Friday, August 06, 2010

Step Up 3D

Step Up 3D / Step Up 3D (Step Up 3D / Step Up 3D: Born from the Boombox). US 2010. PC: Summit Entertainment / Touchstone Pictures / Offspring Entertainment. P: Patrick Wachsberger, Erik Feig, Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot. D: Jon Chu. SC: Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer - characters: Duane Adler. DP: Ken Seng - 3D formats Real D, XpanD, and Dolby 3D. PD: Devorah Herbert. COST: Kurt and Bart. FX: Conrad V. Brink, Jr., David H. Watkins. Visual Effects team: large. M: Bear McCreary. S: Todd Toon - 7.1 Surround Sound. ED: Andrew Marcus.CAST: Rick Malambri (Luke Katcher), Sharni Vinson (Natalie), Adam Sevani (Robert "Moose" Alexander III), Alyson Stoner (Camille Gage), Joe Slaughter (Julien), Martin Lombard and Facundo Lombard (the Santiago Twins), Keith Stallworth (Jacob), Oren Michaeli (Carlos), Stephen "Twitch" Boss (Jason), Kendra Andrews (Anala), Chadd Smith (Vladd), Daniel "Cloud" Campos (Kid Darkness), Harry Shum, Jr. (Cable), Mari Koda (Jenny Kido), Christopher Scott (Hair), Janelle Cambridge (Fly), Luigi Rosado (Monster), LaJon Dantzler (Smiles). 107 min. Released by Nordisk Film Finland with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera / Saliven Gustavson. XpanD presentation viewed at Tennispalatsi 2, Helsinki, 6 August 2010 (day of global premiere)

I love musicals, and so do the makers of Step Up 3D.

Musical is the genre par excellence for the slight narrative, and the makers of Step Up 3D relish in it.

The makers of Step Up 3D also have a strong vision of 3D as an anti-realistic format. This is a celebration of LED aesthetics. It is a moving feast of fantasy, distorted colour, New York neighbourhoods, neon flies, graffiti evolution, boomboxes, streetdance, breakdance and parkour (overcoming urban obstacles) styles, hip-hop, designer sneakers, mixed martial arts, X-games (extreme sports), ubiquitous digital video recording and online awareness. It is a meta-film, being edited on his laptop by Luke Katcher almost in real time, called "Born from the Boombox". The 3D is successful, but time and again I relaxed by taking the 3D glasses off to see a brighter image with better colour.

Step Up 3D is an explosion of energy. The team called the House of Pirates occupies a warehouse and they need to win the World Jam and conquer the House of Samurai to pay the rent. This is a film about team spirit. Natalie (Sharni Vinson) is a double agent, finally choosing the House of Pirates, overcome by their spirit of positivity. It's also about a passion for dancing, about how "one move can free a generation", and Adam Sevani quotes the signature moves of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

There is also a ballroom tango event which Luke Katcher and Moose need to infiltrate.

And there is an extended hommage to classical Hollywood musical, set to Fred Astaire's "I Won't Dance", where Moose needs to woo Camille (Alyson Stoner) whom he's been neglecting. But although all critics refer to Fred Astaire as the model of this I felt this was a clear Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen hommage in its sportive street aesthetics. This number is the only one that has been photographed in the classical "one take, long shot" style, and it stands out because of this.

Since the breakthrough of the music video in the 1970s I have been suffering from the quick edits of dance videos which effectively destroy the impact of the art of the dance on screen. There have been plan-séquence exceptions, and other more carefully edited cases such as Jonathan Demme's Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense. A dance number is a strong case for André Bazin's "montage interdit", and Fred Astaire was always strict about it.

Soundtrack album listing after jump break:

1. "Club Can't Handle Me" (Flo Rida feat. David Guetta) David Guetta, Friederick Riesterer 3:52
2. "My Own Step (Theme from Step Up 3D)" (Roscoe Dash and T-Pain feat. Fabo) Don P,A.D, Polow da Don 4:17
3. "This Instant" (Sophia Fresh feat. T-Pain) Tha Bizness 3:54
4. "Already Taken" (Trey Songz) Polow da Don 3:58
5. "This Girl" (Laza Morgan) Julian Bunetta 3:09
6. "Fancy Footwork" (Chromeo) Chromeo 3:18
7. "Up" (Jesse McCartney feat. Dapo Torimiro) Dapo Torimiro 2:43
8. "Freak" (Estelle feat. Kardinal Offishall) David Guetta, Nick Van De Wall (Afrojack) 3:41
9. "Whatchadoin?" (N.A.S.A. feat. M.I.A., Spank Rock, Santigold and Nick Zinner) Squeak E. Clean 4:10
10. "Tear da Roof Off" (Busta Rhymes) Swizz Beatz 3:37
11. "Move (If You Wanna)" (Mims) Da Internz 3:11
12. "Shawty Got Moves" (Get Cool) Get Cool 3:14
13. "Irresistible" (Wisin Y Yandel) Tainy, Victor "El Nazi" 3:06

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