"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Step Up

tn_stepupbacktoschoolThe opening credits of STEP UP had me laughing and remembering everything I hated about BREAKIN’ and knowing I made the right decision to rent this shit. A Petey Pablo song plays over a series of shots contrasting two worlds: ballet tippy toes in a well-lit dance studio; Timberlands and high-heeled boots dancing on dark concrete. Then it’s the legs of the ballet dancers hopping around; some dudes in a messy warehouse with chain link fences, loose tires and ladders jumping over each other’s shoulders and pumping their fists in unison. And it continues to alternate, comparing and contrasting the moves of the delicate ballet dancers and the people in their oversized hoodies, sideways hats and gold chains. To my disappointment the movie doesn’t go on to claim the existence of some secret night time warehouse dancing subculture. It doesn’t even give us much in the way of awkward insider slang. The scene is symbolic of the two ways of life that collide in the movie: that of the Maryland School of the Arts and that of an orphaned white car thief who lives in a black neighborhood (Channing Tatum from FIGHTING).

mp_stepupTatum plays Tyler, introduced in baggy clothes and backwards hat dancing with somebody’s girlfriend at a party and getting a gun pointed at him. He likes to dance, and he’s good at it, but it’s not a dream he pursues. He falls into the School of the Arts by coincidence and sheer stupidity. Fucking around one night with his best friends Mac (Damaine Radcliff) and Skinny (De’Shawn Washington), they’re throwing cans at each other and they accidentally break a window to the school, then decide to go inside, make fun of everything in there and start smashing things. When a security guard comes in Tyler sacrifices himself so his friends can get away, so he ends up sentenced to 200 hours community service and has to report back to the school while it’s in session.

Walking through the halls at first it kinda looks like a normal school where he just doesn’t know anybody. But then he hears piano, sees ballet. Some girls sing in chorus as they pass him, somebody carries a painting behind him, some dudes are in the hallway playing the ol’ Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major together. He shakes his head slightly, maybe surprised to see black dudes playing classical violin.

Meanwhile Nora (Jenna Dewan, now married to Tatum and going by Dewan-Tatum) is a student with a rich mother, deceased father and injured dance partner. She needs a rehearsal partner to practice for “the showcase” that all her dreams hinge on. But all the other students who are willing to help are too weak to lift her, so she builds a machine to do it, and doesn’t bargain for the deadly rampage it will go on when scorned. I’m sorry, I misspoke. There are no jealous machines, she just reluctantly accepts community service janitor Tyler’s offer to fill in.

Of course there is awkwardness, there is sexual tension, there is growing acceptance. They disappoint each other, they make up, they learn from each other, stand up for each other, there is a prick boyfriend she has to break up with (SPOILER), there is developing love, they combine their styles. It’s pretty much what you expect, but with some strange aspects worth discussing in numbered list format:

1. Race. It’s troubling that while Tyler improves his life through the arts his two black friends just play basketball and steal cars. A lesson is eventually learned, but only through BOYZ N THE HOOD style violent tragedy. In other ways it does subvert stereotypes – I mean, have you ever seen a movie where a white guy shows off his dancing skills while his non-dancing black friends sit on a car and watch appreciatively? I haven’t.

The school is portrayed as culturally and racially integrated. There’s no uptight white people bad guys. It’s not a big deal that Nora’s dance is to a hip hop song, and her best friends are a black producer and singer. Race is not entirely ignored, but not generally a big deal.

Ultimately it’s a love story between two white people, like most American movies. But it’s white dancers of the post hip hop generation, so they appreciate black culture without having to prove themselves part of it. Tyler’s hood cred is taken as a given, never questioned. In fact it’s an insult when he’s seen as leaving the hood.

2. Gayness. There’s a really weird moment during the school break-in when they’re making fun of pictures of ballet dancers in the trophy case and Skinny makes an off-hand comment that “They do show off they muscles pretty nice, though.” Tyler and Mac look at him suspiciously, Skinny panics and stutters defensively that he didn’t mean anything. It’s probly meant as a dumb joke about misunderstandings, like later when their friend Miles (Mario [not the one from video games, it’s some young R&B singer that looks kinda like Chris Rock]) gets made fun of for saying “I play with myself” in reference to his music. But in Skinny’s case nobody laughs. Tyler backs away from Skinny like he’s afraid of gay cooties and Mac acts angry and concerned. It’s kinda creepy. It doesn’t seem like a scene you’d put in a movie unless it’s gonna later turn out that Skinny is gay and he has to come out and see if his brother and white friend will support him. But no, nothing like that ever comes up again. If Skinny was gay he took it to his grave.

