CAMP ROCK: EXTENDED ROCK STAR EDITION
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Demi Lovato as MITCHIE TORRES
Joe Jonas as SHANE GRAY
Meaghan Jette Martin as TESS TYLER
Maria Canals-Berrera as CONNIE TORRES
Alyson Stoner as CAITLYN GELLER
Directed by: Matthew Diamond
BY KEVIN CARR
When I was a kid, Disney meant cartoon, animated animals and family viewing. Now, in the age of the Disney Channel, it seems that the brand is standing for tween music concerts. After record-breaking debuts of Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) like “The Cheetah Girls” and “High School Musical” series, its no surprise that not only was “Camp Rock” put in production but that it also broke records.
Instead of bringing a television star to lead the film, Disney tapped newcomer Demi Lovato to star. Of course, they did bring in sure-thing Disney rock star Joe Jonas as the love interest. The film tells the story of Mitchie Torres (Lovato), a girl who wants to go to a rock music camp but can’t afford it. However, when her mother is hired as the camp cook, Mitchie gets a special opportunity to join in the fun.
Trying to hide the truth about her family from her new stuck-up friends, Mitchie learns to find true friendship in some misfits and the hot young rock star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas), who is doing penance at the camp after some troubled moments with his band.
While Lovato is adorable and very affable, and Joe Jonas surprises with a pleasant screen presence and some nice acting ability, it’s not as lovable as the “High School Musical” films. Still, the tween market is going to love this one, if they haven’t already burned up their DVR hard drive by watching it over and over from its original broadcast this past June.
The DVD comes with a nice helping of special features, including multiple selections in the Backstage Disney block. There’s a bit of advice from the cast on how to be a rock star, a spotlight on the Jonas Brothers (which was surprisingly informative and interesting), a look at newcomer Demi Lovato, memories of camp, a chronicle of one of the songs from rehearsal to finished product and how the scene was set for another number.
Other special features include sing-alongs with the movie, two music videos and a “Camp Rock Karaoke” setting that allows you to sing without the help of the stars.
As the DCOM model goes, “Camp Rock” pushes all the right buttons. It has a good message of being yourself. It serves the romance fantasy of the tween girl market. It has plenty of song and dance, tapping into the Radio Disney label. It is perfectly made for its audience. No wonder it drew in 8.9 million viewers (second only to the numbers for “High School Musical 2”).