Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Cheesy Movies...

Last night was supposed to be Part 2 of Sequel-Fest 2008, but since the snow pushed us into 2009 we decided to mix things up and go with a "Movies Featuring People We Know from Reality TV" theme instead... Thus, for movie night with Maggie this time we watched the fantastic Take the Lead (featuring Yaya from ANTM!) and the vexing How She Move (featuring Tre Armstrong, from DDR Canada). (Also, of course, there were espresso milkshakes...)
I first saw Take the Lead on the plane when I moved to Melbourne, and it was super-cool to see it on a full-size TV without engine noise to distract me. It's a movie with fairly high production value for the genre, most likely due to the presence of Antonio Banderas in the lead role as a ballroom dance teacher who helps troubled teens by teaching them to tango during detention. The cast is full of familiar faces, with Mr. Banderas, Alfre Woodard, Yaya, the dude from Finding Forrester, the chick from Step Up, and Moesha's little brother. We actually found Take the Lead to be surprisingly funny and well-written given how cheesy it seems like it should be. I always hated Yaya on ANTM, but she did just fine in her limited role, and Moesha's little brother cracks me up. Good times...
This was my first time watching How She Move, and... Yeah. I don't know what to say. I'm not a big fan of Stepping as a "dance" style, which was the style featured here (although, thankfully, without the constant shouting of some frat's name as was the case in Stomp the Yard). This movie strayed pretty far from the usual cliches of the genre. The protagonist's mother wasn't dead (although her sister was, so maybe that counts) and nobody integrated one dance style into another in order to blow minds and shatter preconceptions (see Save the Last Dance, Step Up, Step Up 2, Center Stage 2, and Bring It On 3 for examples). The messages on the importance of loyalty, self-respect, and friendship were fairly convoluted and things involving money required considerable suspension of disbelief... In the end my thoughts on the movie can be summarized as: "Huh."
Despite being left with confusion-induced furrowed brows at the end of How She Move, I think Maggie and I were able to get clarity on a few things Tuesday night:
  1. We are glad that our mothers don't work out of our family homes as prostitutes. Judging from Yaya's home life in Take the Lead, this would not be any fun at all.
  2. We are glad that our mothers, fathers, and siblings are not crackheads. Otherwise, they would use the money we gave them for groceries to buy more drugs (like dude-from-Finding-Forrester's parents in Take the Lead) or die in some unsavory way after giving our grandmas' antique lockets to their dealers/pimps (like the sister in How She Move).
  3. I sort of wish my mom was Jamaican. The moms in How She Move have these totally fantastic accents that make even scolding sound pretty awesome.
  4. Dancing can solve all of life's problems.
The only two negatives from the night were that I got a sore throat from singing along with the Amanda Palmer solo album at the top of my lungs driving to and from Maggie's place and that I apparently discovered my limit for late-night espresso consumption (10-12 shots) beyond which I end up being awake until 4am.


Unknown said...

dude, such a bad idea, the espresso milkshakes drunk only by two people. We were totally fine when Brandon helped out with the drinking of the shakes! It is all his fault. I hardly slept at all that night. But, now I do have the fab Take the Lead to recommend to people, although none of them believe me that it is good...

I am sad that you are taking off tomorrow for Boston!

emmo said...

Apparently just because I love Drive Me Crazy and Center Stage I have lost all credibility with my friends in terms of my opinions on movies, so nobody believes me about Take the Lead either... =)