Battle of the Year Blu-ray Review
When I first looked at the cover of BATTLE OF THE YEAR, I had two thoughts run through my head. The first was, “Fantastic, another ridiculous dance film that will have about 30 minutes’ tops of excellent dancing and choreography but absolutely no plot. Sign me up!” The second thought was, “What in the world is Josh Holloway doing in a B-film like this, I know they killed off his character off in MI4, but this is quite a fall from grace.” No offense Josh Holloway, I think you’re great. Much to my surprise, BATTLE OF THE YEAR wasn’t too bad, but wasn’t good enough for me to want to watch again. It had the obligatory “ultimate dance competition”, but it wasn’t really a “dance movie” in the sense that we are all used to these days.
BATTLE OF THE YEAR is a worldwide B-boy dance competition; where the best teams from each country compete for the ultimate prize…RESPECT (and a trophy, but who cares about that). Former B-Boy and hip hop mogul Dante Graham (Laz Alonso) enlists the help of former crew member Jason Blake (Josh Holloway) to whip a team into shape so the boys can compete in the big show that will take place in three months. With the help of non-dancer Franklyn (Josh Peck), Blake is able to get his Dream Team (they seriously call themselves that, gag) together in time to show off their moves in France.
Of the many dance movies that have been released in the past couple years, I think BATTLE OF THE YEAR is the one that is actually a real movie, in the sense that there is actually a valid plot and decent actors (except for Chris Brown, he’s pretty obnoxious and tough to watch) and not just a bunch of dancers strutting their stuff just for the sake of it. If you are looking for a film that showcases some really great moves then you won’t be too terribly disappointed with BATTLE OF THE YEAR but be warned that if you are looking for a deep thinking film, this one definitely isn’t for you either.
The best thing to compare BATTLE OF THE YEAR to is a sports film that is about dance. As in, there is a coach who gathers up a group of superstars and has to morph them into a team before the big competition, and whether or not they win they can still feel good about themselves because they pulled together when the going was getting tough. That is the basic premise of BATTLE OF THE YEAR, just substitute synchronized hip hop instead of basketball drills.
Would I recommend this film to your average movie watcher? No. Would I recommend it to a lover of dance films? Eh, maybe. It would depend on what kind of dance films this person was interested in. If they consider BLACK SWAN the ultimate dance movie, then I would steer them in another direction. If they adored YOU GOT SERVED or STEP UP 3D, then they would be able to deal with BATTLE OF THE YEAR just fine.
BATTLE OF THE YEAR BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: No issues here, clear and crisp images throughout the film.
Audio: The audio was fine, nice and loud during dance scenes, which is what you want in a film like this.
Extended Dance Sequences (3:32): Three extended dance sequences that are okay to watch, but nothing incredibly exciting.
This is Planet B-Boy: Inside the Culture (8:53): There is a film in the film called Planet B-Boy, and this is basically a shortened down version where the cast and crew give their thoughts and opinions on the B-Boy culture.
The Art of B-Boying: A Guide to Breaking (7:15): The cast and crew talk about moves and their B-Boy names.
Preparing for Battle: Training and Rehearsals (9:34): A behind the scene look at how the cast prepared for the training as well as the battles in the film.
UV Digital Copy