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Case Number 27601

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Make Your Move (Blu-ray)

Sony // 2013 // 110 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 5th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson made his move last night. His wife laughed and laughed.

The Charge

They come from two different worlds, but they speak the same language—dance.

Opening Statement

When the nights are hot and the alcohol is being absorbed into the blood stream, there is only dancing and for two young, star-crossed lovers, the ticket to their dreams is in their feet and, later, their erogenous zones.

Facts of the Case

Donny (Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars) is a down-on-his-luck street dancer from New Orleans, looking to break through and make a name for himself as the Next Big Thing. To do this, he goes to New York (violating his parole, but that doesn't seem to matter to anyone) and hooks up with his foster brother. Turns out, his bro is desperately trying to get his new club off the ground, despite the intense competition from a nearby venue. Donny gives some juice to his brother's efforts when he wows the audiences with his mix of tap dancing and sliding all over the place. Also wowed: the lovely Aya (Korean pop singer BoA), who's taken by the brash American's groin thrusting. Their amorous entanglement, however, will lead to some serious heat between the rival clubs and their own families.

The Evidence

You want sweaty dance numbers set to bombastic music? You got it. For all of its faults (narrative incoherence, stiff acting, utter predictability, inadvertently laughable moments), Make Your Move absolutely delivers on the shake-yo-pelvis front. Not ten minutes go by before someone is busting a move, and these sequences are long and protracted. That's probably the right call because the less screen time devoted to our characters exchanging dialogue with each other, the better.

Make Your Move brings to mind Kiss of the Dragon, the Jet Li martial arts project that I sort of love, but am willing to admit it's a crock. This film knows where its bread is buttered (lethal action scenes up the wazoo) and slathers it on liberally. But the story and acting holding it all together is laughably bad. Yet I looked the other way, because I was being taken care of with hefty helpings of neck snaps and jump-kicked pool balls to the face. Now flip it; if you love cinematic dance choreography as much as I like cinematic fight choreography, there's probably enough value in Make Your Move to merit a viewing.

Granted, if the characters and their stories were the least bit compelling (in both films!), everything would have been make that much better, but it is what it is: a super dumb movie with a buttload of dancing.

The good news? The dumb moments are not without their own value, as they are so dumb, there is some inadvertent hilarity to be found, most notably Aya and Donny's erotic, drawn-out, clothes-shedding dance that eventually leads them to the top of a bunk bed and, the cornball finale, where everyone literally dances for joy and one of the characters out of nowhere whips out a saxophone and starts playing. So that's pretty much the level of narrative complexity you're looking at. Godspeed.

The Blu-ray: a jazzy, colorful, clean 1.78:1, 1080p transferred joined by a raucous 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that delivers on the dance sequences with spunk. Extras: commentary with writer/director Duane Adler and choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo, deleted scenes and a making-of documentary looking at the how the dances were conceived.

Closing Statement

Are you a dance fan with large threshold for moronic storytelling? Have at it. Everyone else, break out the Twister mat.

The Verdict

Guilty of busting a move in the first degree.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 70
Story: 60
Judgment: 64

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• English
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
• Blu-ray
• Concerts and Musicals
• Romance

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurette


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