Netflix A-Z: Jump (2012)

J was a tough one to choose.  Somehow it slipped under my radar that my original choice was removed from Netflix.  Bye, Jack and the Giant Slayer.  I was actually looking forward to seeing that one. Oh well, maybe you will reappear.  For now, I changed to this selection, Jump which I know absolutely nothing about but its been on my list for a good while.  I only landed on this one because the main girl Nichola Burley was in StreetDance and I liked that one quite a bit.  Originally, this was supposed to be for my New Year’s Eve watch since that is what it revolves around but you know what, if I’ve learned anything from this expiring business, I just need to get things out of the way. So yes, here we are with an Irish drama selection.  I’m just crossing my fingers that its not depressing because it looks like it will be…

Let’s give it a go! 🙂

Jump (2012)

jump

Director: Kieron J. Walsh

Cast: Nichola Burley, Martin McCann, Charlene McKenna, Valene Kane, Ciaran McMenamin, Richard Dormer, Lalor Roddy, Jonathan Harden

Its New Year’s Eve. Crime boss Frank Feeney’s daughter, Greta is on the go.  She wants to end her life and find peace in death.  As she stands on the railings of the bridge, a beat up stranger Pearse Kelly saves her.  Pearse isn’t having a great night either as he is being chased by Frank Feeney’s goons because he is trying to figure out what happened to his younger brother who has mysteriously disappeared.  Together they concoct a plan to run away from this place and start anew except could everything go as they plan?

jump

 What is Jump? I can hear you asking.  Well, think about a drama where Murphy’s Law is in full effect. In a certain way, its kind of like that.  On one side of the spectrum, its all about everything going wrong, and then things start going right in the second half.  Mix that up with a set up of something like Memento where the time line goes back and forth and then converges, this is where we are pretty much.  While the beginning was a little confusing until I figured out that it was going back and forth, it actually was trying very hard to be thought provoking. It may seem like a dreary topic and there’s all sorts of death and whatnot when involved in this crime world.  Thinking about it now, there seems to be a bit of contrast going on between making good and bad decisions, when to take responsibility, guilty and innocent and in the process, its about finding the person that you are. Greta, one of the criminal goons Johnny, Pearse, Greta’s friends Marie and Dara, even big boss Frank Feeney himself seem to go through some form of change through the events of that one night. The point is that, New Year’s Eve is a celebration of the New Year coming in and Greta starts off the movie with a monologue about just that.

I’ve never understood the fuss about New Year’s Eve.  All then stuff about feeling hope for the future. I mean, take the countdown. 10, 9, 8, 7… Jumping up and down like you’d welcome another year. 6, 5, 4… Like it all meant something. And all because.. 3, 2, 1.  We managed to get to nothing..again. – Greta, Jump 2012

jump

 Talking about that, Greta starts off her monologue and then she gives us a view of the characters that we’ll be meeting as the film moves on.  Except with all the characters that really matter in Greta’s life, for a movie that is pretty standard length, it doesn’t really give enough emphasis on some of them. I’m not saying that its a bad thing but it feels like especially the relationship of Greta and Pearse who just meets and concocts a plan and then seems like they have a deeper connection that happens somewhere here and there makes it less able for us to connect with them.  If anything, the supporting characters had more of a simple solid story than her.  This wasn’t meant to be a love story and I think that was the decision to not put too much emphasis but when certain events play out, I didn’t feel as impacted by them.

jump

While no one storyline gets a lot of time, the part with the thugs hunting down Pearse and the Greta’s two friends, Marie and Dara are particularly fun to watch.  For them, its a mix-up of things going wrong and being completely confused when there is a bigger plan going on that both of them unexpectedly get involved but never really knowing what actually is going on. But somehow the night ends and then they are where they are.  I’m being vague but that is just trying to be spoiler free.

jump

 Overall, there isn’t much to say about Jump.  Its a good story and the execution is rather intriguing and creative.  For the most part, everything works but I would’ve liked less characters or just more care in developing the characters so that I could care more, especially about the main characters who should be our focus.  There’s a lot of hidden messages in this and the whole theme and point of this is meaningful also.  Its about finding who you are and just having the courage to embrace who you are and facing the consequences or just believing in new beginnings and fresh starts and for Greta, it was about figuring out what feeling something was and what finding peace of mind was.  Even though her character didn’t get the development I wanted on a profound level, I still learned something from Jump.  In the end, it had the potential to be better but I’d watch this again, no question about that.

