Stomp the Yard Sylvain White

Stomp the Yard Sylvain White
There’s no denying that Stomp the Yard is a torrent of clichés straight out of the underdog/overachiever playbook. There’s also no denying that director Sylvain White has managed to breathe new life into them. The story of an L.A. street dancer (Columbus Short) who gets a scholarship to one Truth University, the film has a sort of Bring It On plot in which he allies himself with a fraternity that would like to unseat a rival in the annual step-dancing competition. Of course, the rival frat’s leader is unspeakably evil and of course, his girlfriend (Meagan Good) becomes the object of our hero’s affection. I shudder to think what this script would have been like in other hands — Good’s father is even one of those heavies who will help you get out of a scrape "if you never see my daughter again” — but White is no slouch in the visual department and manages to lend credibility to the creakiest plot developments. He’s slick in a music video sort of way but he also knows how to fake gravitas when a scene really needs it, which in this movie is pretty much all the time. You’ll be surprised at how involved you become in the plot when it’s framed by the director and lit by impossibly talented DP Scott Kevan. The film isn’t a classic but it’s compulsively watchable thanks to the technical chops the screenplay doesn’t deserve. I look forward to the day Sylvain gets handed an actual script. Extras include a very thorough commentary with Sylvain, Kevan and editor David Chechel, three deleted/extended scenes that include two dance sequences, a flashy "making of” doc that’s understandably hung up on the step dancing and a gag reel. (Sony)