'Center Stage: On Pointe'
(Peter Gallagher, Nicole Muñoz, Sascha Radetsky, Ethan Stiefel, Kenny Wormald, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2016 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) is tasked with infusing more contemporary styles and modernism into the American Ballet Academy, and enlists his top choreographers Charlie (Sascha Radetsky), Cooper (Ethan Stiefel) and Tommy (Kenny Wormald) to recruit dancers to compete at a camp where the winners will be selected to join the Academy.
DVD Verdict: Let me begin with saying that I do love dance movies, even though how cheesy the acting may be I like to watch people dancing. And I believe that I've seen most of these type of movies and for those who are like me would agree (I'd like to think) when I say that throughout the movie the main dance crew was far from anything close to a dance troupe of any reputable co-ordination value.
That said, the original film (2000) was a knockout about how hopefuls for professional ballet companies are selected to train for possible future job placement. Some of its top performers, among them Peter Gallagher as the impresario of both companies and Ethan Stiefel as Mr. "Divine Stella Abrera" - Saha Radetsky aka former star dancers now ballet troupe faculty/artistic masters.
They, of course shine in both the original and the sequel, 'Center Stage: Turn It Up' (2008). So here in 2016 we now get the third in the series, 'Center Stage: On Pointe' and yes, it is as fab as the other two, thankfully. Once again, the cast works like a fine Swiss watch and the photography/editing is rather perfect also. Many of the concepts would not be valid in 2000 when the first film was made because this film is about people not used to the culture or the work ethic of the profession - and, well, most all primarily complaining about it too!
In the original film the talented Zoe Saldana did an award winning job of her fictitious character who was, at first, the only angry rebel in the group but later its greatest traditional route achiever. Here in the third installment, Nicole Muñoz takes that lead and runs with it in fine style. Some photography has low levels of ghetto language spread within in, nothing to worry about, and the snobbish rivalry among the students is not unlike anything that would actually happen behind the scenes in real life.
As noted above, Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) is tasked with infusing more contemporary styles and modernism into the American Ballet Academy, and enlists his top choreographers Charlie (Sascha Radetsky), Cooper (Ethan Stiefel) and Tommy (Kenny Wormald) to recruit dancers to compete at a camp where the winners will be selected to join the Academy. Bella Parker (Nicole Muñoz), who has always lived in the shadow of her hugely successful sister Kate, finally gets her chance to step into the limelight as one of the dancers recruited for the camp.
In conclusion, 'Center Stage: On Pointe' is just as great as the other two in the series, is very compelling to watch and for dancers, might even teach you a few things along the way too. Not, of course given the plot, a traditional ballet film ie: the pas de deux competition, which is the highlight of the film, shows the male partners dancing for only seconds barefoot, along with a near complete state of undress re: undershirt and underpants, but not as the more traditional attire-wearing performers would in such a sequence, but still, number three in the series is a pure delight to behold from beginning to end. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special feature of:
Dance Tutorial with Chloe Lukasiak
Lifetime's First Look Official Trailer