The latest movie in the Step Up franchise aims for a politicized message behind all the flashy moves but it could do with a lot less plot and a lot more dancing. In Step Up Revolution the Miami dance group "The Mob" takes to the streets (and other random locations) to perform intricately choreographed routines with their own DJ a camera guy who uploads their videos to YouTube and a graffiti artist who leaves their signature behind. It takes at least that much effort just to get hipster New Yorkers to ride the subways without any pants on once a year; it's hard to believe that The Mob could pull off their elaborate schemes without getting caught but that's the magic of movies.
The Mob represents the more diverse working class side of Miami a young multiracial group of friends who create incredible works of art that disappear before they get shut down. One of the Mob's leaders Sean (Ryan Guzman) earnestly explains to newcomer Emily (Kathryn McCormick) that the group's reason is to give a voice to the voiceless or to be happy or to dance or something. It's not really clear but they have a lot of fun and look amazing doing it.
Once Sean and his friends find out that a greedy developer plans to raze their neighborhood to make way for another South Beach-style hotel monstrosity they have a reason to rally but until then they're just trying to win a cash prize by getting clicks on YouTube. The typical Step Up twist is that Emily is the developer's daughter. Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher) doesn't approve of Emily's love of dancing or other frippery and he certainly wouldn't approve of her hanging out with the people causing such mayhem in the streets of Miami.
Step Up Revolution biggest misstep is trying to give the movie more of a hook than the franchise's typical Romeo and Juliet-style love story and tap into "the Zeitgeist" (I swear that's from the studio-provided press notes) of flash mobs. The film could have cut out most of the plot and characters and still have a completely intact film insofar as the point of the film is its multimedia dance routines. The sort of productions The Mob pulls off are more akin to carefully planned art installations or music videos in terms of scope; it would have been better to at least make that somehow feasible in terms of the storyline. Yes we are here for a spectacle and we surely get a spectacle but it needs to have some roots in reality.
The dance scenes are fun sexy and occasionally a little sappy but overall quite enjoyable for people who enjoy "So You Think You Can Dance" type of shows. Kathryn McCormick and Stephen "tWitch" Boss both appeared on "SYTYCD" and their costar Misha Gabriel is a classically trained ballet dancer turned pro back-up dancer for folks like Beyoncé and Michael Jackson. Guzman doesn't have a dance background but he is an MMA fighter who obviously took his training very seriously. The entire outfit is pretty damn entertaining to be honest.
As far as the 3D goes it makes most of Miami look overcast and grey. The extra zings added in to make sure we get our money's worth like sand flicking out at us or a breakdancer whose foot seems to be aiming for our face only serves to distract from the real show at hand. There is also an awful lot of ramping and generally spazzy editing tricks that look cheap. The screenplay by Amanda Brody is definitely not its strong suit.
Step Up Revolution is the cinematic equivalent of a trashy beach novel. It's embarrassing to be caught actually enjoying it and you'll forget about it almost immediately but it's a decent way to spend a summer afternoon.
The Last Song producer Adam Shankman cried when he heard Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's engagement news after watching their love blossom on the set of the film.
The stars began dating after they met while working on the movie in 2009, and the Australian actor cemented their relationship by proposing to Cyrus last month (31May12).
Shankman admits he was so overwhelmed when he read about their engagement that he burst into tears.
He tells People.com, "I sort of want a finder's fee for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. I cannot tell you. It made me cry.
"I remember that first day of shooting when they first kissed and Miley walked by my sister (producer Jennifer Gibgot) after they shot the kissing scene. She goes, 'This is gonna work.'
"I'll tell you what's so great. That thing about opposites attract. Their fundamental core values are the same, but he's really mellow and she's really hyper. So it really works together. It's extraordinary, and I'm so happy."
Shankman jokingly adds: "I'm scared at how beautiful those children are going to be."
Sandra Bullock will reteam with her Proposal director, Anne Fletcher, for an untitled project at Warner Bros. The studio acquired the pitch from Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Bullock will also executive produce the contemporary-set project, which THR says is described as in the vein of An Unmarried Woman and Saturday Night Fever.
Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment are producing. Bullock will executive produce with her Fortis Films partner Maggie Biggar.
Offspring's Matt Smith also is exec producing. Falk and Ellis are best known for writing the 2001 romantic comedy The Wedding Planner.
Bullock is also circling two other Warner Bros. projects: Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and the drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which Scott Rudin is producing.
Fletcher's credits include 27 Dresses and Step Up. She is also attached to direct the Shankman-produced Matadors.
Click here for the full story
The Zack and Miri Make a Porno actress is set to star as the mischievous pixie in Disney's forthcoming romantic comedy, Tink.
Hollywood heavyweights Adam Shankman, McG and and Jennifer Gibgot have signed on to produce the screenplay, written by Jennifer Wright Shapiro, reports Variety.
It is not the first time a modern star has played the fairy - Julia Roberts played the pixie in 1991's Hook and French actress Ludivine Sagnier portrayed the sprite in P.J. Hogan's 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan.
If you believe in fairies, start clapping. Elizabeth Banks will star as Tinkerbell in Tink, a live action film about Disney's blond fairy. Banks herself has been developing the project with her production company, Brownstone Productions. McG (Terminator Salvation), Adam Shankman (The Last Song) and Jennifer Gibgot (Hairspray) have also signed on to produce. The project seems set to follow in the vein of Disney’s last live action rom-com Enchanted, which put a modern spin on the fairy tale genre.
Banks' casting seems spot-on for the project, as she both looks the part and has proven her comedic chops on 30 Rock and Scrubs. McG, who is usually known for his action fare, seems like an unlikely choice for the project and both Shankman and Gibgot have their names on some questionable work, like The Pacifier and Step Up 3D, so I would keep expectations low for the moment.
Tinkerbell may have started as Peter Pan’s sidekick, but she has proven to be an unexpected merchandising juggernaut for Disney. I could be optimistic and attribute it to the fact that she’s one of the few early Disney women with any characteristics outside of “nice”, or pessimistic and say that it has more to do with the fact that she’s sparkly, irritating and high maintenance, which tweens can relate to. Either way, Disney has a lot of incentive to make a Tinkerbell film, and will probably make it a high priority.