Monday, 9 August 2010

Step Up 3D


Dir: Jon Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets)
Cast: Adam G. Sevani, Rick Malambri, Sharni Vinson, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth, Stephen Boss (aka Twitch), Kendra Andrews, Martín & Focundo Lombard
USA, 2010

Seen: August 6, 2010 at Scotiabank in 3D with my sister Jamie!

Reason to see: Dance movie & I loved the original Step Up

First off, I'm going to have a little freak out that the original Step Up came out 4 years ago in 2006 (the year I started writing about film online), it was not only one of my Favourite Films of 2006 but also was part of my second (out of three) tries to see films in the theatre for 52 weeks in a row. Wow, that all feels so long ago! Between now & then we had Step Up 2: The Streets, which I finally saw recently but doesn't hold up to to the original Step Up, a tried and true dance film with the whole 'other side of the tracks' angle, great dancing, inspiring story and of course a romance.

I think Step Up 3D bridges the many of the best elements from both of its predecessors and brings us a much better film that even I, a dance film fanatic, expected. We get the traditional dance film formula from Step Up and then the ensemble dances & battle focus of Step Up 2: The Streets, which in a lot of ways is the best of both worlds and firmly centres the film in the now. Major differences from more traditional dance movies include that it has arguably not one but two protagonists (Moose and Luke), both are male, and neither have traditional dance journeys or styles. Adam G. Sevani plays Moose (reprising his role from Step Up 2: The Streets), whom is just starting his higher education with a focus on engineering, and Luke (played by Rick Malambri) is the kind of cool older friend that will let you crash at his place, a place for misplaced dancers where everyone is welcome. This really shows the diversity and open spirit of the film, which completely charmed me over and permeates every part of the film from the large cast of dancers to the spirit of competitions to the importance of loyalty.

Now, the dancing. Oh, the dancing! Straight-up the dancing in the film is fantastic. I loved watching all the battle sequences, in particular The Samurai's who were through the roof! The dance numbers, tricks and energy had me smiling and cheering throughout the film. This is were the ensemble spirit really comes into play, and we get to see tons of fantastic dancers from not only the the competitors but home team (The Pirates) as well, many of which are just as amazing on the dance floor as they are off, in particular The Lombard Twins.

Step Up 3D hits all the marks of a great dance film from the whole two sides of the tracks squaring off, competition, romantic interests and the whole dance vs. 'regular' life argument in terms of life priorities. But where it shines a different light is that it really takes to heart it's own ensemble cast and group nature of the film, showcasing the different reasons people dance and what it means to them and it does this in a very sincere way that it completely won me over with the heart of the film.

Okay, the 3D. I'll write more about 3D more as separate of this review but in brief, I don't see the majority of 3D effects in film and usually opt to see films in 2D but Step Up 3D was only playing in 3D in the T-Dot. Out of the effect, the of the direct to the centre of the screen stuff was cool (that I could see), and it seemed like the effects were a fun addition to the film and it wasn't distracting during the sort of regular drama stuff. I'm curious to how it will read on a smaller screen without the effects, but I didn't mind getting the extra that I saw.

We usually get dance movies every few years, but dance has taken a much more prominent role back into popular culture, I'm sure in a large part due to the TV series So You Think You Can Dance. Step Up 3D even features 2 dancers from previous seasons, b-boy Legacy from Season 6 and tWitch from Season 4, and it was great to see both of them on the big screen. I hope we see more and more dance movies in years to come.

Shannon's Overall View:

I enjoyed it
I'll buy it
I'd recommend it as to dance film fans

16 minutes of preshow including 7 commercials and 5 previews: StreetDance 3D, Burlesque, Due Date, Tron: Legacy and Tangled

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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