3. Crime. It’s kind of funny how laid back this movie is about crime. Grand theft auto is a pretty serious one for kids. You could get in some trouble for that, in my opinion. I kinda like that the movie never bothers to preach about the ethics or illegality of it. There are no cops in the movie. It’s only bad because it makes some guys mad and they go after Skinny. It’s even implied that Skinny is just too young to do it right without help from the older kids.

The guy that runs the chop shop is Omar, played by The Overweight Lover Heavy Bundiddly Diddly D. He gets mad at Mac and Tyler about something and in a normal movie they would somehow get on his shit list and be in serious trouble. Not in this one. In fact, he delivers the movie’s most After School Special style wisdom. When Mac is surprised to find out that Miles goes to MSA, Omar gets mad: “What the hell is an art-school cat supposed to look like? Miles Davis, Tupac, Mobb Deep – those cats went to art school.”

4. Friendship. There’s a theme about loyalty. Nora’s boyfriend is an asshole for getting a record contract but ditching his producer Miles. Tyler is wrong to stop helping Nora after they have a disagreement. Nora is wrong to go back to her original dance partner after everything Tyler did for her. The one that’s funny to me though is Mac’s feeling of betrayal when he finds out the community service Tyler’s been doing is at the school. He walks in on a dance rehearsal like he walked in on him fucking his daughter. He storms off, Tyler has to chase him and they have an emotional confrontation. “It’s not like that!”

I mean, he says he’s mad that his friend left him hanging “to hang out with a bunch of rich kids,” but his disgust shows that it’s the dancing that bothers him, just like his homophobia towards Skinny and his muscles comment. He told Skinny they had to get him a girl, but he switches to quiet fury when he realizes Tyler is “messin around with our friendship… for a girl?” Later there’s this exchange:

“So what happened with that girl?”


“Nothin? I’m ‘posed to just believe you?”

I think there might be something else going on here besides Skinny being gay.

And Mac, I guess I need to remind you that he’s fucking doing it because he took the fall when you dipshits vandalized the school! He could still be mopping the floors, but he managed to improve the situation so he can fulfill his 200 hours while doing something he’s passionate about. You should be happy for him. You’re as bad as Nora’s mom. Okay, to be fair you both show up at the showcase and end up being proud. I guess you’re forgiven, Mac. But you’re a weirdo.

* * *

STEP UP is a stupid movie, that’s what I like about it. But I gotta admit there’s some kind of charm to it too. I don’t like the style of dancing, but you can tell that the two leads are real dancers, and they also have some charisma and chemistry. Dewan (who I guess was a dancer on a Janet Jackson tour) is good lookin too. And I think I’m supposed to hate Channing Tatum, but there’s something I kind of like about him. His whitebonics way of slurring his speech can be unappealing, but he’s good at showing the inner turmoil of a sensitive guy trying to act macho and uncaring. I mean you wouldn’t know that from GI JOE, but he’s pretty good in this and FIGHTING.

The director, Anne Fletcher, is a dancer and choreographer who started directing with this one and went on to do the romantic comedies 27 DRESSES and THE PROPOSAL. I think I’ll sit those out. The writers are Duane Adler (who did other dance movies like SAVE THE LAST DANCE) and Melissa Rosenberg (who did all the TWILIGHT movies). And it’s fair to say that it’s pretty much the movie you’d expect from that group trying to make a movie about ballet and the streets of Baltimore. 88 minutes in there’s a funeral, by 97 everybody’s smiling and celebrating. I wish the ballet class from the opening credits would’ve burst into the dark warehouse and all hell woulda broke loose. But you can’t have everything.


This entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 3:18 am and is filed under Drama, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

38 Responses to “Step Up”

  1. hey, I’m happy to see you’re doing the back to school special thing again Vern, unless I’m mistaken I don’t think you did it last year

    anyway since I’m sure most of the guys here have not seen this, I just want to take this time to mention that I finally saw The Big Lebowski tonight for the first time

    it’s a very funny movie and I can certainly see why it became such a cult classic, but I’m not sure it’s the Coen brothers best movie though, I also don’t think I’ll watch it a million times like some of the hardcore fans, I did like the surprise Julianne Moore nudity though

    I was surprised to learn that John Turturro’s character was barely in the movie, I figured he’d have a bigger role

    lastly, is The Dude really supposed to be a metaphor for Jesus Christ or something? I got that vibe strangely enough

  2. Griff, believe me, THE BIG LEBOWSKI is a grower. At least it really grew on me. When I watched it the first time back in 1998, I only really liked it, but over the years it became one of my top five movies ever. (And even top 3 in the comedy category)
    I just wish the 15 year old stoners would give this movie back to the people who appreciate the movie because it’s good and not because of “LOL, he smokes weed and says fuck a lot”. Same with FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. And bling bling wannabe gangsta rappers should give back SCARFACE too. Oh well, at least it doesn’t make the movies any worse. It’s just more difficult to enjoy them in public.

  3. CJ – it’s funny that you say that because here I am sitting here after posting that and I find myself thinking about the movie a lot, it’s certainly one that sticks with you

    at this point in time I would say it was good, but I don’t quite understand the massive devotion it inspires, however after watching it a few times maybe I will

    btw I loved that dream sequence where it turns into a musical

  4. So are there going to be reviews for the rest of the STEP UP Series?

    We’ve even got a STEP UP 4EVER coming up in 2012.

  5. I reckon Step Up is the same way. It will grow on ya. All 3 of them. I’d watch it now if I wasn’t watching The Wire. Though it has been a while since I watched Big Lebowski, maybe I’ll watch that.

  6. I didn’t know that Duke in GI JOE: RISE OF CG was in this movie until reading this. Interesting.

  7. billydeethrilliams

    September 19th, 2011 at 5:29 am

    You know, uh, I was expecting a review of Drive… sorry dude.

  8. This is like the week INCEPTION came out and Greenbergmania steadfastly refused to sweep the nation.

  9. I never saw the second Step Up, but the third is like a dance version of The Warriors. All semblance of reality goes out the window. It’s all dance tournaments, and this dance troupe has an underground club, and they’re “going broke” even though it’s packed all the time. And they’re like the united nations of dancers, not only with race, but also with dancing styles – my favorite is the robot guy who, the movie slightly implies, when he’s not dancing, is an ACTUAL REAL HUMANOID ROBOT.

    Also, while I haven’t seen it, I know Tyler passes the baton in the second film to his niece in a big opening dance number, and that the second’s boyish comic relief (Adam Sevani, a funny kid) carries on to the third film, so there is continuity.

    I’m bound to be disappointed in the second film (since I saw the third in 3D, and it remains my ALL-TIME FAVORITE 3D MOVIE), but I gotta say, if you look it up, it had one of the all-time greatest trailers ever.

  10. Remember that scene in “Titanic” where Rose goes to steerage and they’re doing their poor people dancing and she shows how tough she is by having a beer and standing on her tip-toes? I just realized that scene is the only example of an inverse of this formula, where a girl “steps up” and “serves” dudes by doing ballet.

  11. AU (Formerly Cunt (Formerly AU_Armageddon (Formerly the Artist Formerly Known As AU_Armageddon)))

    September 19th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    You seem to be watching a lot of movies that are pretty homophobic. Must be a phase. Mebbe you can mix it with your Halloween season on go with Silence of the Lambs and Basic Instinct next.

    I liked Step Up but the running gay theme with his friends does strike as honestly bizarre at first. Mac being in love with Tatum (despite the more openly gay Skinny) and jealous and bitchy without following up really threw me till I realised that of course must have been written by a chick. Once you realise all the male-male relationships are exactly like female relationships and the petty bitchy attitudes are all the ways the women treat their best friends the whole deal becomes much less homophobic, though still fascinating and revealing in the way Bridesmaids is revealing.

