Stomp the Yard (2007) by The Critical Movie Critics

Stomp the Yard is by far one of the best captivating and entertaining movies I have ever watched. If there is a movie which I can vote for completely, then it is the movie stomp the yard. This movie is about an inner city krump dancer, DJ, who moves to Atlanta, Georgia for a fresh start. In the movie, DJ’s role is arrogant, over-confident, and determine to win the heart of April Palmer. The plot of the movie is so entertaining and touching that I could watch it everyday. This is my favorite movie because it focuses on responsibility and determination, it also shows how one person can not be above everyone else, it takes teamwork. Lastly, the movie shows how a man is to appreciate and treat the lady he loves.

Stomp the yard focuses on competing fraternity steppers at fictional Truth University. DJ channels his anger at “the system” though crunk dancing, and his innovative moves make him a crowd favorite. But when a fight with a rival team leads to his brother Duron’s murder, DJ feels guilt and despair, which turns, no surprise, into more anger. Shipped off to Atlanta to live with his uncle and aunt, DJ finds new athletic, dance, and competition possibilities in stepping. At Truth, DJ is recruited by two fraternities who think his skills will help them win the national championship. He selects Theta Nu Theta because its leader, the one and only, Ernest Sylvester extols the virtues of brotherhood more than winning the title which of course, everyone focuses on winning.

I give full credit to the director, producer and editors of this film. They really kept their brains working when they were coming up with all the ideas composed of the film. Such ideas as stepping, DJ’s love for April, Grant’s rivalry with DJ, April father’s grudge against DJ’s uncle for having stolen his girlfriend back in the day and the Python’s dream to beat The MU Gamma at the National championships.

This film is well directed. For instance, when DJ moves to Atlanta and joins The Truth University, he discovers, stepping, the dancing technique which is traditionally done in African-American fraternities. It is here where teams demonstrate their complex moves and create rhythmic sounds by the use of their bodies. For example DJ’s talent sees him at the peak of hip-hop between rivalry of the two fraternities (Pythons and MU Gamma), the winner of which will be determined in front of a sold-out-arena at the annual championships, nevertheless, DJ has to overcome his own ego and learn the true meaning of brotherhood.

The film’s nature has its audience fully involved. The editing of this movie was done with the highest perspective. Its rhythms are well edited, they are captivating and entertaining. In depth Stomp the Yard demonstrates responsibility and determination that makes this movie so real and interesting.

The costumes and make-up directors did a marvelous job. The fact is that the costumes used in the movie were captivating. The costumes added relevance to the motion and main ideas in the film. For example, at the last stage of the movie, The MU Gamma fraternity presented a show that incorporated wolf sounds. This was further enhanced by the fact that the group had worn torn clothes. The use of different costume by the different fraternities brought out their sophistication. The director selected costumes that are widely used by today’s generation of dancing artists.

This film has a significant impact on its audiences. There are several aspects that have been tackled in the movie. The movie develops and improves on the dancing skill of those interested in dancing. It also urges the individuals (specifically the youth) to fight for what they want through dedication and commitment. For example, DJ has to overcome so many obstacles in order to accomplish the goals he has. The movie also shows the importance of standing by friends and family. This is shown when DJ is taken in by his uncle and also when April stands up to her father in order to defend DJ. April also comforts and encourages DJ when he’s just about to quit and she manages to convince him to keep going.  Furthermore it portrays the consequences of hatred among individuals. For instance, the hatred that April’s father has for DJ’s uncle is immense such that he does not want DJ to be with his daughter. The hatred between DJ and Grant also causes DJ’s suspension (when grant investigates about DJs past and finds that he had a criminal record).

For those people that love dance movies, stomp the yard brings new ideas and moves to the screen. The movie unlike other many dance films enhances the importance of uniformity when performing as a crew. It is a truly captivating film that is fun and educative to watch.

Heavy-handed and well- intentioned, Stomp the Yard proposes that step groups (and similar organizations) provide structure and inspiration for students in need of guidance and a sense of belonging. It’s a decidedly masculine melodrama. Not only does DJ contend with paternal dis approvals (his uncle thinks stepping is a waste of time, and April’s dad warns him that “My daughter is not some shorty for you to mess with!”), but he must also come to terms with his own competitive hostility and Duran’s death. At the same time, he has to come up with a killer step routine for the group. Luckily, DJ is inspired by Truth’s amazing array of sorority and fraternity alumni, who are enshrined in Heritage Hall,  the list includes Esther Rolle, Hines Ward, Michael Jordan, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King, among others.  Stomp the Yard, as its’ predecessors, offers the hope that there is indeed a better life out there to those who wish to grab a hold of it. It provided to me a good feeling when DJ entered Heritage House and paid respect to all the Civil Rights leaders and influential people who paved the way for him to succeed. More movies need to focus on uplifting people rather than portraying their stereotypes and continuing the circle of despair. Yes, it’s a strained conceit, but Sylvain White’s movie does well to remind all of us of these powerful embodiments of resistance, motivation, and “truth.”