Monday, October 3, 2011

Step Up

     Lately, I've been addicted to a movie series called "Step Up". There are three movies, with a fourth coming out next year. They are about dancing, specifically classical and street, and often include a mix of the two. The final dance scenes are (of course) the grand finale of the movie. Here's the final dance scene of the first movie:
     Step Up, the first movie in the series, definitely has the best musical scores of the three movies. It also has the best storyline and the most well-rounded characters. It's about Tyler, an under-privileged high school senior, living street dance and stealing cars to sell for money, and Nora, a senior at the Maryland School of the Arts (MSA), whose dance partner injures himself just a couple weeks before the final showcase, which is a deciding factor for her entire future.
     Tyler and his friends break in to MSA and trash one of the stages, and when caught, Tyler allows his friends to escape and takes the blame himself, being sentenced to community service at MSA. He then meets Nora and helps her rehearse for her showcase, and the couple fall in love.
     This movie stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan as Tyler and Nora, along with Mario and Drew Sidora, as their good friends.
     Step Up 2: The Streets, the second in the series, is just plain great! It doesn't have the best of anything, but it comes in very close with both of the other movies in the series. It follows Andie, a dancer in the street crew going by the name of "410" (pronounced four-one-oh), who lives with her mother's best friend due to her mother's death, and Chase, a student at MSA, whose brother is the director of the school, and who wishes not to conform to the classic dance styles of his school, but wants to perform street dancing.
     After being threatened to be sent to live with her aunt in Texas if she doesn't change, Andie goes to a club, where she runs into her old friend, Tyler Gage (from the first movie), who is now going on tour with Nora. He battles it out with her to decide whether she should audition for MSA, and he wins, so he gets her an audition. She makes it in and is the kicked out of her crew, 410. She and Chase then form a new crew, called the "MSA Crew", with help from some other MSA students who aren't accepted as who they are. They then practice after school in one of the dance gyms every day, planning to defeat the 410 crew at an illegal street dance competition; The Streets. All the while, Chase and Andie draw closer together.
     Step Up 2: The Streets stars Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman as Andie and Chase, along with Will Kemp and Adam G. Sevani as Director Collins and "Moose", the first MSA student to befriend Andie.
     Step Up 3D, the third (and so far last) movie in the series, has the best dances and some really great music! I'm not so fond of the storyline, but it might just be me. In this story, Moose returns as a main character, along with Tyler Gage's adoptive sister Camille, who are both attending New York University, having left dancing in the past. It also follows Luke, the leader of the House of Pirates dance crew, who meets and falls in love with Natalie, whose brother is the leader of Luke's rival dance crew, the House of Samurai.
     The film starts out with several of the characters describing why they dance, and then switches to best friends Moose and Camille on their first day at NYU. Moose, now an electrical engineering major after having promised his father not to dance anymore, notices and follows a pair of Limited Edition Gun Metal Nike Dunks. He stumbles upon a dance battle, where he beats Kid Darkness of the House of Samurai and is rescued from a police chase by Luke, who takes him to meet the House of Pirates crew. Moose joins the crew and soon after, Luke meets Natalie at the club owned by the Pirates to make the money necessary for what they need, and she becomes a part of the crew, Luke not knowing who she really is.
     Moose's time gets increasingly tighter and tighter until he has to decide between a dance competition and a major test. He goes for the test, but then decides to do the competition instead, making it just in time. Luke and Natalie draw closer as the movie progresses until, at Natalie's birthday party, her brother Julien reveals his relation to her. When he arrives back at the warehouse where the Pirates practiced, he finds it foreclosed and the crew breaks up. Meanwhile, Moose does not realize that Camille is in love with him, and the two have a falling out when she learns that he has been lying to her about his dancing. They then make up by dancing to remix of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Moose then helps Luke out by getting the main dancers from the House of Pirates back together, finding a place for them to practice, and giving him more crew members including the MSA crew and Camille. Natalie helps Luke to win the World Jam competition and Luke forgives her and agrees to go with her to California. Then, he kisses her while Moose kisses Camille.
     The movie stars Adam G. Sevani and Alyson Stoner as Moose and Camille. It also stars Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson as Luke and Natalie.

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