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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.29%
Average: 11.43%
Pretty Bad: 8.57%
Total Crap: 7.14%

3 reviews, 52 user ratings

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Center Stage
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by Chris Parry

"Holy crap! It's Fame with tutus!"
3 stars

Remember back when people wore legwarmers? That icky period where a Rubiks Cube was as much a fashion statement as a cellphone is now? Remember when Jennifer Beals was considered a bankable name? Ooh yeah, I'm talking the 80's baby, a period based on cheese. And one of the biggest smash hits of that era was a film called Fame, based on the lives and loves of a group of multicultural cultural types just tryin' to get by in a dramatic arts school. Now forget the eighty's, welcome to the naughty's, a time when every old idea can be made new again with a fresh young face, some music'o'the moment and actors who, as actors, make great dancers. Funny thing is... I actually kinda liked it.

Sue me. I'm not denying it. A movie about "ballet rookies" and their climb up the ladder actually didn't make me hurl. And people, the test of a movie about ballet is how it plays to the "cynical bastard" market. Centre Stage, as much as I'd love to deliver hellish fury all over it's awful second-hand concept and the outlandish idea that you don't need actors to make a movie, I can't get those hell-gates open.

Sure, the bad stuff is all there. The formula is typical Hollywood fluff, the overbearing mom who wants her daughter to make it where she couldn't, the insult-dripping sistah who's so gifted it's nuts but she has "attitude", the no-talent glamour-girl who will get by because every guy wants to bone her, the guys who... want to bone her, the skinny waif who makes loud hurling noises whenever she's within ten feet of a lavvy, her concerned pre-med boyfriend, the girl who dares to eat once a week and get's booted for being lardo, the nasty egocentric director who tells everyone to get skinny... and let's not forget the gay black man. Two minorities rolled into one, he's double value! Of course, this is for a straight teen market, so he's the only gay guy for miles. Come on, guys. This is ballet. Let's be serious.

Okay, so now we've established that this is Melrose Place in teenage tutus. What else sucks about it? Well, the dialogue has more cheese than Ron Jeremy's socks. We're talking stuff that could have been written by your mom. No, it was written by your mom. (Ooooh)

What else? Okay, the acting. See, you'd think that when their alongside ballet dancers trying to act for the first time, that the few actual actors in this film could make themselves look good. Maybe even cover themselves in glory. Well dude, the only thing Susan May Pratt was covering herself with was a career bodybag. For the love of God, I don't think I've seen worse acting since I watched one of the home movies my grandmother made when I was eight. I mean, come on, one of these guys is a Russian figure skater in real life and next to Susan May Pratt he looked like the Obi fucking Wan Kenobi of the acting world. I can just see them between takes - "now lizzen to me, Zuzan. You muzt expell from ze diaphram. Roll ze wordz." Jesus, I was nearly crying for this girl and her ex-career.

The dancers pretty much suck in the acting stakes too, but you expect that. It's like blaming Mariah Carey for the hokey lyrics of her songs. Dude, blame the person who wrote them, she's just the puppet out front. She could be singing the Gettysburg Address, she doesn't know any better. But I digress.

So what else sucks about this film? Well, it's.. like.. you know.. a ballet movie. Not a lot of scope for a broad demographic hitting the box office in massive numbers.

Okay, so maybe I was up for giving this film a hammering after all. Again, sue me. But I am being a tad unfair just focusing on the garbola of the piece. See, just like a daytime soap opera, I knew what I was watching was cinematic toejam. I knew it had no credentials in reality. I knew it was silly. I knew everything that was going wrong, before it went wrong. I knew the ending at the beginning.

But, bugger me, I was into it anyway.

If there'd been nudity, I might have gone all the way to four stars. There wasn't, but what there was didn't make me sleep, nor wish I was elsewhere. It was kind of like watching someone put a turd between two slices of bread, then biting in and thinking "mmm... nutty" - just close your eyes and let the pretty people bounce for you.

Guys, if you want to score points with your girls, let them drag you along. You'll survive intact and they'll think a lot more of you than that time you dragged them into Major League 3.

