Reviews of the Incredible Dancing in Duane Adler’s “Make Your Move”

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We all know that critics can be harsh, especially when they critique a movie on what it “isn’t” rather than what it “is.” Make Your Move was released in the United States on April 18 to mixed reviews, some critics damned the film based on its the plot, while others absolutely delighted in it. Hmmmm. Well which is it?

However, thank goodnessthat most all critics agree that the dancing in this “dance” film is absolutely TOPS.  Below are some reviews for you to read about how this movie fares with the critics.  Click on the links to see the full reviews.

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From DVD Talk (July 22, 2014)

 Story-wise, there are a number of complications involving permits, gunshots, viral videos, and sibling rivalry, but Adler is wise enough to blaze through this material, keeping the focus of the film on the dance routines and the sexual chemistry. … There’s a bit of electricity coming off this thing — no guilt in taking pleasure.

Make Your Move doesn’t break ground in the world of fiction, but its high-energy, does-what’s-advertised pleasures will leave plenty of viewers tapping their feet. Recommended.

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From IMDB User Review (April 19, 2014)

“Make Your Move” is one of the best movies about dancing and expressing the feelings through the moves, about passion, hard work and, of course, love. … To say more, I was really amazed by the incredible choreography, the soundtracks were fabulous as well, and I absolutely love the cast and the crew … “Make Your Move” is an amazing movie about dancing, passion, love and so much more ….

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The Nerdist (April 19, 2014)

Duane Adler’s Make Your Move (not to be confused with Step Up, Take the Lead, Stomp the Yard, or any other dance films with an imperative verb in the title) is everything a dance film needs to be. It has dance-talented leads, a hugely charismatic lead actress, an interesting enough story, and enough dance sequences to keep the movie afloat. Indeed, there is a dance sequence in the middle of Make Your Move wherein our handsomely bland hero Donny (Derek Hough) and our chirpy and wonderful heroine Aya (Korean pop idol BoA) seduce and undress one another – in dance – as a form of foreplay. The foreplay dance is one of the best dance numbers I’ve seen in any dance film.

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From Roger Ebert.com (April 18, 2014)

“Make Your Move” has a pretty complicated plot, involving corporate sponsorship, event planning, career moves for dancers, visa and immigration issues, not to mention various family dramas and burgeoning romance. It’s a lot to absorb. But a movie like “Make Your Move” rests on the success of its various dance sequences, not its plot. And the dancing here is exciting, innovative, and specific.

“Make Your Move” has an underlying sweetness that serves it well. … It features a diverse cast, accurately reflecting the dance world and its inhabitants. Adler and Middleton know that when we come to a dance movie, we want a chance to see, really see, those dances. They find a way to do just that.

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From the Hollywood Reporter (April 17, 2014)

The Romeo and Juliet-inspired plotline basically serves as a framing device allowing the opportunity for a plethora of exuberant dance sequences that particularly show off Hough’s considerable talent. Although it takes a while for the main characters to hook up, Hough’s Donny seals the deal with an impromptu dance duet in which he removes his shirt to reveal his admirably chiseled torso. While the Astaire-Rogers movies used dance as a metaphor for sex, in these modern variations it’s an elaborate form of foreplay.

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From the New York Times (April 17, 2014)

Duane Adler, the writer of “Step Up” and “Save the Last Dance,” capably directs “Make Your Move,” a soapy, flashy confection that juxtaposes Mr. Hough’s tap dancing with the Japanese drumming style Taiko, tossed with liberal helpings of contemporary hip-hop moves. Mr. Hough, a “Dancing With the Stars” champion, impresses with his footwork and sufficiently fulfills his romantic-lead duties.

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From the L.A. Times (April 17, 2014)

Duane Adler’s film is a celebration of cultural hybridization. Its core dance styles are a wonderfully frenetic fusion of tap and hip-hop and a truly novel blend of Japanese taiko drumming and K-pop girl-group choreography.

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From the New York Daily News (April 17, 2014)

Director Duane Adler’s energetic dance flick is bound to be dismissed as a “Step Up” wannabe. But most of that series’ recent sequels were not as good as “Make Your Move.”

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From Soompi.com (April 16, 2014)

The wide variety of music and dance styles are sure to entice even the most non-dance friendly of viewers as per writer and director Duane Adler’s time-tested dance romance movie skills. The film is vivid, gorgeous, and definitely worth a watch.

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From Arts Beat L.A. (April 1, 2014)

…You probably haven’t seen taiko drumming to dub step underscoring plus all kinds of dreamy, fluid modern and hip-hop dancing in one sweet movie, so now you can!

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CONTEST! Win an Autographed “Make Your Move” Poster or a T-Shirt!!!

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How would you like to win a beautiful Make Your Move poster autographed by leading man Derek Hough and by director Duane Adler? Or your very own Make Your Move T-shirt? Well, here’s how you can try to win!

Our team of 5 will decide on the 1st and 2nd place winners and notify the winner by email. (Sorry, all contest participants must live in the United States.) We will post the winning entries.

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1st Place prize: An autographed Make Your Move poster AND a Make Your Move t-shirt (size small) See the photo above of the tee. Not many people have one of these posters. If you win it, you’ll have an item to treasure for a very long time.

2nd Place prize: A Make Your Move t-shirt (size small). See the photo above of the tee. Size too small for you? Hang it on your bedroom wall or better yet frame it. 🙂

Good luck!