    27 Dresses and The Proposal both include similiar guys so what you got here with Anne Fletcher is a bitch who’s never gonna find happiness and never gonna realise why…

  12. AU (Formerly Cunt (Formerly AU_Armageddon (Formerly the Artist Formerly Known As AU_Armageddon)))

    September 19th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Fuck me, that’s the first post I made in ages that didn’t have to sit in moderation queue.

  13. I’d love a review of BOOGIE TOWN
    it honestly looks at least ten times as stupid as STEP UP does.

  14. Channing Tatum was ass in G.I. JOE, but he was pretty funny in THE DILEMMA.

  15. I’ll take my tarring and feathering right now, but I’ve got a soft spot for these Step Up movies. I really enjoyed the first one on the merit of quality dancing, a super sexy female lead, and goddamit if I don’t find some earnest charm in Channing Tatum, plus he’s able (in my opinion) to pull off the ‘white guy raised in the projects’ aesthetic and speech without seeming to cheesy and ‘white dude playin’ black’. I even enjoyed the second one, and after all the hooplah, wish I’d seen the third in 3D. I hear it was amazing.

    Also CJ; Who has stolen your films from you? Shouldn’t you be glad that gems like Fear and Loathing and The Big L are being appreciated by wide ranges of audiences at this point? All though I do get where you’re coming from in that there are a lot of kids who think they’ve discovered these films for the first time and are just a little to proud about it. Still, I saw those movies back when I was in my early teens, and it shaped me as a lifelong film fanatic. So thats a positive.
    And regarding Scarface, I don’t think it’s been appropriated by just ‘bling bling wannabe gansta rappers’. I’m pretty sure that a lot of the hip hop proponents of Scarface aren’t wannabe gangsters at all, but as hard and legitimately street as you can get. Not trying to excuse the glamorization of a criminal who ruined the lives of his friends and family, or say it’s ok that he’s an icon to look up to in the hip hop world. But it sure isn’t just fake G’s that are in love with Scarface.

  16. I’ll never understand the glorification of Tony Montana. This is a dude who had money for like two years before totally losing his shit, alienating everyone who was loyal to him, and getting his ass blown the fuck away in his own house like a chump. Even disregarding the fact that he was a murdering psychopath, this is no kind of role model for anybody. If the credo of the hustler is “Get rich or die trying,” he chose Option B.

  17. \\thread sideloop


    Fuck me sideways and call me Eisenberg…

    //resume thread

  18. “I’ll never understand the glorification of Tony Montana. This is a dude who had money for like two years before totally losing his shit, alienating everyone who was loyal to him, and getting his ass blown the fuck away in his own house like a chump. Even disregarding the fact that he was a murdering psychopath, this is no kind of role model for anybody. If the credo of the hustler is “Get rich or die trying,” he chose Option B.”
    Well actually if you remember it was actually doing the RIGHT THING that got Tony killed, since he refused to kill that guy who was going to make a speech to the UN about the dangers of drugs, because he didn’t want the guy’s kids being killed too. So he wasn’t a completely remorseless bastard.

  19. It’s not that I disown a movie when it “falls into the wrong hands”. I’m too old to play the old hipster game of “Oh noes, my favourite underground act is now in the Top 40, therefore they suck now”. It just sometimes hurts me when I see people enjoy movies for the wrong reasons.

    SCARFACE is a seriously good movie, but for any reason it became a cult classic among wannabe gangster rappers, who think that Tony Montana is a positive role model for their desired lifestyle. What’s up with that? And I’m not hating on the “Dudeists” or the “Achievers”, who take the appreciation for LEBOWSKI to a new level. I would love to visit a Lebowskifest one day. From what I’ve heard it sounds like a lot of fun. But here we got another example of a seriously good movie, that gets reduced to its lowest common denominator (“wacky stoner comedy”) by a huge fanbase.

    It’s like when you are sitting in a movie theatre and the guy next to you is yelling at the guy in the horror movie to watch out or starts to laugh tears about even the worst jokes in the comedy that you are watching. He obviously enjoys the movie and is having a good time, but it would be nice if he could tone it down a little bit and let you enjoy it too. Same here. It’s nice that you enjoy these good movies, but stop rubbing in my face how “gangster” Tony Montana is or how The Dude is as funny as Cheech & Chong or Harold & Kumar.

