Disney // 2008 // 98 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // August 19th, 2008
"You're going to Camp Rock!"
While Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana is the latest pop/rock act to have parents spending hundreds of dollars on concert tickets so they can truly wear the "World's Greatest Mom/Dad" t-shirt, the Jonas Brothers are now riding that wave. In a sense, they're the entertainment equivalent of algae. They open for Miley constantly and I think one of the boys dates her. So now that the Jonas Brothers' vehicle Camp Rock is out on Blu-ray, what does everyone think?
Camp Rock was co-written by Karin Gist and Regina Y. Hicks, who co-produced the long-running show Girlfriends. No, I haven't heard of it either. The film follows Mitchie (Demi Lovato), an aspiring performer who wants to go to some camp that develops child rock stars. Yeah, it was basically kind of like that one episode of The Simpsons where Homer went to rock and roll fantasy camp. Mitchie becomes friends with Caitlyn (Alyson Stoner), but also butts heads with Tess (Meaghan Jette Martin), the daughter of a famous performer who has a hard time escaping Mom's shadow. The established performer who comes to camp to show the kids what-for on performance is Shane Gray, played by Joe Jonas. Shane hears a mysterious voice singing one day and tries to find out who it belongs to, not knowing it's Mitchie's. But the only reason why she's there is because her mom catering business is cooking for the camp. So, Mitchie tries to manage the delicate balance between her blue-collar roots and her chance at stardom.
We now listen in on a conversation between a typical American father and his teenage son...
"Is rock dead?"
"Well, Tommy at school says that rock is dead and I'm not sure what that means."
"Is that the same Tommy you said who smokes at the school loading dock?"
"Well, I'll get to Tommy in a minute, but you ask a pretty interesting question."
"Why's that?" "Well, some people say that rock is still going strong, but a lot of people say that rock is dead. The interesting part is that nobody really agrees on when it died. Some people say it's when Elvis died. Other people say it was before that, when the Rolling Stones played Altamont. Other people say it's when young guys like Sid Vicious or Kurt Cobain passed on."
"Yeah. Why do you ask?"
"Well, we had to see this film at school called Camp Rock, and Tommy was in class, and that's what he said afterwards."
"Hmm...Well, do you agree with what he said?"
"I'm not sure. I mean, I was watching it, and it reminded me of a lot of things. Like, aren't you supposed to have drummers and stuff in a rock band?"
"Yeah, you are. What did you see?"
"Well, a lot of songs were played to keyboards and drum tracks, and anyone who played a guitar was only strumming one chord."
"Yeah, that doesn't sound like rock all that much to me."
"Also, the kids worked too hard to be good people. I always thought rock stars were a little bit on the bad side. The kid who's supposed to be a rock star was a boy, but looked and sounded like a girl. And the boys and girls all got along, even when they weren't supposed to. They all looked like they came out of the commercials from J.Crew."
"Wow, it doesn't sound all that good."
"No, it wasn't. It was pretty boring. It was kind of like Meatballs and That Thing You Do!, minus all the touring and stuff."
"Sorry to hear it, son."
"Well it wasn't so bad, Dad. I mean, they played the Blu-ray disc, and the 1.78:1 widescreen looked good. There wasn't a lot of depth to the background image, but the foreground stuff was presentable without being too vivid. The PCM soundtrack didn't provide for a lot of sonic engagement; it wasn't very immersive and sometimes the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track sounded better."
"When did you learn so much about audio and video quality son?"
"Mike Thomas brings in home theater magazines and we read through them at lunch."
"Son, I hate it when you do that. I know you're becoming an adult and all, but if these magazines interest you, let me know, and I can get you a subscription."
"I know. Thanks, Dad."
"You're welcome son. Did the disc have good bonus features?"
"They were OK. Most of it was the usual look at the making of the film, but there's a thing on how to be a rock star that's kind of weird. It's 30 minutes long, but they don't really cover anything, and some of the stuff they say is weird. Like, to be a rock star, you're supposed to listen to what your parents say. It sounds like like that's what being a rock star is about."
"Well, you'd be right about that son."
"And not knowing anything about the Jonas Brothers, I think they're kind of weird looking. They're rock stars who like performing, but they spend more time talking about hair and fashion and shopping then they do about music. It's like they're girls. And this is the band that everyone is freaking out about?"
"It does kind of tell you something about human nature, doesn't it
"Yeah, but I did what you said...'Never let the bastards get me down.'"
"Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about with the movie
"Yeah, Dad. There was one other thing. I found out from Jessica and Danielle that they also saw the movie and they didn't like it either."
"No, Danielle called it 'stupid,' and Jessica said it was 'predictable and dumb.' Now they're my sisters, and just becoming teenagers, and they're supposed to like the Jonas Brothers. If my sisters don't like the movie, was does that tell you?"
"Sounds like it's a stupid movie."
"You're right dad, it was stupid."
"So son, does this discussion help clear things up for you?"
"Yeah, Dad. Thanks."
"Tell me what you've learned."
"I've learned that before Camp Rock, rock was probably dead. After Camp Rock, I know it's not coming back."
"Attaboy son. Now go get Dad a mandarin vodka and red bull."
Review content copyright © 2008 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (Widescreen)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* PCM 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Rehearsal Cam with Bounce To Movie
* Karaoke Sing Along
* Music Videos
* Official Site