HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Breakin'/Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
HTS Overall Score:77
WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, yes, the 80s. There was nothing like it. Bad haircuts, awesome music, bad music, fashion styles we never want to see again in our lives, and also the decade where break dancing was REALLY possible. Well, that is for a short handful of years. Back then ever child in school was aspiring to be anther break dancer and were testing out their popping and locking skills in the hallways (I embarrassingly was one of those kids). Then came along “Breakin”, kind of the 80s version of the “Step Up” movies, filled with lots of dancers, little plot and lots and lots of music and dance. The minute I saw this being released on Blu-ray I knew that I had to go and revisit my childhood once more, and I have to say that it’s every bit as glorious and awful as it was 30 years ago, but I still had an enormously good time with the movies.
Pushed into theaters by the famed Cannon Films studio (they pretty much put out every awesome B movie during the 80s) to capitalize on break dancing’s popularity, the story revolves around Kelly (Lucinda Dickey), a young classically trained dancer, and her struggle to break into the dancing world. She’s under the tutelage of snobby dance instructor, Franco (Ben Lokey), but still can’t seem to catch a break. Kelly’s frustrated at the lack of heart in the professional dancing community, and even when her agent James (Christopher McDonald) gets her auditions nothing seems to go her way. This all changes when she is introduced to street dancers “Turbo” (Boogaloo Shrimp) and “Ozone” (Shabba-Doo), who show her their own brand of dancing.
Enamored with break dancing, Kelly gets James to schedule an audition for them with a premiere Broadway show. Now, Ozone is already leery of the “pro” world, as he’s a total “street” boy, but things get worse when no one will allow them to audition after Kelly’s old instructor, Franco, decides to blacklist them from the entire community. It’s a classic tale, and we know the outcome already. The three dancers have to prove to the world that just because you’re different, doesn’t mean you’re worth any less than anyone else.
“Breakin” is one of the worst, but most fun movie of the 80s. It’s very much a reverse “Step Up”, but instead of the street boy joining modern dance, it’s the classical dancer gets pulled into the street, with all the poppin, lockin and fat beats you can throw an 80s stick at. The plot is hilariously bad, but you’re only here for one thing, to watch the dancing. I hate to say it, but I enjoy these competitive dance movies as much as I enjoy my martial arts movies, and much for the same reason. The human body is capable of incredible things with the proper discipline and I love watching dancers and martial arts manipulate their bodies into doing some incredible feats.
“Breakin” is famous for several reasons. The first being that it was the forerunner for all of those 80s dance movies to come like “Beat Street” and the like, but also for introducing the world to Jean Claude Van Damme. Yes, he’s only in it for a minute, but if you’ve ever even BEEN on the internet you’ve seen THIS
DO NOT OPEN... DO NOT CLICK THIS BUTTON! >>>>>
The film is gleefully bad, with a paper thin plot and bad acting, but its loads of fun with all of sorts of bad 80s street jive lingo to keep you giggling for hours. Not to mention 80s street clothing that would make any self-respecting person cry with agony, especially Ozone’s outfits, which prove why half-shirts for men are something that NO ONE should ever wear.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43274[/img]Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo :3.5stars:
“Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” was rushed out the VERY SAME YEAR as the original due to the success of the first film, and pretty much picks up where the other left off. Kelly has been making a name for her in the professional dancing community, but has decided to take a break for a while and come back home to have a breather. Her rich parents are on her back to give up dancing and go to Princeton, but Kelly is having none of it. Now together with Ozone as a couple, she decides to give her long distance boyfriend a ring and finds out that Ozone and Turbo have been working at the local community center. The center is filled with dancing kids, and happy teenagers who just want a way to get off the street, but it seems that a rich philanthropist is trying to have the building torn down and a shopping mall built in its stead. Now the center has to raise $200,000 in a month in order to save the old building, or else the mustache twirling villain will have his way and destroy it.
Faced with their beloved home away from home being torn down, Kelly, Ozone, Turbo and the rest of the community do their best to raise the money. Unfortunately, car washes and selling flowers on the side of the road can only get you so far and the situation goes from dire to hopeless. That is until they get the idea to host a major street show type of thing and make it a giant community fundraiser. This involves getting everyone in the show into tip top shape and choreograph the whole thing.
The sequel was rushed in less than a year from the original’s hitting theaters, and has become a sort of joke among the film community for that reason. The movie has even less plot than its predecessor and even less cohesion, if that’s possible. However it’s actually MORE fun than the original due to its over the top nature and surreal fantasy like scenarios. It’s one of those movies where logic isn’t even part of the equation as we get to see entire segments where everyone on screen breaks out into song and dance, including city workers, waiters, old people and even little kids. We’ve even got a subplot where the “Electro Rock” dance gang (yes we have dance gangs) goes to toe to toe against our protagonists. There’s even a west side story style “gang fight” under a bridge that involves a dance battle. Normally I would write something this bad off, but the dances are even more over the top and more involved than the first movie and if you’re fine with “Breakin’ 2” being a complete fantasy movie than you’re going to have a blast.
Both movies were filmed so close together and with the same equipment that they both look nearly identical in terms of picture quality so I will combine the two films into one analysis. I was really impressed with the conditions of these masters, as they actually look really good, except for some minor smearing and a little aliasing here and there. Colors are vibrant and pop off the screen at every turn. The actors are wearing garish 80s outfits that just pulse with reds, blues, greens and blacks and the detail is quite impressive. There is a very pleasant layer of film grain over both films, but it doesn’t feel overly grainy or obscuring detail, but rather gives it a very natural and warm look. Contrasts are well balanced and the black levels are very solid. There’s some soft shots here and there, but nothing wild. I tip my hat to Shout Factory as the compression artifacts are kept to the minimum and I only noticed macroblocking once or twice.
As with the video, the audio on both discs is EXTREMELY similar and thus garner the same rating. Both movies included a 2.0 DTS-HD MA stereo track that mimics the theatrical presentation beautifully. The dialog is clear and clean with no distortion or mastering issues at all, and I did notice some mild channel separation with the standard effects. The music is the main star of this track and the musical numbers shine quite brightly, if not a bit hot, as I found a couple of times where I had wished that the music didn’t drown out what was going on around them. LFE is solid and added to the weight of the music and the sonic clarity was very impressive. There’s no surrounds and no dedicated LFE channel, so it’s not as viscerally bombastic as we’ve come to expect in modern dance movies, but it replicates the theatrical experience quite nicely and is a solid step up from the old MGM DVDs.
• New Commentary with "Bugaloo" Director Sam Firstenberg, actor Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones and "Bugaloo" Editor Marcus Manton
• The Elements of Hip Hop
• The Culture of Hip Hop
• Shout Outs
• Living Legends Montage
• Original Trailer
• "We Will Not Be Destroyed" Music Video
Both movies make for a wonderful trip down memory lane, with the sequel actually being more fun than the original for once. It’s crazy, it’s zany and we even get to see a little Van Damme, so if you have a good tolerance for the insanity of the 1980s combined with dancing than this double feature is most certainly for you. The audio and video are quite impressive and there is even some new extras that we haven’t seen before which makes the package even sweeter. At the very least check it out, and fans should have no qualms upgrading their old DVDS to this superior set.
Starring: Lucinda Dickey, Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones, Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers
Directed by: Joel Silberg : Sam Firstenberg
Written by: Charles Parker, Allen DeBevoise
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC/1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 (Both Films)
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: PG : PG
Runtime: 86 minutes : 94 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Buy Breakin'/Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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