( Max score: 100 )
Step it up to the stratosphere with Step Up 3, the eye-popping dance movie that gets your juices flowing like nothing before it. Gravity-defying routines, pulse-pounding music, and heated drama take you to a dimension that's nothing less than amazing. When a tight-knit group of New York City street dancers are pitted against the best hip
hop dancers in the world, it's a high stakes dance battle that'll change their lives forever.
You don't have to be a fan of Hip Hop music or break style dance to appreciate the level of talent displayed by the dancers in this follow up to 2006's Step Up and 2008's Step Up 2 The Streets. Step up 3's true focus (and strength) lies in its variety of dazzling dance routines and pulsating hip hop rhythms. Outside of the dance numbers the story is built around a group of NY City street dancers lead by Luke, a dancer/budding filmmaker who owns the Vault a place for his dance group The Pirates to live and train. The Vault was started by Luke's parents and he has been caring for and running it but has fallen behind in the mortgage payments. On the precipice of foreclosure Luke and The Pirates set their sights on the city's largest break dance competition, The World Jam, which carries with it a $100k first prize. In order to win The Pirates will have to beat their arch rivals House of Samurai. Luke enlists the aid of newcomer and NYU freshman Moose, along with Natalie, a beautiful young woman, who has recently begun frequenting the Vault's club scene. Romance blossoms for Luke and Natalie while Moose struggles with burning the candle at both ends. With the World Jam drawing near pressures mount, trusts are broken and The Pirates face elimination before stepping foot on the dance floor.
In looking at Step up 3 strictly as a dramatic film I found it to be painfully formulaic and dull. The dialogue can be trite and I found the uninspired acting to be distracting. It is obvious that the idea is to focus on the music/dance and in that regard Step up 3 does well. The physical agility, rhythm and strength displayed by the dancers in the film are incredible to watch. The soundtrack features music by Flo Rida (featuring David Guetta), Trey Songz, Roscoe Dash & T-Pain, Laza Morgan and Wisin y Yandel. While I felt that the characters were poorly drawn I did get a kick out of some of the banter and lighthearted interaction. I also liked the sequence featuring Moose and Cam gracefully dancing through the streets to the re-mix of Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers. The terrific dance routines and superb physicality were rewarding but not enough to draw me in as I found myself checking the time on more than one occasion. Those who are into the style of hip hop music and break dancing featured in Step up 3 will probably get more out of it.
The rating is for brief strong language.
Step up 3 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.1 Mbps.
This is an excellent high definition video presentation that boasts warm, inviting colors with deeply saturated primaries and vivid hues. Fleshtones are nicely delineated with warm tonality and diverse complexional quality among the cast. Detail is in abundance as images look crisp with clearly resolvable fine minutia, and three dimensional depth that on occasion provides a near infinite visual perspective. Blacks are rich with excellent dynamic range and noticeable gradational stages. Contrast is strong which provides plenty of pop to colors and whites without washing them out. The video had a dynamic, pleasing, and pristine quality that looked great throughout the presentation.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers smooth, sibilant free treble, tonally rich, crystalline dialogue, and diffused, room filling ambience. The front channels are seamlessly integrated as they combine with the four surround channels to generate a tightly infused and immersive sound field. This mix creates a two dimensional soundstage that comes alive during the music/dance set pieces. The sounds of the crowd and music, gyrate around the listening area as the deep, low frequency energy thumps along to the driving hip hop rhythms. I am not a fan of the repetitive nature of the film's music but thought that this audio presentation sounded great.
I appreciated Step up 3 for its superlative dance numbers and display of physical talent. Unfortunately it is a sub par dramatic film although I suspect that fans of the style of music/dance it features may enjoy it more than I did. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney true to form by offering high quality audio/video that looks and sounds great in high definition. I didn't find the bonus content to be particularly stimulating but if you like the film's music the videos may appeal to you. If you're a fan's of the first two films Step up 3 is probably worth renting but I wouldn't recommend it as a blind buy.
Thanks for the review.
I know this movie was shot in 3-D for the theatrical release but it's interesting to see that the video didn't transfer as well to 2-D via blu ray.
I do wonder what went wrong during the transfer.