Day 23: Planet B-Boy (2007)


I am beginning to wonder how films actually end up on my Netflix queue. While I openly admit to adding things after watching trailers, talking to friends, or taking Netflix recommendations, I have found a surprising amount of titles that I don’t remember at all. Does a little elf add random movies to my Netflix queue while I sleep? If so, I should find that elf and thank it for adding Planet B-Boy.

 

Planet B-Boy is a documentary following several breakdancing teams as they compete in an international competition held in Germany. Through interviews we learn a bit about the history of this style of dance, as well as the competitors and their families. While the competition hosts teams from several countries, this film focuses on teams from the U.S., Korea, Japan, and France; allowing the audience to understand the art form (and sport) from several cultures’ and peoples’ points of view.

 

There are those who are sure to think, “I know Meg and her dance moves.That girl can move! Don’t some of these breakdances seem to be suspiciously copying her grooves?” To them, I would respond: “no.” Clearly these are not the dance stylings of this reviewer. If I was able to control and move my body with the accuracy and strength of these competitors, I would be dancing everywhere I went– the supermarket, bank, crashing random wedding receptions. Hell, I would do the robot and a headspin just on my way out to the car. These dancers are awesome. Some of their moves are pretty unbelievable and insane, but it makes it so much fun to watch.

 

Planet B-Boy has a nice balance between interview and competition footage. I am amazed at what must have gone into making this film as there are a minimum of five languages the director would have to either know or use an interpreter to translate. The movie provides an excellent glimpse at some of the competitors and their backgrounds– causing the audience (well, me and the puppy, in this instance) to become emotionally invested in the outcome. Unlike some contests, where there is clearly someone you root for, and someone you just want to see lose (like in the King of Kong— that film really had a clear “bad” guy), I didn’t know who I wanted to win.

 

For those who are always looking for a way to make everything into a drinking game, I think there may be one in this film. Take a shot every time a member of the French team grabs his crotch. Take two shots if the crotch grabbing dancer is the ten year old. If you play this game, be sure to have a designated driver pre-assigned, because I think the French team may have some underlying issues.

 

I liked this film. I liked its tone and the way it approached the subject matter. I liked the dancers, their lives, and the competition. I liked the dances and the community that evolved up around it. I like that I finally took a chance and watched this film that I knew next to nothing about. And I like that I get to remove a title off my queue.

 

Score: A-

Netflix Watch Instantly Queue: 192 (almost breaking the 190 mark!)


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