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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Third Dimension Brings Out A Solid New Way to Step Up

Step Up 3D: 3 stars out of 5
Luke: Some people learn to dance... Others are born to.
In 2006, we were told that, "every second chance begins with the first step," as Step Up was thrust upon us in theaters. In 2008, the series upped the ante by bringing it 2 the Streets. Now, the series has done the inevitable, stepping up to a whole new dimension; the third dimension...and some how it worked. For whatever faults there are in this film, one cannot argue that the dancing and choreography is fantastic, there is some solid film-making present in capturing said dance scenes, and the (real) 3D is put to great effect. This may not be my type of movie, but I will certainly put credit where credit is due.

In the words of Walt Disney Pictures, "A tight-knit group of New York City street dancers, including Luke (Rick Malambri) and Natalie (Sharni Vinson), team up with NYU freshman Moose (Adam G. Sevani), and find themselves pitted against the world's best hip hop dancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever."

Here are some more plot details, because I know you'd like them: - Moose has to manage both his major in electrical engineering and dance, - Luke needs to earn money, or else the bank will take it away from him and his crew, - bitter rivalries will reach their peaks. All of these things may factor into the film's story, and sure they aren't solid, but much like a silly action film trying to stitch together some plot elements before getting to it's main purpose (Hi Expendables) this film is about getting to the dance sequences. Once it does, this film comes alive.

Now somehow, I've managed to see each of these Step Up movies. I hated the first, joked around through the second, and have now seen this one. With each film, the dance scenes have upped their stakes. Credit goes to director Jon Chu, who has directed the second two movies, and brings solid work to what counts here. The dance scenes truly are spectacular. The way he places the camera in scenes and how he frames the different dance sequences is more effective at capturing the action than many modern day action films. There are some wonderfully captured scenes, and in particular, one incredibly long single shot, which is again impressive.

As far as the 3D goes, with the exception of How To Train Your Dragon, this may be the best use of the format I've seen this year (Avatar was last year). Filmed in 3D, as opposed to the post-conversion process, the film's a great success when it comes to showing audience what actual 3D can look like. No, it is not necessary for this film; yes it is very much a gimmick, but hey, this film looks great, and seeing these dances in this format was pretty neat.

Again, as far as story elements and acting goes, no this movie wont be highlighted for those areas, but the dance battles that are featured work. The 3D looks really good. And the hip-hop/dance soundtrack is very good as well. I may have no desire to see this movie again, and something would certainly be lost in the translation if one were to see this in regular old 2D, but viewing this movie on a big screen and in 3D worked for me. The film was well made where it counted and accomplished what it set out to do.
Moose: People dance because dance can change things. One move, can bring people together. One move, can make you believe like there's something more. One move, can set a whole generation free.
 

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