Reviews, Reviews, and MORE Reviews for ‘Make Your Move’! (Critic Reviews)

We have collected a bunch of movie critic reviews that have been released recently! There are some wonderful reviews, some mixed, some not so nice… =P But most all reviewers had something positive to say about MAKE YOUR MOVE! We’ve included our favorite comments from each review, but be sure to click on the link to read the entire review… and remember, it’s all in the eye of the beholder! =)

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NY DAILY NEWS

Director Duane Adler’s energetic dance flick is bound to be dismissed as a “Step Up” wannabe. But most of that series’ recent sequels were not as good as “Make Your Move.” That’s because Adler wrote the original “Step Up” (and “Save the Last Dance”). This time, he brings an efficient, well-choreographed enthusiasm to an earnest, likable romance.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Director Duane Adler’s film is a celebration of cultural hybridization. Its core dance styles are a wonderfully frenetic fusion of tap and hip-hop and a truly novel blend of Japanese taiko drumming and K-pop girl-group choreography. In an adorable meet-cute, Donny introduces himself to Aya (BoA) by challenging her to an impromptu dance-off on top of a bar. Imagine Fred and Ginger tapping under strobe lights in club gear.

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HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

The Romeo and Juliet-inspired plotline basically serves as a framing device allowing the opportunity for a plethora of exuberant dance sequences that particularly show off Hough’s considerable talent. Although it takes a while for the main characters to hook up, Hough’s Donny seals the deal with an impromptu dance duet in which he removes his shirt to reveal his admirably chiseled torso. While the Astaire-Rogers movies used dance as a metaphor for sex, in these modern variations it’s an elaborate form of foreplay.

THE ROGER EBERT GROUP

“Make Your Move” has an underlying sweetness that serves it well. It understands the need for community, for expression, for family. It’s kind to its characters. It features a diverse cast, accurately reflecting the dance world and its inhabitants. Adler and Middleton know that when we come to a dance movie, we want a chance to see, really see, those dances. They find a way to do just that.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES

Duane Adler, the writer of “Step Up” and “Save the Last Dance,” capably directs “Make Your Move,” a soapy, flashy confection that juxtaposes Mr. Hough’s tap dancing with the Japanese drumming style Taiko, tossed with liberal helpings of contemporary hip-hop moves. Mr. Hough, a “Dancing With the Stars” champion, impresses with his footwork and sufficiently fulfills his romantic-lead duties. BoA is cute and appealingly impudent, but a bit more remote.

PASADENA ART BEAT

Hough is athletic as Gene Kelly and has the beautiful lines of Fred Astaire. His beautiful spins and turns and dynamic lines outclass BoA whose hip hop is good, but not as high a level as the crews on “Step Up: 3D.” Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo’s choreography matches Hough and BoA’s disparate talents into a lyrically romantic duet sequences. Gregory Middleton’s atmospheric cinematography makes grunge look glamorous and fills us with the golden light of possibilities including multicultural friendships and romance. “Make Your Move” isn’t a great movie but feature wonderful dance sequences and maybe the first step for Derek Hough into musical stardom. Please someone give Hough a Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire musical and find him a Ginger Rogers.

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YOUNG ADULT HOLLYWOOD

The sexual tention betwen Donny and Aya is hot, and if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve probably seen the dance sequence where Donny and Aya dance/undress before their sexual encounter. The way Donny takes off his shirt is HOT!! I really enjoyed covering Make Your Move! From the red carpet, to the screening, to the fabulous after party, it is a great film, with a great director and cast, and I can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are on Make Your Move!

THE DISSOLVE

Here is a film that truly believes in America and the spirit of diversity upon which this country was founded; its unfortunately infrequent dance sequences depict young people moving, in a guileless effort to move young people. BoA’s cultural dexterity emerges as her most evident gift—Make Your Move takes full advantage of her fame as the only Korean artist to have two separate million-selling albums in Japan (particularly impressive given the fractious history between the two countries). The film foregrounds BoA’s multi-lingual fluency, not only overlooking her mild difficulties with English, but also openly celebrating her worldliness as proof of her right to remain in America as a true New Yorker.

3 Out of 4 Stars for ‘Make Your Move’ From the Roger Ebert Group! [REVIEW]

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This is a wonderful review for MAKE YOUR MOVE by Sheila O’Malley, who writes movie reviews for RogerEbert.com! If you remember, Roger Ebert was a beloved movie critic for many decades. We love how Sheila is truly a fan of dance and the art of the dance movie. Read the excerpt below, but be sure to read the full review here!

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Written and directed by Duane Adler, who wrote the screenplay for the original “Step Up,” “Make Your Move” has a pretty complicated plot, involving corporate sponsorship, event planning, career moves for dancers, visa and immigration issues, not to mention various family dramas and burgeoning romance. It’s a lot to absorb. But a movie like “Make Your Move” rests on the success of its various dance sequences, not its plot. And the dancing here is exciting, innovative, and specific. Each “number” has a story behind it, a motivation, a different look and feel. Adler and his cinematographer Gregory Middleton chose to film much of the sequences using full-body shots, the camera moving with the dancers, giving us a chance to see the dancers in action, moving through space. Oftentimes, with dance movies, the camerawork and editing choices cut away from the full body, showing us different parts and gestures, trying to generate a sense of excitement and movement through the editing. It can be frustrating, especially if you grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: “Let me see the whole dancer!” “Make Your Move” shows us the whole dancer. These sequences really move in a way that feels organic.

“Make Your Move” has an underlying sweetness that serves it well. It understands the need for community, for expression, for family. It’s kind to its characters. It features a diverse cast, accurately reflecting the dance world and its inhabitants. Adler and Middleton know that when we come to a dance movie, we want a chance to see, really see, those dances. They find a way to do just that.

Finishing reading this great review here!