Make Your Move (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 26, 2014 by  


Featuring entertaining and creative choreography when compared to other popular dance films, “Make Your Move” may be lacking with its simplistic “Romeo & Juliet” plot but is still a fun and entertaining dance film worth watching.

Image courtesy of © 2014 Cobu Company, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Make Your Move


DURATION: 110 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1 aspect ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: July 22, 2014

Written and Directed by Duane Adler

Produced by Agnes Delahaie

Cinematography by Leonce-Henrie Burel

Edited by Raymond Lamy

Production Design by Pierre Charbonnier


Derek Hough as Donny

BoA as Aya

Will Yun Lee as Kaz

Wesley Jonathan as Nick

Izabella Miko as Tatianna

Jefferson Brown as Michael Griffiths

Miki Ishikawa as Natsumi

From the co-writer of STEP UP and SAVE THE LAST DANCE The music is pumping, the dance floor is moving and Donny (Derek Hough, TV’s “Dancing With the Stars”) stops when he sees the beautiful Aya (Korean pop star BoA) performing with her hip-hop Cobu crew at the hottest underground club in New York. They come from two different worlds, but they speak the same language — dance. When the couple finds themselves in the middle of a bitter rivalry, they must choose between family ties or their love for each other. Now, they must make their move.

From Duane Adler, co-writer of “Save the Last Dance” and “Step Up” comes a collaboration of the West and the East as former “Dancing with Stars” dancer Derek Hough and K-Pop/J-Pop star BoA are paired together in a Romeo and Juliet-style independent dance film.

“Make Your Move” was shot in New York City and Toronto back in Spring 2011 and was released in theaters in 2013.

And now “Make Your Move” will make its debut on Blu-ray in July 2014.

“Make Your Move” revolves around Donny (portrayed by Derek Hough), a dancer who was released out of prison and is on parole.

Despite trying to make money dancing on the streets of New Orleans, his parole officer wants him to stop dancing and get a real job and stops Donny from dancing and panhandling.

But after seeing the success of his foster brother Nick (portrayed by Wesley Jonathan), the owner of the underground night club, Static, Donny decides to go to New York and violate his parole rules of staying in the state of Louisiana for six months.

Meanwhile, Aya (portrayed by BoA) is a Korean who was born in Japan and makes her living as a taiko drum/dance instructor.  And as her group loves to play their taiko drums, their choreography session is halted when Nick comes and tells them to leave the premises and takes their Taiko drums.

Aya’s brother, Kaz (portrayed by Will Yun Lee) was a former business partner with Nick and both had their falling out and have become rivals in the club scene.  Their rivalry has become so bad that both sides have threatened each other.

As Donny goes to visit Nick, Nick warns him to not get up on stage and follow the rules.  Donny wants to be a dancer for Static and just wants Nick to give him a chance.

One night, as Aya and her friends go to Static and try to retrieve their taiko drums, they decided to put on a dance for the Static customers.  And as the group impresses the club members with the exception of Nick, as Aya goes to tap dance on the bar table, Nick is so impressed that he goes up to tap dance with her.

But as quickly as the two begin dancing with one another, Aya’s brother comes to take them back and it leaves to an altercation between Kaz and Donny.  Donny ends up running out of the club with Aya, but their cab is halted by Kaz and his men.  But not long after, Nick and his men come to separate the two.

Nick is angered by how much trouble Donny has caused him in the first day of him arriving to New York and Donny ends up on the streets but wanting to get to know more about Aya and get close to her.

Meanwhile, Kaz is working for a nightclub owned by Wall Street businessman Michael (portrayed by Jefferson Brown), who wants nothing more but to marry Aya and wants her as an exclusive to his nightclub.  But Aya is not interested.

As Aya is forbidden to see Donny and Donny is forbidden to see Aya, what happens when these two are driven to be together due to dancing but also being attracted to each other?


