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ABD Critiques Of Genuine Breakdance Movies

Hey, there are letters on this picture.
     Breakaway 3 (2000)
     Ups: It is produced by Mr. Wiggles. Shows you the people that make up the famous Sketchers commercial of a bunch of breakers breaking. Hey, I never saw the girls in the background of the commercial.
     Downs: But it doesn�t feature him dancing a lot in it. It�s more of a hip hop video, but there was too much video of guys talking instead of a better alterantive which would have been a voiceover over them breaking. He says he will fix that glitch in subsequent videos, but I say I got gyped buying it from Mr. Rags.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: Even though the Sketchers commercial was the full length version, it was still too short, it had too many things going at once. When that French breaking crew started breaking in a hotel�s lobby and whenever they would break near the automatic door, it would open. That dude doing the beatboxing was about to die. Can�t believe he did it for 3 minutes straight. Something �Turtles� was the name of the crew. Never ask for breakdancing tape recommendations at Mr.Rages, they will just try and sell you something that they can�t normally sell. Usually the bad stuff.
     Sourced: Mr. Rags near UC Berkeley.($27)
     In The End. 1/2 out of 5 , 1 hr 55 min.

     Breakdance Step-by-Step (2005)

     Ups: Awesome two disk DVD set. Even though I know how to get started on some of these moves, these guys just advance it. The moves are taught in approximately 5 minute segments with some moves extened even longer, like the top rocking and floor rocking section (all lessons total about 2 hrs).
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: One segment (1 hr 30 minutes long) I really liked where the guy was teaching a class and he goes from stretching to popping and breaking. He's giving an abbreviated lesson on everything, but even it was a separate tape, it would warrant a three star rating. The camera work in that is bad, like you want to punch the producer and cameraman for thinking that the editor can fix everything in post production, but the content is spot on. The battle sequences (approximately 2 hrs) are watchable and fun. Puts the classroom principles to use.      Downs: If you already know the steps, it's pretty boring.
     Sourced: San Lorenzo Library ($0)
     In The End. out of 5, 4 or 6 hours on two DVD's

My jungle love, o e o e o e o
     Christy Lane�s Learn the dance of the 80�s (1996)
     Ups: This video is so corny that it ends up being funny and instructive. This video teaches you the Snake, Pac Man, Running Man, Robot, Moonwalk, arm wave, locking, two stepping, some footwork, New Kids Move and lots more. Not worth buying, but if you can get it for free, it�s worth watching.
     Downs: The cameraman focuses on the weak background dancer instead of the other guy who knows what he�s doing. Christy Lane is constantly snapping her fingers. Everyone doesn�t know how to do a decent cabbage patch oddly enough. Someone taped over the middle of the videotape.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: When the guy in the sweatsuit starts popping, that�s a cool moment; learning the running man and the little girl at the end that does a perfect moonwalk..
     Sourced: Hayward Public Library ($0)
     In The End. out of 5, 40 min

     Enter The Madness (2000)
     Ups: Good all around hip hop tape that showcases graffiti art. In the rapping Freestyle contest where dude goes, �I don�t know, fuck it, I�m out.� That was very cool, amateurish, but cool.
     Downs: It�s not very well produced.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: They show graffiti then zip it to a clip of an elephant peeing in the zoo. So it goes back and forth like that for a good 3-5 minutes. Very funny and suitable for family watching. When a dude just bombs a garbage can and someone else does a quick thow up on the side of a building. It was so inspiring, it made me do the same thing to a building.
     Sourced: From Dflare who got it from Psycho who got it from someone in Santa Cruz ($0)
     In The End. out of 5, 1 hr 25 min

Dub-e-dub-e dub doop doop, yeah, yeah, dub-e-dub-e dub doop doop, I don't need your love anymore.
     Freestyle Session 2 (In Seattle, WA USA) (1998)
     Ups: It was the first official breakdancing movies I have ever seen. Sure I�ve seen breakdancing in movies (ie Footloose), but this was the first feature length tape of it. All future breakdancing movies would now have to compare to this one. They had 5-10 minutes of dj�s scratching, graffiti that other people enjoyed but I just fastforwarded through them. The prebattle footage was decent, the post battle footage of them breaking in a hotel room kitchen was funny.
     Downs: At first it was exciting, but by the 5th or 6th time, it had lost it�s luster. There was too many freaky stretching bending breakdancing moves that could only be accomplished by double jointed people. There wasn�t as much power moves as thought. Breakdancing just doesn�t seem right in the the daytime with a lot of light. The beats in the background were from the old school bboying days, nothing you would hear on the radio regularly. Wasn�t as much popping either. The tape seemed like an exercise in making a movie. Hmm, there sure wasn�t a lot of cute girls in here. Only 4 bgirls if I remember right.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: Dude does a 2001. Guys pretending to be midget poppers in the beginning. Charles before he lost his speed doing headspins, windmills, flares, and various combos of those. Kujo bangs his head against a hotel door at the end. Stupid PR guy with the best seats in the house tries to do some footwork (funny).
     Other Thoughts: I tried buying �Freestyle Session 3� from bboy.com, but instead got number two. So ABD now had two copies of Freestyle Session 2 back in 1999. I just sold my copy on ebay. Bastard really.
     Sourced: Psycho bought it from an internet site not bboy.com ($27). I bought it from bboy.com, ($27)
     In The End. out of 5, 1 hr. 45 min

