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Rize (PG-13)

Release Date: June 24th, 2005, by Lions Gate Films.
Directed by David LaChapelle.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the "rise" of Krumping a new, hip street dance that is inspired by another one called Clowning.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There is so much energy and amazing dance moves that it is impossible not to be entertained. The dancers are not afraid to show off their moves regardless of their age, gender, or weight. The flashy cinematography beautifully captures the excitement and fast rhythm—the entire film has a beat of its own. But what is really hot about this documentary is the soundtrack, which is so full of life and momentum. Tommy the Clown started a dance called which involves a lot of face-paint. He is a very warm, charismatic and likable character—he is even quite funny at times. This documentary also has some gang violence that is quite sad and shocking. The final 30 minutes include a dance competition that is very exciting as well as suspenseful. Regardless of the outcome, the kinetic energy of the dances will keep your eyes and ears glued to the screen.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Surprisingly, there is a lot of insight about the fulfillment of one’s dreams. Tommy the Clown’s courage and upbeat energy is very inspiring. Equally touching are the personal interviews with some of the dancers who admit that they have found a new way to enjoy life thanks to dancing. In fact, the dancing probably saved their life because it managed to make them escape from the troubled life of gangsters. The way they channel their anger into this fast-paced dance is a testament that any art form can be beautiful if it comes from within.



THE BOTTOM LINE: A highly-kinetic documentary with a wonderful soundtrack and surprising insight into the lives of people—old and young—whose life has changed in a very good way thanks to the art of dance.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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