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Genre: Romance
Starring: Rachele Brooke Smith, Kenny Wormald, Sarah Jayne Jensen, Peter Gallagher, Ethan Stiefel
Director: Steven Jacobson
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2008




- Center Stage: Turn It Up - A Look Behind the Curtain
- The Choreography of Center Stage: Turn It Up : From Classroom to Club



Languages: English/Thai/Spanish/Portuguese
Subtitles: English/Thai/Chinese/
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




Return to the Center Stage phenomenon with new passions and partners in the amped-up, high-energy Center Stage: Turn It Up. All Kate Parker has ever wanted to do was perform with the American Ballet Academy. But when she doesn't get in, she learns that it takes more than just natural talent to succeed in the dance world. With a turn in a cutting-edge hip-hop club and the help of a handsome former hockey player-turned-dancer, she may yet manage to make her dreams come true. Peter Gallagher (TV's The O.C., Center Stage), Kenny Wormald (TV's Dancelife), Ethan Stiefel (Center Stage) and a cast of hot, up-and-coming stars rock to a new beat in this unmissable sensation!


If you have seen one, you see it all.

This is the case with movies liked "Center Stage: Turn It Up", the direct-to-video release to the 2000 moderate hit, "Center Stage". The main theme here of course is dancing but since you can’t stuff a 95 minutes movie with stretches of lingering dance numbers, you need at least a decent coherent plot to get things moving.

In "Center Stage: Turn It Up", newcomer Rachele Brooke Smith plays Kate Parker. Armed with her self-taught dancing skills, her ambition is to perform with the American Ballet Academy. But as life goes nothing is what you expect. Kate fails the audition and ended up as a waitress. New York seems to be filled with handsome, goody-two-shoes young men like Tommy Anderson (Kenny Wormald) who happens to stumble into Kate. And guess what? Tommy himself is an ex-hockey player turns dancer and no, he’s not gay and he encourages Kate to move on in the dance world.

In the cookie-cutter style of "Step Up 2: The Streets" and "Save The Last Dance", the movie is filled with flashy dance moves and a soundtrack that will at least have you tapping on your feet. The characters are at best wafer thin, complete with cliché lines and cringing performance of the cast members, it’s a production that will have you roll your eyes at times. Do you honestly care for the romance between Rachele and Tommy? Or a third party by the name of Suzanne? Blame it on my zero tolerance on chick flicks. This has pretentious drama written all over it. The characters are not given enough depth or emotion to engage you in the first place in case you are blaming me for my low level of tolerance.

But then again, the movie is all about dancing. Hip-hop, street dance, it’s the music that thrills. The only saving grace is the cast themselves can actually sway to the neat choreography and their beneficial wholesome good looks makes it easier to swallow. And seriously I’m not at all inspired by that in-your-face 'believe in yourself' kind of motivational message.


A Look Behind the Curtain -
A feature that touches on the story, characters and interview with the cast and crew.

The Choreography of Center Stage: Turn It Up – Behind the scenes on how the various dance sequences are choreographed. Informative for those who are into dancing.


Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, the visual is not exactly clear of blemishes and looks pretty dull for a dance movie. The Dolby Digital 5.1 works best when it comes to the dance sequences.



Review by Linus Tee


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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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