Rize - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rize Reviews

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January 3, 2016
A fantastic documentary from David Lachappelle about dance moves named Krumping. Insightful and interesting
½ November 4, 2015
Mostly a feel-good documentary, with only limited insight into the rest of the dancers' lives. However the positivity is uplifting, and the dancing fast and amazing.
August 13, 2015
Lightweight offering that gives little insight into the characters in this movie.
½ July 22, 2015
Hard to believe it's been ten years since I heard of krumping and clowning...
June 19, 2015
David LaChapelle, among the most distinctly over-the-top commercial photographers of all time, has made a career out of pushing the boundaries of political correctness and redefining what we view as beautiful, bold, colorful, sexual. His photography, particularly his celebrity portraits, are rich in their frenzied energy; his work can turn even the most untalented of stars (ahem, Paris Hilton) into iconoclasts of the frenetic image. My favorite LaChapelle photo, that of a nude, afroed, and positively beaming Naomi Campbell lying atop a substantial pile of fruit, would seem trashy anywhere else but appears giddy, boundlessly euphoric, even, when lensed by LaChapelle.
He famously left his day job as the most gifted commercial photographer in 2006, dramatically and abruptly, escaping to a secluded Hawaiian paradise in some form of an extended mid-life crisis. After a long break from doing what he thought he loved, he rediscovered himself and became an Andy Warhol post-Factory of sorts, regarding his work more seriously than ever before. So the celebrities, the magazines covers, the elbow-rubbing, came to an end in pursuit of fine art. Now, LaChapelle would much prefer to make a social statement than put Lil' Kim on a crucifix and surround her with nuns for the sake of kitsch. He has directed a number of eye-catching music videos, but 2005's "Rize", a documentary, remains to be his only film. Though much of it is filmed in the same Technicolor, purposely campy ballpark of his other work, "Rize" is a surprisingly mature doc, especially when considering it was headed by the Fellini of photography.
LaChapelle gives us an inside look into the world of krumping, a highly emotional, movement intensive form of dance descended from clowning and perfected in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots. Found mostly in inner-city Los Angeles, where crime runs amok and pressure to join gangs is high, krumping is, for its most active participants, a life-saver, a persona defining hobby that gives them a reason to stay off the streets and entertain the public after hours upon hours of lightning paced practice. LaChapelle divides the film into three parts, the first introducing the krumping culture through interviews, the second connecting clowning with the dance in focus, the third climaxing with a thunderous battle of movement between the two rival krumping groups.
One might expect LaChapelle to let his tremendous stylistic abilities gloss over the more spit on the ground realities of "Rize" in favor of startling imagery, but his instantaneous recognizability takes a backseat to the hugely fascinating stories of the krumpers. These are not people who simply like to dance; they were saved by the art form, revitalized by it. Before he invented, or at least, nurtured, the style of krumping, Tommy Johnson, also known as "Tommy the Clown", was a drug dealer who spent five years in prison for his crimes. After his release, he was invited to a child's birthday party in hopes of entertainment - then and there, dressed as a clown, he kicked off a completely new dancing style that took much of Los Angeles by storm following the Rodney King riots. In the years following, he started a business, became a local legend, and took scads of at-risk adults under his wing.
Most inspiring is Christian "Baby Tight Eyez" Jones, who went from an atrociously tragic childhood straight into dancing success - because of krumping, the very idea of following in the footsteps of his deadbeat parents sounded like nightmare fantasy. He was good at something, had fun doing that something, and, in return, became a success in his own right. Jones is only one of the many kids Johnson has supported over the years, and "Rize" takes the time to get to know them. LaChapelle finds a good balance between spectacle and human drama, as willing to highlight remarkable dancing abilities as he is ready to underline the struggles many of his subjects face. As wonderful as krumping is for most of these people, it can hardly mask the harsh truths that overtake so much of the ghetto.
"Rize" is a solid documentary that does what a documentary should; introduce you to something completely new and make you suddenly care about it as though it were always part of your life. Though I wish it was a bit longer (we become invested in the cast), this is an energetically shot, empathetically made film.
September 16, 2014
Great documentary. Very inspiring
August 14, 2014
Rize is a unique and electrifying documentary about the inception of Krump dancing in the inner cities of Los Angeles, groundzero for the L.A. riots. Out of the ashes of inequality and hate comes a raw, new form of youthful expression known as Krump. While Rize bursts with energy and infectious, often spellbinding dancing, it's also an explorative narrative into the lives of the kids/dancers, dance-groups and thier struggles to overcome impoverishment, gangs, drug addiction as well as personal tragedy. Only to persevere, through positivity and the art of dance. Excellent
June 10, 2014
'want to see movie is real good
November 11, 2013
This movie is so powerful. The urban story of crumping leaves you breatheless.
April 28, 2013
I don't like extended dance scenes that much so some of this was lost on me. I would have preferred more personal stories of the dancers. All that said, Lil C is a fine human specimen.
December 20, 2012
50 clown dance crews in L.A.!?!? What!? There sure are. Rize displays top notch Clowning and Krumping by Miss Prissy & Lil C (A judge on So You Think You Can Dance), but it's a little weak in the story --- i.e. the dancers personal lives. Still, overall it's got some dance footage that will blow your mind (even though it looks a bit sped up at times).
½ July 29, 2012
Chappelle's style of filming spoils the documentary a bit, sexing it up unnecessarily with MTV-style scenes here and there, when the the dancers themselves are pretty awesome enough already. Chappelle does succeed however, in showing how important clowing and krumping is, and creates a generally uplifting account. More focus on the people themselves would have given more meat and depth, but there's no denying the power and emotion in this film.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2012
A dull little documentary about dance. Compared to the incomparable Pina, Rize is bush league.
½ July 19, 2012
An interesting documentary. Starts off slow, but worth sticking it out to the competition.
June 10, 2012
Des danseurs qui ont la " rage", une belle photographie, bref un magnifique documentaire.
March 31, 2012
One of my alltime favorites.
February 13, 2012
High energy documentary about the origins of clowning/krumping. Surprised Tommy The Clown doesn't get more support considering the positive influence he seems to be having in the rougher neighborhoods of LA. The original music by Flii Stylz for the film is worth a CD buy.
½ February 8, 2012
itz interesting but nothing special. da dancing is heavy doh
January 29, 2012
Wonderful movie! Uplifting....reminds me of the breakdance battles before gang-banging took over completely. There is hope for the future!!
½ January 29, 2012
Off the chain talent!
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