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Dance With Me

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
"Dance With Me" focuses on the relationship between a young Cuban man and a woman training for the World Latin Dance Championship in Las Vegas. It's somewhat a standard romantic film, but it's helped along by the energetic performances by Vanessa Williams and new actor Cheyanne. The characters begin to learn more about each other, then find themselves headed for not only the championships, but a relationship as well.

There's a lot we already know about the film. We know that these two will fall in love at some point in time. What I liked was Williams's performance in this aspect; while some films and some actresses suddenly realize all of the sudden they're in love, Williams paints a more realistic portrait of someone who, as the film goes on, slowly lets down the wall that she's surrounded herself with and lets herself fall in love.

When Rafael(Chayanne) comes to the dance studio that Ruby(Williams) works at, he's at first fascinated by her dancing. She's a great dancer, but she seems distant, as if she's lost all the joy and freedom that's part of dance. As the romance progresses, Rafael begins to teach Ruby the joy of dance and freedom once again. Chayanne has a few really great moments, especially a homage to "Singin' In The Rain" when the lawn sprinklers accidently turn on while he's standing amongst them.

The final Championship dance sequence is well done, if a little overlong. It also goes wrong in having Ruby join up with her former dance partner, who's an egotistical jerk.

I enjoyed "Dance With Me" more than I'd expected. It certainly has some fun moments and it definitely has some good performances. It's unfortunate that towards the end of the film it just begins to feel like it's gone on a little longer than needed.

The Disc:
Picture: Like a work of fine art. Tristar has done an absolutely wonderful job on this disc; the anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 transfer is crystal clear and images are razor sharp. The film, especially the dance scenes, include incredible costumes and the varied colors from them are just electric on this disc. Take a look at the party in chapter 6; the colors of the decorations are incredibly vivid. Contrast and color saturation are both fantastic. There's no bleeding in the vivid colors and flesh tones are rendered beautifully and realisticially. There is so much going on here with varied lighting and light filters and low light and many other issues and the disc handles them all with ease; even shadow detail is excellent. A little shimmering here and there but overall there are absolutely no problems worth mentioning.

Sound: Where this disc really shines. I've personally never heard music reproduced like this at home. The Latin music is the main action in the sound and it's of concert quality. The Latin dance music is delivered with richness, fullness and excellent bass. Dialogue is also crisp and pleasingly rendered on this disc. But the fact is, I've rarely heard music sound this good. Ambient noise is precise in one of the most pleasing discs I've heard in terms of sound. If you're looking for a demonstration disc in terms of music, look no further.

Menus: Cute, but nothing in the way of animation.

Extras: The trailer and a photo gallery.

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