Weekend Viewing Roundup: Step Up Revolution, Fantastic Mr Fox, An Affair to Remember

Hello all! Hope your weekend was lovely. Did you venture to the cinema to see some good movies? Well, we opted for home cinema this weekend, catching up on some movies we’ve missed. We were talking about Persepolis at dinner and really wanted to see it Saturday night, but it wasn’t available on iTunes! Good thing the replacement turns out to be well, fantastic. And just before this post goes up, I also watched Sherlock Holmes: Games of Shadow which was quite fun despite the plot being rather all over the place. I’ll do a mini review of that at a later time.

Oh, I also got around to finally get to the first one on the list of classic movies I promised to catch up on this confession post. The first one on that list is An Affair To Remember… oh and what an affair it was. Before I get to my reviews, here’s a guest review from my friend and FC contributor Cecilia, one franchise that’s eluded me and I’m still not sure I want to get into…

Step Up Revolution (2012)

Few weeks ago I saw Street Dance 2 at the cinemas and pretty much disappointed with it as the first movie was pretty good with it’s lovely scenery, British accent, and of course great dance moves and songs, but the sequel turns out to be disappointing. Then it just made me have this thought that Step Up Revolution must be better than Street Dance 2 for sure.

Step Up Revolution is tells the story of Emily (Kathryn McCormick), whose dad is working on some real-estate development plans which going to threaten the place where Sean (Ryan Guzman) and his dance crew usually gather around. Sean and his crew, well known as The Mob, is working on some flash-mob projects in order to win some cash. The same story as we saw on most dance movies all over again, the crew who are struggling before they lose the place where they usually practice. I actually don’t mind with the story. It is poor, both the script and the storyline. But I’ve never been looking for a good story on dance movies, as I actually looking forward to the dancing scenes and great songs.

Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D are memorable for me. Giving my salutation to Jon M. Chu as he made the dancers on his movies memorable with their own different dancing characters. Moose (Adam Sevani) is on the top of my favorite Step Up dancer list. I still can remember precisely his sweet dancing scene with Camille (Alyson Stoner) using Fred Astaire’s song I Won’t Dance on Step Up 3D. Sadly, Jon M. Chu is now being the producer on Step Up Revolution, instead of being in the director’s seat.

What I like about this movie is that it shows the brilliant ideas of flash-mobs. Huge number of people dancing in a public place unexpectedly, creating chaos and coolness that I wish would happen in real life where I live. The film still offers great dance moves and songs, the most memorable song for me is Let’s Go by Travis Barker, as it is goes well with those passionate dancers dancing in Miami’s heat. The Mob is packed with people who has different kinds of expertise, one is good at music, one at art, one at the digital stuffs. But the crew who does the dancing stuffs is not showing their various specific dancing characters. It’s not at all like what I saw on Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D.

Another disappointing part is on the 3D aspect. This movie is actually beautiful while showing the clear weather at Miami, showcasing the colors of Summer. But they don’t seem to maximize the creation of eye-popping 3D. Step Up 3D made good use of balloons, water, laser, and more, but in this one, all I can remember is the eye-popping sand. However, one good thing from this it has an even better sense of fashion. I liked how they dress Penelope (Cleopatra Coleman) up with rocking outfit as a DJ, and how they dress Emily in a silver dress on one of the dancing scenes.

The final dance scene did not wow me as I had expected, however, if you’re looking for entertaining dances and some good songs, Step Up Revolution is worth a watch. It is not as boring as Street Dance 2, but not exactly an improvement as a Step Up sequel. Still, it has its own fun factor though, thanks to the mob.

– review by Cecilia Rusli

2.5 out of 5 reels

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

When I reviewed Moonrise Kingdom, a bunch of people were recommending more Wes Anderson’s movies, and on the top of that list is this animated feature, voiced by an ensemble cast of Wes’ regulars.

George Clooney is basically reprising his Danny Ocean role in another heist adventure, this time as a sly fox aptly named Mr. Fox. For 12 years, he and Mrs Fox (Meryl Streep) live a peaceful life with their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman). He’s long abandoned his thieving ways and now work as a newspaper columnist. But somehow that long-suppressed animal instincts is back with the arrival of his athletic young nephew Kristofferson. He’s still got what it takes, but what Mr. Fox doesn’t realize is, when he and his partner in crime Kiley decides to raid the three nastiest farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, that the repercussion extends to the entire animal community.

I immensely enjoyed this one, perhaps slightly more so than Moonrise Kingdom. The stop-motion animation itself is fun to watch, and Wes peppers each character with its own quirks and personality. The script is as sharp as ever and their conversation is quite profound at times.

Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? I’m saying this more as, like, existentialism, you know? Who am I?

There’s also a healthy portrayal of family that’s delightful to see. Mr & Mrs Fox are so cute together, even when she was scolding him for going back to his life of crime and the realistic rivalry between cousins Ash and Kristofferson. The battle between Mr. Fox and the three farmers, led by the scariest one of all, Franklin Bean (Michael Gambon) gets to be quite fierce at times but never losing its sense of humor. What I find interesting is that the three farmers are all Brits but the animals speak with American accent, ahah. No matter though, it’s all very amusing. I especially enjoy the ‘digging’ scenes and there are quite a few of them in this movie.

Seems like the three Wes Anderson films I saw all have a familial them running through ’em. The characters also go through a growing up process, so to speak, one thing for sure, Mr. Fox won’t feel so ‘invincible’ as he did in the beginning of the movie and he also got to appreciate his family and friends at the end.

I’ve come to enjoy Wes’ Autumnal color palette and style, but fortunately, his work is more than just style over matter. Now I’m up for more of his work, perhaps Rushmore next?

4.5 out of 5 reels

An Affair to Remember (1957)

I’ve always wanted to see this film ever since the first time I saw Sleepless in Seattle, but that was years ago. I can’t believe it took me so long to finally see this one. Oh my, now I’ve really fallen in love with this one. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr shine in this ultimate classic love affair. Both playboy artist Nickie Ferrante and night club singer Terry McKay were engaged when they met in an ocean liner, but they hit it off instantly and the chemistry between them was undeniable.

I always love tales of unrequited love of sort and for a while, their romance didn’t seem to go as planned as the go off the ship. What a shame as they seemed destined for each other. Under the watchful eye of fellow passengers, the couple falls for each other in the most delightful way. Under less skillful talent, this movie could easily be overly sentimental and corny, but witty script and sharp delivery of the actors kept it from being so. In fact, there’s something so authentic about their relationship that makes you root for them to be together.

The scene at Nickie’s grandmother in Italy is especially touching as Grandmother Janou too, fell for Terry and she made not-so-subtle hints about that throughout their meeting. The scenery is beautiful, though of course I wish some of them weren’t just a backdrop. I was enchanted not just by Kerr’s performance, but also her gorgeous costumes!! This is the second film I saw her in [the first one was Beloved Infidel] and I must say I really like her as an actress. The music is of course, sublime. The main theme that shares the same name as the film is beautiful and I appreciate it even more so now that I have experienced this movie. I also love Kerr’s voice, especially when she sang this title song. No wonder the four Oscar noms were in cinematography, music and costume design.

I watched the Special Features after the movie and though the shoot wasn’t entirely smooth, the superstar couple got along well. Interesting that both were going through tumultuous relationships during filming [I had no idea Grant had an unrequited love for Sophia Loren!]. I guess that line ‘We’re heading into a rough sea, Nickie’ was spot on in real life as well.

In any case, I could see why this film is so beloved and was even referenced in contemporary films long after its release. Boy that finale was sooo heart wrenching! An accident prevents their meet-up atop the Empire State Building, and both were crushed that they couldn’t be with each other as they had promised. It was quite a build-up to get to THAT moment that made all of that waiting worthwhile. By that point, I was sniffling on my sofa as I watched that scene, just like Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell did in Sleepless in Seattle! 😀

Kudos to director Leo McCarey for crafting such a beguiling love story, it’s certainly an affair to remember, in every sense of the word. This is one of those classics I wouldn’t mind revisiting again and again in the years to come.

5 out of 5 reels

Thoughts on any of these movies? Do share what movie(s) you watched over the weekend.

53 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup: Step Up Revolution, Fantastic Mr Fox, An Affair to Remember

  1. I recently saw Fantastic Mr. Fox for the first time myself! I quite enjoyed it myself although not as much as Moonrise Kingdom. Certainly a peculiar and quirky movie that has Wes Anderson’s stamp all over it. Glad you liked it!

    1. I think I enjoyed ‘Mr Fox’ a bit more than Moonrise Kingdom but that’s splitting hair really. Yeah, quirky is Wes’ signature 🙂

  2. The Fantastic Mr Fox is both my favourite Anderson film and also my favourite Clooney performance (animated counts, right?) although in the latter’s case it probably is a backhanded compliment because I’m not too fond of him.

    Streep and Schwartzman shine in particular, too. Few line readings of 2009 were as profound as her “We die, unless you change.”

    Good stuff.

    1. Ahah, I hear ya Andrew, I’m not a big fan of Clooney either but the character Mr Fox is quite well-written and he embodied that role well I think. Yeah, Streep was great, she also has a nice, soothing voice.

    1. Thanks Sabine, how very kind. The thing is I just did a pretty long Liebster award post so I hope it’s ok if I take a rain check on doing another award post. Thanks again for thinking of me, glad to hear you enjoyed my posts 🙂

  3. Ted S.

    As you know I’m not into animations so I’ve never seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, I know it got some good reviews but I just have no desire to see it. And yes, you should check out Rushmore, it’s a great film.

    I was thinking of seeing The Expendables 2 but after two straight weekends of disappointments in Total Recall and Bourne 4, I decided to listen to the critics and skip it. I’ll just rent it instead. I was still in the mood for action films so I watched the fourth Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact over the weekend.

    1. Oh you’ve seen Rushmore and liked it? Ok then, that’ll be the next Wes’ movie for me.

      Yeah, I feel the same way about Expendables 2, no way I’m gonna be burned again w/ that one. I also saw Bourne Ultimatum as we didn’t get to see it last wknd.

    1. Hi Nostra, welcome back! Ahah well, good thing you enjoyed Expendables 2, I nearly walked out of the first one so I stayed away from this one.

  4. Ah…you should watch Persepolis Ruth…it’s a great grown up animation!

    Step up revolution is a no no for me…will only see it in TV when. It’s nice tho seeing a 2,5 star movie being reviewed…thumbs up for Cecillia 😉 I rarely reviewed something under 3…except for short reviews.

    The Fantastic Mr. Foz sounds great…I will try to see it when the DVD is out here. An affair to remember…hmmm these words “ultimate classic love affair” alone gives me doubt. I know I know I should watch more romance 😉

    1. I really want to, but it’s tough if it’s not available on iTunes as I don’t have Netflix anymore. I’m not interested in those Step Up movies either, but obviously there’s a market for it as they continue to make ’em.

      Oooh, you should give An Affair to Remember a try Nov. It’s in color btw, I know you don’t like b/w movies 🙂

  5. Fantastic Mr. Fox is still my favorite Wes Anderson film (Moonrise Kingdom is now the close second). Two out of three highly rated? Sounds like a good weekend to me. Thanks, Ruth.

    1. I think it’s become my favorite too, Michael. And I’m sure you’ve seen An Affair To Remember too? That’s now one of my fave classic romances, right up there with Roman Holiday!

  6. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Welcome, Cecilia!

    I caught up on some old, classic B-Movie Roger Corman on television this weekend. ‘X-The Man with the X-Ray Eyes’, ‘The Big Doll House’ and ‘TNT Jackson’. With plenty of Pam Grier and Jeannie Bell, Filipino Chop~Socky in the latter two flicks.

    Also caught the premiere of BBC~America’s ‘Copper’ last night. Very much like the idea, writers and director of HBO’s earlier ‘Deadwood’ moved lock, stock and barrel to the Five Points slums of 1864 New York. Great look and feel. Decent story and hero. The series may actually make it.

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth!

        BBC~America/PBS does have ‘Sherlock’ with Benedict Cumberbatch, which is right up there in the ‘Doctor Who’ stratosphere.

        Been a fan of the UK since the early 1960s, when ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Champions’, ‘Secret Agent’, ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘Project UFO’ made it across the pond. Also a big fan of the late, great Gerry Anderson, his wife and their superb model work in TV and films.

  7. PrairieGirl

    So glad you liked AATR, can’t wait to watch it again myself. Much to my chagrin I watched Kevin Costner’s the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s on the History channel. By the end I swear were at least two dozen family members done away with on both sides. Not my usual kind of entertainment, but the story was so compelling I couldn’t stop watching. Also saw The Debt, which was good, but I got lost at the end.

    1. Hi Becky, thanks again for lending me AATR, what a delightful movie! I haven’t even heard of ‘Hatfield’s and McCoy’s’ so did Kevin directed it??

      The Debt was good but yeah it was pretty complex. The finale was pretty crazy too, man that Helen Mirren is incredible!

  8. YESSSSSSSSSS to “Fantastic Mr. Fox”! I love that movie. Come to think of it, I still haven’t reviewed it myself! It’s the quirkiest animated picture and I laughed all through it. So glad you liked it as well. Makes me wanna stand up and do that funky dance from the ending!!!

    1. He..he.. that funky dance is awesome! I really like the digging scenes, how they go from farm to farm. I think the animation style is really fun to watch but the story and dialog makes it a winner!

  9. Yeahhhhhh Ruth! Fantastic Mr Fox is awesome! Glad you liked it!

    😀 As soon as I saw “An Affair to Remember”, I knew it was a 5 out of 5 for you. LOL. Not that its unworthy… I just had a feeling that classic leading man thing would win the day! 😀

    1. Yeahhhh Fogs!! I think you might’ve been the one recommending it to me right? Well I shall heed your recommendations as I always do 😀

      Y’know I actually like Deborah Kerr more than Cary Grant I’ll have you know. So no, the classic leading man thing wasn’t the only reason I LOVE it, believe it or not, he didn’t do it for me the way Gregory Peck did 😉

  10. I loved Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which was even more fun than the first one. I actually saw it 3 times in theaters I liked it so much.

    I haven’t seen Step Up 3D or Step Up Revolution, but I must admit that I do have a fondness for Step Up 2: The Streets.

    Glad you enjoyed Fantastic Mr. Fox and An Affair to Remember. The former film I actually liked more when I first saw it, than when I watched it again. The latter film is definitely better than McCarey’s original version: Love Affair (1939) with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne.

    1. Hi Josh, wow, you saw it 3 times on the big screen?? That’s a record I think 🙂 I like it even though the story is kind of all over the place and it’s over-stylized at times. I do enjoy the dialog and I wish there were more dialogs between RDJ and Jude than the explosions, ahah.

      Yeah, An Affair to Remember is so enchanting. Apparently there is a remake of the 1957 version too w/ Beatty and Benning, but can’t imagine they could top this one.

  11. Great reviews girls. I will be seeing Step up Revolution soon, I love dance movies and I totally agree with the love for Moose. I also want to watch An Affair to Remember, I must add it to my list 🙂

  12. Couldn’t agree more on Fantasic Mr. Fox Ruth. 4.5 is what I’d five that too. I went through a couple of Michael Shannon movies at the weekend – My son, My son What Have Ye Done and Shotgun Stories. My first review is up and the second will be up tomorrow.

    1. I’ve read both of your reviews! Seems like you’re quite taken by Shannon, well I don’t blame you. I can’t wait to see him as Zod!

      1. Yeah, I’m really impressed with Shannon’s stuff. It’s funny how he’s managed to stay just under the radar. Zod will be a role that will change all that I think though.

  13. Perspolis is wonderful you should definetly see this one! I love Fantastic Mr. Fox it looks so beautiful and it’s such a fun, quirky movie. I’ve never seen An Affair to Remember but I definetly need to, 5 reels that’s quite a recommendation!

    1. Yeah I really want to see Persepolis, though it’ll take a bit of hunting to rent it 🙂 I was really quite taken by An Affair to Remember, the costume design alone is gorgeous Sati, I think you’d appreciate that one.

  14. Fantastic Mr. Fox! Yay! That movie is so good. I was under the weather a few weeks back and threw it on for the sixth or seventh time and it never fails to shine a light down on me and at least make me feel like I feel better. It’s kind of weird to think, but I feel like that movie – an animated movie – is the deepest Wes Anderson has yet gone into character.

    1. Yeah, it is a fun one that one could revisit time and time again. You might be right about the character Nick, I feel that it’s a rare character study if you will, in an animated feature.

  15. STEP UP has been an utterly delightful series so far. The latest film is beautiful and deserves a huge respect for promoting creativity, belief in yourself, good causes and love in today’s era of morbid darkness and bizzarre characters. I loved how they’ve used dance as a weapon for influencing social changes and expressing political messages.
    Love the actors too and the music (minus the horrid J.Lo)

    1. That is quite creative what they’re doing w/ the dances, especially the mob-dance. Heh, J-Lo is in one of the movies?? Boy that woman is just everywhere!

      1. don’t know if she’s in the movie, probably not, but she sings the lead single for the movie 🙂 You can see her song and Timbaland’s song too on MTV currently promoting the film 🙂

  16. Alright! Now that’s a fun weekend — Fantastic Mr. Fox and a Cary Grant classic! Glad to hear you dug Mr. Fox. I think Rushmore is a good choice for your next Wes Anderson flick. I’m still working my way through his filmography, but that one is probably my next favorite after Moonrise Kingdom & Mr. Fox.

    1. Yeah, I saw four movies in 3 days which is a lot for me. My hubby and I have enjoyed Wes’ works so far so yeah, Rushmore is next 🙂 So you have seen An Affair to Remember I take it? Yeah, that’s become one of my fave classic romances now.

      1. I actually haven’t seen An Affair to Remember but I will certainly keep an eye out for it after your glowing review. 🙂 I will watch Cary Grant in anything.

    1. Glad that Fantastic Mr Fox actually lives up to its name, ahah. An Affair to Remember is just so enchanting, I could rewatch that every year 🙂

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