Benson Lee

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Battle of the Year: The Dream Team Trailer


America has failed to win at the Battle of the Year International Championships for fifteen years despite having been the country to create the sport in the first place. The BOTY is a breakdancing competition that reaches out to the artistic talent of dancers across the globe from the States, to Korea, Japan, Russia and France; the b-boys (breakdancers) of the entire world gather together to compete in this prestigious tournament. A hip hop expert and ex-breakdancer Dante from LA is desperate to put the origin country of America back at the top where she belongs and so he hires his friend and former championship basketball coach Blake to whip his team into shape before the competition in three months' time. He's a tough talker and won't accept anything other than the best dancers and highest performances and so he and Dante put together the ultimate b-boy dream team in order to beat the world champions.

Continue: Battle of the Year: The Dream Team Trailer

Planet B-Boy Review


Very Good
Just as the film world is gearing up for yet another cinematic event wherein Jamie Kennedy tries to get laughs out of being a white guy... who likes rap! -- further cheapening the currency of a subculture that's been over-commercialized and taken advantage of practically since its inception -- comes a documentary that, by going abroad, goes a good distance toward restoring some actual credibility to domestic hip-hop style. Benson Lee's study of international break-dancing Planet B-Boy has all the hallmarks of an overly earnest production, with its over-the-top talking heads proclaiming the glory of true b-boy style (while giving the uninitiated zero specifics) but overcomes that shortcoming through sheer dint of exuberant passion. These are kids who really want to break-dance, and how long has it been since somebody could say that and mean it?

Wisely, Lee doesn't go into an examination of how hip-hop, DJ-ing, and break-dancing all came about in New York, particularly the Bronx, in the late 1970s and early '80s -- the topic has been well-covered elsewhere -- but paints the history of break-dancing in short strokes. A street phenomenon that exploded into the national consciousness after Flashdance featured it, it was quickly overexposed, riddled with ridicule, and left for dead as a cultural artifact explored only as a punchline on one of those snarky retro pop-culture shows on cable; no better than parachute pants or Vanilla Ice. Of no use to anybody, break-dancing found an unlikely home, as many orphaned American art forms do, in Europe: specifically, Germany. Blonde-haired aficionados were soon posing and doing head-spins all across the continent.

Continue reading: Planet B-Boy Review

Miss Monday Review


Excellent
This extremely dark and disturbing Sundance favorite gives us a relatively simple premise -- screenwriter (Hicks) looks to women in the real world to find the muse for his femme fatale -- then throws us for a loop as the corporate-world woman he finds, his "Miss Monday," turns out to be an utter freak. Andrea Hart's Gloria becomes the center of the film as Hicks's writer spends a day and a night in her house, going through her things, reading her diary, constructing her personality... before a harrowing evening Gloria spends with only herself and her demons. Harrowing in much the same vein as What Happened Was..., though some scenes are alternately underexposed and overexposed, putting a damper on the visual asthetic of the picture.
Benson Lee

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Benson Lee Movies

Battle of the Year: The Dream Team Trailer

Battle of the Year: The Dream Team Trailer

America has failed to win at the Battle of the Year International Championships for fifteen...

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