Let's see, so we've got a kid trying to rise above a dead end situation. We've got a college that puts more emphasis on synchronized break dancing than academics, sports, or anything else. A shameless love story has been tacked on in case the rest of the movie didn't feel tedious enough. Oh, and we have a plentiful helping of wicked awesome dance moves. Seems we have all the ingredients to make another 'Stomp the Yard' movie.
I'm sure for the people that actually do practice this type of dancing, it's fun. In movie form it couldn't be more boring, especially since the coolest dance moves are done away with at the beginning. The individualized break dancing moves go over well, the synchronized line steps, claps, and shouts just don't translate into a movie setting in my opinion.
But, who cares about my opinion when it comes to "stepping?" If you're interested in seeing this movie, you're more than likely already attracted to the type of dancing performed here.
Chance Harris is trying to rise up and get out of his neighborhood. He has a chance (get it?) to get out of his situation if only he could win the stepping championship at his local college, Truth University. At Truth, the thing valued above all else, is stepping. That's just how it is, and whichever fraternity wins the big championship that takes place at the end is who will win full-ride scholarships.
Chance's father, who owns a local restaurant, is sick of his kid trying to dance his way through life. Earning money by the sweat of one's brow is the only way to get along in this life. His father is fed up with Chance and his footloose ways, and wants his kid to spend more time at the restaurant helpin' out. Chance also has to deal with a rocky relationship he has going with his girlfriend. who is jealous of another girl on campus, as Chance and this other girl used to be an item. In addition, Chance has problems of his own, mainly with the local thug to whom Chance owes money.
'Stomp the Yard: Homecoming' is just a rehash of the original 'Stomp the Yard.' If there was ever a movie that didn't need a sequel, this is it. Good old DJ (Columbus Short) even returns in a small cameo to offer some sage wisdom to those guys who have come after him. As you recall DJ was trying to do the exact same thing in the first movie, only with slightly different motivations. In the end it's all the same movie, and it's just an excuse to feature a whole lot o' dancin'. Truthfully, a movie with all these dance moves, sans the story about Chance trying to make something of himself, would have been much more interesting and fun to watch.
The 1080p presentation of 'Stomp the Yard: Homecoming' is just as hindered by the overall transfer as it is by the movie's quick cut, swinging camera style.
First off, the colors seem under-saturated, but most of the movie is given a sickly yellowish hue that, if intentional, was just the wrong choice. The yellowing makes skin colors look way off. The yellow veneer comes and goes depending on whether we're looking at a bright daytime scene or a dark nighttime scene. The yellow is more prevalent at night.
Detail is redeemable, but nothing to get too excited about. Facial details are hampered a bit by the wonky color temp, but clothing, patterns, and textures are all nicely visible. Those scary wolfpack costumes the other team wears at the end were maybe a little too detailed, they're just silly. If you're a fan of the 'Stomp the Yard' movies then you'll most likely like the look of it on Blu-ray. It isn't anything to shout about, but it is a solid enough presentation.
As you could have guessed 'Stomp the Yard: Homecoming' is full of all kinds of music, mostly hip-hop. The sub woofer is given quite the workout with Sony's 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. The bass really does shake the room for much of the movie. LFE is produced with a nice deep groan, but never seems to take over the rest of the sound design. Unfortunately, the rest of the sound mix is meager compared to the rocking LFE. The mix is oddly front-centric, even though much of the movie is focused around large competitions with huge audiences cheering for their favorite teams. Even then, the surrounds seem oddly silent, while much of the cheering fan noise comes from the front speakers, exactly where the music and dialogue is coming from. For a movie that focuses so much on sound to drive the story, this mix really failed when it came to creating an atmosphere that could pull you into it.
Was this sequel really necessary? I guess there are more fans out there who really like 'Stomp the Yard' and demanded a sequel. It knows its audience, and you can't fault it for that. You can however fault it for its cardboard characters and its highly predictable plot. The video is serviceable, but the sound leaves a lot to be desired, especially for a movie so centered on music and roaring crowds. The extra features are nothing to get excited about. All in all, this is a rental, even if you're one of the few out there who were delighted to hear 'Stomp the Yard' was getting a sequel.