Step Up 3D Review
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I think it’s safe to say that this whole 3D thing has officially gone too far. Big-budget action movies? Flashy kids’ movies? Sure. But a dance movie in 3D? Well, that just seemed excessive. And after seeing Step Up 3D, I can now tell you that if there was just one movie that truly deserved the 3D treatment…well, this wasn’t it.

In this third installment in the Step Up franchise, Moose (Adam G. Sevani) shows up in New York for his freshman year at NYU, ready to leave dancing behind and start his new life as an engineering student. But during orientation, he meets Luke (Rick Malambri), the leader of The House of Pirates—a close-knit group of street dancers who live and train in a giant warehouse called The Vault, which is located above a club in the city.

The Vault has been Luke’s passion since his late parents first bought the building and opened it up to dancers—but the club hasn’t been making enough money to pay the bills, and the bank is threatening to take it all away. The only way to keep The Vault up and running is to beat their rivals, The House of Samurai, in the World Jam dance competition.

But as Moose spends more and more time practicing with his new friends, other things start to suffer—like his relationship with his best friend, Camille (Alyson Stoner).

Now, if there’s one thing to be said for Step Up 3D, it’s that its dance scenes are absolutely mesmerizing. The costumes are striking, and the choreography is spectacular. If you love dance—and even if you don’t—you’ll be captivated by the film’s multitude of dance scenes.

Unfortunately, though, that’s as far as it goes.

While director Jon Chu and his team obviously spent a lot of time perfecting the dance scenes to make sure that everything looked just right, they should have spent more time writing a story that wasn’t completely cheesy—or maybe finding some stars who could dance and act. The various storylines are scattered clichés, and the dialogue is often painfully corny.

As for the 3D, it’s some of the worst I’ve seen—ranking right up there with Clash of the Titans. Even kids’ movies are making 3D graphics a subtle but striking art form. But Step Up 3D goes for the gimmicks—ignoring the fact that the film’s target audience is simply too old to be impressed by poking fingers and shooting liquids. The rest is generally shaky and distracting—and even the outdoor dance scenes look like they were lit with a strobe.

Of course, if you love dancing—or just watching people dance—you might be able to overlook the obvious flaws and enjoy the dancing. It is, after all, pretty impressive. Just skip the gratuitous (and overpriced) 3D version.

Blu-ray Review:
The best Blu-ray releases are the ones that focus on the film’s best features—and that’s exactly what the Step Up 3 Blu-ray/DVD combo release does. Forget about the story. The film’s strong point isn’t its plot. Instead, it’s all about the music and the dancing.

The special features menu includes Extra Moves, which shows even more dancing that didn’t make the film. There are also eight deleted scenes (with optional commentary by director Jon Chu)—the best of which are (of course) the deleted dance scenes.

As for the music, the disc also includes eight videos for songs featured on the film’s soundtrack—along with a seven-minute feature showing the making of the music videos.

And, finally, there’s Born from a Boombox, a 12-minute version of Luke’s documentary on dancing (as seen in the film).

I think it’s safe to say that the franchise’s biggest fans are those who love the music and the moves. And that means that the Blu-ray gives fans just what they want: more music, and more dancing. So if you love the movies, you’ll love this Blu-ray release, too.

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