Sunday, February 04, 2007

Stomp the Yard - a post by Josh

On Friday (Feb. 2/07), I headed off to AMC to check out Stomp the Yard. I expected the usual mix teen movie clich├ęs to work their way into this movie, making it unbearable to watch, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Though elements from past teen movies like You Got Served, Save the Last Dance, Drum Line, and Step Up creep their way into Stomp the Yard, to me it was still far superior to all of them.

Music is obviously a main element in this movie, not only because it revolves around the world of dancing, but because music a key aspect of hip hop and urban culture. I expected the music in Stomp the Yard to be exclusively rap, but it ended up being an eclectic mix of rap and at some points in the movie, a mix of rock and dance. I must say that the music used in this movie was awesome.

Stomp the Yard conveys positive messages to teens. So often African American teens are portrayed negatively in media, but Stomp the Yard provided the audience with a glimpse into Truth University. DJ, the main character, finds himself at this school after a less than productive adolescence. The stereotypical wild parties that are synonymous with teen movies are replaced with the scenes showing DJ working on school work, busting his butt at his part-time landscaping job and putting hours of practice into his dancing. It was refreshing to see an African American teen depicted in a positive way in a movie that is heavily marketed towards teens.

Dance as a cultural aspect is prevalent in Stomp the Yard. Urban/hip hop dancing and stepping are the main ways this cultural element is expressed, but the movie continues to show a positive side when DJ and April (the girl he ends up with) slow dance in a scene. This was another refreshing aspect of the movie, instead of the typical sexually charged dancing that usually is shown in teen movies, DJ and April share a much tamer dance together.

Stomp the Yard was much better than I thought it would be. I was expecting another stupid teen movie, but was pleasantly surprised.

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