The preview for "STOMP THE YARD"(incidentally not even offered on the blu-ray with other trailers), was captivating and suggested the possibilities of the film transcending the standard "hip-hop" style films of which it would be otherwise grouped within. Unfortunately, the actual film offers nothing that we haven't seen before. With aspirations to tell an inspiring story within the world of "stepping," the narrative borrows from other films, but none of these other films were that good to begin with! The themes of personal loss, finding one's self, love, and more, are presented in such a predictable way, that it's not only aggravating, but dull too! The viewer feels every one of the film's 116 minutes, but almost in slow-motion. Of course, the dancing routines are the best part of the film, but the story surrounding them is just too bland to recommend the film to anyone but die-hard stepping fans, which really diminishes the potential audience.
The cast is fine, and Meagan Good is as beautiful as she's ever been, but they can only do so much with what's handed to them here.
SONY has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this release. The Blu-ray offers a 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer. It's a terrific transfer. Colors are well saturated throughout and the majority of images provide a pop off the screen effect due to fantastic detail. Darker scenes are still sharp, although not as impressive as on many other fine SONY BLU-RAY releases. There is grain present in various scenes, but this is in keeping with the original theatrical presentation as well. The dvd transfer, while impressive with its color and detail, can't compare to the depth of image conveyed in the blu-ray in scene after scene. Saturation isn't as well handled either. Sure, it's a decent dvd transfer, but when comparing the two format presentations, the BLU-RAY makes a strong case for those skeptical of the format's strong superiority. It's just that much better!
SONY has provided both a PCM 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for the BLU-RAY release. While there are no actual TrueHd receivers on the market, the comparisons made capable currently, show little difference between the two. The mixes are outstanding, offering non-stop surround involvement and incredible fidelity. Whether treble or bass is involved, this is a knockout mix!!!
SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the dvd. It's also quite aggressive, but there are nuances offered on the PCM and TrueHD mixes of the BLU-RAY that are noticeably more impressive than what the standard dvd mix can provide. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. Music, dialogue and effects are perfectly balanced on all formats.
A surprisingly dull commentary is offered, as well as a featurette and brief gag reel.