Have you seen Jump? 

K selection is next! What do you think it is? Hint: Coming of age story!

StreetDance (2010)

Some of you may know I’m very much a musically inclined person and I may not dance very well but I love dance movies, especially Step Up series.  I love them! They are fun and energetic and I sometimes pretend I can bust a move and try in my room (just never in public).  So, I always give chances to these movies.  They aren’t masterpieces but they are cool. I’ve heard of StreetDance but I’ve never seen much publicity on it.  Honestly, the poster looks a tad cheesy but its been sitting in my Netflix list for a few days and I needed to unwind with something less heavy after Contagion and Conviction (which makes this review pretty late), so here we are!

Let’s see what StreetDance is all about!

streetdance posterDirector: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini

Cast: Nichola Burley, Richard Winsor, Ukweli Roach, Frank Harper, George Sampson, Charlotte Rampling, Rachel McDowall

Jay 2.0 just passes the auditions to enter into the UK Champions Final.  If they win this, they get their big break to go to the World Champions in New York.  Right after this, Jay (Ukweli Roach), the leader of Jay 2.0 says he needs a timeout from everything including his girlfriend Carly (Nichola Burley) and passes on the crew to her care.  The crew doesn’t have money for renting space to rehearse and while on her delivery job, she meets Helena Fitzgerald (Charlotte Rampling), the head of the ballet school.  Helena is impressed by Carly and her crew’s talents and offers to let them rehearse in her studio for free but with the condition that they have to include her top 5 ballet dancers into their routine. With no choice, Carly decides to take on the challenge and see what she can make of it.  Could ballet dancers turn into street dancers? Will they have their routine ready and win in just 5 weeks? Or maybe, there’s something more, after all, ballet and street are both just different forms of dance. Maybe accepting to see the point of view through Thomas (Richard Winsor), one of the ballet dancers, would open up new possibilities.

StreetDance

StreetDance is just another dance movie.  I would agree with that completely because it has all the elements you would find in Step Up series as well.  In fact, what makes StreetDance stand out for me is that its not set in US (like usual) but rather in UK.  It gives a new style to the movie.  The language is a bit different and at the same time, the interaction and vibe is also different.  Its refreshing to see how they put together a dance movie with a different setting giving it a little something extra.  I really liked the change.  This also brought on some good music choices as well, a lot of which I haven’t heard before.

StreetDance

The story is about meshing ballet with street dance and seeing if the two worlds can actually go together.  The idea that dance is a universal language regardless of the style.  While its about two worlds, it also adds in the side story of Carly, the leader of street dance crew and Thomas, a talented ballet dancer and their romance that kind of grows. Why I say kind of is because there is a bigger emphasis on the infatuation of Thomas to Carly more than the other way around since she is still getting over Jay for a good part of the flick.  Although meshing ballet and street dance isn’t a new concept, Step Up did it, in many ways I found this one better than that one.  Maybe its because I like the characters more in this one, maybe its because its gives focus on not only two dancers but on a group effort, seeming a bit closer to Step Up 3 or 4.  Plus, it has some neat dance choreography and good tension here and there.  It brings in a good level of fun.

StreetDance

I don’t really know how to dissect a dance movie other than saying whether I had fun with it or not.  However, the acting here is not immense but it does make up for it with some unique dance choreographies and some pretty awesome dance music.  It made me really fall in love with the movie. In fact, I went back to watch the full movie for the whole week afterwards, which was probably one of the reasons why I haven’t posted this up yet and especially going back for the dance parts because its just fun.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to street dance so it particularly pleases me. I’ve also had all the music on repeat on my MP3 for the last 2 weeks.  Its upbeat and motivating and helps to wake me up during the day 🙂

In my last post, I talked about the movie that brought back Bodyrox into my life and this is it so before I wrap this review up, here’s a song from the movie:

Or maybe one thats more known:

The second video has clips from the movie so maybe you can get a quick idea of the movie.

Overall, StreetDance isn’t an epic dance movie but its new setting and style gives it something new and gives it a breath of fresh air.  The cast are not great actors but the characters they are given makes it attractive.  The best part is to sit back and enjoy some upbeat music and watch some brilliant dance choregraphy.  The idea of finding yourself and breaking out of the norm and that dance is an universal language works very well.

Are you into dance movies? Whats your favorite? Have you seen StreetDance?