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DVD Review: Bring It On: In It To Win It
Doug E. Karate   |  

Bring It On: In It To Win It DVDBring It On: In It To Win It
Directed by Steve Rash
Starring Ashley Benson, Cassie Scerbo, Jennifer Tisdale, Michael Copon
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Available Dec. 18, 2007

To be honest, at first, I only took this assignment as a goof. I just thought I’d write a couple of silly things, maybe get a plug in, and then I’d be off into the night like a drunken phantom. That was my plan anyway. I mean, it’s a cheerleading movie, right? Keep in mind, that I am a man in his thirties who was asked in all seriousness to write about a movie that is almost exclusively targeted at young girls between the ages of nine and fourteen years old. Then it occurred to me that the things I thought were interesting even in my twenties (like that episode of 90210 when Donna shows up at a clothing factory in a belly shirt and high heels only to discover that she has wandered into a sweatshop full of underpaid immigrants) may fall right into the realm of the very same demographic. In other words, I was probably asked to do this because I may be the only man on the GoD staff who gets it.

Moving on”¦

The direct-to-DVD In It To Win It is the fourth installment of the Bring It On series. Though, unlike the Eliza Dushku id-fest that made the original such a wonderfully cheap experience, this chapter of the trilogy features a much younger cast and takes place at a cheerleading camp (Camp Cheer Thunder) rather than the scholastic settings of the previous films.

California native Carson (Ashley Benson) competes in the “Cheer Camp Nationals” and is determined to lead her squad, the West High Sharks, to ultimate victory. Brooke, a Paris Hilton look-a-like and captain of the East Coast Jets (Cassie Scerbo) is equally determined to win the competition’s most coveted “spirit stick.” However, Brooke seems just as hellbent on making Carson’s life miserable in the process as she schemes from the shadows, while wielding a paperback copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War — which can be assumed is required reading for all evil cheerleaders.

Trouble erupts between these warring factions when Carson falls in love with a member of the rival team. Just as Carson’s woes begin, she must also find the stolen “spirit stick,” which (to make matters even worse) has been charmed with an evil curse by some cheerleading god of unknown mystical origin. I know what you’re thinking. It’s like I’m describing a delicious salad sprinkled with both croutons and crisis.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part of this movie yet, which I have to tell you is somewhere between the dialogue — “I just cannot have an inter-cheer-acial relationship” — and the actual cheerleading sequences. The latter were brilliantly choreographed by Tony Gonzalez.

During a completely unwarranted group confession scene, a collective made up of the two rival teams becomes openly aware of their own stereotypes and just as quickly shed themselves of the behaviors that precede them. I’m not joking when I tell you there is something genuinely cool about the scene.

Every dance move/cheerleading/stunt/hell no I won’t do that/action sequence in this movie was equally exciting to watch as the next. I was even more impressed when I found out that those were not editing tricks. The cast of the film actually did all of their own dancing, and most of the stunts too. I can’t say enough about how fun to watch those sequences are.

The bottom line is, when it comes to the intended demographic of this film, the movie itself does its job and then some. However, it’s the bonus features that really make this DVD a worthy buy. In “Lights, Camera, Bring It” director Steve Rash gives a brief summary of the film, and clues you in as to what inspired a lot of it. Tony Gonzalez then walks you through three choreographed features including a look at the East and West Coast styles of cheering, (which I’m not positive are really authentic, but I’ll take his word for it). Tony then teaches you a cheer that you the viewer can have fun learning at home. I did!

For High School: The Musical fans, In It To Win It features music by Ashley Tisdale (sister Jennifer Tisdale stars in the movie).

The best part about this DVD is that I can imagine my little niece watching it over and over again while having a ball learning all the steps and cheers with Tony G. I can also imagine having some friends over and turning the entire DVD into an elaborate drinking game. Either way, this DVD is a win-win.

*** 1/2 of ****

TRAILER: QuickTime; MP4

ENTER TO WIN a copy of Bring It On: In It To Win It from Geeks of Doom!

Disco Volante is the co-host of the Food Is Not Love weekly podcast.



  1. Jeez, Jets vs. Sharks? Inter-cheer-acial relationship? Could they get anymore obvious? They might has well have named the setting Camp Spanish Harlem and titled the movie Bring it On: Maria’s Revenge.

    Comment by MrOodles — December 19, 2007 @ 10:49 am

  2. Oh, one more thing. Why is the Kansas City Chiefs tight end choreographing cheerleading movies? Is he moonlighting with this gig? Is it part of his community service?

    Comment by MrOodles — December 19, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  3. They are really trying to milk the first one for all its worth. Good review.

    Comment by Jerry — December 19, 2007 @ 11:43 am

  4. As sure as I am that I will probably never find the time to see this movie in my lifetime, I’ll say that you did a really great job of reviewing it objectively. Super-Master-Kudos, Disco!

    Comment by Dave3 — December 19, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  5. This is actually the fourth installment, not the third.

    Comment by Tony DeFrancisco — December 19, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

  6. Thank you guys so much. It was definitely fun to write. If there really was a God in heaven I would be asked to write the next cheerleading film, which of course would be an even campier though pointed take on current events. I’m thinking I’d call it:


    Comment by Disco — December 19, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

  7. Thanks for letting us know, Tony, it’s fixed.

    Comment by Empress Eve — December 19, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  8. I saw this movie too. And as I might give it 3.5 stars, as Sir Disco Volante did, it would be entirely for the eye candy. I would give the plot, 1 star. I’ll explain …

    These types of movies ar far too complex. The average viewer has a better chance at bridging general relativity with quantum mechanics than following all of this high brow ‘teen speak’ and all of these girls doing strange martial arts with pom-poms; kicking and punching everywhere.

    Completely unamerican as no one gets killed.

    Comment by Scmoozer — December 19, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

  9. How many of these BRING IT ON films can studios make? The only one I’ve seen is the first one, which I own on DVD, because it’s actually…I dunno…GOOD? I tried watching the second and pretty much changed the channel. I don’t know if I would ever watch this film. Maybe one day I’ll personally review the entire franchise and lose a few brain cells in the process.

    Great review. I’m glad you watched it and not me.

    Comment by Fred [The Wolf] — December 20, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

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