3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Step Up 3D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.

     

     

     

     

    Step up 3D


     

     

    Studio: Touchstone

    Product Release: December 21, 2010

    Ratio: 1.78:1

    Audio: English, 7.1 DTS-HD; French 5.1 Dolby Digital

    Running Time: 107 Minutes

    Rating: PG-13

     

    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

    3D Separation: 5

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4

     

    Do your own thing. Build your own respect.


    Okay, here we go....


    One of the first arguments I heard from the

    naysayers against this new format is that 3D

    adds nothing to the viewing experience. I am

    about to prove those naysayers wrong.


    When Disney contacted us asking if we were 

    interested in reviewing Step Up 3D I volunteered

    knowing that I would be taking the hit for the

    team.  After all, I don't fit the demographic for

    this kind of film, nor up until moments ago did

    I even know that this is the third in a series of

    dance films geared towards teenage audiences.


    In this installment we meet NYU freshman

    Moose (Adam G. Sevani) who meets up with a

    troupe of dancers known as the "Pirates" who 

    gather in a warehouse turned danceclub known

    as the "vault" owned by an aspiring filmmaker/dancer 

    named Luke (Rick Malambri).


    Got it so far?


    Evidently, this NYU freshman has enough dance

    potential to garner the interest of a rival gang

    known as the "The House of Samurai" who challenge

    "The Pirates" to a series of dance events all leading

    up to the coveted World Jam competition. It's important

    that the Pirates win the $100,000 grand prize as the

    bank moves to foreclose on their club.


    While the film has lots of heart, the basic

    storyline has been done hundreds of times before.  

    It's the same chewed on, spit-out garbage and

    clichĂ©d dialogue you have seen time and time again.


    However, that's not what you are here to watch

    and fortunately the story quickly becomes secondary

    tthe film's real purpose -- DANCE!


    Now here is where things really get hot...


    Step Up 3D is an incredibly explosive dance

    film that brings the 3D format front and center

    to deliver powerhouse film experience.


    There are amazingly choreographed dance

    sequences set against beautiful backdrops of

    neon and strobing lights.  Since the film was

    conceived for the 3D format, it's cleverly

    staged and photographed to dazzle and tickle

    the viewers senses -- which it indeed succeeds

    in doing.


    What I really enjoyed most about the dancing

    and the music is that all of it crosses an array

    of genres and styles that include lots of breakdancing,

    flips, contortions, head spinning and various

    robotic-like movements.  But mixed within all

    of that we get a bit of tango and even some Astaire.


    Everybody is going to find a favorite style of

    dance or music within the film's running time.

    There are two dance numbers that I particularly 

    enjoyed:  The first being a Samurai dance number 

    set to a hyped-up remixed version of Frankie Vallie's

    Beggin'.  A short time later, there's a wonderful

    sequence shot on the streets of NY that features

    Adam Sevani and Alyson Stoner dancing to a

    remixed version of Fred Astaire's "I Won't Dance."  

    What's most inspiring about this scene is that it

    was all done in one complete unedited shot.


    What a better subject for 3D than dancing --

    and the filmmakers have taken full advantage

    of it by throwing body parts into the viewer's face.  

    If that were not simply enough,  every 3D enhanced

    gimmick that could be thought of is readily used

    including floating bubbles and balloons as well as

    Icee chunks that jump out of the screen.  Some of

    the most memorable "In Yo' Face" moments come

    from the dancers themselves and their spastic-moving

    hands that reach out towards you. 


    Since I have been so tuned to animation as of late

    I have forgotten how good live action 3D can

    look.  You could not have picked a better locale

    for this film than New York City whose backdrop

    is fully taken advantage of throughout. With an

    incredible sense of depth between foreground and

    back you can't help but look in awe at some of

    the incredible city landmarks including the Brooklyn

    bridge and a nighttime ride through Times Square.


    Sadly, there are a lot of ghosting issues here.

    The film mostly takes place in dark warehouse

    settings with fast camera panning and quick

    dance movements that often result in image

    doubling or blurring.  It isn't nearly bad enough

    to ruin the experience, but when it's present it

    seems greatly exaggerated.


    The image quality is perfect, more soft than

    sharp, but not inhibiting the piercing array of

    colors that almost constantly dazzle the eyes.  

    I even noticed rock solid black levels which I

    usually don't pick up upon when watching 3D content.


    The 3D disc features a DTS-HD 7.1 track.  I found

    it to be first-rate even on my 5.1 system.  Crisp, 

    clear highs and boombastic bass levels that was

    shaking the floor beneath my feet.  The surrounds

    can be enveloping at times though mostly music-filled

    rather than with effects or ambience.


    The 3D release contains a terrific Disney 3D trailer

    perfectly enhanced for the format which reveals that

    "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Bolt" is on the way.


    However, that being said, they have a hideously

    ineffective 3D logo that follows the trailer which

    I hope the studio pulls in favor of something more effective.



     

    CONCLUSION


     

    Let me get back to the argument I talked about in

    the first paragraph of this review.  


    Had I watched Step Up 3 in standard 2D, I don't 

    think I would be sitting here with this huge smile

    on my face.   The filmmakers took a tired idea that

    would probably have bombed in 2D but made fresh

    by catering it for 3D.  What this does is give you an

    entirely new perspective on what you are watching.

    In this case, the result is one of the most enjoyable

    live-action 3D titles I have reviewed to date.


    This film will completely dazzle your senses.  Don't

    be surprised to find your feet tapping away to the

    music.  Once it's all over don't be surprised that

    you'll want to revisit certain dance numbers over again.


    Don't do what I did and judge a film by its cover.

    Step Up 3D, while obviously geared towards teenagers,

    will equally impress adults for its high-octane dance

    choreography and demo 3D quality that is amongst

    the best that is available to date.  


    Note: At the very last minute I

     
  2. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Nightmare Before Christmas is, perhaps, the best 3D conversion I have seen, and gives this film a depth of field it only hinted at in its original 2D presentation.
     
  3. tbaio

    tbaio Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this in the theaters with 3 kids who saw the first set of films & we all enjoyed it (even though I did not see the others, I still had fun with it). I agree that that the heart & soul of the film is its dance sequences & 3-D presentation. The 3-D was outstanding on the big screen & from this review, it sounds like none of it is lost on home viewing; which I'm very happy to hear. Thanks again for another informative review.
     
  4. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    Least moose-like character to ever be named Moose.
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    He looked more Like Howard Stern then a moose.


    Took me right out of the movie.
     

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