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Step Up 4: Revolution 3D(2012)
Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean, the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily's father's development plans.
For more about Step Up 4: Revolution 3D and the Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray release, see Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on November 26, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 1.5 out of 5.
Starring: Adam G. Sevani, Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman
Director: Scott Speer
» See full cast & crew
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray Review
So You Think You Can Make a Movie.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, November 26, 2012
At a recent dinner party that included our kids as well as several of our friends' children, the hosts and their daughter asked everyone if they had seen a YouTube parody of Gangnam Style featuring none other than Mitt Romney. It turned out that some people at the gathering had never even seen the original Gangnam Style, and so a little viewing party started at the dining room table where various YouTube videos were accessed to properly "educate" everyone. Later, back at our house, our sixteen year old son expressed his shock and dismay that anyone could not know about the original Gangnam Style, let alone never have seen it (and as much as I hate to admit it, he had a point in a way, considering the fact that the video has become the most viewed item in YouTube history, generating over 800 million hits thus far in its illustrious career). I confessed that while I knew about the song and the video, I had never actually sat down and watched the thing the whole way through. My son looked at me in absolute disgust (the kind that only a teen can convey to a parent), and informed me that would have been like me not knowing about the Macarena when I was young. The fact that my son obviously has no concept of time, and that I was far from "young" in 1994 when the Macarena swept the globe for its 15 minutes of fame, was set aside for a moment while I considered various dance fads that have conquered the hearts, minds and feet of people through the years. There are no doubt sociological studies galore yellowing in doctoral thesis archives around the planet discussing the implications of various dances and their eras, but here's another, somewhat related, thing to think about, one more of our current era: what's up with the immense popularity of watching people dance, as evidenced by such shows as Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and, yes, the occasional (or maybe not so occasional) YouTube phenomenon. And of course film has long had a love affair with dance, from the hoary days of Astaire and Rogers through to Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, the incredible ballets of Jerome Robbins in West Side Story to later enterprises like Dirty Dancing, which reinvented the dance film genre and provided a supposedly new template for a whole string of films which followed in its wake, including not so coincidentally the Step Up franchise, of which Step Up Revolution is the fourth entry.
Let's face it, films following the Dirty Dancing formula (and Step Up Revolution follows that formula to an absolute "t") are not exactly paradigms of realism or emotional depth and nuance. But Step Up Revolution is so pat and predictable that it's actually laugh out loud funny a lot of the time. We get Emily (So You Think You Can Dance alum Kathryn McCormick), the feisty young woman who arrives in Miami to pursue a professional dancing career (yes, there must be a bit call for professional dancers in Miami). She "meets cute" with Sean (Ryan Guzman), a waiter at a tony resort (sound familiar?) who also happens to be one of the lead dancers for a local aggregation known as The Mob, which organizes "flash mobs" around the city which involve incredibly intricate choreography. Meanwhile it turns out Emily's father Bill (Peter Gallagher) is a real estate developer who is in town to tear down Sean's neighborhood, the flash mob hangout, in order to build more tony resorts and high rises. Oh, the humanity.
So with that set of plot points, you can pretty much guess what's going to happen. Sean and Emily are going to fall in love while dancing the Lambada, or some other forbidden dance. Emily is going to become incredibly distraught as she realizes her father is going to destroy Sean's neighborhood. They'll have an argument where Dad will inform her he won't tell her how to dance if she doesn't tell him how to run his business. Sean and his flash mob associates will take to the internet with a number of videos in order to raise their profile. And then just when Dad is announcing his development plans to the movers and shakers of Miami, Sean, Emily and the entire flash mob congregation will show up to amaze everyone with their furiously kinetic dance moves. Do you think Dad will have a change of heart? Hmmmm. . . .
Step Up Revolution is so relentlessly ridiculous that it's next to impossible to lend it even enough credence to give it a withering critical assessment. The dance sequences are what at least marginally saves the picture from being absolute dreck, but even those are so hyperbolically silly at times that they almost defy description. The opening sequence, for example, has a bevy of muscle cars doing their own choregraphy, and, no, you haven't misread that. Director Scott Speer favors the quick cut ethos that has come to define modern musicals, so that it's never possible to tell whether these kids are actually dancing or simply moving a muscle slightly for the one second edit and then moving on to their next pose. To be fair, the musical sequences do have a modicum of flash and flair, with good use of the Miami locales and several large sets pieces, like the big finale that makes good use of supposedly abandoned containers and the like.
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Step Up Revolution is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate Films and Summit Entertainment with both MVC (3D) and AVC (2D) encoded 1080p transfers in 2.40:1. The film itself may be bargain basement fare, but the imagery here is really rather lush, well defined, crisp and surprisingly dimensional in its 3D version. Speer and cinematographer Karsten Gopinath make great use of the Miami locations, with lots of fantastic aerial establishing shots, and fairly showy camera moves, including lots of dollies and tracking shots which add to the dimensionality as various objects pass by the forefront of the image. Colors are very nicely saturated and accurate looking, and the many outdoor scenes feature excellent depth of field. Some of the 3D effects are frankly pretty cheesy (an early beach dancing sequence features the leads throwing grains of sand at the camera, and later a flash mob in an office offers tons of dollar bills floating down from the ceiling littering the foreground of the image). Contrast and black levels are both consistent and very solid.
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Step Up Revolution follows in the wake of The Expendables 2 by having a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that is optimized for the new Neo X 11.1 protocol. I haven't yet upgraded to Neo X (do we really need 11.1?), but I can state that this 7.1 mix is impeccable, if often thunderously over the top in the low end, courtesy of the rap and hip hop music that is so prominently featured. Aggressive bass work populates most of the dance sequences, and that is offered here with absolute clarity and lack of distortion. There's some excellent use of the surround channels not just in the musical sequences, but in several crowd scenes, where the ambient environmental noises are very well placed around the soundfield to create a very lifelike sonic experience. Dialogue is clear (though McCormick is seriously in need of elocution lessons) and dynamic range is very wide.
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Step Up Revolution can't be taken seriously, but then again, does it really want to be? The Step Up franchise has pretty much proven that critical disparagement need not stand in the way of pretty decent box office, so who am I to find fault with a silly little movie that has no ambitions other than to throw sand in its viewers' faces? For those who are interested in the title, this Blu-ray does offer superior video and (especially) audio, so rest assured that once you get that sand out of your eyes (and maybe even ears), you'll be very well pleased with how this thing looks and sounds.
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Step Up 4: Revolution 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Step Up: Revolution Blu-ray - August 29, 2012
Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company, has officially announced that it will release release a combo pack (2D/3D Blu-ray) edition of Scott Speer's Step Up: Revolution (2012), starring Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman and Cleopatra Coleman. The release will be ...
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