Step Up (2006) Movie Review

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writer: Duane Adler, Melissa Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Damaine Radcliff, De’Shawn Washington, Mario, Drew Sidora, Rachel Griffiths

Plot: Tyler Gage receives the opportunity of a lifetime after vandalizing a performing arts school, gaining him the chance to earn a scholarship and dance with an up and coming dancer, Nora.

Tagline – Every second chance begins with a first step.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Step Up starts when Tyler Gage (Tatum) finds his friends getting him into trouble, where they break in and destroy a fancy dance schools props, he gets his punishment, 200 hours of community service, where he must help out in the school.

When one of the students Nora (Dewan) needs a rehearsal partner, the only suitable person she can find is Tyler, who has the time to help, giving her a new perspective on life, and showing Tyler a more serious approach to everything.

Thoughts on Step Up

Characters – Tyler is a slacker minor criminal, causing problems with his friends most night, which sees him getting caught and forced into community service in a school that he was part of vandalizing. He ends up helping a dancer rehearse for her big performance, learning to try and take life more seriously, while still dealing with the rejection that has hindered his whole life. Nora is the dancer that is desperate to find herself rehearsal partner, this is her big chance in class and she learns more from Tyler to break out of the traditional style that has been left for her to follow. Mac and Skinny are brothers that are Tyler’s best friends who have gotten Tyler in trouble before, with Miles being one of the students that Tyler helps push himself to reach the next level of his career. With Lucy being the best friend of Nora, with her own problems.

PerformancesChanning Tatum proves himself in a leading role here, showing he has the dancing skills to match the troubled outside world role he is taking on, with Jenna Dewan fitting the dancing with ease, showing us the conflict her character is going through. The supporting performances are strong through the film, getting the serious moments when they need to, along with moments of comic relief.

StoryThe story here follows a directionless young man who finds himself doing community service in a dance school, where he finds motivation to fight for something when he teams up with one of the dancers in the school. This is a story that plays into the idea that people can change if they find their motivation in life, people can support people from different worlds, ones that people wouldn’t have expected to find them from either. It shows that if you don’t try, you might not even get a chance you deserve in life, no matter where you come from.

Crime/RomanceThe crime side of the film shows us just where Tyler has come from, showing how he needs to get things back on track if he is ever going turn his life around, with the romance, showing us what could happen when you least expect it.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different backgrounds Tyler and Nora have come from.

Scene of the Movie – The performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nora’s outside the school life isn’t as inspiring to change as Tyler’s.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining dance movie that shows us that you can learn to change by taking a chance from life.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – Apprentice (2016) Movie Review

This is under W because of actor Wan Hanafi Su.

Director: Junfeng Boo

Writer: Junfeng Boo (Screenplay) Junfeng Boo, Raymond Phathanavirangoon (Story)

Starring: Firdaus Rahman, Wan Hanafi Su, Mastura Ahmad, Peter Boon Koh, Nickson Cheng, Crispian Chan, Gerald Chew

Plot: Inevitably, a transfer to a maximum security prison will eventually challenge the integrity and ethics of a young correctional officer on his way to become a chief executioner.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Apprentice starts as Aiman (Rahman) takes a job at a maximum-security prison, he treats the prisoners with respect, helping them through their day. Aiman is taken under the wing of experienced guard Rahim (Su) who teaches him what it is like working in this prison.

Rahim is slowly preparing Aiman to take over as the chief executioner, a role he does feel conflicted about taking, one he starts to learn the lack of humanity about.

Thoughts on Apprentice

Characters & Performances – Aiman is a young security guard that has been working in prisoners for a while, the latest transfer will see him move to a death-row prison, a place where he starts off continuing his style, he soon finds his past catching up with him and when he learns what he is being prepared for, he isn’t ready for this new career. Aiman does get to show just how difficult the job he could find himself doing will be. Firdaus Rahman does give us a character that is conflicted, his work will help us understand just how difficult his character’s life would have been. Rahim is the man that is the chief executioner that is taking Aiman under his wing, he is looking to show him how to get through the transition into the role to replace him, it does feel like he has seen many people try to take this role before, getting tired of seeing people walk away. Wan Hanafi Su brings us a character that looks like he is tired of his life, his job and needs to pass on what he has been working through before getting consumed by it.

StoryThe story here follows a new prison guard who finds himself being groomed to take over as the chief executioner, a role he isn’t prepared for and his past is only going to make his career choice more difficult. This is a story that will look into the deeper moral questions about being an executioner, showing us how being the prison guard can be the easy side of the role, showing the humanity against someone who hasn’t followed the law. It shows how conflicted it will be to become the one that pulls the trigger for ending a life.

ThemesApprentice is a drama that is focusing on seeing how someone could be affected in a role they never could have imagined, with the prison backdrop showing us what the prison would be like.

Final Thoughts Apprentice is a powerful drama that will show the big change in one persons life.