point of views of a viewer

a viewer's point of view
Showing posts with label dancing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dancing. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Staying Alive, hardcore dance flick

From Internet and old friends’ stories, I’ve known that John Travolta was a good dancer during his time. But I don’t give much effort to watch Travolta’s famous moves in his old films.

The two reasons why I picked Staying Alive were because its Travolta’s dance film and surprisingly, a Sylvester Stallone’s directorial- produced-written film too. I didn’t know that Stallone can be like that especially that he looked a show off masculine lad. Anyway, I admired his multiple talents.

Hardcore, this is the best word I could describe for Staying Alive. Of all dance films I watched, this is really beyond a passion saga. It’s like no point of return and an all out thing just to dance. As if Travolta’s character (Tony Manero) can’t find something other than dancing.

Even he’s younger in this film, I’m still not attracted to Travolta and Manero’s personality.But as Travolta into Manero’s shoes I like him. He’s spunky, full of angst, passionate and boastful lad that doesn’t know how to treat women well. The only clear about him is he like to dance and he’ll do anything to pursue it. He didn’t use prostitution but he knows who could help him.

As a dancer, I can’t say that Travolta is exceptional in this film. Maybe because I’m distracted to his outfits and built. But that’s not a disadvantage for me, because I recognized good acting skill that doesn’t have inhibition. Apart from that, this film is choreographed for Broadway presentation and not for a show-off competition or audition. So let me say, he’s a good total performer for acting and dancing greatly onstage.

His two leading ladies here is not physically gifted, they are all flat chested or don’t have curvy ass. But they are pretty in different ways. I admired their guts to wear skimpy clothes and they are graceful dancers. I’m amused upon knowing that I was actually already watched these two women. Finola Hughes was the mother of Power of Three (Prue/Paige, Piper, Phoebe) in Charmed while Cynthia Rhodes was also in Dirty Dancing. She’s the dance instructor in that remarkable film.


I’m trying to figure out Stallone’s style as director. There are shots that I think he likes to play lights behind his actors. I may not motivated to dance after the film but kudos to him I’m glued to my seat to watch the whole drama. It just that I’m distracted to his production designs. I can see lot of vandalized walls and unappealing stairs. But those add flavors in the character of the movie, it just that I don’t like them and it made me feel I’m watching an old independent film.

As a writer, I like how he conveys Manero’s arrogant and desperate personality, his women, and his director in the play. He’s a winner in creating a hardcore-action dance flick. The only lack to it is memorable quotes. Everyone is so real and they are saying common conversations.

Remark: worth to collect

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Take The Lead...good dancers dancing poor dance

Hmm in the mood of watching my old favorite films, after Somewhere in Time (which I’m going to write next to this one) I check again Take the Lead top billed by Antonio Banderas.

My expectations weren’t met when I watched this movie in theater. I thought Antonio would have grand performances but it turned out he just there to taught non ballroom dancers. However, he had beautiful one in the detention part of a school.

Antonio played Pierre Dulaine (a real person) who had urge to teach ballroom dancing to those who can't afford formal one. As we all know, most of the youth prefer hip-hop or other street dancing than ballroom dancing that was thing he faced in his advocacy.

But apart from that, he also questioned about the importance of his ballroom dancing against formal education taught in school.

In my second time of watching, I realized that it’s not only about dancing just like other movies. It’s also about pursuing what you believe, especially in the world that being hopeless is the “in-thing.” When he was summoned for a meeting about his termination in the school, he calmly explained that ballroom dancing can help students. By dancing, (I think its waltz) he explained to parents, principal and teacher (the one who questioned his presence) that trust is the one value that you could obtained in ballroom dancing. You’ll trust your partner to cooperate with you and you’ll also trust yourself that you can dance.

I’d first admired Antonio Banderas in the Mask of the Zorro together with my crush Catherine Zeta Jones and then in Evita. What I’d like about him is he can act (drama, action and comedy) and dance. Hmmm I forget if he can sing. In this film, he’s conservative and calm. He did not do an award winning performance, but an inspirational and entertaining job. But I still wished that he had more dance performances.

Apart from Dante Basco, a half-Filipino actor and part of Hook, I become aware of Jenna Dewan in here. I concluded that she’s a good dancer the first time I saw her. No wonder few months after Take the lead, I just watched her leading Step Up with her now husband Channing Tatum (star of G.I. Joe).

What I don’t like in the movie is it has poor choreography, especially in tango of three of Sasha (Dewan), Ramos (Basco) and Danjou (Elijah Kelly). It’s wonderful idea that put them altogether. But their dance was not really appealing. And yes, I’m not impressed with some dramatically effects. Over all, I’m only impressed with Pierre (Banderas) and Morgan’s (Katya Varshilas) sexy tango at the detention cell.

I also dislike Basco’s acting (sorry po Kuya) because it’s really not realistic and cheesy scenes.

For 2.5 stars for Take The Lead

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dancing, dance films…Patrick Swayze

Because I believe in the essence of dancing as an art, exercise and past time, I’m currently collecting dance flicks that I like to watch over and over again.

As of now, I have Julia StilesSave The Last Dance, Antonio Banderas' Take The Lead, Diego Luna’s Dirty Dancing: Havana Night, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez’s Shall we Dance, and Stomp the Yard.

As I’m still eyeing for discounted price of Dirty Dancing 1’s VCD or DVD (I’m thrifty), I’m saddened by the news that Patrick Swayze already died because of pancreatic cancer. Honestly, he’s the great American male dancer that I ever watch in a movie.

To think that I only watched Dirty Dancing when I already can afford to rent video tapes, well that’s only few years ago, but I still consider him the best. I really like their dancing routine, the “swan move” and of course their love story of Jennifer Grey (by the way, where’s that woman?)

What I coincidence that the two of good dancers from Hollywood are already gone – Patrick and Michael Jackson. Anyway, the good thing is that their memories and performances are seemed immortal to our eyes, especially with the presence of modern technology.

Rest in Peace Patrick! Thank you for inspiring us to dance. You really “had your time of your life!” For now, I need to find original copy of Dirty Dancing.