Step Up doesn’t exactly rewrite the music genre but for what it is, it’s a fun movie with some great beats and nice chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. This new Blu-ray release offers up only average video but the audio more than makes up for it as the bass goes into overdrive shaking the floor and walls.
Genre(s): Drama, Music
Buena Vista | PG13 – 103 min. – $20.00 | July 3, 2012
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Writer(s): Duane Adler (story), Duane Adler and Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Mario, Drew Sidora, Rachel Griffiths
Theatrical Release Date: August 11, 2006
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Music Videos
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 27.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Plot Synopsis: Tyler Gage (CHANNING TATUM) is a streetwise hunk with a reckless streak. When Tyler is sentenced to do community service at a school for the performing arts, after being caught breaking into the facility, he wants nothing to do with their world… until he meets a beautiful dancer (JENNA DEWAN) who gives him a chance and helps him discover his astonishing pure talent.
Original Review (with updates): A genre worse in the predictability department than romantic comedies is the dance genre. Save the Last Dance, Flashdance and Dirty Dancing, to name a few, all feature the main characters with a dream that inevitably winds up to a final dance-off that will make or break their entire life. So going in, I knew Step Up probably wouldn’t be different. Although I was right, I found something about this movie that made me smile and really dig the music.
Step Up features a good-looking group of young actors like Channing Tatum, the beautiful Jenna Dewan (Take the Lead, The Grudge 2), Mario and a host of others that round out this MTV-generation flick. If you’re looking for stellar acting or half-decent writing, you won’t find it here. What you will get are great beats, nice choreography and an all around enjoyment for this movie.
Stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan (who married in 2009), as I already mentioned, make attractive leads. The two didn’t develop flaming chemistry and their characters do come across a bit off-putting, especially Tatum as a bad boy turned dancer, yet there’s a certain charisma that off sets everything.
There is one extremely contrived moment involving a character that’s used as a tool to move the story along quicker rather than actually doing some work with these characters. It is expected from the teen/dance genre to have those elements but the scene that unfolds comes across lazy than tragic, and way out of place over the previous hour and a half. However, this is a small thing and didn’t detract from my enjoyment.
Director (and chorographer) Anne Fletcher makes her directorial debut, focusing on the dance moves rather than story, she puts forth the film’s strength of dance and music. This movie has one message of going after one’s dream and while that’s all well and good, there needed to be something more. Like a romantic comedy depends on the two leads to provide a spark, and in turn reason, to make it worthwhile, the dance film relies on the moves and beats. Despite issues with story and characters, Fletcher manages to bring the dance to the forefront.
Step Up isn’t going to be a dance classic anytime soon like Dirty Dancing or even, to a certain extent, Save the Last Dance, but with an attractive cast and songs from today’s hot singers like Ciara and Sean Paul, I found this to be a fun movie. I don’t know how often I’ll actually watch it, but for what it is, I can’t complain too much.
*Cue “Unsolved Mysteries” Update Music*
Update (7/03/12): Step Up still isn’t some music masterpiece but now six years later, it’s still has some great beats and the acting, while nothing amazing, isn’t bad. Also, the chemistry between Tatum and Dewan is wonderful. I still don’t think it’s a particularly “good” movie but because of the dancing and music, it manages to stay above the material to make it worth watching.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.75/5
All the features from the DVD have been ported over.
Director, Choreographer & Stars Commentary – Director/choreographer Anne Fletcher, hip-hop choreographer Jamal Sims and stars Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan provide a light-hearted commentary track from different locations. Tatum did his in Texas, Dewan in California and Fletcher and Sims both in Toronto. There’s some stumbling over each other but they each give their perspective on making the movie, though most of it is spent laughing. If you like technical commentaries, this is not the one for you.
Step Up: Making the Moves (4:38; SD) – Short, and pointless, making-of featurette that does nothing but show some scenes from the film intertwined with sound bites from the cast and crew. It doesn’t go into much detail on the dance training the cast must’ve had to learn or about much else about actually making the movie.
Deleted Scenes (4:12; SD) – Seven scenes graciously chopped from the final film features mainly Channing Tatum. A couple of these scenes are extended shots of his checking out the school or why he doesn’t “get” the school and another finds him in front of the judge to receive additional community service. Playable separately or all at once and has optional commentary from Fletcher.
Bloopers (1:35; SD) – Standard collection of flubbed lines, ends with a funny bit. All too short however and not laugh out loud kind of funny, more chuckles than anything.
There are also 4 music videos, including the hits for Ciara (“Get Up”) and Sean Paul (“(When You Gonna) Give It Up Me”).
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Step Up makes its debut on Blu-ray (after the second and third installments have already been out for a couple of years now) and although it’s a decent upgrade over the DVD version, I was a bit disappointed. While the 1080p HD transfer, presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio, looks OK, the detail levels isn’t the best and there’s a fair amount of artifacting in places, especially in darker shots or some with neon coloring such as the final dance routine.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
Where the video was lacking, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track more than made up for it. Dialogue levels sounded fine but it kicks into higher gear during the music-oriented scenes which showcases heavy beats which will shake the walls and floors. It’s a dynamic lossless track and one of the best, music-wise anyway, that I’ve comes across in a long time.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Step Up doesn’t exactly rewrite the music genre but for what it is, it’s a fun movie with some great beats and nice chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. This new Blu-ray release offers up only average video but the audio more than makes up for it as the bass goes into overdrive shaking the floor and walls. If you’re a fan of the franchise and can nab this release for under $10 (and given the $20 MSRP, it shouldn’t be too long), it’s worth picking up.