How to break dance (1998)
     Downs:      Ups: This movie and other teaching movies are good, because for us, we had to reverse engineer all the moves and read all sparse break dancing websites out there that was ripping tutorials off of other websites. So we would see a move and go back and practice how that guy did it. I remember how excited D-flare was when he realized how to put your elbow down in a way so you can transition from a t-flare to a windmill without killing yourself because we didn't have anyone to teach us that sort of stuff. Or when people would give out advice we'd be leary that they're giving out some bad advice so that we wouldn't catch up to where they're at. That is what is called, "player hating."
     Downs: It's only 31 minutes long. It seems like it was filmed in his basement or in the corner of a barber shop. At least it looks like a barber shop from the black and white tiles. For his monologue, there's a blanket held up behind him. Production issues aside, it is short, but if you are a basic-basic breaker, it's easy to get started. Or if you already know the moves, but want to see other people's interpretation on how to teach it, that's always fun too. Each move is taught in a minute, a minute and a half segments.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: For me and D-flare, when he teaches the windmill because we've never seen anyone teach the windmill in that form. We come from the "lay on the floor and wind yourself up". He's talking about going to the windmill from a helicopter swipe. The end sequences are fun, only about five minutes long.
     Sourced: San Lorenzo Library (free)
     In The End. out of 5, 31 min

     Last Summer Jam (1999)
     Ups: Beautifully produced tape. The whole tape was like magic.It was set in a club atmosphere breaking on a gym it appears with some disco lights occasionally. The 2 on2 battles made sense instead of an all out group effort.
     Downs: Like all breaking tapes, there is no interlude, so if you try to watch it straight, it will kill. Best to be taken in 10-15 minute battle spurts. In the post battle, Asia One is getting her air time by always following one breaker. So when they�re in the park after one breaker goes, she then goes and after another breaker goes, she goes. So it's like this for 10 minutes. She can break and can probably fade ABD put together, but still, unnecessary.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: Dude does a backflip with one leg crossed over the other while standing up. Crumbs does some non T Flares that would look sloppy on anyone else, but he does it right. Crumbs also does some neck risking headspin type thing that is more like a neck spin. One guy drops down from a few 90 spins into a few elbow spins.
     Sourced: From Barry who borrowed it from a friend. ($0)
     In The End. 1/2 out of 5, 1 hr 30 min.

Wow, watching this video was like the first time stepping into Costco, just amazing.
     Mr. Wiggles pt. 2 (1999)
     Ups: Popping. A lot of popping and locking. There are even instances where he shows us that you don�t need to know how to do a windmill or a headspin to battle effectively. Good compilation movie of his life through popping. Hard to believe he�s like 45 or something. He can graffiti very good. He has dual weapons like dude from �Evil Dead 2� with the chainsaw and shotgun.
     Downs: The Asian guy in the opening sequence loses to Wigs. I was so rooting for him too. Mr.Wiggles sort of talks a lot. It�s interesting at first, but then you just want to fast forward to the good stuff. No girls at all. He can rap, but I didn�t need to see that. If it was an hour longer, it would�ve been better.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: Any of them. Especially in slow motion if you want to see how complicated it is to make one popping or locking move look smooth.
     Sourced: Borrowed from DFlare who borrowed it from Psycho. ($0)
     In The End. out of 5, 1 hr, 15min.

     Rockforce Crew(Union City, USA) Vs. The Family (France) (1999 or 2000)
     Ups: This was the only breakdance video I have ever seen that has a plot. It is sort of like Mortal Kombat or Tekken�s excuse for having a bunch of people getting together and battling each other, but somehow knowing that this was real made it seem more exciting. Breakdancing is supposed to be taken in a dark club and they did it there. When the crowd erupts, you feel like getting off your sofa and yelling too. Great if you need a plot to follow a movie and a great tape to learn how to battle. You can see how some moves work in some situations and how others don�t.
     Downs: Only an hour long. In the end, one of the guys from Rockforce Crew supports smoking weed.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: The crowd erupts a lot. When Vietnam does a move to offend France, very memorable.
     Sourced: Borrowed
     In The End. out of 5, 55 min.

     UK Breakdancing Championship (2001)
     Ups: Zip. It's widely available, but that's not really a good thing.
     Downs: Wackest breakdancing tape I have ever seen. During the battle stages, the audience is muffled out and you hear music looped on top of it. The music doesn't match the dancing. The dancing is bad too. This is more like regional Junior High championships than UK championship, where you'd get an award for competing, not because you won any category.
     Moments Worth Rewinding For: Granted, when the guy picks up a PS1 controller when one of his team mates starts dancing is entertaining, but that only lasts 3 seconds until both sides do that for five minutes, then you just wonder which episode of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" is on right now.
     Sourced: Suckered on ebay for it. Quickly resold it. ($10)
     In The End. 1/2

Last updated 8-12-06

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