  20. I never saw Step Up, but I did see Step Up 2 The Streets: Step Up 2: Step Harder: Port Call of Step Up, on netflix because the girl on the poster was bafflingly hot. I had a really good time, just the first five minutes make it worth watching.

    It starts out with sad music and home video footage where the female lead describes how her mother died when she was a little girl. Then, the somber music continues while the (ridiculous) title treatment floats across the screen. Then you get a totally insane dance sequence in a subway. You see, the kids are trying to get into this dance tournament, but in order to qualify, you have to do a flashmob style public stunt and film it. It’s really, really stupid, but the dancing is great and Jon Chu is a good enough director that I know his name off the top of my head. And his entire filmography.

    Step Up 3D is really where it’s at. That movie is just balls to the wall. Also, as mentioned above, it is one of only 4 3D movies ever worth the 3D upcharge (Avatar, Coraline and Final Destination 5 are the others). The lead is appealing, the story is delightfully retarded, the dancing is great.

    I especially like the scene where they are in a dance club and the villains corner a hero in the bathroom…in order to challenge him to a dance off. The bad guys come in with this giant backpack. In a normal movie, there would be a gun or weapons. But this is no normal movie, this is Step Up 3D, Mothafucka! They have a giant, backpack shaped boombox. Also, there is a really well done one-take dance scene that recalls singing in the rain.

    The movie worked for me because it reminded me of what I assumed the wonderland of my mid-twenties would be like when I was just hitting puberty and had no idea how the world actually worked. The only downside is that too many of the dances are montage sequences. We get really cool 5-10 second bursts of dancing, but without the larger context of a full routine, they don’t have the same impact. All the same, it was easily one of my 10 favorite movies of that year and one of the best theater-going experiences I have ever had.

    You know how good Step Up 3D was?

    It was the anniversary of the first time I was almost murdered by a gang of Nazi Skinheads (probably in retaliation for dating the younger sister of a 6″8 ex-skinhead who was born with a full set of teeth). It was also about 2 weeks after being dumped by the only girl I ever really loved-loved. I was depressed as shit and my PTSD was acting up. I went to the theater on a whim for a matinee and I came out feeling SO good. All my troubles melted away, my neurosis quelled, I was smiling and laughing. Step Up 3D is so good that it cures Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Fer’Serious.

  21. True story: For the first year it was out, I sincerely believed that Fiddy’s debut album was called “Get Rich or Try Dying”. I liked him a lot less when I discovered the truth.

    There is an issue, for me at least, with a film attracting the wrong audience. Fight Club, for example, attracts a lot of people who don’t understand that Tyler Durden is the villain. This is partially the film’s fault as I’m pretty sure that Fincher thinks that Durden is right. Scarface is a brilliant, biting satire of the Horatio Alger myth. However, the vast majority of people who watch it don’t even realize that it is a satire. This is troubling to me. Of course, I didn’t realize Network was a satire until the third time (but that’s because everything it predicted came true) or that Starship Troopers was a satire (but I was 12).

    Actually, that’s it! Every truly great satire seems to have a large percentage of fans who take it at face value. Starship Troopers, Scarface, Fight Club, Network, A Clockwork Orange, surely these are 5 of the best film satires of all time…but how many people do you think understand that they are satires at all?

    I can’t really get mad at people liking Fear and Loathing, however, if only because it made me way cooler in high school because people knew who I was named after.

  22. “It was the anniversary of the first time I was almost murdered by a gang of Nazi Skinheads”

    holy fucking shit, thank God you survived that

  23. Completely off-topic, but this just in, Vern: Tom Wilson, creator of Ziggy, dead at age 80.


    I’m sad not because I’ll no longer see him on greeting cards from elderly relatives, but because you’ll need a new sure-fire pop culture reference that will make me laugh every time you mention it in an inappropriate Films Of Cinema context (e.g. Robert Zemeckis’s ZIGGY 3D).

  24. Edging back on topic, because it would be rude of me otherwise: Tawdry Hepburn, this would imply there was a SECOND time you were almost murdered by a gang of Nazi skinheads. Please tell me you’ve moved away from that city since then. I can also see how the Overcoming Adversity Through Dance movie genre would feel damn uplifting after that.

