Paramount // 2009 // 109 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley // August 7th, 2009
Getting fit has never been so much fun!
Look, I'm not going to waste a lot of space in my review of So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Tone and Groove prattling on about how I think So You Think You Can Dance is a good show. Yes, you can make jokes about how enjoying it is a threat to my masculinity or heterosexuality (until you actually see the women that compete on the show), but I will dismiss you for the jackass that you are. It's one of the few reality competition shows that celebrates real talent; it's competitors are able to do something that not everyone is able to do. I can think of only SYTYCD and Top Chef as examples of this too-rare phenomenon. It demonstrates that dance is both an art and a feat of physicality in a way that other, terrible shows like Dancing With the Stars do not, and treats it all in a serious manner (with a few exceptions; I'm looking at you, Katie-Holmes-guest-appearance). So, yes, I'm a fan of So You Think You Can Dance.
I can also respect that the creators of the show are merchandising the show with a mind towards keeping the brand name respectable-like. Thinking back to those atrocious "singing school" DVDs that Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson put out under the auspices of their American Idol credentials makes one realize just how classy this new line of SYTYCD workout DVDs is. That doesn't mean that I'm going to a) dance (I don't think I can) or b) work out, largely because I'm a critic and we are generally not known for being impressive physical specimens. I'm much more comfortable watching an exercise DVD and writing about it than I am actually exercising to it.
Instead, I've allowed my wife -- who is both physically fit and a terrific dancer, as well as a bigger fan of SYTYCD than me -- to take it for a test drive and tell me her thoughts as she works out. Here they are:
* "Big fans of the show will like seeing some of their favorite
dancers." (Me again. Her personal favorite is a bespectacled hulk of a man
called Twitch, an excellent breakdancer who leads the hip-hop routine here and
supposedly will be prominently featured in the upcoming Step Up 3-D).
* "It's easy enough that most people will be able to pick up on the moves after doing the routines just a few times."
* "Someone who doesn't watch SYTYCD probably wouldn't be interested in this, because the fun of it is watching the dancers you know from the show."
* "This hip-hop one is easy. I got this. Twitch is looking me right in the eye. I think Twitch wants to cuddle with me. I'm going to cuddle with Twitch." (Me again. Should I be concerned?)
* "Kaytee, you seem like a fine gal, but I wish my Italian girl was talking directly to me." (This is a reference to season four's Courtney Galiano, who I believe plays a larger role in this disc's companion So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Cardio Funk. She's my favorite, too.)
* "The jazz routine is pretty easy, too."
* "Are you seriously not going to do any of these routines?"
One thing I liked about So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit (it's certainly not the title, which is getting more and more tedious to type out...man, I could probably use these DVDs) is that each routine comes with a warm-up and an instructional lesson before the actual workout routine, followed by a cool down. There are three dance styles presented here, one for each routine: hip hop, jazz and cha-cha. Because my wife is a really good dancer, she didn't use the instructions; she was able to pick up the moves by just diving right in. Whether or not this means the routines are easy I could not say, as I don't think I could have performed any of them even with hours of instruction. I may not be the target audience here.
The 1.78 anamorphic widescreen transfer is bright and sharp, and the so-colorful-they-border-on-gaudy outfits that the dancers wear pop nicely. The stereo audio track is sufficient for presenting both the dance music for each routine as well as the instructions that the routine leader (on this disc, they're Twitch, Katee and Dmitry) are calling out.
The only extras included are a bonus routine (which my wife believes combines elements of all three styles presented on the disc) and some interviews with the dancers spotlighted on this volume.
I don't think I can dance, but these guys can. At least they're using their considerable talents for good and not evil. Though my wife wasn't blown away by the workout that Tone and Groove provided, she had a reasonably good time with it. If dancing along with the SYTYCD crew can make exercise fun, the disc isn't a complete waste.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Routine
* SYTYCD Official Site