in watching the remake now just to see how it was done and if the impression I gathered from the poster is what is portrayed in the movie. Or perhaps I’ll just stick to the original…


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