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  1. #1

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    'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    Jump In!

    (Telepic; Disney Channel; Fri. Jan. 12, 8 p.m.)

    By Laura Fries
    Variety
    January 12, 2007

    Filmed on location in Toronto by Davis Entertainment. Executive producer, John Davis; producer, Kevin Lafferty; director, Paul Hoen; writers, Doreen Spicer, Regina Hicks, Karin Gist.

    Izzy Daniels - Corbin Bleu
    Mary Thomas - Keke Palmer
    Kenneth Daniels - David Reivers
    Karin Daniels - Kylee Russell
    Shauna Keaton - Shanica Knowles
    Keisha Ray - Laivan Greene
    Rodney Tyler - Patrick Johnson
    Li'l Earl Jackson - Micah Williams

    According to the latest Disney Channel original pic, boxing is 20% talent, 80% heart. "Jump In!" is off the charts in both respects. Endearing and entertaining, it's a midseason bright spot.

    There's no doubt Disney is cashing in on the overwhelming appeal of its two stars, moppy-haired "High School Musical" alumnus Corbin Bleu and "Akeelah and the Bee's" Keke Palmer. But that's just the hook. Director Paul Hoen delivers a taut and immensely entertaining pic from a script by Doreen Spicer, Regina Hicks and Karin Gist.

    Bleu stars as Izzy, a Brooklyn boxing hopeful training daily in his dad's gym for the local title. Izzy's dad, Kenneth (David Reivers), has put a lot of time and energy into Izzy's training, especially since the death of Izzy's mother. Kenneth is stuck in a time that no longer exists, but his attempts to re-create the life they shared with his mother -- the dinners, the hairstyles for Izzy's precocious but cute sister Karin (Kylee Russell) -- is touching. And Izzy tries to help by living his dad's dream of winning the Golden Gloves championship.

    Boxing, Kenneth tells Izzy, is mostly heart, but Izzy's heart is swayed by his beguiling neighbor Mary (Palmer). She's a Double Dutch competitor who just lost a member of her team after earning a spot in the city championship. Izzy is amazed at how much he enjoys the sport when Mary challenges him to give it a try.

    In terms of public awareness and respect, Double Dutch as a sport probably falls somewhere between synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics -- which is not to diminish the degree of difficulty of all three. In fact, if there's any lingering doubt about the athleticism involved in Double Dutch, it's put to rest here. The showmanship on display is impressive, and the film features several top world competitors as part of the action.

    Real-life father and son acting duo Reivers and Bleu work as more than just a publicity stunt. The heart of the film isn't the romance between Izzy and Mary -- it's the relationship between Izzy and his dad. Reivers proves his son's talent isn't just a fluke. Neither is the acclaim Palmer won for "Akeelah." Bleu and Palmer perform a good deal of their own action sequences, and both are featured on what is sure to be a chart-topping soundtrack.

    Camera, David A. Makin, editor, Janice Hampton, music, Frank Fitzpatrick, casting, Monica Swann, Stephanie Gorin.
    1 HOUR, 24 MIN.

    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...ryid=1043&cs=1

  2. #2

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    There's already a huge buzz about this movie with the pre-teen set. My daughter and her friends are all hyped up about it, and I've been informed that she is "unavailable" after 7:30 tonight because she HAS to watch it!

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  3. #3

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    Forget my friends and the huge party everyone's talking about on my block...I'm watching this tonight!

  4. #4

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    I'm watching it tonight too. I think it looks good!

  5. #5

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    Yeah, I will be watching it tonight. I was part a double-dutch national championship team when I was in elementary school, a long, long, long time ago. I think it is awesome that they are making jump roping "cool" again for teens. Should be just as popular as High School Musical!!

  6. #6

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    why is it when there are perfectly good production facilities not being used in florida that disney signs on with a production group from canada? I don't care about how great the movie is... it seems that most cable productions come out of canada these days. I know alot of it is cost, but I would like to see someone set up a production company in florida.

  7. #7

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    My understanding is the the Canada piece is for the following reasons:
    - Toronto streetscapes can look like NYC, Boston, LA - it is versatile
    - Canada pays a tax credit to help with production so movies are cheaper to shoot there
    - Less union issues which totally make the finances much better

    I know that projects go other places too in Utah (High School Musical 2), New Orleans (Deja Vu) and New Zealand (Narnia).

    Productions are so expensive and you need to hit it big to make any return that you find creative ways to keep costs low. If Florida passed tax credits like Utah, New Mexico and Canada - you would see a flood of new work.

    Hope that helps

  8. #8

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    Re: 'Jump In!'/Disney Channel Original Movie trade review - Variety 1/12/07

    We stumbled across "Jump In!" about a half-hour into it. Not a bad movie. Izzy/Bleu was engaging, energetic and almost a bit too cute for his own good. My daughter said its sort of like High School Musical.

    I'd recommend watching one of its 378 repeats during January.
    These are the games that never end.

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