Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Step Up 3 features main characters Luke (Rick Malambrri) and Natalie (Sharni Vinson) in a dance embrace, with various dancers in poses beneath. The choice to use only Luke and Natalie is strange, as a case could be made for including Moose (Adam Sevani) on the cover as he seems to be, at least in parts of the movie, as the main focus of the movie. This really is an ensemble type of movie though, so to only feature these two on the cover was a bit odd, even if is otherwise is a decent shot for the box cover.
The menu is a little strange as well, with shots of the dancers being looped over some heavy dance beats. It is almost a .gif type of feel, with no real live action shots, and it is kind of a neat overall feel for the menu. It sure beats a totally static menu for a movie filled with so much movement.
- Born From A Boombox – This feature is actually just the overall movie that is featured in the film itself, and is attributed to Luke’ passion for filmmaking. We see it in the movie in its entirety, but it is a nice mini movie about how the characters view their lives as they pertain to dancing.
- Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes feature introductions by director John Chu. There are 8 scenes included.
- Extra Moves – This extra was kind of unique, in that it features many of the songs of the film, with additional dance scenes. There are new moves not included as well as some behind the scenes shots here. It is kind of a mach up of all of the songs, in one long, dance filled 7 minutes. I thought this was the best extra on the Blu-ray, and it was fun to watch as it is non-stop, amazing dancing.
- Making The Music Videos – As can be expected, this is about a 7 minute extra that details the making of the music videos that are included with the movie.
- 8 Music Videos – I have never seen so many music videos included as extras. This is a nice addition for those interested in the soundtrack, which is quite well done for this type of movie.
- DVD Copy Of The Film – It’s always nice to have a DVD of the movie.
The Movie: 7/10
Shockingly, I found Step Up 3 to be a fun little movie. This is no Oscar contender, but the acting was decent, and the dancing was amazing. The story is a bit of Karate Kid meets So You Think You Can Dance, with the underdog having to win a competition against great odds, but it was still a fun little ride. This is obviously the third installment of the Step Up movies, and its original release was in 3D. This Blu-ray release is not in 3D, and you can tell that many of the shots were originally done to show off the 3D aspect of the movie. Fortunately it still works in good old 2 dimensions, but there are some shots that fail as a result (I am looking at you flying Slushees.) (Side Note: the movie is also available in 3D if you have one of those new fancy HDTV’s)
At the beginning of the movie Moose and longtime friend Camille (Alyson Stoner, from Missy Elliot fame) move to New York City to attend college. Moose, who was in Step Up 2, ends up accidntally falling into a dance-off with a member of the Samarai dance crew, and thus starts a battle that culminates in the end of the movie. Moose is taken in by Luke, who runs another crew called the Pirates. The Pirates actually live and practice in a warehouse owned by Luke, but the rent is late, and there is a threat of the place being sold off, which would force the Pirates to split up.
Enter Natalie, a dance who has caught the eye of Luke, and the story pretty much follows into place from there. Of course there is bad blood between Luke and the leader of the Samurais, and Moose and Camille are trying to survive college in the midst of Moose spending a bunch of time dancing.
The story is not really what makes this movie work. The incredible dancers and the overall pace of Step Up 3 is addicting, and with the good dance soundtrack, you can’t help but get caught up in the feel of the movie. It literally will make you move, even if you can’t dance to save your life. (My son danced for days after seeing parts of this movie.) The cast is decent, and they really are all likable.
Step Up 3 is just a fun little movie, and while it is predictable and at times goofy, it is just a fun watch. Don’t expect too much, and you will be surprised.
Audio & Video: 9/10
The 1.78:1 AVC encoded 1080p video was stunning. I would actually liked to have seen this in 3D, because it looked like some of the shots would have looked amazing (I think a 3D Blu-ray version is available). The colors on the Blu-ray are vivid and the image was just sharp. The audio is presented in 7.1 Surround Sound, and it is also impressive. The music overtakes almost everything else in this movie, and it booms with bass. The dialogue is clean, and it seems as if they at least added some ambient sounds for the parts of the movie where you could appreciate them, but not with great effect.
This is a fun little movie that will appeal to a specialized audience, and while it is not the best movie I have seen, it is fun. There are a few nice extras here, and the Blu-ray and DVD combo is nice. I would recommend a viewing, but only a purchase for those who are huge dance fans, as the main attraction of this movie is by far the insane dancing.
Overall Score 7/10