Friday, January 14, 2011

The Re-Breakening

Today's Liveblog is one of the most famous movies ever made that no one has ever seen. Roaring all the way back from that strange, primitive time known to historians only as "The 80s", it is with pride and a bit of fear that I will now comment on, and spoil every second of, a movie that I only noticed a few days ago was available on Netflix Instant. That movie is, of course, 1984's BREAKIN 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.

Ah, 1984. This is what your parents used to do when they were your age, kids.

(James Earle Jones voice) Previously on Breakin. I've never seen the sequel but I have seen the original so let me bring you up to speed. Aspiring dancer Kelly meets two street dancers named Ozone and Turbo. Having never before been exposed to anything vaguely ethnic, the unbearable whiteness of her being is overpowered by the raw power of their melanin and she quickly abandons every goal she's ever had and decides to become a street dancer herself. As a reward for forsaking her comfortable existence, she is given the street name Special K so...yeah. The three audition for the oldest, whitest group you've ever seen putting on some sort of show. When told they can't audition because the kids aren't "their" kind of people, they start dancing anyway. The oldsters are at first angered but quickly become seduced by the moonwalky-pop-and-lockish rhythms of the young crew so they slap together a stage show that makes the kids the biggest stars ever. I didn't care for this movie but perhaps that's because it was lacking in any sort of boogaloo, much less electric. Let's see if that was it.

0:04:00 -- The song playing during the opening credits tells us we should all "believe in the beat" so, you know, do that. Even though she was one of the biggest stars in Los Angeles where she was being regarded as the bestest dancer ever, Kelly is now dancing in some sort of chorus line and, worst of all, is no longer hanging out with Ozone and Turbo. That may literally be the saddest news I've ever heard. Seriously, I was expecting some lighthearted dancing and I get this Shakespearean tragedy? Wait, WHY aren't they hanging out together anymore? Ooh, a mystery! Also, it turns out Kelly has parents who are very rich which means they can afford to have extra large sticks shoved up their asses and they really want her to quit dancing, go to college and marry some rich douchebag who undoubtedly has an ass stick bigger than theirs. Let's watch.

0:11:00 -- OK, this movie's pissing me off now. They played with my emotions by telling me that Kelly, Ozone and Turbo were no longer friends but what happens? Kelly shows up at Ozone's house and they're all hugs and smiles and there's no mention of any trouble or dialogue like, "Hey Special K, I haven't seen you since...the incident." One thing I've learned is that the entire emotional well being of everyone in Ozone and Turbo's neighborhood is entirely dependent on Kelly's presence and they're so happy to see her that everyone, including police and public utilities workers, starts break dancing. This leads to a massive procession toward Ozone's place of employment, center. Oh shit! This means a heartless land developer is, as I type this, trying to take it from them. But he can't! Where else will the kids learn break dancing skills and hygiene and stuff? Oh, what am I talking about? This is a low budget movie trying to exploit pop culture trends. Surely they'll come up with a better plot than that.

Warning: the director LOVES crotch shots. Seriously.

0:20:00 -- In a turn of events no one could have possibly foreseen, it turns out that a heartless land developer has his eye on the community center and has managed to get it condemned. The kids will lose their unsafe, rundown shithole of a community center unless they raise $200,000 in 30 days to fix it up. For that money, of course, they could reopen the center in a 20 room mansion but they seem to have their hearts set on this place. Meanwhile, they all go to their favorite club, Radiotron, only to be informed that the floor is, and I quote, "owned by Electro Rock." Electro Rock is something that only exists in movies like this. They're an EVIL DANCE CREW! Their only actual evil act is smugness but that's enough for me I HATE THEM HATE THEM HATE THEM AAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Remember that time during the Reagan years when everyone dressed like a gay Civil War soldier?

