Saturday, August 15, 2009

Steppin': The Movie DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Star-Studded Cast Can’t Save Straight-to-DVD Ghetto Greekest

What do Mo’Nique, Anthony Anderson, Fresh Prince alumnus James Avery, rapper Sticky Fingaz, political pundit Dick Gregory, Faizon Love, Clifton Powell, Urkel show alums Darius McCrary and Reginald VelJohnson and Miguel Nunez, Jr. have in common? If you answered Steppin': The Movie, you’d be right. Directed by actor-turned-director Michael Taliferro, this straight-to-DVD production is just the latest in a long conga line of the genre of dance-driven productions mostly deservedly parodied by the Wayans Brothers in Dance Flick.

This variation on the theme is set on the campus of a historically-black college in Houston where apparently some of the shallowest human beings on the planet have matriculated. For instance, there’s Vicki (Monicka Allegeier), a student gets ready to party by putting on what she refers to as her “get your freak on panties” in order to seduce Bryan (Chico Benymon), the funky frat boy of her dreams.

Consider this exchange of dialogue Vicki shares with her roommate Jennifer (Chrystee Pharris) right before she departs:

Vicki: “How do I look?”
Jennifer: “Like a ho!”
Vicki: “Street or uptown?”
Jennifer: “Street!”
Vicki: “Good, that’s what I like.”

Because these are presumably college coeds, it is extremely offensive that they are depicted as aspiring to little more than looking like common ghetto prostitutes. Sadly, their equally-pathetic male counterparts aren’t any better, disgusting misogynists employing jive pickup lines such as, “I never met a girl I couldn’t make come.”

I’m not going to bother to relate the plot which reads like a derivative rip-off of Stomp the Yard. Suffice to say that the black fraternities and sororities are more concerned with winning the $25,000 in prizes to be awarded at a Greek Show Step Competition than with their studies. While waiting with baited breath for the big showdown, we’re treated to a lowbrow brand of humor which runs the gamut from bodily function jokes to mean-spirited teasing coming at the expense of easy marks like a flamboyant transvestite and a deaf dude whose hearing aid is hidden from him for laughs. How tasteless!

A spiritually-debilitating descent into depravity

Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and crude humor.
Running time: 138 minutes
Studio: Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

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