Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Backstage > The Next Step (Musical)

The Next Step (Musical)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: B-



Usually, Musicals are only made and handled by the major studios or maybe their smaller boutique labels, but occasionally you get a hit like Dirty Dancing (1987, reviewed elsewhere on this site) that qualifies.However, you sometimes get an independently produced film in the genre that goes by without notice and Christian Faberís The Next Step (1997) is one of those rare films.While Chris Columbus recently disemboweled Rent (2005) in unthinkable ways, this film actually tends to capture the rawness and spirit of the same New York without Columbusí pretensions and inexperience.


It is not because Columbus made the film too late or post-9/11/01, but because he has no idea what he is doing in the genre.Faber likes the music, the dancing, the genre and the people, all of which shows throughout.The cast includes many future stars in front of and behind the scenes of many key stage Musicals on Broadway, so fans will find this DVD a must.The box alone credits Denise Faye as having been in the film version of Chicago (also reviewed on this site), but I wondered if even IMDB could tell us al the stage work the cast has done.I donít think so.


There are openly gay characters here to, without any pretension.The only other thing that can be said of this sincere attempt at a Backstage Musical Drama is that it does get unintentionally campy, partly around sexuality and its relationship to age.This is not always handled well and is not easy to covert to begin with.Along with some unintended moments of howling, The Next Step does have plenty of intended storytelling and entertainment to offer.Too bad Chris Columbus did not take notes.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image is colorful and well shot by Zack Winestine, but the transfer is undermined by edge enhancement and Video Black that is problematic.The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo at best.Extras include a behind the scenes featurette with interviews, original trailer and a really good audio commentary track by Faber, writer/producer Aaron Reed and actor/producer Taylor Nichols.It is very interesting and informative, making for one of Pathfinder Pictures best DVDs to date.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com