Posted in Dance, Documentary, Reviews

DVD Review: Planet B-Boy

Planet B-Boy (2007)
directed by Benson Lee
English, French, Japanese, Korean w/ English subtitles

The documentary follows four b-boy teams from US, France, South Korea and Japan as they train and eventually compete at the 2005 Battle of the Year in Germany which is the premiere breaking competition. As well as following various members and revealing bits of their lives and personalities we of course get an ample amount of dance footage. The South Korean guy who can spin for like ever on his head is crazy and that isn’t the most ridiculously impressive move you’ll see in the film.

I’ve read some reviews that complained of short edits that didn’t really show the b-boy skills from a good perspective but I never had an issue with this. Certainly I would’ve liked to see more dancing and less cuts but this is a documentary and not a demonstration video. There needs to be a balance between the story and the dancing and I think the film pulls that off very well. You really get to understand what dancing means to these b-boys. I also liked the subway transition graphics that were used when the film shifted from one point of the world to another. This is a highly enjoyable film even for a person like myself who knows little about dancing. I’m curious how b-boys and dancers themselves evaluate the film and whether they feel a stronger connection to it.

There’s also a special feature which goes more in depth into the history and culture of b-boys and hip hop. It’s mainly a lot of talking head sequences but still compelling nonetheless. I appreciated the extra feature very much after having finished the main feature. Again a solid recommendation from me on this one and be sure to check out the credits as it documents a breakdancing class for Inuit kids in Canada.

You can check the official site for links to buy the dvd in the US. In Canada, you can order it from Future Shop or Best Buy and I’m assuming other dvd stores across Canada (Amazon.ca does not carry the dvd and at Chapters it’s way overpriced). Surprisingly the Future Shop store on St. Catherine in Montreal has a copy of it on the shelf and is available on their website. I didn’t discover this until after I had bought it from an online US site.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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