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Dirty Dancing - Havana Nights (DVD)

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Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2004 / Actors: Patrick Swayze ... / DVD released 01 February, 2005 at Live/Artisan / Features of the DVD: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC

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    4 Reviews
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      12.05.2010 13:59
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      I didnt love it

      Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights is the prequel to the amazingly popular, l1987 film, Dirty Dancing. Havana Nights was released in 2004 and I am pretty sure that it was released straight to DVD although I am not 100% sure on this. The film had a budget of $25 million but has only made a little bit over that. Havana Nights is rated PG due to mild language and sexual references and it has a run time of 83 minutes.

      Plot
      Set in pre-revolution Cuba, Katey Miller's family have just moved there from America and are living in a huge hotel complex along with other Americans. Everyone around her seems to be extremely racist, especially her little sister. Katey isn't like the other teenagers around and sticks out like a sore thumb.

      While walking home from school one day, she meets Javier, a waiter at her hotel. He shows her what living in Cuba is really like and teaches her about his culture, especially dancing. After walking her back to the hotel, Javier gets fired and Katey decides that she has to help him get the money that he will miss from his job. Deciding to enter a dancing competition, Javier has to teach Katey how to really dance, even if it means taking her to clubs that she probably shouldn't be in. Katey risks everything to help someone she never thought she would be friends with.

      Cast
      Romola Garai as Katey Miller
      Diego Luna as Javier Suarez
      Sela Ward and John Slattery as Jeannie and Bert Miller
      Mika Boorem as Susie Miller
      Jonathan Jackson as James Phelps
      Patrick Swayze as Dance Class Instructor
      Rene Lavan as Carlos Suarez
      January Jones as Eve
      Mya Harrison as Lola Martinez
      Angelica Aragon as Javier Suarez
      Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Yolanda

      My Opinion
      After the huge success of the first film, Havana Nights had a lot to live up to and unfortunately it didn't. Not that I didn't enjoy the film but there was just too many things to pick at.

      The plot itself was pretty good but I don't feel like it was enough to put the Dirty Dancing part in the title. Apart from the small cameo from Patrick Swayze, there is nothing else that ties this film to the original. I think it would have been a lot more successful had it been made as a stand alone and released on a wider scale. I actually don't agree with Swayze appearing in this film. Seeing as Havana Nights is a prequel, he didn't fit very well at all, especially for anyone who has seen Dirty Dancing. I think if he were to be used like this then this film should have been made a lot earlier. I know how mean this sounds but he really did look old here and knowing that this film was set earlier made me question this choice. Ultimately, I think putting the Dirty Dancing name on this film had more negative effects than it did positive.

      The acting is a bit hit and miss from all sides. There are some parts which were done really well but for the most part, it wasn't convincing enough. I think that is mainly down to the actors chosen for the main roles. I know that they are supposed to be teenager but I found both Katey and Javier extremely annoying throughout. The only time that I didn't really mind them too much was when they weren't speaking and they were dancing instead. One actor that did stand out for me though was Jonathan Jackson who played James. Although his character was a bit shallow and selfish at times, I thought that he was the most convincing of the whole cast.

      The dancing for the most part was really good, especially in the Cuban clubs. These styles of dance are really exciting and interesting to me which is why I think I enjoyed this aspect so much. When Javier is teaching Katey how to dance, I didn't feel like it had the same impact as it did in the original film and this was one of the reasons why I ended up disliking the main characters. They should have had so much visible chemistry here but I felt let down because it was so mediocre.

      The soundtrack was another good thing about this film. With artists like Mya, Black Eyed Peas and Wyclef Jean appearing on the soundtrack, I couldn't help but like the music. These choices, although very modern, made me feel like I was in the clubs there and they really added to the atmosphere of the story.

      Overall, not a good film in many ways. If you like dancing then this is the only real reason why I would recommend it but otherwise, I think this one should be left for teenagers who may enjoy it.

