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My wife LOVED “Dirty Dancing.” She rewound the video cassette again and again to watch Patrick Swayze romance Jennifer Grey over and over again… these days, it’s a matter of picking one of the three (yes, THREE) DVD versions of the movie we have, & jumping from chapter to chapter.

My senior year in high school was a break-out year for me where I went from nerd / geek to cool guy from the “Pirates” musical… the last song at the cast party was “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes… and indeed, that’s EXACTLY what I’d had.

I say all this to say, hearing that a pivotal movie in mine & my wife’s teen years is going to be remade today doesn’t inspire confidence. The original seems to have captured the moment beautifully, it’s perfectly preserved on DVD & Blu-Ray… what have we missed?

To their credit, they’ve picked Kenny Ortega (the original choreographer) to direct the movie. We can expect good dance scenes; will the script and cinematography be worth anything?

Another feather in the cap of Lionsgate studios is the original “Baby,” Jennifer Grey, who says “I’m so excited about this news and I think there’s nobody better to do this than my beloved Kenny Ortega, who is as responsible as anyone for the success of the first one. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do with it.”

…Then again, she thought it would be a good idea to “fix” her nose…

Jennifer Grey is now on “Dancing With the Stars,” so that’s certainly some publicity for one of the stars of the original film, & an introduction to a younger audience. So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, and America’s Got Talent are all recent TV hits, so, maybe…

Reports are the story will still be cast in the early 60s, in the same location, with the same hits (including “She’s Like The Wind”) and some new early 60s hits.

Otega, who has directed High School Musical and Michael Jackson’s This Is It, says “The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me. Growing up in the ’60s on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist.

Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.”

Debra Martin Chase (“The Princess Diaries”) is producing the reboot with Ortega. Lionsgate is currently in negotiations with Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote & co-produced the original film, to sign on in a producer’s capacity.

The Facebook page for the movie has racked up 9.4 million fans as of May, prompting the studio to think of new ways to exploit the title, including a possible online video game. “Dirty Dancing” is also one of the most popular titles in Lionsgate’s catalog, having sold more than 10 million units on DVD.

I’m willing to give it a chance, but I’m not convinced… I think it may end up a bit like the Dirty Dancing TV series.

…What, you don’t remember the Dirty Dancing TV series? I’m shocked! It ran for a whole eleven episodes on CBS in the fall of 1988 & winter of 1989. Here’s the show opening, in case you missed it:



If the idea of putting Baby into an IMAX 3D film bugs you, just remember: it could be worse; they could be remaking Footloose!

…Oh, wait… they ARE!!!

Posted by Gene
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