Tag Archives: Demi Lovato

DVD review: “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam – Extended Edition” Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack

As if you need my opinion to tell you whether or not Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam- Extended Edition is worth your kids’ time. I’m sure they’re already clamoring to get the DVD after seeing the premiere on Disney Channel over Labor Day.  But guess what, this is one film that actually exceeds the original both in content, production value, and musical numbers. Whereas the original Camp Rock felt like a blatant attempt to ride the coattails of the High School Musical phenomenon, now that Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers are bigger stars than any of the HSM kids, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam doesn’t need to be tied to HSM in order to succeed.

In the new film, Mitchie (Lovato) is eager to return to Camp Rock, the summer music camp where she came into her own, and meet up with the friends she made the previous summer. At the same time, music stars Shane, Nate and Jason (Joe, Nick and Kevin Jonas) are excited to get off the road and away to the camp. Shane, especially, wants to spend as much time with Mitchie, the girl he met when he was forced to work at Camp Rock. What the camp rockers don’t expect is the opening of a slick, new musical camp (alas, only in a fantasy music would there be two music camps across the lake from each other) has drummed up some serious competition for Camp Rock.

Camp Star, the rival camp, threatens the future of Camp Rock’s existence. The only way to solve the differences between the two camps is with a live musical competition in which fans can vote for the best camp. Alright! With a storyline that could have come right out of the Mick and Judy book of movie musicals, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is fun and enjoyable for the entire family.

The success of this film comes from the skilled performances of the four leads. Lovato and the Jonas brothers have all spend hundreds of hours in front of TV cameras since the last Camp Rock movie and the experience has made all of them better actors. While Lovato has natural screen presence, it’s the brothers Jonas who are the most improved. Their performances in the earlier film were kind of wooden and forced, but the three brothers look much more at home when acting. Joe and Demi have some palpable chemistry in the romance department; I believe they were dating at the time. Kevin proves that he actually good at something besides being the backup singer. The eldest Jonas brother shows some comic flair in the movie, especially in his scenes with young campers.

While Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is not great art, it is great pop entertainment. The musical numbers are all wonderfully choreographed and the songs are all catchy, with a variety of styles throughout. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming a couple of them soon after the credits have rolled.

Bonus features on the DVD include the extended version of the film that contains two exclusive music sequences and the “Rock Along” version of the movie, with puts the lyrics up on screen during the movie. The Blu-ray has additional featurettes, one that introduces the new stars in the film and another that has music videos. Disney continues to lead the competition with their Blue-ray/DVD/Digital Combo packs. By including all three formats in one package, Disney is catering to the needs of all of their fans. People who don’t have Blu-ray players yet won’t have to go out and purchase a new copy of the movie if/when they step into the high def era. I like that a lot. There’s nothing more annoying than owning a huge collection of movies and having to replace it as soon as you get the latest technical gadget.

Blu-ray Review: “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure”

51dSfOxVeSL._SCLZZZZZZZ_[1]It may have taken Disney more than 50 years to give Peter Pan’s spunky sidekick her own feature, but now that they’ve kicked off the Tinker Bell film franchise, they’re through fooling around: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure arrives only a year after 2008’s Tinker Bell, and comes complete with the kind of top-shelf voice cast (including a cameo from Anjelica Huston) and big-budget extras (including a score performed by an 82-piece symphony) that used to be synonymous with Disney. Direct-to-video animated films get a bum rap, and that’s due in large part to the crap that Disney released in the ’90s; between Tinker Bell and its sequel, however, the studio seems to be making a real effort to turn all that around.

The official synopsis of the film is as follows: The tale of Disney’s favorite fairy, Tinker Bell, continues in an all-new magical adventure beyond Pixie Hollow! Discover how the Pixies make their magic dust! Let your imagination soar as Autumn comes to Pixie Hollow. Take off in a hot air balloon with Tinker Bell and her new friend Blaze, a lightning bug who lights her way, on an enchanting secret journey to find a new moonstone, the source of the Pixies mystical dust. But hold on tight! There’ll be amazing encounters, some close calls, and a daring rescue by her old friend Terence! In her biggest adventure yet, Tinker Bell not only learns a lesson in responsibility, she discovers the true meaning of friendship. From the creators of Tinker Bell, ‘Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure’ is a captivating journey of self-discovery everyone will want to take. Continue reading

DVD Review: “Sonny with a Chance: Sonny’s Big Break”

51wlvLbYKyL._SCLZZZZZZZ_[1]Sonny with a Chance: Sonny’s Big Break (2009, Disney)
purchase from Amazon: DVD

Disney’s Sonny with a Chance is cut from the same cloth as the mouse house’s other tween sitcoms: bright, pretty young ingénue thrown into a crazy situation and surrounded by an ensemble of wacky supporting characters. In this case, the female star is Demi Lovato; the budding young music star that also has appeared in the Disney hit films, Rock Camp and Princess Protection Program. Lovato plays Sonny; she’s a Midwestern teenager brought to Los Angeles to become the newest star on “So Random,” a sketch show that resembles the old Nickelodeon series, All That. With her wide-eyed optimism and Midwestern gosh oh golly, Mickey and Judy “let’s put on a show” enthusiasm, Sonny is a fish out of water and immediately at odds with “So Random’s” other so L.A. starlet, Tawni (Tiffany Thornton). Tawni is a bratty teen whose ice cool heart is eventually melted by Sonny and they soon become fast friends.

The remainder of the “So Random” cast includes the Mutt & Jeff duo, Nico (Brandon Mychal Smith) and Grady (Doug Brochu). Smith and Brochu are great with the one liners and willing to make fools of themselves. They’re my favorite characters. There is also the standard “bratty little sister” character, this time in the form of Zora (Allisyn Ashley Arm), the youngest cast member. While “So Random” is very popular, it competes for an audience with “Mackenzie Falls,” a sort of Gossip Girl soap opera staring a group of prima donnas. Their leader is Chad Dylan Cooper (a funny Sterling Knight), who is so full of himself, he can’t pass a mirror without looking. Chad loves getting the better of the “So Random” gang, but has a hard time breaking Sonny’s spirit. This confuses him and strangely, makes him drawn to the girl. Continue reading