Jennifer Gibgot

Jennifer Gibgot

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Step Up: All In Review


Good

Step Up movies are known for their trite, formulaic plots and eye-catching dance set-pieces, and this instalment in the series certainly won't disappoint the fans. What makes this one slightly more fun is the fact that the filmmakers remember not to take anything quite so seriously. The melodrama is undercut with sardonic humour, the gyrations of the plot are so obvious that the script doesn't even bother to mislead us, and the dance scenes are fantastically over the top.

After The Mob dance crew conquered Miami in Step Up 4, they moved to Los Angeles, but found fame rather fickle. When they lose another job to their rival Jasper (Stephen Stevo Jones), head of The Grim Knights, they decide to go back home. But Sean (Ryan Guzman) has nothing to return to, so opts to stay, even though it means working as a cleaner at a salsa studio. This helps him reconnect with Step Up veteran Moose (Adam Sevani), and together they concoct a plan to form a new crew and enter the reality TV competition The Vortex, hosted by the preening Alexxa (Izabella Miko). With Moose's old pal Andie (Step Up 2's Brianna Evigan) on board, they bring together an appropriately eclectic team, which they name Lmntrix. And they head to Las Vegas for the big show.

It hardly needs to be said that Lmntrix are on a collision course to meet both The Mob and The Grim Knights in the final rounds. So with no suspense in the plot we can sit back and enjoy the dancing. And the choreographers have taken the Vegas theme to heart, designing routines that are more focussed on subtle power moves than street intensity. So each successive routine looks like another themed Cirque du Soleil number, building to a climax that will boggle the mind. Fortunately, all of this is directed with a light touch by choreographer Trish Sie, so it's easy to sit back and laugh with the cast rather than at them for a change.

Continue reading: Step Up: All In Review

Step Up Revolution [Step Up: Miami Heat] Review


OK
The Step Up franchise has never been noted for its astute screenwriting, but this instalment sets the bar so low that even its bendy cast members would have trouble limboing under it. Even so, the cut-and-paste characters and plot can't make this sweaty dance movie boring.

In a noble but poor neighbourhood under a stack of bridges by the Miami River, Sean (Guzman) and his pal Eddy (Gabriel) lead an underground dance crew called The Mob to perform flash-mob antics in picturesque locations. Their goal is to win an online competition and go pro. Then Sean meets Emily (McCormick), whose property tycoon dad (Gallagher) wants to destroy Sean's neighbourhood to build another glitzy development. While trying to make her own way in dance school, Emily hides her identity to join The Mob and take on Dad.

Continue reading: Step Up Revolution [Step Up: Miami Heat] Review

Rock Of Ages Review


Very Good
This raucous trawl through 80s power ballads, rock anthems and gigantic hair is a lot of fun, partly because it throws so many big stars into against-type roles in which they get to sing and dance. But the plot couldn't be any thinner or it wouldn't exist at all.

Small-town girl Sherrie (Hough) takes the bus to 1987 Hollywood to become a rock star. There she meets Drew (Boneta), who has the same dream and works in the famed Bourbon Room on the Sunset Strip. He convinces the owner (Baldwin) to hire her as a barmaid just as diva-rocker Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) comes to play a major gig. Buzzing around him are a Rolling Stone journalist (Akerman) wanting an interview and a right-winger (Zeta-Jones) trying to protect the children from the evils of rock-n-roll.

Continue reading: Rock Of Ages Review

The Last Song Review


Good
Novelist Sparks turns screenwriter with this film, which combines his usual themes (beaches, grieving teens, cancer) as a vehicle for Cyrus to put her childhood career behind her. It's exactly what we expect, but it's also fairly watchable.

The summer after her high school graduation, rebellious Ronnie (Cyrus) and her precocious little brother Jonah (Coleman) are driven by their mum (Preston) from New York to the Georgia coast to stay with their estranged father (Kinnear). After sulking around in a huff, Ronnie starts to soften a bit, befriending shirtless volleyball hunk Will (Hemsworth). And as their romance grows, she starts warming up to her dad as well. But dark rumours, Will's snobby parents (Vernon and Searcy) and Ronnie's troubled friend Blaze (Chaikin) create various problems, as does the dreaded C-word.

Continue reading: The Last Song Review

Jennifer Gibgot

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Jennifer Gibgot Movies

Step Up: All In Movie Review

Step Up: All In Movie Review

Step Up movies are known for their trite, formulaic plots and eye-catching dance set-pieces, and...

Step Up Revolution [Step Up: Miami Heat] Movie Review

Step Up Revolution [Step Up: Miami Heat] Movie Review

The Step Up franchise has never been noted for its astute screenwriting, but this instalment...

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Rock of Ages Movie Review

Rock of Ages Movie Review

This raucous trawl through 80s power ballads, rock anthems and gigantic hair is a lot...

The Last Song Movie Review

The Last Song Movie Review

Novelist Sparks turns screenwriter with this film, which combines his usual themes (beaches, grieving teens,...

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