Sunday, June 5, 2011

Voulez Vous Cliche Avec Moi?

I have to be up very early for work tomorrow morning, so this will be brief.

I really only decided to watch Step Up 3 because Harry Shum Jr. was in it. He's one of Glee's most naggingly untapped resources (though I gather that's changing in the second season), and he's my current celebrity crush. Of course he only shows up in the third act of Step Up 3, and he's underused even there. And as so many reviewers said, it's a lousy movie aside from the big production numbers: awful dialogue (at times you can see the actors struggling to get out the lines, the reverse of swallowing something bad), wooden acting, and every let's-put-on-a-show-business movie cliche that Hollywood ever wore out.

The dance segments are impressive, but this number, "The Battle of Gwai," the second big dance contest, stands out. Yeah, Moose's last-second arrival on a minibike is another one of those cliches, and was there nobody in the house who knew how to shut off the water? But the choreography is the best in the movie, the dancers execute it well, the water is used inventively (notice Moose flinging out streams from the sleeves of his windbreaker near the end, like a lawn sprinkler), and I found myself wanting to watch the scene over and over again. The song, "Beggin'," by Madcon, is different in style from the hiphop that dominates most of the movie; it sounds like an old Four Seasons song from the sixties, even the singer sounds like Frankie Valli. (Oops, no wonder -- it's a cover, almost an imitation of a Four Seasons single from 1967.) I wouldn't go so far as to recommend the movie, but this scene is worth your notice.