Fame (Review)

Remake tied together with a host of fully realized performance sequences

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Back in 1980, Alan Parker and Christopher Gore introduced audiences to a collection of incredibly talented students attending a New York City high school for the performing arts. As the saying goes, everything old is new again. So, too, it is with Fame.

A new edition promises to live forever, but can talent, drive and determination endure in this new age of instant celebrity?

The original Fame wasn’t targeted to kids. Filmmakers tell stories, and in the case of Fame those stories featured young people trying to succeed against the odds. They dealt with and lived in a more adult environment. They wanted fame, but the journey was about work and sacrifice, not the ends.

The new Fame kicks off with a series of auditions for the host of new faces that will constitute the latest generation of creative aspirants. The most likely to succeed is Denise (Naturi Naughton), the classically trained pianist with a voice to die for and parents who must be convinced that R&B is not a waste of her talent. Insecure actor Jenny (Kay Panabaker), fledgling musician/producer Victor (Walter Perez), filmmaker wannabe Neil (Paul Iacono) and rapping actor Malik (Collins Pennie) vie for attention as well, but the new movie sketches their stories in quick verses tied together with a host of fully realized performing sequences.

The resulting formula adheres to the notion that talent lives forever because there will always be kids willing to work hard and sacrifice for dreams of something other than mere fame. Grade: B-

Opens Sept. 25. Check out theaters and show times, see the film's trailer and get theater details here.

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