New on DVD
'Step Up 2: The Streets'
Bonus features capture the love of street dancing and enthusiasm of the film's director
Andie (Briana Evigan) doesn't want to be sent away to Texas even though she really hasn't been on a really straight path ever since losing her mom. She's been part of the 410's, a dance crew that has been ambushing unsuspecting residents around the city with their unexpected, slightly terrifying dances. The only way she can stay amongst her friends, however, is to attend the snooty Maryland School of the Arts where she has to prove she has legitimate dance skills. While there, she falls for Chase (Robert Hoffman), who may or may not be into her because she can get him into "The Streets" a highly anticipated, impromptu street dance competition of which the time and location will be announced only on the day of the event.
DVD Bonus Features:
The Good: The "Thru Fresh Eyes" featurette documents Chu's first day on the job and his journey throughout, including some clips of his home movies he made growing up, rehearsals with the cast and an amusing yet gross story on how he was inspired to set his final dance sequence in the rain. Similarly infectious are his introductions to each of the deleted scenes, which include a thankfully aborted estrangement between Andie and Moose (Adam G. Sevani), lovely longer dance sequences featuring "American's Best Dance Crew" winners JabbaWockeez and the West Coast Riders and a music montage which is basically a music video featuring actress Cassie Ventura.
"Outlaws of Hip-Hop -- Meet the 410's" is a love letter to the positivity of dance and how "it's about you doing you," while the hilarious video prank by Hoffman involves him and group of dancers in a conveneince store. At first they appear to be normal patrons, then they all of a sudden freeze frame mid-sentence, break into dance, and then resume their normal activities as if nothing had happened. I was also able to find one Easter egg on the main bonus features page, (go to the bottom of the screen and then press right until a set of dance footprints appear on screen, then select), which features the funny phone call the Chu made to Evigan to tell her she got the part.
The Bad: In and of themselves the five music videos -- "Low" by Flo Rida, "Ching-a-Ling" by Missy Elliott (fun and stylized), "Killa" by Cherish, "Hypnotized" by Piles and "Let It Go" aren't Brit and Alex" -- aren't necessarily bad, although they're somewhat derivative. It's just that with so much inspiration in the film and with the other bonus features, these don't necessarily add to the film experience. They're good if you actually miss seeing videos on MTV though. The "Outtakes" are unfortunately cut together with Ventura's song, which we previously saw with the deleted scenes, so once again, it just plays like a music video. Also, Chu had mentioned a few other Easter eggs, which I couldn't find, so it was rather frustrating sifting through all the menus and not really coming up with much.