Step Up 2: The Streets

One character in this film sums up this series: “This ain’t no High School Musical!” Yes, for the teens who have outgrown High School Musical, this series is perfect. It’s much more edgy, the soundtrack is very hip-hop oriented, and the dance moves are excellent. But there’s a problem, and this is also the failing of High School Musical. It’s way too predictable.

Andie is a talented street dancer, part of a dance crew known for local vandalism. But when Andie takes it too far, she is sent to the Maryland School of the Arts. There she participates in a dance club, and there’s some great dancers. Andie decides to form her own crew, but after a lackluster performance, can she overcome these odds?

I know, it sounds corny just typing that. But believe me when I say that these dance moves are simply mind-blowing, and I’ve used one or two at school dances recently. But the plot is paper-thin, the acting mediocre, and every twist anticipated. C

Cloverfield

I’ll sum this up: Cloverfield is the defining monster movie of our generation. No “It’s alive!”. No “It came from Mars!”. Just presented as a home video from someone’s video camera, it details an attack on New York City, but from a fresh, new storytelling technique. And an unhappy ending. No walk into the sunset, just a realistic end.

The plot…Uh, well, there’s this ticked-off monster, who comes out of the ocean, and a group must survive amid ALOT of destruction in NYC. Like the Statue of Liberty’s severed head tossed at the streets, and almost to cement the public zeitgeist, people immediately start taking pictures with their cell-phones. It’s one of many allusions to 9/11, subtle yet uncompromising.

It’s a truly different experience, and with very jerky camerawork. But that’s what makes Cloverfield tick. Because of it’s realism, it’s authenticity. This feels like a credible home video, amid some very cool special effects. And thus I close with what I opened. This is the defining monster movie of our generation. A

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3-D

Hannah Montana is a phenomenon. From the tween girls who love her music, the parents who love her wholesomeness, and we guys who enjoy the TV show’s witty humor, it seems to spread. And this concert film demonstrates in several ways just what makes her so popular. First, she’s a great performer. Second, her music is good, from my limited perspective. And third, she sure knows how to put on a show.

The film follows her sold-out concert show, from the kinetic on-screen performance to the drama off-stage (like a funny tidbit on changing back-stage.) A lot of people hit out at her, because she’s Disney Channel, and every teenage girl from Alaska to Tijuana wants to be her…But take your daughter and don’t feel guilty. Oh, and did I mention it’s in 3-D? B