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Title: Step Up
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Damaine Radcliff, De'Shawn Washington, Mario, Heavy D
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by: Duane Adler, Melissa Rosenberg
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 3, 2012

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :2.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3stars:
HTS Overall Score:63.5


Tyler Gage (Tatum) is a foster child who has had some struggles in his life. He lives in a run-down neighborhood and envisions very little for his future. As he and his friend, Mac (Radcliff) and Skinny (Washington), are up to no good one day, they happen across a school of arts. They think it would be fun to break into the school and vandalize the props in the theater. As they lay destruction to the theater a security guard stops them and apprehends Tyler, putting him under arrest. When Tyler is sent to court he is issued community service at the school where he will earn the value of what he and his friends broke.

When Tyler begins working there he happens to see a beautiful dance student, Nora (Johnson), and builds a fascination for her. As Nora and her dance partner work on their senior dance routine, her partner injures himself, leaving her partner-less. Tyler speaks up and offers to dance with her, while he hasn't been professionally trained as a dancer, Nora agrees to have him be her substitute partner until her partner gets better. As the two struggle to acclimate to one another their relationship begins to build.

'Step Up' isn't a high quality film, and in this particular genre it does not necessarily stand out, but it still managed to keep me entertained more than other films in its league. Tatum's break-out role in this film actually impressed me a bit and while there wasn't much depth to his character, he played it very well and actually engaged the audience emotionally into his character. There are a lot of glaring flaws to the film, but again, I still found it an entertaining movie.


Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence, and innuendo

Video: :2.5stars:

I haven't experience a mediocre video transfer for quite some time, but 'Step Up' embodies mediocrity when it comes to the video transfer. Resolution is somewhat sloppy and detail isn't clear. Contrast was decent, but missing the dynamic range marks on both ends of the spectrum. Colors were relatively flat, and overall the transfer lacks dimensionality. Something that I want point out is -- for some odd reason, when I first began to watching this film, I thought something was a bit wrong with my vision. I quickly realized that the camera lens had some sort of fish-eyed distortion. Either I got used to it or the camera lens used changed and I didn't notice it as the movie went on.

Audio: :4stars:

The audio fares much better than the video transfer, but it still seems that the studios didn't quite live up to its potential. 'Step Up' is purely based around music and it sounds pretty well, however it isn't really enveloping. The presentation is mostly forward with some surround usage used to provide some expansion to the sound stage. One of the most important aspects of the audio track is the low frequencies. The music is predominantly hip-hop, which requires a thumpin' beat. The audio track delivers low frequencies wonderfully, however don't expect any subsonic depth. The dialog is clear and comes across intelligible. Generally the audio is satisfying and fitting for the movie itself and while it's not the most enveloping soundtracks, it still lends itself well to the film.

Extras: :3stars:

• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentary with Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, and Director Anne Fletcher
• Bloopers
• 'Making The Moves for 'Step Up'' - featurette
• Four music videos

Overall: :3stars:

Despite being a slightly dated and generally flawed film, 'Step Up' still managed to entertain me and my wife. While you still shouldn't expect much from the film, it is interesting to see the dynamic between Tatum and Johnson's characters. The dancing is fun to watch and while the overall plot is immensely overdone, it still managed to keep our attention. The video transfer will likely disappoint fans, but the audio satisfactory. If you haven't seen this one, you're not missing a whole lot. Though I can't really give it my recommendation, I definitely won't say to avoid the film if you come across it; but, don't be in any hurry to go out and get it.

Recommendation: Skip it.

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