Screen Media // 2009 // 88 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 18th, 2010
Let the battles begin.
B-Girl is nothing new, satisfied with being a formulaic and cheaply made dance movie. All over the box we're told about the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, America's Best Dance Crew, Step it Up, and You Got Served as if being in or on one of those is the height of a dance career. If you're looking to see some good dancing, it delivers enough to satisfy. If you happen to be looking for a good movie, that may be an issue.
The story is that of a struggling inner city girl dancer (Jules Urich, You Got Served). She is injured one night during a robbery that takes place outside of a club where she was in a dance contest. The crime takes the life of her best friend, and leaves her with a hell of an injury. Now with a bum shoulder and lost passion she has to rediscover her need to dance, and eventually joins a crew that reignites her drive to be the best B-Girl she can be.
The movie is written and directed by Emily Dell who previously made this a short film from 2004 with Urich starring. I almost wish we had that previous project here on the DVD, because B-Girl feels stretched out and far too long as a feature film. It was made on the cheap, and it has very little production value. The actors are better dancers, the locations look sad, and the story doesn't really grab you. Thankfully Jules Urich is one of the world's best female breakdancers, and she is joined by people like Jonathan 'Legacy' Perez (So You Think You Can Dance), Ivan 'Flipz' Velez (Honey), Ryan 'Rainen' Paguio, and Wesley Jonathan (Roll Bounce). The saving grace here is that we get to see authentic B-Boys and B-Girls do their thing, but did we need the movie around it? Probably not.
The DVD looks okay. The transfer has a low-tech grainy feel, and the sound thumps along just fine. Visually things are not super clear, and black levels seem off inside clubs and dark apartments, but that has to do with the lack of lighting used to film scenes. Extras are mainly showing home movies of the dancers prepping for the routines in studios. We get their auditions, see the battle as it is being worked out, and then we get some bloopers which are fine. Dancer profiles help if you are not up on your B-Boy and B-Girl mythology.
This isn't even as good a dance movie as Step It Up or Stomp the Yard. Honestly, you would be better off sticking to the drivel the studios offer up in this genre. Yet if you are a fan of the B-Boy genre than perhaps B-Girl will give you some good moves to look at. It certainly is not a strong story, or anything other than an excuse to get these people together to do something they do well.
Guilty of being nothing but an excuse to dance a little.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Screen Media
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13