Plot: What’s it about?
All Cocolonia (Megan Haye) wants to do is dance, but her mother (Amy Poehler) is so uptight she won’t let her own daughter get her groove on at home. But Cocolonia is still able to dance to her heart’s content, as she finds a dance crew that never tires of busting a move. The group even has their own private hangout, where they get down and even face off with rivals in intense dance battles. The group’s leader is Funky Bunch (Michael Cassady), who wants to keep them on top of the dance crew scene, no matter who steps up. But the crew needs to raise some cash if they want to keep their warehouse headquarters, as repairs as needed to get the place up to code. While they want to dance and not finance, a chance to do both soon appears. The group can compete in a huge underground dance battle, with enough prize money to get their home base up to snuff. While the crew has some sick moves, do they have what it takes to be the best crew around?
I was interested in Freak Dance based on the involvement of the Upright Citizens Brigade. The film is a send up of the recent dance movie trend, but with the surreal humor you’d expect from UCB. The movie takes the rapid fire approach, so there is a constant stream of gags, some better than others. While some fall flat, most of the humor in Freak Dance is effective. The cast is responsible for a good amount of that, as their enthusiasm elevates some of the material. I do think some scenes tend to drag on too long, but these are infrequent instances. This is also a musical, so expect a lot of dance numbers, all sprinkled with absurd moments. The film has some low brow sequences, such as the finale and the ever present spandex bulge, but it isn’t as toilet humor centered as I expected. I wouldn’t call Freak Dance a non stop laugh festival, but it provides a consistent level of entertainment. So if you are a fan of UCB or the dance movie craze, give Freak Dance a look.
Video: How does it look?
Freak Dance is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The movie looks quite good here. The image shows no debris or other defects, while overall detail is above average. There is some slight softness in some scenes, but overall the film has solid detail throughout. The colors are bright and vivid, especially on the gaudy outfits the dancers wear, while contrast is rock solid and never wavers. So Freak Dance benefits from a terrific looking presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a musical comedy, so the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack needs to sound great. The musical numbers are well handled, with good surround use that lets both the music and vocals shine. Those tend to be the most memorable audio elements, but the movie as a whole sounds fine. The non musical sequences have clear vocals and no volume issues or harshness, which is always good news. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition to audio comments from both directors, this disc includes a promotional featurette and some deleted & extended scenes.