Step Up Blu-ray Review
The STEP UP franchise has in a way taken Hollywood by storm. In just a few short weeks we’ll be seeing the fourth installment, STEP UP REVOLUTION, in theaters and though the series has turned into more of a series of dance numbers, we shouldn’t forget where it all started and who started it and that would be the then somewhat unknown actor Channing Tatum.
Thug wanna-be Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) runs with a bad group and upon getting caught trashing the Maryland School of Arts has to serve community service in hopes that he will become a decent member of society. Though Tyler is a self-taught dancer, he has no use for these “rich kids” at the school that is until he meets Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan-Tatum). Nora is a senior trying to work out her final performance when her partner gets hurt. Lucky for her Tyler is a stud who can not only move but help her in the lifts which, shockingly, none of the other male dancers in her school could do (which is very hard to believe for this writer).
Compared to the sequels to STEP UP, this film has very little dancing. It’s like the writers and producers knew the story was subpar and predictable and just decided to go all out with crazy moves for STEP UP 2, STEP UP 3 and probably STEP UP REVOLUTION. There’s some positives and negatives to that, on one hand STEP UP actually had a story with somewhat decent actors whereas the sequels (from which I’ve actually only seen one) have straight up dancing with the dancers having no acting ability whatsoever.
Before I have you believing that the acting was fantastic in STEP UP, let’s back up a little. If you’ve ever seen Channing Tatum’s earlier films then you know he is a little rough around the edges and that’s definitely something to keep in mind when watching STEP UP. In fact, Tatum’s character Tyler Gage is so weak it’s hard to know whether to blame it on the acting or the writing. Tyler Gage is a really unlikeable character who aside from dancing and being nice to his foster siblings has no other redeeming qualities. Jenna Dewann-Tatum was slightly better, but all you really wanted to see from her was her dance moves. The only decent character in my mind was Miles Darby (played by singer Mario), he was genuine and someone you wanted to root for which was something that was sparse in STEP UP.
I know that STEP UP has a faithful following out there and having a dance background myself I can understand why. The first STEP UP film is tough to watch but I can see why fans like it though it’s just not my cup of tea. If I want to see some great dancing in a film I’m more prone to watch musicals like CHICAGO or MOULIN ROUGE instead of something like STEP UP because I just want a better story and better acting. Though admittedly, I may have to catch STEP UP REVOLUTION when it comes to Blu-ray just because the choreography does look pretty fun.
Video: Clear video with no notable problems.
Audio: Clean and crisp, you could hear every beat from every music note.
Commentary with Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewann and Director/Choreographer Anne Fletcher: A little strange that everyone was in different cities (Fletcher was in Toronto, Dewann in LA and Tatum in Austin, TX) but it seemed to work alright. I have to say the worst part of this commentary was Tatum as he didn’t seem to take the commentary seriously at all. If you really enjoy listening to film commentaries then you might go a little crazy listening to these guys good around. On a positive they seemed to enjoy watching their own film.
Deleted Scenes(4:41): Rightfully cut as these scenes added nothing to the film and were pretty dull to watch.
Bloopers(1:36): Messed up lines, funny faces and spills set to music lead to an okay blooper reel…if you like that sort of thing.
Making the Moves for Step Up- How The Dance Sequences Were Created For the Movie(4:39): Full of clips from the film as well as behind-the-scenes footage, this was a surprising short featurette about what was supposed to be the main focus of the film.
- “Get Up” Ciara featuring Chamillionaire
- “(When You Gonna) Give It Up To Me” Sean Paul featuring Keyshia Cole
- “Say Goodbye” Chris Brown
- “Step Up” Samantha Jade