Review: Center Stage 2: Turn It Up (I forced myself to watch it)
Posted Nov 02 2008 7:03pm
The first scene opens with Kate (Rachele Smith) encouraging her little sister, Bella, to teach herself pointe work by watching a video of Gillian Murphy perform a variation, because this is totally a safe way to learn ballet and will guarantee that you progress with amazing technique and no injury. *snorts*
Kate then travels to NYC from her home in Detroit to audition for American Ballet Academy. She shows up late wearing sweats and a tank top and has hair sloppily pulled back in to a ponytail. She appears to be completely unaware of the proper way to sew or tie her pointe shoes.
Cooper Nielson (Ethan Stiefel ) and Johnathon Reeves give class and judge the dancers. Six boys and six girls will be accepted to the school that season. Cooper's company lost all of its funding so he had to come back to ABA because he can't get a job. Blah blah blah.
Johnathon wants to accept Suzanne, a mediocre dancer with the fakestblonde hair I have ever seen whose father funds the school, while Cooper is vying for Kate. He lists off different choreographers that were different and thought of as weird before they made it big (like Kate, I guess?) including Twyla Tharp and Bob Fosse NEITHER OF WHOM WERE KNOWN FOR CHOREOGRAPHING BALLET.
The cast list is posted and Kate is not accepted, yet she lies to everyone she knows and meets so that they can feel like there is some hope in the world for bad-mediocre self taught ballet/hip hop fusion dancers to get in to major ballet training facilities.
Then she meets Tommy (Kenny Wormland ), a student at ABA, who used to be a hockey player but gave it up for ballet, his true passion. He reminds me of SYTYCD 4's Gev. Tommy tries to fake a New York accent, but most of the time, it sounds East German and/or Ukrainian.
Kate's car has been impounded and will cost $300 for her to get back.
Kate finally admits to Tommy that she was not really accepted in to American Ballet Academy. They then dance hip hop badly at Tommy's friend's bar. Tommy's friend then offers Kate a job. She plans to start working there the next night.
The next day in class, Cooper takes a liking to Suzanne and Tommy, who he has partnered together for pas dedeux class. He decides to help Tommy out since he has had little to no ballet training but is somehow in a ballet school. (How many times has this plot been used? At least 15, right?)
Tommy asks Kate to coach him in PDD because he has had no previous training, yet dances better than anyone else in the movie, not counting Ethan Stiefel. They practice during the day in their friend's club since Kate has a key. Kate keeps calling it "pas de duh" and they call danseur nobles " ballerhinos" (as in rhinosaurus ). Kate flaps her arms about repeatedly.
That night, Kate starts working at the bar. She is a bartender and dances excitedly to get people to dace and be excited. She isn't' even that good at hip hop. The next morning, she takes the money she made working and goes apartment. She decides to rent the first apartment she finds, which is HUGE and she can somehow afford on one night's tips. She presumably has her car back now. I would like to know where she has been sleeping the last two nights before she had money for an apartment/hotel or to get her car...?
Suzanne has worn the same leotard every single time they have shown her dancing. It seems like that would get very smelly very fast when you dance for long hours every day. She invites Tommy to go out that night, but he can't because he's doing something with Kate. Suzanne and her friends show up at the bar where Kate and Tommy work. The dialogue in this show is horrible, as is the plot. I also think they created intentionally bad hip hop/dance music for them to dance to so they didn't have to pay music licensing fees. I also think that people are having the exact same conversations with each other characters that people did in the first movie.
Kate and Tommy appear to suddenly be Latin ballroom dance and perform some sort of salsa. They go back to Kate's apartment. The next morning Tommy wakes up in Kate's bed and realizes that he missed the previous night's dorm curfew and that he is going to be late for his first class.
He arrives late to class. Instead of being told to sit out or warm up, he simply jumps right in and starts dancing full out. He drops Suzanne, but they are both uninjured. Meanwhile, Kate practices pointe work on a rug on her concrete floor in her apartment.
I just love how this movie encourages and exemplifies safe and realistic training methods used by ballet dancers.
Honestly, I don't even want to finish writing about this. In short, Kate thinks Tommy and Suzanne are dating, Tommy thinks Cooper and Kate are dating, love square, blah blah blah. Bella shows up and all her dreams of becoming a self taught ballerina are crushed when she realizes that Kate did not actually get in to ABA. Bella encourages Kate to audition for a ballet called The Glass slipper. Kate is scolded for not having a resume, but tells her sob story about her dead ballerina mother and how she taught herself pointe work and all the judges fall in love with her. She and Tommy get the leading roles in the ballet and Suzanne is cast as an ugly stepsister. Johnathon gives Kate a sappy speech.They all live happily ever after.
This is probably one of the worst dance movies I have ever seen. Not only is 97% of the dancing horrible, most of the actors are actually professional dancers that are not actors, and the dialogue and storyline were dreadfully bad. And I predicted the ending almost entirely accurately after about 10 minute of the show. Overall, it is not at all worth watching. It isn't nearly as good as the first Center Stage, which is at least mildly realistic and showcases great dancers, and is pretty much the same as every other ballet vs. hip hop/untrained dancer makes it in to ballet school movie. Don't let Center Stage 2: Turn It Up steal away 2 hours of your life that you will never get back; it isn't even worth watching.