Finding Your Feet (Cinema Review)

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12A – 111mins – 2018


 

LEAP OF FAITH

Full disclosure: I did not set out to watch this film. With the best will in the world, I realised from the silvery-haired cast list alone that it clearly was not my kind of film. My parents would love it (in fact, my aunt – who very rarely goes to the cinema – has seen it TWICE), but I am half their age. However, when traffic delayed me and I missed my pre-booked screening of Pacific Rim Uprising, I arrived at the cinema with the option of a second viewing of Unsane (reviewed HERE) in as many days, Finding Your Feet, or a nearly 90 minute wait. So impatient me chose option B.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (Cinema Review)

12A – 133mins – 2017 – 3D


 

TURN OFF THE STARK

After five blockbuster movies taking place over two unrelated movie-verses with two separate casts and crews – all of which were released in the space of just twelve years – Marvel Comic’s friendly neighbourhood web-slinger has finally come home, in his first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure following a triumphant cursory cameo in 2016’s Civil War.

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Trolls (Cinema Review)

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U – 93mins – 2016 – 3D


 

HAPPY, HAPPY, TOY JOY

Those beady-eyed, multi-coloured, Mr. Whippy-haired dolls from your youth (provided you were young in the 90s!) sing, dance and scrapbook their way to the big screen in this nauseatingly bright, bubbly and emotive celebration of all things HAPPY from Dreamworks Animation, Shrek Forever After director Mike Mitchell and co-director Walt Dohrn (a fellow Shrek franchise alum).

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Magic Mike (DVD Review)

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15 – 110mins – 2012


 

WELCOME TO THE CRAZY CLUB

“You don’t need to talk, just look pretty.”

It has taken four years, but I have finally relented and taken a peek at the Channing Tatum pec show (AKA. Magic Mike). Loosely based on the star’s eyebrow-raising pre-Hollywood experiences, with its flashy, shimmering DVD cover almost blinding me with glittery glamour, I can’t help but feel like director Steven Soderbergh’s often dark and depressing glimpse behind the curtain of Tampa’s male strip scene has been as mis-sold as the bawdy industry it portrays.

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Step Up: All In (Archive Cinema Review)

PG – 112mins – 2014 – 3D


 

STILL TROUPING

100First, let me preface this milestone performance with some limb-loosening stretches: I am a 32-year-old man and I realise I am not the dance-flick genre’s target demographic. However, I have a real soft spot for the Step Up franchise (Step Up 2: The Streets in particular), so please do not assume that due to my age and gender that All In will automatically receive a dismissive or negative review.

With that metaphoric warm-up out of the way, sadly this fourth sequel – promoted as the ultimate reunion instalment – definitely feels like a step down in quality – and not just because the title is a fallacy. While it is nice to see franchise alumni Briana Evignan and fan-favourite Adam “Moose” Sevani return, big-hitters Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan and Sharni Vinson (to name but three previous stars) are not present. Maybe Some In would have been a more accurate, albeit less tantalising, subtitle?

Following on from Ryan Guzman’s success story in Step Up 4: Miami Heat (2012), All In charts the hugely coincidental rivalry between three dance crews battling it out in L.A. for a VH1 competition called “The Vortex”. A satirical stab at T.O.W.I.E.-style scripted reality shows aside, this is frustratingly predictable fare which goes overboard on cheesy humour, thereby diminishing the human drama behind the tireless troupe.

The usually first-rate choreography also failed to garner the WOW factor on the confined TV-taping stage. Maybe it’s just franchise fatigue, but even some impressive in-your-face utilisation of the cinematic third dimension couldn’t win me over this time around, and a major shake-up of this tired routine will be needed to tempt me back onto the dancefloor for the inevitable sixth Step. Maybe that will be my 200th CR@Blog?

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars