REVIEW: BRING IT ON 1,2,3,4 & 5

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CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Jesse Bradford (Cherry Falls)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
Clare Kramer (Buffy)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Tsianina Joelson (Xena)
Rini Bell (Road Trip)
Nathan West (The Skulls 2)
Huntley Ritter (Voodoo Academy)
Brandi Williams (Honey)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Holmes Osborne (Anchorman)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Riley Smith (24)

Torrance Shipman, a student at Rancho Carne High School in San Diego, anxiously dreams about her first day of senior year. Her boyfriend, Aaron has left for college, and her cheerleading squad, the Toros, is aiming for a sixth consecutive national title. Torrance is elected to replace the team captain, “Big Red,” who is graduating. Soon, however, teammate Carver is injured and can no longer compete. Torrance replaces her with Missy Pantone, a gymnast who recently transferred to the school with her brother Cliff, with whom Torrance develops a flirtatious friendship. While watching the Toros practice, Missy recognizes their routines from a rival squad that her previous high school used to compete against. After accusing Torrance of being a liar and stealing (and upon seeing Torrance’s angry reaction, thus realizing Torrance was completely unaware) she drives Torrance to Los Angeles, where they watch the East Compton Clovers perform routines that are virtually identical to their own team’s. Isis, the Clovers’ team captain, angrily confronts the two. Torrance learns that “Big Red” regularly attended the Clovers’ practices to videotape and steal their routines.

Isis informs Torrance of her plans to defeat the Toros at the regional and national championships, which the team has never attended due to their economic hardship. When Torrance tells the Toros about the routines, the team still votes in favor of using the current routine to win; Torrance reluctantly agrees. At the Toros’ next home game, Isis and her teammates show up and perform the Toros’ routine in front of the whole school, humiliating them. The Toros realize that they have no choice but to learn a different routine. In desperation, they employ a professional choreographer named Sparky Polastri to provide one, as suggested by Aaron. But at the Regionals, the team scheduled immediately ahead of the Toros performs the exact routine they had been practicing. The Toros have no choice but to perform the very same routine. After the debacle that ensues, Torrance speaks to a competition official and is told Polastri provided the routine to several other teams in California. As the defending champions, the Toros are nevertheless granted their place in the Finals, but Torrance is warned that a new routine will be expected. Torrance, crushed by her failure to lead the team successfully, considers quitting.

Cliff encourages and supports her, intensifying their growing attraction. Aaron, however, suggests that she is not leadership material and recommends that she step down from her position. When Cliff sees Torrance and Aaron together, he angrily severs his friendship with Torrance, to her distress. But her confidence is renewed by Cliff’s encouragement and she convinces her unhappy team to create an innovative, new routine instead. She breaks up with Aaron, realizing his infidelity and his inability to be supportive, but Cliff still refuses to forgive her. Meanwhile, the Clovers are initially unable to compete at Nationals due to financial problems. This prompts Torrance to get her dad’s company to sponsor the Clovers, but Isis rejects the money and gets her team to Nationals by appealing to a talk show host who grew up in their area. In the finals, the Toros place second, while the Clovers win. However, at the end of the movie, Torrance and Isis find respect in each other, and Cliff and Torrance share a romantic kiss.

Bring it On’ is without a doubt, sassy, funny and has bags of attitude. It’s a fun movie that spawned several sequels.

 

 

CAST

Anne Judson-Yager (Minority Report)
Bree Turner (Grimm)
Kevin Cooney (Dead Poets Society)
Faune Chambers Watkins (Epic Movie)
Bryce Johnson (Willow Creek)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Bethany Joy Lenz (Agents of Shield)
Holly Towne (Dumb and Dumberer)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Joshua Gomez (Chuck)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Brian Patrick Wade (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris Carmack (Into The Blue 2)
Derek Richardson (Anger Management)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)

Whittier (Anne Judson-Yager) arrives at the fictional California State College hoping to join the national champion varsity cheerleading team. She meets up with her friend from cheerleading camp, Monica (Faune Chambers), and they’re both impressive at the tryouts.

Head cheerleader Tina (Bree Turner) is ready to ask them to join the team, but Greg (Bryce Johnson) goes a step further, telling Tina that Whittier will be the next head cheerleader. This angers Tina’s pal Marni (Bethany Joy Lenz), who had the position staked out, but at the urging of Dean Sebastian (Kevin Cooney), Tina goes along with the plan, taking Whittier under her wing. Whittier meets Derek (Richard Lee Jackson), a campus D.J. who immediately takes a shine to her. But Tina is very demanding and controlling. She warns Whittier that Derek is not the type of boy she should be dating. Monica is bothered by Tina’s meddling, but Whittier momentarily lets her cheerleading ambition get the better of her, and breaks it off with Derek.

Then Tina, upset with Monica’s sassy attitude, punishes her which leads to an injury and she forces Whittier to choose between her friendship and the squad. Whittier and Monica get fed up and quit Tina’s tyranny, but Whittier’s school spirit cannot be suppressed. With Monica’s help, she gathers up the outcasts from the drama club, the dance club, and other groups that have lost their funding because of the squad and forms a ragtag squad of her own, determined to battle the varsity squad for a spot at the national championship. The two teams end up competing for the spot at nationals, with Whittier’s squad ultimately winning. Afterward Whittier offers Tina a spot on her squad, which Tina refuses but ends up wanting. The film ends with Tina sucking up to Whittier and Monica, deciding she wants to be on their squad after all, while Marni comically throws a fit.

Despite not having the big budget and all star cast of the original, this sequel does a grand job and gives the first film a good run for its money. The mild language is toned down slightly more but it’s still a 12 rating presumably due to the bitchiness which is over the top fun. The film does sag a little in the middle part but it still makes great family viewing and there are more humorous moments in this and it does give more a team spirit approach as a bunch of misfits takes on the established Varsity cheerleaders.

CAST

Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Solange Knowles (Johnson Family Vacation)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Danielle Savre (Boogeyman 2)
Emme Rylan (General Hospital)
Cindy Chu (Coach Carter)
Giovonnie Samuels (Fatherhood)
Gustavo Carr (500 Days of Summer)
Rihanna (Battleship)
Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow)

Britney Allen’s (Hayden Panettiere) living a ‘dream life’ as the cheerleading captain and girlfriend of the star quarterback of Pacific Vista High School. Her nemesis is the highly ambitious Winnie Harper. Her life changes dramatically when her father loses his job, and the family must relocate to the disadvantaged city, Crenshaw Heights, which Britney, being the “White Girl”, takes quite a while to adjust to.

She meets Camille, cheerleading captain of the Crenshaw Heights ‘Warriors’ and her friends and fellow cheerleaders, Kirresha and Leti. She also meets Jesse, a male cheerleader and the only person who is nice to her on her first day. Britney, at the urging of Winnie, has already vowed to never cheer for another team (as this would make her a ‘cheer whore’), but after being dared by Camille and Jesse to show up at the cheerleading tryouts, Britney impresses everyone with her cheerleading skills and experience. Camille, after being persuaded by her friends to “do it for the squad,” reluctantly invites her onto the squad. Britney and Jesse become close and eventually kiss.

Around this time, singer Rihanna announces a TV special where all high school cheerleading squads can compete, with the winners appearing in a music video with her and winning new computers for their school. Winnie finds out that Britney’s cheering with the Warriors and reveals this to her friends. A week later, Britney lies to Camille, telling her that she can’t cheer at the next game as she’s holding a memorial service for her dead dog; when she’s actually going to Pacific Vista’s Homecoming dance. Camille and Jesse arrive at Britney’s to offer their condolences, and when they see Britney and Brad dressed up for the dance, Camille kicks her off the squad.

At the dance, Winnie reveals to everyone that she has been sleeping with Brad behind Britney’s back causing Britney to dump him and end her friendship with Winnie, telling her that she’s “too much of a backstabber to have any real friends”. On the day of the auditions, Britney arrives at the Warriors’ bus and comes to wish them good luck. When Winnie, with the rest of her team, makes fun of the Warriors, Britney stands up to Winnie and defends them. Camille, impressed by this, lets Britney cheer with them again. Jesse, however, is still mad at her for not telling him that she had a boyfriend before they had kissed. Both of the rivaling teams show their performances. At the auditions, the two finalists are Pacific Vista and Crenshaw Heights. PV wows the audience with their routine and Camille starts getting worried. Then Britney points out that all their steps are repetitive and that they have their secret weapon: Krumping. Now dressed in streetwear instead of their regular uniforms, steps on stage during PV’s performance and begins mirroring their steps. Finally, they begin krumping, wiping PV off the stage and impressing Rihanna with their routine. After the Warrior’s performance ends, Winnie approaches Rihanna and insists that Crenshaw Heights should be disqualified (“or arrested”) for interrupting PV’s routine. This leads to an argument between Winnie and the rest of the Pacific Vista squad, during which Britney notes, “Spirit Law states that if there’s a cheer mutiny, a squad can vote to replace their captain.”

Everyone present, even Rihanna and the other performing squads, vote to replace Winnie as the Pacific Vista High cheerleading captain. Winnie protests, dismissing CH’s style as “ghetto,” to which Rihanna responds that she judges a squad by their skills and not by where they come from. Rihanna ultimately selects Crenshaw Heights as the winners, and the Pacific Vista squad (with Britney’s friend Amber as their new captain) comes forward to congratulate them. Britney and Jesse also make up, kissing backstage after their first performance. The movie ends with a made-for-movie music video of Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” with the Crenshaw Heights squad dancing in the background.

The characters are likable, the script is great, the acting is brilliant and the finale holds up to the original. All in all, I had great fun watching this film. It’s one of the best Sequels mostly because of Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame.

 

CAST

Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Cassie Scerbo (Soccer Mom)
Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jennifer Tisdale (Ted Bundy)
Ashley Tisdale (Donnie Darko)

The West Coast Sharks Cheerleading Squad, led by Carson (Ashley Benson), are attending Camp Spirit-Thunder where they’re confronted by their arch-rivals, the East Coast Jets Cheerleading Squad, led by Brooke (Cassie Scerbo). Both are fierce rivals because each is the best on its respective coast; however, the Jets have beaten the Sharks at the annual Cheer Camp Championships for the previous three years in a row.

On her first day at camp, Carson meets and hits it off with Penn (Michael Copon). They trade phone numbers, neither knowing the other is a member of their arch-rival squad. When Carson eventually does find out that Penn is a Jet, she gives him up although she really likes him.

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As part of the Camp Spirit-Thunder ritual, the West Coast Sharks are given the Spirit Stick, a “special” cheerleading item that they have to guard fiercely. Carson agrees to watch the Spirit Stick when her friends leave for a poker game, but she forgets about it when Penn arrives to ask her out. They go to a nearby amusement park and spend time together, notably riding the Double Dragons (Dueling Dragons) rollercoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. At this time, Penn confesses his darkest secret to Carson: he forced his team to raise money for him to go to the camp so that his father wouldn’t find out he is a cheerleader.

Carson’s friends return to her room, but find both her and the Spirit Stick missing. They search for her, eventually finding her dancing with Penn. At this time Brooke and her friends also see the duo. When the Sharks reveal that the Spirit Stick is gone, Carson accuses the Jets of sending Penn to lure her away, and she angrily announces to all, Penn’s secret. The Sharks are worried, because losing the Spirit Stick means they are “cursed.”

The Sharks decided to hold a ceremony to ask the “Cheer Gods” for forgiveness. They are interrupted when the Jets arrive, and the squads have a “cheer-rumble”. This scene is similar to the scene in West Side Story (1961 film starring Natalie Wood) in which rival gangs named the Sharks and Jets face off. The authorities arrive, and in the ensuing melee, a number of members from both teams become injured. Both squads are forced to leave the camp as neither one has enough members to compete. But before they can board their respective buses, Carson suggests to Brooke that they combine into a single squad to compete at the Cheer Camp Championship. Though reluctant at first, the squads come together as the “East-West Coast Shets,” complete with new uniforms made through patching their old uniforms together. The two teams slowly bond, while Carson works on repairing her relationship with Penn.

The Shets sneak into Camp Victory, the rival of Camp Spirit-Thunder, to scope Camp Victory’s star team, the Flamingos. After seeing their impressive performance, Carson devises a new routine, inspired by the Double Dragon ride at that amusement park. On the day of the competition, the Shets perform their routine perfectly, winning the competition outright. Carson and Penn kiss on the mat in the middle of the celebrations, and it is revealed that Camp Victory are the ones responsible for stealing the Spirit Stick. The end credits feature clips of the cast dancing “all over the world”, while the singer Ashley Tisdale, who is the sister of Jennifer Tisdale, performs her single “He Said She Said.”

his has all the initial bitchiness of the other three but has more of a storyline being more about co-operation than outright competition. The humour is still there, but its played down whilst most music features in the background rather than as a main boost to the routines. If you want a light hearted film which is a little cheesy in places but still entertains this is a good choice.

 

CAST

Christina Milian (Torque)
Rachele Brooke Smith (Iron Man 2)
Vanessa Born (Sky)
Cody Longo (Fame)
Gabrielle Dennis (Rosewood)
Meagan Holder (You Again)
Nikki SooHoo (The Lovely Bones)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Power Rangers Samurai)

Lina Cruz is a tough, sharp-witted cheerleader from East L.A. who transfers to Malibu Vista High School after her widowed mother remarries a wealthy man. Lina not only finds herself a fish-out-of-water at her new high school, she also faces off against Avery, the snobbish and ultra-competitive All-Star cheerleading Captain who leads her own squad, ‘The Jaguars’ after the high school squad, ‘The Sea Lions’, did not vote for her to be Captain.

After Lina upsets Sky, her stepsister, she is forced to join The Sea Lions. She goes into the school stadium to check them out and finds Evan, a basketball player who is also her crush, practicing hoops. He is also Avery’s younger brother. Lina impresses Evan, and The Sea Lions vote her Captain. When Lina is Captain, Gloria, her friend from East L.A, is called to help her out. After a team member from the Sea Lions quits, Lina calls her other friend, Trey, to come and help her out. At a basketball game, the Sea Lions go on and perform, but a fall takes place, so The Jaguars, led by Avery, are there and save them from their misery. Lina calls for back up and takes the Sea Lions to an impromptu flavour school to work on their movements. She later meets Evan waiting for her there, and Victor, Gloria’s boyfriend, befriends him.The next day, Lina comes up with the idea of The Sea Lions competing in  the All Star Championship. After the team agrees to double up their practices, The Sea Lions are invited to a Rodeo Drive Divas (RDD) party. Following Sea Lion practice, Gloria and Trey are expelled when Avery goes to the principal and gets Lina in trouble for sneaking them in without approval. Lina refuses to go to the dance but is confronted by Sky. Evan takes Lina as his date to the party, where Gloria and Trey turn up. Lina and Avery proceed to have a dance off. Lina wins the dance off, and Avery tells her that she does not belong in Malibu using multiple racial slurs. Lina, angered, runs off the dance floor and outside, where Evan follows her. There she breaks up with Evan, sends for Gloria to take her back to East L.A, and quits being Captain of The Sea Lions.

There, Lina is confronted by Gloria and Trey, so she stays at Malibu and becomes Captain of The Sea Lions again. The next day at school, half of the Sea Lions squad quits because of Lina’s routines and practices. Avery and Kayla approach Lina, Christina, and Sky to tell them that they are dreaming if they think they have a chance at winning the Spirit Championship. Sky loses her temper and tells them to back off, otherwise a fight would start.

Lina then goes on a field trip to East L.A with the remaining Sea Lions, where Gloria has persuaded a gym to sponsor the Sea Lions and some of the members of The East L.A. Rough Riders as an All Star squad. By combining the Sea Lions and the Rough Riders, they become The Dream Team. The next day after practice, while Lina is at her locker talking with Sky and Christina, Evan kisses her and tells her exactly how he feels in front of a crowd in the hallway that is recording the entire scene. They get back together, and Lina and her team make it to the final round of the All Star Championship and end up defeating The Jaguars, after which Avery breaks down. Evan comforts her but motions a “call me” signal to Lina over Avery’s shoulder. The film ends with Lina taking a picture with Trey, Gloria and Sky, claiming all of them as her cheer sisters.

Of all the `Bring it On’ films this probably has the most developed story but it is highly predicable and mimicks many of the earlier films, but it’s still light and entertaining. The acting is good and the characters are more developed in this although they are over the top as you’d expect from this series. Of all, this is probably the most family friendly of the lot, but like the others it’s still a 12 rating probably due to the fact it uses a number of racial slurs to highlight the cultural difference. There are plenty of dance routines to keep the interest .

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REVIEW: BATTLESHIP

 

CAST

Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Rhihanna (Bates Motel)
Brooklyn Decker (The League)
Tadanobu Asano (Thor)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Peter NacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises)

Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red) wrote the screenplay “Based on HASBRO’s Battleship” which Peter Berg (The Kingdom) directed. The film includes a pair of brothers. Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood) is Commander of a ship in the Navy, and his brother Alex (Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights) is a Lieutenant in the Navy, but is more of a renegade and screw-up that his brother has to always cover and apologize for because of his roguish behavior and covert insubordination. Alex is dating Samantha (Brooklyn Decker, Just Go With It), who is the daughter of the Admiral (Liam Neeson, Unknown). Kind of sounds like a general conflict story that we have all seen before, right? How wrong you are! The Hoppers’ participation in a Naval exercise with Japanese sailors (an occasional occurrence, since they are stationed in Hawaii) soon becomes pear-shaped, as a mysterious presence comes to Hawaii. They are, in fact, aliens, who have come to Earth to establish contact with their home planet in the hopes of future colonization here.

The basic framework for the story is decent enough for the first act or so, but then it starts getting a little weird in its execution. The premise for the aliens coming to Earth is that they are responding to a signal that Earth is sending to other planets of similar atmospheres, in the hope that people of Earth can explore other planets. So , the aliens are not only beating Earth to the punch, but taking it a step further and occupying our house before we did the same thing to theirs. It’s this scientific element which allows us a bit of access to Cal (Hamish Linklater, The New Adventures of Old Christine), a computer scientist who knows what the signals are like and what’s coming. However, when the invasion/occupation starts to unfold, his scenes are scant, occasionally getting time next to Decker’s character, who is a physical therapist who works with wounded soldiers in their Iraq and Afghanistan recoveries (particularly one ornery character who returned home with no legs and is getting used to replacements). And the simple fact of the matter is neither Decker nor Linklater carry the story or provides moments that make them look engaging or charismatic. Though admittedly Decker is nice to look at.

Which brings us back to the action. The aliens are formidable, some of the action makes for exciting moments, but other parts of it just look silly and overreach. The aliens begin to move inland and damage other things like roads and an airfield to further isolate Hawaiian residents who are already several thousand miles away from the mainland. But like other films before it like Independence Day who set the stage for a seemingly unbeatable alien force, there always a fatal flaw that is academic and somewhat stupid. I won’t reveal it here, but suffice to say it is Shyamalan-esque. And as a tangent, allow me to vent on the bait and switch that seemingly occurs both in the film’s marketing and in the film itself. Neeson is all over the trailers (or at least was from my memory), but is in the film for a cup of coffee. This goes to a certain degree for Skarsgard. As a result Kitsch is the focus of the action, playing to a degree off of fellow FNL alum Jesse Pleamons (who plays a crewmember on the Hoppers’ ship) and singer Rihanna. THAT Rihanna. Far be it for me to bring up her personal life when discussing her acting, but she should stick to singing. Her acting is wooden, she is not a very likeable person on screen, seemingly assigned to perform the film’s one-liners, which she can’t even do right, much less entertaining.

And another thing; this movie is long. Way too long. At credits it runs two hours and twelve minutes, and the epic moments of alien transformation eventually morph into story flaw after story flaw, resulting in a third act battle on a stage that is simply not believable. It uses said stage to do things that are not believable, and result in stupid ‘pat themselves on their backs’ moments after the film that are also for lack of a better phrase ‘not believable.’ Really, the Navy is going to have an awards ceremony after a good portion of Hawaii has been destroyed and/or obliterated? Child, please. Even at its base levels, Battleship not only asks you to leave your suspense at the door, but wants you to bury it in the backyard before renting it.