Step Up Revolution (NOT A REVIEW)
by Phil Boatwright

Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick. Summit Entertainment, LLC. Musical youth-orientated drama. Directed by Scott Speer. 7/27/12

FILM SYNOPSIS: Emily wants to become a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs, called "The Mob." When a wealthy business man (her father, not less) threatens to develop The Mob's historic neighborhood and displace thousands of people, Emily must band together with Sean and The Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause.

NO REVIEW: This is one of those unreviewable films. There’s a built-in audience for such films, much like vampire movies or the films of Tyler Perry. Plus, this series of hoodlum/free-spirit dance films have little if any plot, most of the acting is attempted by recent graduates of the Pauly Shore School of Attitude, and the dialogue is as witty and profound as the musings of Tarzan’s Cheetah. Let’s face it, we go to these movies because it’s cheaper than electroshock therapy. We can sit there, drink our Mello-Yellow and veg out. Oh, and us guys can look at provocatively clad young women dance, the ladies of the audience can focus on shirtless Channing Tatum-wannabes.

So, as there is no need for a review, I won’t offer one. This works out well as I didn’t stay for the entire movie (though I suspect I could detail the plot line without having done so). No, this is not a review. You must not hesitate attending this film due to my comments. There is, however, a reason why I take your time here. It has to do with people who go to movies, rather than those who make them. Touchy territory, but I will proceed with the understanding that those who take the time to get my views on new releases are generally the cream of society.

No, no, not because I’m a paragon of picture-going prudence, but because you are not controlled by the makers of movies. You are discerning, mindful of Hollywood’s power to influence, and aware that once they get your ticket bucks, they win. So, come muse with me about today’s general movie-going public.

Upon entering the theater I was handed a pair of those dark glasses that transform movies into a 3D experience. I never can figure why they are dark glasses. When you lift them up during the movie to compare the quality, you’ll find the actual film is so much brighter. Though the 3D process is designed to add dimension to a film, usually it doesn’t. It usually just causes us to strain harder to see anything. Sadly, the print (or digital download – whatever they call it these days) of Step Up: Revolution was out of focus. And despite the endeavors of whoever is up in the projection booth nowadays, it became obvious after the first half hour that it was unfixable. So, I left.

Understand, I got up twice and approached the publicist during that first half hour. He assured me they were working on it. The following morning I called him and discovered that the problem remained throughout the showing. Can you blame me for not wanting to watch dancing girls out of focus?

Now, here’s the frustration. I’m the only one who got up and tried to get something done. The packed-in patrons remained in their seats, their Jack Nicholson-like glasses in place. They just sat there like sheep awaiting their feed. What’s that say about a theater full of people willing to watch a film out of focus. I expected someone go “Baah, baah.”

I repeat, I’m quite confident that my steadfast readers would not have undergone such eyestrain, so there’s no need for any of you to take this as an insult. I’m just curious as to the general public’s ability to undergo eye problems in the name of entertainment.

I’m always perplexed when drivers of cars, nice people all I’m sure, get behind the steering wheel and suddenly become possessed by the demon of the road. It also amazes me when I’m watching one of those spots on TV where an interviewer asks people on the street who George Washington was and they have no clue other than he’s on the one-dollar bill. But I’m absolutely stymied when I see four hundred people in a movie theater sit there and watch a film that’s out of focus!

I would like my rambling to serve you, but if you’re an adult and viewing blurred movies, alas, there’s little hope. So, I will address my teen readers. Kids, I’m a firm believer that people who are satisfied with obscure imagery in a Cineplex will also be content after graduation with employment at the local fast food establishment. Actually, I take that back – there’s nothing wrong with working at Taco Bell and the rest. What’s wrong is doing as little as possible to get by, and expecting little more than that from life.

There will always be folks content with just putting in their time. The ideal – do the best you can at whatever you do -- is not in their mindset. They expect little because that’s what they do for friends, bosses, strangers. Sadly, that’s often minimum wage thinking. Don’t be like that. Don’t settle. Do your best, give your best, be your best. Listen to me, I sound like a army recruiter. Okay, do what you want. But remember this the next time the theater is unable to adjust the focus: you’re in a complex with other screens. Get up, go to one of them. And if you do, on your way out, listen closely. I swear, as you walk out, you’ll hear it – “Baah, baah.”