  25. Tom Wilson has been in a poor state for about twenty-five years. His son Tom Wilson Jr. has run the strip since the late 80s, although like most cartoonists for major comic strips he doesn’t draw it personally or I think even write most of them. He’ll still be on greeting cards for years to come, don’t worry about that*.

    But Vern should review ZIGGY’S GIFT for Christmas in his honour.

    *I guess, being from the UK I’ve never seen a ZIGGY greeting card in my life.

  26. Griff: Last time I was in Greenwich Village there was a shop devoted to all things Lebowski. The proprietor even wore a bath robe.

    CJ: I kind of like what the wannabe gansta rappers have done with SCARFACE. I find them more entertaining than the actual movie. I like the strut they adopt when they’re really into it. I consider CARLITO’S WAY a failure of a film because it never inspired the same devotion as SCARFACE.

    But maybe SCARFACE shouldn’t monopolize their time. Maybe the kids could find room for DONNIE BRASCO, if only for the wardrobe and homoeroticism.

    Tawdry: Some of the blame for the misunderstanding surrounding FIGHT CLUB can be attributed to Roger Ebert. The guy just didn’t get the film at all. Norton and Fincher riff on that a lot in the commentary track.

  27. Tawdry wins “Best Film Aftereffects Story of the Year”.
    I agree that there’s a group of people who don’t always get when certain movies are satirical, but isn’t that partly why those movies are good? Isn’t there an element in good satire that rings true for the group it is satirizing? Like in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, there’s lots of things going on in the writing and look of the movie, but you can get stoned and think its greatest strength as a movie is using it as a stoner movie. Or people can watch STARSHIP TROOPERS and think that it’s just there to show spacemen fighting alien bugs and co-ed showers. Not that those are bad things. But it seems to me that partly why these movies succeed as satire is that if the message of the satire is one everyone already understands, then it tends to not be very interesting or entertaining. Like maybe if it’s completely obvious to everybody then it becomes a message movie and not a satire.

  28. I went to a blu-ray release party for Scarface the other week. Fred was there too. Pacino and the other actors bent over backwards to thank and praise the hip-hop industry for loving the film. Oliver Stone and DePalma were notably absent…

    Meanwhile, Biggie was obsessed with King of New York. He name drops Frank White in a number of songs and used to check into hotels under that pseudonym. Not sure White is a much better role model, but I’d much rather watch King of New York any day than Scarface. If only because it would save me an hour and Walken is cooler than Pacino.

  29. Biggie wasn’t the only one. KING OF NEW YORK used to be referenced and sampled all the time in East Coast hip-hop. If I remember correctly, Fat Joe started a song with the entirety of the “A nickel bag gets sold in the park, I want IN” speech.

  30. I’m not sure there’s any gayness, intended or subconscious or otherwise, in STEP UP.  Maybe for you. Not for me.  Maybe.  

    The script treats the struggle to find & commit to what you love doing, others’ opinions & socioeconomic class be damned, like everyone’s always on the verge of selling out, abandoning their friends, and becoming a kind of Uncle Tom (if I may add to the bizarre evolution & etymology of that odious phrase).  And you sort of sense that at some point a burner’s gonna get flashed, someone’s gonna get stomped, but then they just dance.  

    It’s goofy, wholesomely goofy despite the lax attitude toward crime Vern points out, so I have to laugh at it when I realize how all the violent, threatening narrative beats that you’d see in most streets-based movies are here replaced by moves-busting and teeny angst that just can’t darken the mood, no matter how hard dudes mope and exchange mean looks.  (The mood of STEP UP is closer to the fun badass juxtapositions of Spike Jonze’s music video for Biggie’s Sky’s the Limit than it is to the serious drama of WEST SIDE STORY.)  

    And I see how it comes off as confusing how these 2 guys have a bond that is so easily disrupted just because one of them wants to spend more time stretching his legs with pretty girls.  But, instead of seeming gay, what it more reminds me of is like in a boxing/fighting movie (ahemWARRIORahem) when the girlfriend/wife is telling the guy, “No, don’t do this, you’ll get hurt,”  
    and all I’m thinking is, “Woman, what is wrong with you?  You know how much money he’s about to make?”  
    It’s frustrating to see artificial, counterproductive conflict.  