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      • More +
        10.08.2008 00:03
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        Watchable at best

        My husband bought me this dvd for Christmas shortly after its release and I was so over excited on unwrapping it. I loved the original dirty dancing and would vote it my no. 1 film of all time and the only film I've watched probably more than 10 times.

        This film is a prequel taking place several years before dirty dancing was set but it does not marry this story with the later Dirty Dancing in anyway, although the large Dirty Dancing 2 across the front of the DVD implies that it does. The back of the dvd claims "He's going to show her the time of her life" another reference to the original.

        The Cast

        Diego Luna - Javier Suarez
        Romola Garai - Katey Miller
        Sela Ward - Jeannie Miller
        John Slattery - Bert Miller
        Jonathan Jackson - James Phelps
        Patrick Swayze - Dance teacher
        Mika Boorem - Susie Miller
        Rene Lavan - Carlos Suarez
        January Jones - Eve
        (The only one I had heard of was Patrick Swayze)

        A brief synopsis of the film, don't want to give to much away in case anyone actually wants to watch it.

        Katey Miller is 18 and has been forced to move to Cuba shortly before the Cuban Revolution. She lives a very pampered life compared to the average Cuban staying in a classy Hotel and attending High School. She tries dating a rich boy whose father is her fathers boss but ends up with Javier a commoner but a great dancer. When Javier loses his job they end up entering a dancing competition to help raise money. Their love story and dancing partnership are set against a lot of political issues and a serious culture clash.

        There are a lot of ups and downs in their relationships throughout the film and none of it tugs at your heartstrings. The chemistry which exists between baby and Johnny is not evidenced at all between this pair. The dancing is good, the acting is reasonable but the story backdrop is quite depressing.

        The most disappointing thing for me was that Patrick Swayze only showed up on screen for a few minutes and had only a couple of lines and most certainly did not have a chance to show off his
        dancing skills.

        I feel it was false advertising calling this dirty dancing 2 as it has absolutely no connection whatsoever. They were obviously trading on the name of the original to try and capitalise profits. Even with this people weren't stupid as once word got round about it and it did badly in the States I think it went straight to dvd in UK.

        Would I recommend this film - No. Its watchable if you have nothing better to do and has some good scenes but it is not a patch on dirty dancing and it actually feels a little creepy that filmmakers think we are gullible enough to support something just because of its name.

        Amazon are presently selling it for £3.98

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        • More +
          05.08.2008 22:37
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          keep your moving throughout

          When I heard this movie was coming out I couldn't wait!! Especially when I heard Patrick Swayze will be in it.

          I wasn't sure what to expect really, but by reading up on it I knew it wasn't going to be a follow on from the 1st Dirty Dancing film, but I was really excited as I knew it was going to be based in Cuba and included salsa dancing, both of which I love!!

          The film itself was based back in 1957 just before the Cuban revolution where Americans lived and Cuba was filled with lively Casinos etc ( mini Las Vegas) and the film was about an American family 'The Millers' who move to Cuba due to Mr Miller getting a job promotion.

          Katy one of the two daughters was not happy about moving out to Cuba, she was doing really well at school, so moving to Cuba was a big culture shock and a massive change.

          Katy eventually ties up with a local waiter (Javier) as Katy's friends were mean to him, after knocking a tray of drinks Katy apologises to him and then one day after school KaTy misses her bus and gets lost in Havana, she bumps into him whilst he was dancing in the street Cuban style!! She has not seen anything like this before and is amazed how they dance.

          Javier loose's his job at the hotel due to their close friendship and therefore Katy agrees to help him by entering them both into a dance contest with a price of $5000. Katy with her Ballroom skills and Javier's Cuban Style they decide to choreograph a routine to perform mixing the two styles together!

          Their friendship blossoms and her family are very unhappy about it, however watching them perform in the contest is great and watching them learn it and both have fun is enjoyable to watch and it's certainly entertaining.