0:30:00 -- The kids figure that the best way to raise the $200,000 dollars in a month is a combination of (and this is true) car washes, bake sales, drawing caricatures and having a mime perform. They all seem to be honestly, genuinely surprised when this turns out to be insufficient. Please note that it was the 22 minute mark when Turbo said, "Let's put on a show." Meanwhile, Kelly has a chance to audition for the lead in a prestigious dance show in Paris but OH NO if she does that, she'll have to abandon the can't-miss fundraising opportunity that is an amateur street show. We can't worry about any of that now, though, because Electro Rock has returned and they end up in a competition that has solved conflicts since time immemorial. They had A DANCE BATTLE! Not that anything really got settled as there were no judges or anything. Side note: Ozone's former girlfriend, Rhonda, is jealous of his relationship with Kelly. She stood out because she read her lines like a 4th grader playing a tooth in a school play and because she looked to be about 15 years older than anyone else at the community center so I thought she may have been the director's mistress or something. It turned out her named was Susie Bono, Sonny Bono's third wife. I'm not sure if that signifies anything but at least now you can answer that if you're ever asked on Jeopardy.

0:56:00 -- Kelly invites Turbo and Ozone to accompany her when she has dinner with her snooty parents. It goes about as well as you probably think it would go. Her father invites Kelly's former fiancee whose name I can't remember so I'll call him Richguy von Douchington. Richguy and Kelly's father insult the non-whites at the table, referring to them as "you people" and saying that, if they gave them the money for the community center, they would spend it on drugs. On the plus side, Turbo and Ozone did like the freshly baked rolls so it wasn't a total loss. A rather clever scene in which Turbo literally crawled up a wall and danced on the ceiling made me realize something; this movie isn't that bad. Oh, it's not great. Or good. But it has its moments. It's better than the first movie anyway. Plus, the club's DJ is played by Ice-T before he released Cop Killer and became the guy used by culture warriors to scare the hell out of middle aged white people. As the music in this is about as offensive as a Disney cartoon, Ice-T is singing what is basically a child's introduction to rap in Ozone and Turbo's favorite club. Ozone tries and fails to make an alliance with Electro Rock and he also fails to get Kelly to turn down the job in Paris. There's a surprisingly large amount of plot considering that, around every three minutes, the whole cast breaks out in a random break dance scene.

Something tells me this guy's gonna piss himself if he turns around.

1:16:00 -- The city zoning commission failed to grant the pleas of the neighborhood residents, I assume because they made impassioned arguments instead of just dancing. They switch tactics and start using civil disobedience instead. Turbo wholly embraces this by stealing the lunches of the construction crew and ends up falling down a flight of stairs when they chase after him. Ozone and the rest of the kids manage to get him to wake up by, how else, dancing. After learning that she turned down the job in Paris for the big community center show that will totally, definitely raise $200,000, Kelly's rich A-hole of a dad tells her that he'll give her the money if she quits dancing and ends what is now a budding romance with Ozone but Ozone won't let her, supposedly on principle but I think it's really because he hasn't seen her naked yet. It just occurred to me, it's 1984. Kelly probably has full, natural pubic hair...EEEWWW!!!! Best not to think about that. All the kids gather at the community center when the bulldozers show up to tear it down. Their initial tactic for driving the construction crew away is, of course, dancing but the teamsters are the only ones on the planet with a natural immunity to the charms of pop and locking. Turbo shows up with a broken leg and won't let them pass. It seems like any of the non-injured people could have done this but no matter, it worked and everyone goes dancing after the bulldozers as they drive away and this better not be how they save the community center.

1:34:00 -- Damn it, that was how they saved the community center. This one minor loss was enough for the guy who wanted to put up a shopping center to say fuck it and go away. Thus, the neighborhood was spared the hell of having their property values rise and quality of life go up. But wait, the building is still condemned so they still need the money. It looks like maybe a few hundred people showed up for their little show so all they need is for everyone there to donate a thousand dollars and they're set. Luckily, the show was being shown on television since it was the most important event ever and Kelly's parents saw her. This caused them to finally feel the power that is Electric Boogaloo course through their systems and their hearts grew three sizes that day as they donated the rest of the money needed and everyone, including Electro Rock, started with the hopping and the hipping as a singer once again extolled me on the virtues of believing in the beat and the credits rolled. Is there a Breakin' 3 and if not, why not? Come on, Hollywood. You all thought it was just a swell idea to put Jeff Bridges back in his virtual world he hadn't been in since 1981, so why not this? They saved the community center and now they can save the motion picture industry itself. Get on that ASAP!

Ice-T would probably suck every dick on the planet at once if we would all just forget about this.

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