Trailer Hopping : Battlefield America: A Downhill Dancing Movie
Hip-hop dance movies of the last decade have been entertaining with dance moves and techniques that probably inspired numerous future dancers or dreamers like me who would love to have that hidden talent no one knows about, but would never be able to learn any of it. (sigh) Over the years though, the dancing has taken center stage while the acting and storyline have become blase. The story is nothing more than a template for another underdog or down and out dancer(s) with something to prove or show.
Save the Last Dance (2001), a surprised hit that kicked off the dance craze had a touching storyline and somewhat interesting dialogue. As the years went by, and with movies like Honey (2003), You Got Served (2004), Step Up (2006), Take the Lead (2006), How She Move (2007) and Stomp the Yard (2007), these movies and their gazillion sequels have become nothing more than a long music video.
The dancing, on the other hand, has become more invigorating and energized, with fun to watch choreography and dancers so smooth and flexible, you could bend them like straws. Aside from the dancing, everything else about this movie is wrong and boring.
The acting is bad. Bad is a non-descriptive and terrible word choice, considering that most of the actors either were reading lines with no emotion, facial or vocal, like the gorgeous Mekia Cox or dull, like Marques Houston. Lynn Whitfield may have delivered a performance better than what was necessary for a movie about dancing and not acting.
They have a talented kid dancer named, Zach Belandres, play a character named “Chu Ling”. “Chu Ling” cannot be more Chinese and Zach Belandres cannot look further from having any Chinese resemblance; in fact, he could be any nationality other than Chinese. Why insult my cultural intelligence with these small, stupid mishaps? What’s wrong with Zach Belandres playing a Filipino character, or a Hispanic character, or any other non-Asian character?
Fun and cute dancing doesn’t equate to a fun movie for some of the reasons stated above and some unstated, like how the dancers are becoming younger and with more derogatory attitudes. It’s a perception of young kids I do not care to see.
Battlefield America is scheduled to open on June 1, 2012. It stars a cast of excellent young dancers, including some from the Art of Teknique. The movie also includes Mekia Cox, Marques Houston, Christopher Jones and Lynn Whitfield.
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