          Now I know your probably wandering where does Patrick Swayze come into this? He is the dance teacher at the expensive hotel the Millers stay at, giving Katy guidance and giving her the idea for the competition in the first place.

          Hes not in it for long which is a shame, and not named either but you do see him dance and it's great just to see him in it.

          The film is full of music, love and dance and although it doesn't compare to Dirty Dancing, it is actually a really fun film to watch.

          It's also not actually filmed in Havana either which is a little disappointing, its actually filmed in San Juan in Puerto Rico.

          The music is great and I would also recommend the soundtrack Album too.The main Soundtrack song to this film is 'dance like this' by Wyclef Jean fetauring Claudette Ortix, and it's a better version ( in my own personal view) of 'hips don't lie' by Shakira!!

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            22.02.2008 16:06
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            see review

            Havana Nights is the number 2 of dirty dancing; there has been a difference of opinion on this film, as with most films. I think it always depends on your taste of film, and I always think that the second part of a film never lives up to the expectations of the first. This is no exception, although I did not dislike the film it had a lot to live up to, Dirty Dancing, is one of the best selling films and most loved films, so this one was a hard film to live up to, although I do not think they did a bad job of this film, in which I will give my opinion later.

            The Plot
            -------------

            Katey Miller moves from the United States to Havana, Cuba with her parents and her sister, in November 1958, just before the Revolution breaks out. Her parents have high hopes for her, and want her to go out with the rich owners son. But Katey ends up meeting and falling in love with Javier Suarez, a waiter who also happens to be a talented dancer, just like her, although her dancing style is different to his.

            They secretly meet in a Havana nightclub, and on the walk back is seen by Katey's sister, who tells the owner of the hotel. Javier is later sacked, and Katey feels guilty and agrees to enter the dance competition with him.

            Katey's parents are ex-professional dancers who trained her in ballroom dancing, whereas Javier has been trained in the titular Cuban style of dirty dancing, and the two must try and combine their two dance styles, to improve their chances of winning in the competition. I wont say no more as it will spoil the film loll.

            The cast
            -------------

            Diego Luna as Javier Suarez
            Romola Garai as Katey Miller
            Sela Ward as Jeannie Miller
            John Slattery as Bert Miller
            Jonathan Jackson as James Phelps
            Patrick Swayze as Dance teacher
            Mika Boorem as Susie Miller
            Rene Lavan as Carlos Suarez
            January Jones as Eve

            The acting
            ----------------

            I would say the acting is not brilliant in this film, but I would not say its bad either. There are some good scenes, where the acting is brilliant, but then you have a few bad scenes where the acting lets them down. I do think that all the dance scenes are great though, and the moves they do, and some parts are even funny.

            I was disappointed though how little a part Patrick Swayze played, and he was not even his original character Johnny Castle. I think it would have been a lot better if he played his original character and it gave you the story of what happened between him and Baby from the first Dirty Dancing, to carry the story on. Although as pointed out they will have had to change the date of the film as this one was set at an earlier time loll.

            The soundtrack
            ------------------------

            The soundtrack was quite good and there was some good dancing tunes on it, with songs from the likes of Wyclef Jean and Black Eyed Peas. The music however would not be to every ones taste as it is more Cuban music. It is personally not what I would listen to, but I thought it played well with the film and the dance moves.

            My Opinion
            ----------------

            I did like this film myself, but I know this is of opinion, as many rated it compared to Dirty Dancing, and we all know that was a better film. The film was more than watch able, and it had a similar storyline to Dirty Dancing, a couple falling in love that were not allowed to be together, and both men In each lost their jobs. I feel that the ideas for the film were mostly taken out of the first film and just used different dancing and a different setting.

            Although the film was set in Cuba it was actually filmed in Puerto Rico, this did not change how the film looked and you really could not tell the difference. I would watch this film again, as I did enjoy it, but I did love the first Dirty Dancing. I will say it was nowhere near as good as the first one, but I still think its very watch able and enjoyable to watch.

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