From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, July 16, 2010

Standing Ovation - D

Rated PG for some rude behavior, 100 minutes

Third-rate "Standing Ovation" doesn't earn one

I attempt to go into most films with little to no expectations, hoping that it will surprise me and provide some entertainment value. I went in with little expectation for "Standing Ovation," a small independent film that also bills itself as a musical about some teens going for a big prize. Maybe channel some of that old Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney spirit, right? (Young ones will not even know who that is!) "Standing Ovation" is a amateurish, third-rate production with among the worst acting and writing I've seen this year, with more talent found at a high-school talent show.

Five Atlantic City middle-school studnets form a dance troupe to compete for a million-dollar prize in a national television music-video contest. Brittany (Kayla Jackson), Blaze (Pilar Martin), Maya (Na'jee Wilson), Cameron (Kayla Raparelli), and Tatiana (Alexis Biesiada) are best pals with a dream. Together they form "The 5 Ovations," a dance troupe that supposedly has what it takes to hit it big. But they're not the only ones with big aspirations, because their pretty rivals "The Wiggies" have a flashy image and a reputation for underhanded tactics to win. Glamorous and wealthy, ambitious sisters Ziggy (London Clark), Zoey (Jeana Zettler), Zita (Ashley Cutrona), Twiggy (Devon Jordon), and Angel (Erika Corvette) who also have a very ambitious father, Mr. Wiggs (Sal Dupree). With everything on the line, the 5 Ovations are prepared to razzle and dazzle.

Musicals have always been a tricky genre to begin with, particularly in the modern movie era. Only a handful such as "Grease" and "High School Musical" have the ability to charm and become big hits in the process. "Standing Ovation" will not be among those hits. Geared directly for the tween market, it's not altogether impossible to score a hit - the aforementioned "HSM" has done that - but you need a talented cast and production team to succeed, which is where "Standing Ovation" clearly fails, and in a big way.

The musical numbers seem slapdash, rushed and too obvious they're lip-synching and everything in between is even worse. I mean, is there any real doubt as to what will happen and/or if the tweens will actually get what they want in the end. Overall, the blundering production is so cheap and awful even most tweens will know crap when they see it. Though I'm hardly a fan of the "Twilight" series that would make a far better choice than this drivel.