Step Up Revolution

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. In Search Of: Complete Series The universe is filled with mystery, and for several years the best place learn more about in on a weekly basis was the show In Search Of… with host Leonard Nimoy. The series tackled all manner of the unknown from aliens to the Bermuda Triangle to conspiracies to the Loch Ness Monster and beyond. The Bigfoot episode was where I first saw footage of the creature walking through the woods. Sure the video was later debunked, but it was magic unspooling across the screen and I still remember my first viewing. Several of the episodes are dated, but many of the topics remain mysteries to this day. Note: Amazon.ca has the set cheaper so we’re linking there. [Extras: Featurette, all eight episodes of the 2002 remake with Mitch Pileggi]

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Aural Fixation - Large

Anyone who has watched a movie or a TV show knows how important song selection and music placement can be. A well-placed song can elevate a scene whereas a misplaced song can end up being distracting. While most films enlist a composer to create the score (i.e. the emotional backbone of a project), it is the music supervisor who is tasked with placing songs alongside those composed pieces. One of my current favorite bands, M83, has started gaining some traction and, unsurprisingly, started popping up in various films and trailers. I noticed that two different songs from the band were used in two different ways recently – one in a scene in Step Up Revolution (“Wait”) and one in the trailer for Cloud Atlas (“Outro”.) One of these placements worked well (see: Cloud Atlus trailer) and one did not (see: the kissing scene in Step Up Revolution.) M83’s otherworldly, electronic sound was the perfect fit for a film like Cloud Atlus and the use of “Outro” in the film’s trailer worked to add to the emotion of the stunning visuals. Granted such a small portion of “Wait” was used in Step Up Revolution it actually cut off before the lyrics really started to come in, but the song still seemed misplaced and felt more forced than a natural accompaniment to the scene. But when a band starts getting placed everywhere, instead of just getting that music exposed to new ears, it can sometimes cause the band to become oversaturated and end up […]

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Though the setting of the fourth Step Up film, Step Up Revolution, follows its predecessor’s lead and sets its action far from Baltimore’s Maryland School of the Arts (the setting of the first two films, which I have come to miss) and down in steamy Miami, the rest of the film’s basic structure still smacks of every other entry in the franchise (and many other films in its particular genre). As has become the Step Up norm, Step Up Revolution centers on a pair of star-crossed lovers (one rich, one not-so-rich) who are brought together by dance before they are torn apart by outside influences (friends, parents, economics, the usual). Ultimately, they must turn back to dance to repair their relationship and to somehow “beat” whatever it was that tore them apart in the first place. While Step Up Revolution makes no great strides (or twirls) in some of the most basic elements of moviemaking – acting, writing, even simple plotting – it does manage to boast the best dance sequences of any of the four films. In other words, thank goodness this is a dance film.

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Nothing says “summer at the movies” quite like a metric ton of big name blockbusters flooding theaters near you – superheroes on top of superheroes, classic television series brought back from the dead, animated gems about finding yourself – oh my! But with the cinema summer growing ever-larger, the stakes being pushed ever-higher, and enough content to keep audience members in their seats ever-longer, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Which is why all the members of the Voting Body of Film School Rejects gathered together in our secret chambers to vote on just which films have won our Most Anticipated nod. Twenty films emerged from our complicated, decades-old voting process (read: a Google doc) to be crowned winners. Why twenty? Well, there are twenty weeks in the cinematic summer season (if you count May, which we do – April will be included next year if Hollywood keeps this up), and that should give you movie-lovers a reasonable goal to meet for the viewing season. We’ve even managed to pinpoint our most anticipated movie-going weekend of the summer – June 22nd, when four films open in theaters, all of which made our list. But beyond the mathematics that went into picking the summer’s best weekend, there were also some genuine surprises on the list – including big tentpole films missing completely (sorry, Battleship and Dark Shadows), some indies that sneaked in with lots of votes, a battle royale that went down between our number one and number two picks, […]

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There are few cinematic genres that can deliver as much minute-for-minute audience joy as a well-executed dance film. Summit Entertainment’s Step Up franchise has consistently delivered productions that are, at the very least, wildly entertaining. Though 2010’s Step Up 3D struck me as a misfire (let’s be honest here – Rick Malambri may be easy on the eyes, but the boy can’t dance off-camera fast enough), its predecessors were fun, frisky endeavors that sold the dancing, even when their stories were a little weak. I might not be phrasing this correctly. I love Step Up. Unabashedly. It’s my exact brand of popcorn movie; some people like Transformers, I like Step Up. I’m smiling from ear to ear just thinking about this first trailer for the franchise’s fourth film, Step Up Revolution. Plainly – if you like Step Up, you’re going to like this. I will likely love it. Though the film’s action is moved to Miami (from previous settings in Baltimore and New York), the trailer still features some standard Step Up elements – badass moves, inventive routines, a vague baddie (played by Peter Gallagher of all people!), sexy stars, and protest art. Uh, protest art? That’s right, Step Up is going Occupy – with their moves. But beyond that, longtime fans of the series are in for a real treat, as it looks like everyone’s favorite sidekick with a heart of gold and limbs of rubber is back. That’s right. Moose.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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