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originally posted: 05/07/00 04:36:06
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User Comments

3/22/09 Dane Youssef Timeless truths about the ballet word. Stellar dance. Now THIS is the world of BALLET. 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel The dialogue is terrible but the dancing more than makes up for it. 5 stars
9/04/08 Nikki I've watched this on the spanish channel just to see the dancing! 4 stars
11/01/06 kirrily i absolutly love centre stage... its one of my favorate movies... I am australian...woohoo 5 stars
10/17/04 Sarah This was an awesome movie, i live dancing n it had my favorite movie theme added to what do 5 stars
10/08/04 random* stereotypical afterschool special- yawn- great dancing though 3 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva okay 3 stars
6/14/04 Daveman Leave this after school special alone and watch Fame instead. 1 stars
4/08/04 Bex really cool 5 stars
3/06/04 Reza I Love This Film anddancers in film 5 stars
2/14/04 jackie i love it 5 stars
1/22/04 Kristina I love this movie soo much! It is my fav movie and I can't get enough of it 5 stars
1/16/04 ophylia777 so what if they can't act I can't dance like that 5 stars
12/11/03 Cast: 2 reviews, 39 ratings Cast: 2 reviews, 39 ratings 5 stars
12/04/03 krystal gully it is my favourite movie of all time in fact i feel like watching it right now 5 stars
8/08/03 Sugarfoot ABSOLUATELY HORRID! 1 stars
7/31/03 nr great 5 stars
7/30/03 Abby It Is the Best Movie Rock On Makes Me Wanna Dance and i know every move/dance and every li 5 stars
7/27/03 miss miss it is the best movie ever i bought and i watch it 7 times a day 5 stars
6/17/03 Erin LOVE IT!!! I took dance for a couple years when I was young. Now I wish I never stopped!!! 5 stars
4/11/03 Jack Sommersby A mammothly entertaining pic. The dancing and acting are great! A classic. 5 stars
8/14/02 MI It was great; the dance scenes showed pure power of music. 5 stars
2/28/02 AgentDS It's worth seeing just for the -amazing- dance at the end. 4 stars
2/08/02 Andrea I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm a ballernia!! 5 stars
10/19/01 Shauna It was awesome 5 stars
9/21/01 Viviana I enjoyed everything about the movie, and you would too if you appreciated art! 5 stars
9/10/01 Travis I LOVE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
9/02/01 Jadie SOOOOOO brillian - love the choregraphy, dancing n music, and wow!! Sascha Radetsky!!!!!! 5 stars
7/15/01 kobrichka Plot,acting,dancing,choreography - no comment. Shit, don't waste your time with that movie. 1 stars
6/30/01 ***Super Girl*** everything in this movie sucked, the acting, dancing, the fucking PLOT that didn't exist!!! 1 stars
4/07/01 Hanna Morrison this was a great movie, i enjoyed it, because i do ballet myself 5 stars
1/22/01 Ai Nine year old wrote, directed and produced this film. The dialogue couldn't be lamer. 1 stars
1/14/01 Kat Sascha Radetsky is mad hot~!! 5 stars
12/07/00 janell it was the best dance flim ever i would give it a 20 on a 1-10 scale it was great 5 stars
11/29/00 Jessica This movie was awesome. I liked that it showed dancing was tough! Im a dancer 5 stars
11/23/00 Erin I am obssesed with this movie!!!i love charlie!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/21/00 Lindsay Scott IT ROCKED...especially charlie 5 stars
11/15/00 MiS^DeMeAnOr I liked it, the ending was a bit far fetched 4 stars
11/13/00 Andrea I love this movie! I could watch it over and over! It made me feel like I was actually them 5 stars
10/23/00 PoOh#7 pretty good beter at the end 4 stars
10/07/00 Menolly I love this movie so much! I have seen it twice, and I am waiting the video :). 5 stars
9/28/00 Theresa Thoughly enjoyed it!!! Well done to all the dancers. 5 stars
8/05/00 Megan Hunter I think this was a great movie with an excellant cast. I think the dancing was great too. 5 stars
6/07/00 Whata Watch this one when you don't want to think you just want to enjoy a movie 4 stars
5/31/00 jess it is the best movie i have ever seen it reminded me of dirty dancing 5 stars
5/24/00 Lyndsay Green I really enjoyed the movie, I have seen it twice. 4 stars
5/19/00 Charles Predictable; better filmed ballet than usual for Hollywood 4 stars
5/16/00 Justine Briggs I think that young girls will really enjoy this. 4 stars
5/14/00 Junko Suwa I wanted to see Ilia Kulik (as Sergei) much much more, especially his modern ballet. 5 stars
5/14/00 Joe Smaltz The plot was predictable, but I went for the dancing, Which was awsume, so I enjoyed it. 4 stars
5/13/00 Kristen I loved It. For ballet dancers the teachers and the students sure act well. 5 stars
5/07/00 Klute. More fun than I expected. 4 stars
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  12-May-2000 (PG-13)


  14-Sep-2000 (M)

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