    It’s frustrating for Channing Tatum here, and I think I know how he feels because in junior high & high school I took some guff for volunteering to practice with the girls’ soccer, basketball, & tennis teams.  I don’t know why my peers thought that was a waste of time or thought it was somehow brokeback.  I enjoyed running around, shagging balls, and playing defense against little ladies in short shorts.  Call me crazy, call me gay, call me out for not hanging with other friends every afternoon, but also fuck you, you’re fucking stupid, tap that rich girl ass, Channing!  

  31. One day all that slang from WEST SIDE STORY is going to come back into fashion. The squares will tremble in fear when young punks tell them, “krup you!”

  32. Majestyk, Fat Joe also lifted the scene where Frank White recruits the guys who were going to mug him on the subway for one of his vides, but I can’t remember which one.

  33. I liked FIGHTING, and I think Channing has a very likeable understated screen presence. Also, I think he refined his dance moves as a male stripper before transitioning into acting. In fact Steven Soderbergh is making a male stripper movie called MAGIC MIKE staring Channing. It also stars Matthew McConaughey, and the one and only Kevin Nash (AKA Big Sexy) as a male dancer named Tarzan.

  34. IMDB says MAGIC MIKE also stars Joe Manganiello the werewolf guy from TRUE BLOOD as a character named Big Dick Richie. With a character named Big Dick Richie you know it is going to be a good movie. They should get Thomas Jane to reprise his role as Todd Parker from BOOGIE NIGHTS for the film. I think it would be hilarious if the film ended up being some sort of ROADHOUSE remake set in a male strip club instead of a bar.

  35. Oh my God, someone needs to make the robot dance holocaust movie where robo dance parties ridse up against us.

  36. A STEP UP TV Series is in the works.

    ‘Step Up’ TV Series Produced By Channing Tatum Ordered By YouTube

    YouTube is making its first big scripted series bet, giving a straight-to-series order to Step Up, a drama series from Lionsgate TV based on the film franchise that grossed $650 million at the glob…

  37. Well with my recent procurement of an old 3DTV, I decided to finally join you guys and dip my toes into the waters of the Step Up series. And I certainly hope the series gets better (and it sounds like it does) – Part 1 is just a slightly above average romance; it’s not bad, there’s nice touches here and there, the performances are decent, the leads being able to do their own dancing makes a world of difference. But the movie as a whole is a little too sluggish, the conflicts and cliches are a little too eye-rolling. I was surprised this movie ends up having a body count, but I was more surprised that I kinda didn’t care. Even at under 100 minutes, this felt really, really long and I was kinda checking my watch hoping it would end. Speaking of which, the dance finale is pretty solid but it’s not really worth the wait and (sorry) both Dewan and Tatum top it easily on their episode of Lip Sync Battle.

    Speaking from a 2018 perspective, I wonder how movies like this will survive the endless wokening of pop culture. I mean one of the most interesting things about this movie is, as Vern noted, the racial integration of the arts school, and a general acceptance of hip hop. There are no stuffy teachers who turn up their nose at Nora’s hip hop dance routine, nobody tells her to go more traditional or use classical music, etc… It’s accepted as its own legit style and art form, and the world this movie shows is a great example of America being a true melting pot, showing diversity to be a strength of society. So why do I get the feeling if this movie came out today we’d have endless blog posts about cultural appropriation and how this privileged white girl steals from black culture? #boycottStepUp

    *I guess everything is going to suffer in comparison to Dirty Dancing, which you could argue is the same movie as this, so why do I absolutely love one and not the other? I guess Dirty Dancing has iconic, timeless music (not found here), characters that you quickly fall in love with (also not found here), and incredible lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry between the leads (not really found here). Considering Swayze and Grey apparently hated each other, and Dewan and Tatum ended up marrying each other, that last one was a real disappointment for me.

  38. You will see, if you keep going, that the sequels become something very different. Definitely give part 2 THE STREETS a chance. I think it’s the second best one and it will show you what the series turns into.

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