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Breakdancing and Street Dance Film Reviews

Updated on June 5, 2011

Introduction

In the following text I will review films that have had breakdancing in them, and some that helped shape the face of breakdancing today. The list will be as follows:


  • ·Wild Style
  • ·Flashdance
  • ·Breakin’
  • ·Delivery Boys
  • ·Krush Groove
  • ·Beat Street
  • ·Style Wars
  • ·The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy
  • ·You Got Served
  • ·Planet B-Boy

Wild Style

This docudrama celebrates the colorful lives of teens who live in the South Bronx. There they are seen break dancing, creating graffiti art, and listening to raucous rap. The slim story centers on Zoro, who likes to spray-paint subway cars.The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his strained relationship with fellow artist Rose. But this isn't why one watches Wild Style--this movie is *the* classic hip-hop flick, full of great subway shots, breakdancing, freestyle MCing and rare footage of one of the godfathers of hip-hop, Grandmaster Flash, pulling off an awesome scratch-mix set on a pair of ancient turntables. A must-see for anyone interested in hip-hop music and culture

It's great to see again this bolt of ghetto joy, a kind of updated West Side Story, that shows hip-hop as a living, breathing expression of cultural resistance rather than a crunky, cheerless set of cruddy grunts and boasts from which to make money. This unpolished but authentic film, a drama with the honesty of a documentary, shows hip-hop pure and unvarnished. Unfortunately, the acting is stilted, and the story almost non-existent. But that isn't the point, Wild Style is a cult classic - indisputably the most important hip hop movie, ever.

Flashdance

Although Flashdance isn't a predominantly Breakdancing film,there is a breakdancing scene in this film that, because of the fame of the film, sparked interest in breakdancing in the media. This increased the popularity of breakdancing among teens but also introduced girls to it, that wouldn't normally have been interested but after seeing Flashdance got involved

Breakin' (Breakdance: The Movie)

A struggling young jazz dancer (Lucinda Dickey) meets up with two break-dancers. Together they become the sensation of the street crowds. Features ICE-T in his film debut as a club MC.

I fondly remember this movie, and it's soundtrack. Ollie & Jerry's "There's No Stoppin' Us" and all the other classic tunes included in this Golan & Globus "breakploitation" masterpiece. The energy, and all the actors are what make this movie special. The plot consists of the character of Kelly working in a greasy spoon, and takes dance training from a lecherous teacher. One day one of her friends introduces her to Ozone & Turbo, and the rest is history, after this everyone is bustin' a move! It's no academy award winner, but it's a fun movie. The storyline, all the dancing & the music make this a must have movie for anybody that loves movies from the '80s and/or breakdancing.

Delivery Boys

A gang of boys under the Brooklyn Bridge are united by their common interest in break dancing. Some work as pizza delivery boys, hence they call themselves the "Delivery Boys". They form a dance team and enter a local break dance contest, sponsored by a woman's panty manufacturer. A rival gang's sponsor intimidates their employer into thinking she must keep the boys working so they won't be harmed. She gives the boys some "specialized" deliveries to make them late for the contest. The antics and calamities abound as the boys wrestle with her work assignments and getting to the contest on time. Although the story is silly and worthless, this is a unique film in that writer/director Handler, a youth counselor, used many former street-gang members as actors and dancers in this film

Krush Groove

In this movie based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings, up-and-coming manager Russell Walker has all the hottest acts on the record label Krush Groove records, including Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Kurtis Blow, while Rick (Rubin) produces their records. When Run-D.M.C. has a hit record and Russell doesn't have the money to press records, he borrows money from a street hustler. At the same time, Russell and and his brother Run are both competing for the heart of R&B singer Sheila E. This film is mostly about the record producers, but the music they produce are songs that became epically popular with breakdancers, and the film features breakdancing to these songs

Beat Street

An aspiring DJ, from the South Bronx, and his best friend, a promoter, try to get into show business by exposing people to hip-hop music and culture. The Harry Belafonte-produced "Beat Street" captured a slice of hip-hop back when it was dancing, graffiti, DJing and rapping not just rapping. The story line is okay but the music performances and dancing are great. Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Kool Moe Dee and Melle Mel are among the artists that make an appearance. A decent way to check out hip-hop before NWA spoiled it all.

Style Wars

The film's 69 minutes of art, dance, music and adventure chronicle the climactic battle of New York’s graffiti writers to get their art up on the city’s subway trains--an elegy for of the travelling, public art extravaganza that was destined to change the world of art and popular culture forever. Simultaneously the film documents the emergence of B-boy breaking from the streets to media prominence. As The Source put it to the world of Hip-Hop: “Know Style Wars and you know your history.”

The Freshest Kids - A History of the B-Boy

This documentary had such great content! I loved the archive footage and the interviews with some of the original B-Boys. They didn't go into great detail about the other elements of Hip Hop but the B-Boying aspect of it was spot-on. But then again, that's what the film is about in the first place. If I had anything to complain about it would be just that I would have liked to have more battles to view on the special features. But that's a small gripe and showing the original New York City Breakers bust some moves before a small crowd at a B-Boy convention in L.A. almost makes up for it. If you're a Hip Hop enthusiast or if you're the least bit intrigued by the Hip Hop culture then you must check this out! It'll teach you a little bit about how Hip Hop was originally supposed to be conveyed.

You Got Served

In order to achieve their dream of opening a recording studio, two friends (Omarion, Houston) must first win their city's dance contest -- a fierce competition that pits them against a group of tough street dancers.

The film isn't impressive as a story - you kind of know where its heading from the start - but the dancing is. Competing as teams, much as boxers might square up in a ring, it puts best moves to the test in some thrilling routines.

Accepting fairly average acting and a pretty basic plotline is pain free, given that's the dancing's hot - exhilarating is only the half of it. Starring the R&B act B2K, written and directed by Chris Stokes, who was behind House Party 4, You Got Served comes with sufficient pedigree to make it interesting, with Lil' Kim starring as herself in a cameo role and actor/comedian DJ Steve Harvey popping up as a local businessman, Mr Rad.

Planet B-Boy

Director Benson Lee explores the global resurgence of breakdancing in a documentary that proves the so-called "B-boying" trend didn't die with the passing of the '80s

Planet B-Boy pays fitting homage to both breakers' impressive dance skills and the roots of hip-hop culture. Agile camerawork propels the narrative at a brisk pace, and crisp editing synchs rhythmically with the score's propulsive beat.Great entertainment backed with profound social and cultural insight about the worldwide grass roots importance of breakdancing. After admiring the dancers' athleticism, you'll want to hit the gym.

Which film did you enjoy most?

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