“Make Your Move” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio).  Picture quality for the film on Blu-ray is fantastic.  Close-ups show great detail and skin pores on the faces of the characters. Skin tones look natural, outdoor scenes are vibrant.

I personally did not notice any problems with banding, artifacts, crush, etc.


As for audio, lossless audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA.  For a film like “Make Your Move”, you can expect a dialogue and musically driven soundtrack.  There are moments where there is crowd ambiance during the club scenes and also other action scenes.  But for the most part, dialogue and music is crystal clear and the soundtrack is center and front-channel driven.

Subtitles are in English and English SDH.


“Make Your Move” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with writer/director Duane Adler and choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo.
  • Deleted Scenes – (6:37) Featuring deleted scenes from “Make Your Move”.
  • Making the Moves – Choreography – (16:55) A featurette about how and why taiko drums and tap dance was incorporated to “Make Your Move” and an in-depth look at the choreography for the film.

“Make Your Move” may not be the film to break new ground in dance films utilizing a “Romeo & Juliet” storyline, nor is it the first film to explore interracial relationships in a dance movie.

But for anyone wanting a dance film with an interesting take with its incorporation of tap dance and taiko drum playing, may find “Make Your Move” an entertaining dance film, albeit more exciting for its choreography than its actual storyline.

A film which incorporates East and West, K-Pop fans will notice the CJ Entertainment and SM Entertainment logos at the beginning of the film.

With the popularity of the Korean wave especially the influence of K-Pop growing worldwide, the film tries to build upon that popularity by bringing SM Entertainment’s successful K-Pop and J-Pop performer, BoA and feature appearances by TVXQ’s U-Know and a song by SNSD (Girl’s Generation).

And of course, to make the film much more accessible to the West, the addition of writer/filmmaker Duane Adler, who had worked on hit dance films such as “Step Up” and “Save the Last Dance” and former dance choreographer for “Dancing with the Stars”, Derek Hough is a plus, when it comes to dancing.

While Adler’s “Step Up” and “Save the Last Dance” was able to build upon the magic of a dramatic storyline and inspirational dancing, “Make Your Move” is a film that relies to much on its dance numbers.  Yes, Derek Hough and BoA are wonderful dancers but the storyline lacks credibility.

It’s hard to picture Derek Hough as a criminal and for a broke individual who is able to move to New York and live on the streets, you often wonder how this guy is able to get up close to the beautiful BoA clean shaven, clean cut and despite being banged up a bit by a rival club, not one bruised or blood on his face.

Part of what made “Step Up” so awesome was that you felt that Channing Tatum’s character came from the other side of the tracks.  He owned the part, he looked the part.  Derek Hough’s Donny looked far from the part that he was supposed to play.

As for BoA, she has come far since making her U.S. album debut, her English is much better, her dancing is still top-notch but does the chemistry work between both her and Hough, that is subjective.

But while I felt the two had amazing dance chemistry and the choreography was top-notch, the storyline of rival clubs, among two former friends and how these two groups have subjected themselves to almost gangsta-like mentality just doesn’t seem right.  Everyone looks way too clean cut to look like a threat and the whole rival gang storyline just fell flat.

Going back to the CJ Entertainment, SM Entertainment and Avex Entertainment collaboration, while the music was good on one side and K-Pop fans will no doubt love the K-Pop integration of music in the film with TVXQ and SNSD involvement, out-of-the-blue, there are some song choices that felt off for the film.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic and the lossless soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue and music.  Special features include audio commentary, deleted scenes and a making of choreography featurette.

Overall, “Make Your Move” may not be as strong as Duane Adler’s previously written films “Step Up” and “The Last Dance” but this is an independent film featuring a collaboration between Korea and the United States and trying to give K-Pop fans a little of their culture while trying to make the film accessible for viewers in the west.

Featuring entertaining and creative choreography when compared to other popular dance films, “Make Your Move” may be lacking with its simplistic “Romeo & Juliet” plot but is still a fun and entertaining dance film worth watching.


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