Thursday, August 5, 2010

Non-Review: Step Up 3D - Reviewed by the ghost of Gene Kelly

I was talking to Fred Astaire the other day when the subject of dance in film happened to come up. In particular we were discussing the current trend of dance and music that has returned in the last decade. With the exception of some adaptations of Broadway shows, it's largely the teen market that has seen the uprise. Little did I know as we were chatting that I would be invited that same day to a screening of the film Step Up 3D.

Call it fate, call it destiny; I accepted. I tried to get an extra ticket for Fred but they weren't having it. They said something about a Sugar Babies incident and that was the end of it. I apologized to Fred but as it turned out he had plans anyways. So, adorned in my finest of tuxes, I made my to the theater.

Things have changed a good deal since I last attended a screening. For one, I was way over dressed. Everyone there was in T-shirts and jeans. Except of course for a few rather, er, husky gentlemen who wore jogging pants and shirts bearing odd slogans. Nevertheless I held my head high as I entered. Not knowing how long it might be before I would again attend such an affair I decided to treat myself to a soda and treat. I thought there might have been a mistake at first as I got a small popcorn and drink and no longer had any money. The girl behind the counter though told me this was normal.

Into the theater I marched, behind a young man whose pants sat well below his... they hung low. I sat with a group of teenage girls who thought it was 'cool' that I was 'so translucent and stuff.' I thanked them and informed them that I quite liked their opacity. They chuckled a little but burst into a fit of giggles a moment later when I asked if they were all fans of musicals. I was going to ask them what was so funny when the movie began.

The story was very simple though I've been in worse. Ever see The Young Girls of Rochefort? I'm not sure what I was thinking. I'm just a sucker for the French I guess. Anyways while the plot wasn't that engaging, it was easy enough to follow. The dancing though- oh the dancing...

I never considered myself to be a tap dancer, though that's how I was lumped in. Truthfully, if I were alive today, this is closer to the type of thing I'd be doing. Such skill and flair! The only thing I felt was lacking was grace. For all there was I might as well have been watching a dance class rehearse. There's an artistry that I would bring to modern dance. Sure everything was technically correct, but I didn't see the heart and passion in it. I'd like to see anyone of these kids tap away for hours while their shoes filled with blood and then get up the next day and do it again.

Overall I'm happy to see dance has survived. I just wish it wasn't in a movie that had to be about dancing to show it. Whatever happened to the art of incorporating dance into a movie that told a full story with characters you cared about? If this is what it takes for it to continue until the day someone once again sees its true beauty and paints it with film, then I'm glad for it. Otherwise I can't recommend it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm supposed to be meeting up with Donald O'Connor. We're planning a surprise party for Debbie Reynolds arrival.


  1. I'm not a huge fan of musicals...but who can not like the dancing they did in "White Christmas".

  2. Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, That's Entertainment, Saturday Night Fever and (wipes eyes) Dirty Dancing...
    to name a few movies with all the right moves.
    Why can't characters just break out into a dance routine. Just think how much greater that would make Woody.
    BTW, did you know that Christopher Walken is a tap dancer?

  3. Fairfield, I did know that. I love that fatboy slim video he did. To me that just ups his cool factor. Plus he's supposed to be a great cook.

  4. What? How could you be upset with the dance classic of today like Bring it on and Beat Street 2?

  5. Brilliant.

    I'm really hoping to hear from Doris Day the second she's no longer 'with us'.

  6. I love all those old movies. Turner classics. The movie with Gene where they first did sound. That is a great movie. OH I love White Christmas, it is a tradition to watch it every year with my sisters, sisters. They sure don't make them like they used to. If you hadn't guessed we were one of the last on the road to get cable. We watched all the old movies because that is all we could watch.

  7. Touche. My biggest issue with the latest installment of the oh-so-epic step up franchise is, why does it need to be 3-D. Was that really necessary? What is going to jump out of the screen at me? I just don't get it.

  8. I have to remember not to eat when I read your posts dude. I almost choked to death...then you would have been getting this comment from my ghost. I think the one that did me in was the "I was way over dressed" line. Haha

  9. Alaina, I grew up on old movies and musicals. They are some of my favorites.

    Erika, Yeah... not sure why I'd want a sweaty guy jumping into my face.

    Geof, Thanks. Glad I make you laugh.

  10. such a random review. I love it. Gene, you didn't mention anything about the 3D.

  11. First I want to make it clear that I hate dance movies. Old ones, new ones, all of them. However, the post was great!

  12. I too hate dance movies but every once in awhile I love a dance in a regular Roberto Benigni and his wife Nicoletta Braschi sashaying around the floor in such a loving seductive way to "It's Rainin'" in DOWN BY LAW. So wonderful!


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