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A blast from the past is new at the box office this weekend. A reinvention of the 1980 Oscar winning hit film "Fame" follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors and artists in high school, trying to make it into the big times.
Throughout the new movie "Fame," each of the teachers at the legendary New York Academy of Performing Arts is constantly urging students to reach into their soul for their very best. That's what's missing in this updated version of the 1980 film-- soul and spark.
Now, there are some very impressive individual musical numbers, but the plot that should be tying individual student's stories, the school, the teachers and the performances together is lacking.
As we get to know the students the closest we come to a break out role is Naturi Naughton as a classical pianist who finds her heart is really in singing... and, of course, her dad is absolutely determined she'll stick with the piano. The little love story that the filmmakers try to develop between a little shy singer and a naturally gifted singer is... well, awkward.
Now, what about the teachers? The highest profile performers come from the old "Frazier" show. Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth both are woefully underwhelming. The standout here is Charles S. Dutton who actually puts some soul in his character.
But overall, it just doesn't measure up to the fire the original delivered back in 1980 with a cast that had nowhere near the recognizable star power.
Just 2 1/2 stars for "Fame." It's rated PG.