Fame ★★★

Considering that this loose remake of Alan Parker’s 1980 film of the same name covers four years in 107 minutes, it is understandable that it feels fragmented, but that, in combination with rather weak and clichéd characterization, prevents the viewer from really caring about and connecting with any of the central characters. Nevertheless, one senses that the characters grow and, in most cases, improve as the school years go by, and they do so in a fairly believable way.

While the primary function of the plot is to get from one performance to the next, there are times when it adds a little depth to the proceedings. Perhaps the best example of such a moment is the dramatic scene that takes place in a subway station.

Well-choreographed and lively performance sequences. The graduation show at the end of the movie is expectedly impressive and effective, but the performance by Denise (Naturi Naughton, the standout in the cast), Malik (Collins Pennie), and Victor (Walter Perez) in front of an audience that includes Denise’s parents is not far behind in terms of visceral impact.

Kevin Tancharoen’s competent direction infuses the film with appropriate energy. The soundtrack is great, just as it should be. Accomplished film editing and excellent sound mixing are two other things that characterize "Fame".

Keep an eye out for the movie posters that are visible in the background in a couple of scenes. I was able to spot posters for "King Kong", "M", and "Killer Klowns from Outer Space".

The young, good-looking members of the ensemble cast are quite good performers and okay actors, and there is chemistry between them. Kelsey Grammer plays Martin Cranston, one of the teachers at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, and he does it with aplomb.