Image Credit: Disney After seeing Step Up 3D, I’ll second what Owen Gleiberman said in his review: “Step Up 3D isn’t, in dramatic terms, a very good movie, but it’s the first film in a while to use 3-D as more than a marketing ploy; it points toward an original way of making a musical.” So often we think of 3-D as things flying out at the audience, but really, it’s about bringing us into the action. You feel like you’re on the dance floor during the battles, and when a member of a crew steps out in front of the others, it’s like you’re the one she’s serving. You’re able to appreciate the moves like never before because you actually get a sense of the motion — the speed, the flexibility, the control. My first thought when I left the theater was “I wish they could’ve released Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo in 3-D.” But now, I’m sitting here practically tearing up imagining the chance to experience Mikhail Baryshnikov’s airtime in Giselle, the Nicholas Brothers’ mind-blowing unpredictability leapfrogging over each other down stairs into splits in Stormy Weather, and Gene Kelly’s masculine fluidity tap dancing on roller skates in It’s Always Fair Weather and fusing flamenco with ballet in Anchors Aweigh.
Just as Step Up 3D can use the technology to bring us on the floor (or into the cheering crowd), movie musicals could use it to envelop us in their world, so when we succumb to the notion that emotions are best expressed through song, the payoff is even bigger. If we felt like we’re standing on that street with Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, his joy would be truly palpable. Imagine sitting between Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor when she starts singing “Come What May” at the end of Moulin Rouge (or standing beneath Kidman when she makes her “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” entrance), and tell me your heart doesn’t stop. Take me to that place, and keep your floating bubbles, balloons, and ICEE beverages (all three used in Step Up 3D).
If you saw Step Up 3D, do you agree that the dance sequences were a good use of the technology? Did you leave wishing you could have seen other dance movies/movie musicals in 3-D? A few other questions while I’m asking…
• Did you spend the whole movie puzzled by how much Adam G. Sevani (pictured, with Alyson Stoner) sounds like Michael Cera?
• Did you doubt that that many NYU freshmen would be wearing NYU apparel?
• Did you laugh when the House of Samurai cornered Moose (Sevani) in the men’s room not to beat him up but to lure him back out into the club for another battle? I’m all for non-violent confrontations, but it’s like, wait five minutes, boys. I’m pretty sure he’s coming back out.
• Did you wonder why anyone would take a train from New York to California? (Airport security is a bitch for surprise I’m/we’re here! movie endings.)