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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bring It On

Happy June!  Since it is my birth month, I am being self-indulgent and writing about all of my favourite movies.  For some of the more well-known movies out there, I will be mostly reflecting on the why it is one of my favourites, as opposed to the usual format of a plot rundown and a wee little bit of reflection.  Not all of my favourite movies are classics – some fall into the guilty pleasure category – but whatever.  It’s my birthday month, deal with it.  OK, disclaimer out of the way, let us begin…
Oh, and from this post out, the movies are pretty much at random.  The first three were my three all-time absolute faves.  After that, it’s just movies I really, really love. 

#347: Bring It On (2000).  OK, there is not much plot-wise going on here, let’s be real.  It’s the story about a cheerleading squad (the Rancho Carne Toros) who always wins all of the competitions, but their world comes crashing down when it is revealed to them that a team in Compton is actually the source (stolen, of course) for their winning cheers.  After a few embarrassing steps along the way where they screw up royally, they decide it’s time to come up with something new and exciting for the national competition. 

The too-small counter story is that of the Clovers, the Compton team.  There were originally more scenes with them, but then this would have been an epic, and few people want an epic about cheerleaders.  But they are proud, and going to nationals for the first time, and want to kick the Toro’s asses.  Can you blame them?

There’s the love story between Torrance, the captain of the Toros, and Cliff, their newest team member’s brother.  He’s one of the best things in this movie, truth be told.  He’s sexy, into classic punk, and wrote her a song.  Sign me up!

They go to nationals and compete against the Clovers, and the Clovers win, with the Toros taking second place.  But they came by it honestly, and really, it’s still a hell of an achievement, so they’re pretty psyched.  Aww, they learned something!

Wow, I’m all kinds of backwards today, eh?  So, now that I’ve given you the rundown, here are some of the key players:

Torrance: Played by Kirsten Dunst.  She’s a little neurotic, and totally adorable.  Although, Kirsten Dunst overdoes it a little, and has a tendency to do so in a lot of her movies (really, she peaked with Interview with the Vampire, in my opinion).  But you still feel for her, she has a lot on her plate.

Missy: Played by Eliza Dushku.  She’s the newest team member on the squad (after Torrance put someone in the hospital on her first day as captain).  She’s a hardcore gymnast, and is looking for an outlet, as there is no gymnastics team at the school.  She’s the one who brings light to the fact that the Toros have been using stolen cheers.

Cliff: Played by Jesse Bradford.  Missy’s brother, Torrance’s love interest, and my man-candy.  YUM.

Isis: Played by Gabrielle Union.  She’s the captain of the Clovers, and honestly, even though she’s super classy and calm, pretty sure I don’t want to run into her in a dark ally.  She’s got that smile with a knife behind her back look… But she’s a great leader, and is determined to show the world what her team can do. 

Sparky Polastry: Played by Ian Roberts.  When the Toros turn desperate for a new routine, they hire this guy to choreograph.  And he is hilarious.  He has one sequence, and it is the best in the whole movie.  True story: I was watching this with a friend, and at one point, I laughed so hard, I choked on the ice cream I was eating and puked.  He makes me laugh so hard I vomited.  Seriously.  Awesome.

Then there’s all the cheerleaders, many of whom have appeared on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” at one point or another.   Most featured are Whitney and Courtney (played by “Buffy” alums Nicole Bilderback and Clare Kramer, respectively) and the dudes, Jan and Les (Nathan West and Huntley Ritter, respectively).  Also featured on the Toros is newcomer Kasey (played by Rini Bell, who went on to play the fantastic Lulu on “Gilmore girls”) and Darcy, who’s father is apparently very rich and pays for a lot of stuff, and also likes to use her SAT words a lot (played by Tsianina Joelson). 

On the Clovers team, there are only three featured cheerleaders: Lava, Jenelope, and Lafred.  They are played by singing group Blaque (Shamari Fears, Natina Reed, and Brandi Williams, respectively).  They are kind of annoying.  I seriously wish they had given a little more equal time to the Clovers, though. 

OK, so why is this one of my favourite movies?  There are so many things wrong with it: the timeline – both Torrance’s soon-to-be-ex and the former captain are present on the first day of high school, but shouldn’t they already be in college?  College usually starts before high school, unless they do things totally differently in California.  And why didn’t they name the new captain at the end of the prior school year, giving Torrance some time to prepare?  Oh, and where the hell is their coach/advisor?!  Every high school cheering team, especially the ones who go to competitions, have a coach and/or advisor. 

And yet… I can’t help it.  This movie is harmless, it makes me smile and laugh, there’s decent man-candy as well as lady-sweets, and the cheer routines (save for Sparky’s routine from Hell) are fucking amazing.  It gives a fun look at the world of competitive cheerleading, and I love that the Toros earn second place at the end.  It’s much more satisfying than if they had taken first.  The two captains eventually understand each other, and you can totally see them co-coaching someday.  That should have been one of the sequels!

This is a slightly anemic post, but then again, so is this movie.  It has its flaws, but it really is just so much fun, if you haven’t seen it (and… again, really?) you really should. 

That’s a wrap for today!  Tomorrow, something animated!

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