If you visit DVD Talk, you can read a fun DVD/Blu-Ray review of “Make Your Move”. They lay the movie out in detail than most press reviews…including the extras. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and ordered it for your Derek Hough collection, you don’t know what you are missing. I ordered the Blu-ray and it’s beautiful. The “pink” and “purples” are beautiful. I loved the movie itself too as I was finally able to see it. There is the dancing and Derek…but, I was touched with how beautiful it was “visually” as well. Then there is BoA who is just lovely. A total gem in my dancing movie collection. Yay!
….what’s pleasing is how well the romance actually works. The unrelated conflict between Will and Kaz is a more than reasonable roadblock, and director / writer Duane Adler doesn’t waste time with miscommunication or too many scenes of the grumpy brothers complaining. Since Will has beef with Kaz, that beef extends to Aya — her performance at Will’s nightclub when Donny first sees her is a guerilla invasion of the club. Aya is fighting to get a top dance agent to notice her group before her green card runs out, and she hopes a flash show will get word of mouth going. All of this contributes balance to how much the film focuses on Donny and Aya’s respective hopes and dreams — they both have lives apart from one another. There’s also a dance number that simultaneously serves as the lead-in to and the alternative to a sex scene.
More importantly, Make Your Move also succeeds on a dance front, offering up nine or ten electrifying numbers. The Cobu dance routine is wonderfully energetic, demanding both the viewer’s eyes and ears. The characters knock their drumsticks together, flip and swap them from hand to hand, and back to the drums themselves, then even dancing on top of one of the drums with a metal tray draped across it. Meanwhile, the film builds up Donny’s tap routine into something special as well, with an entire chorus line of folks hopping on stage to tap along with him (I guess Nick’s hot nightclub exclusively attracts professional dancers). In addition to the “sex scene”, Donny and Aya also share an intimate dance in her studio that is as much a character bit as it is visual spectacle. The work of choreography team Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo, as well as Yako Miyamoto (the real leader of Cobu), Make Your Move’s moves are excellent.
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. Like many of the mainstream blockbusters that get dragged across the critical coals, it does play to the converted, but the difference is that Make Your Move arranges its shortcomings in the least obtrusive areas, allowing its strengths to shine. There’s a bit of electricity coming off this thing — no guilt in taking pleasure.