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Go For It! (DVD Review)

24 Sep, 2011 By: Angelique Flores

Street 9/27/11
Box Office $0.2 million
$19.98 DVD
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sexual content, language, brief violence and drug material.
Stars Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, Jossara Jinaro, Louie Alegria, Derrick Denicola, Andres Perez-Molina, David Hernandez, Gustavo Mellado, Gina Rodriguez.

High school senior Carmen (Aimee Garcia) is a talented hip-hop dancer. She gets good grades and has loving immigrant parents, but she also inexplicably has a huge chip on her shoulder.

Carmen spends most of her free time dancing in a dark, gritty club with her crew in battles or practicing for those battles in the park. She walks around brooding with an anguished look in her eyes most of time. Meanwhile, her friend Gina (Gina Rodriguez) is the sassy, funny girl whose jokes and smiles disappear only when her abusive boyfriend is around. Aimee’s own boyfriend, Jared (Derrick Denicola), is a nice boy who comes from a conservative family.

Quietly on Aimee’s side is her teacher (Al Bandiero), who sees her talent and encourages her to apply to a dance school.

There’s no mindblowing plot here, but you barely notice that in the midst of the stunning dance sequences and the scenes with Garcia and Rodriguez, whose chemistry and ad libbing bring humor and authenticity to the film. That authenticity helped cancel out some of the stereotypical aspects of a lot Latino films of having the clichéd immigrant parents (Aimee’s) and the stuffy, conservative white family (Jared’s).

The talented Garcia has the ability to show such great emotion with her expressive eyes and little dialogue. However, the constant misery she displays through most of the film makes it difficult to like her character enough to root for her. Rodriguez steals many of the scenes she’s in, showing versatility in her ability to switch from being loud and funny to vulnerable and pained all in one scene.

The disc comes with a commentary with first-time director Carmon Marron, Garcia, Rodriguez, Denicola and the film’s composer, Kenny Wood. It’s entertaining and interesting to hear some of the things done because of a tight budget and short shooting schedule, the bloopers that were pointed out, and how some of the film’s key scenes were improvised or achieved in one shot.

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