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Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 8, 2010 by  



Fun, energetic and entertaining!  The sequel has a much better musical soundtrack and a more upbeat and improved choreography compared to the original film.  “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” features never-before-scenes and songs and fans of the film, Demi Lovato or the Jonas Brothers will definitely want to pick this one up!

Images courtesy of © Walt Disney Studios Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition

YEAR OF FILM RELEASE: 2010

DURATION: 104 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (48 kHz/24-bit), French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround Soun, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED:  TV G

RELEASE DATE: September 7, 2010

Directed by Paul Hoen

Written by Daniel Berendsen, Karin Gist, Regina Y. Hicks

Characters by Karin Gist, Regina Y. Hicks, Julie Brown, Paul Brown

Executive Producer: Alan Sacks

Producer: Kevin Lafferty

Cinematography: David A. Makin

Casting by Jason La Padura

Production Design by Doug McCullough

Costume Design by Shelley Mansell

Starring:

Demi Lovato as Mitchie Torres

Chloe Bridges as Dana

Joe Jonas as Shane Gray

Nick Jonas as Nate

Meaghan Martin as Tess Tyler

Kevin Jonas as Jason

Alyson Stoner as Caitlyn Geller

Maria Canals-Barrera as Connie Torres

Anna Maria Perez de Tagle as Ella

Frankie Jonas as Trevor

Jasmine Richards as Peggy

Matthew “Mdot” Finley as Luke

Abigail Chu as Erin

Roshon Fegan as Sander

Daniel Fathers as Brown Cesario

Jordan Francis as Barron

Shaun Shetty as Counsellor Bob

Mitchie (Lovato) can’t wait to return to Camp Rock and spend the summer making new music with her friends Shane, Nate and Jason (Joe, Nick and Kevin Jonas). But the slick new camp across the lake,Camp Star, has drummed up some serious competition—featuring newcomers Luke (Finley) and Dana (Bridges). With Camp Rock’s future at stake, will Camp Star’s flashy production and over-the-top antics win the sensational battle of the bands, or will Camp Rockers prove that talent, teamwork, and spirit are what truly matter?

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In 2008, “Camp Rock” had its premiere on the Disney Channel and at the time, it became the second highest viewed Disney Channel Original Movie behind “High School Musical 2” and bringing in 8.9 million viewers.

The movie featured the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato and the film would catapult the acting and singing careers of both the band and Lovato who would go on to have their own Disney Channel show and for Lovato, would establish herself as a pop star.

Needless to say, with the success of the first film, there was no doubt that there would be a sequel and sure enough, in 2010, “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” would air on the Disney Channel on Labor Day weekend and a few days later, would be released on Blu-ray and DVD.  The film is directed by Paul Hoen (“Jonas”, “Beyond the Break”, “South of Nowhere”) and features a screenplay by Daniel Berendsen (“Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie”, “The Cheetah Girls: One World”, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), Karen Gist (“One Tree Hill”, “Girlfriends”, “Camp Rock”) and Regina Y. Hicks (“Camp Rock”, “Girlfriends”, “Sister, Sister”).

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam” takes place a year after the first film as Mitchie Torres (played by Demi Lovato) and her mother and camp caterer Connie (played by Maria Canals-Barrera) return to Camp Rock for the summer.  For Mitchie, she’s excited to spend time with Shane Gray (played by Joe Jonas), who is coming back to Camp Rock for the summer with his brothers Nate (played by Nick Jonas) and Jason (played by Kevin Jonas) who are all members of the band Connect 3.

But as Mitchie and her mother are driving towards Camp Rock, they see a sign promoting Camp Star.  Why would another music camp be created right across Camp Rock?

When Mitchie arrives to Camp Rock, she is greeted by her friends Caitlyn (played by Alyson Stoner), Margaret (played by Jasmine Richards), Ella (played by Anna Maria Perez de Tagle) and also friend/rival Tess (played by Meaghan Jette Martin).  Everyone seems to notice that there are less people this summer at Camp Rock.

Camp Rock owner Brown Cesario (played by Daniel Fathers) tells everyone that another camp has opened across the stream.  But Brown wants to make sure everyone has a fun time and with the people they have this year, they can still have some fun.  But as quickly as Brown announces it,  immediately Camp Star makes their presence known.

Camp Star is owned by Axel Turner (played by Daniel Kash), owner of the famous record company, Star Records.  He is also a former member of the rock band, the Wet Crows (which Brown was a member of) and was kicked out of the band by Brown (despite Axel believing that he left on his own terms).  But Axel does have a grudge of what happened and is determined in closing Camp Rock and getting revenge on Brown.

Camp Star invites the people and staff of Camp Rock to a bonfire and Brown knows that Axel is up to no good.   When the Camp Rock people arrive to the bonfire at Camp Star, they are shocked to see an actual performance/concert area.   The night begins with Camp Rock performing.  Mitchie and friends perform a song on stage but when it is Camp Star’s turn to perform on stage, Axel reveals pop star Luke Williams (played by Matthew “Mdot” Finley) and goes all out with a concert/lighting spectacle.  The performance area is lit up like a major concert arena with lighting and a much more glitzier arena than what the Camp Rock performers are used to.

And what Brown had worried about Axel comes true.  Axel has used the bonfire to take the time to steal staff and people away from Camp Rock and using the presentation on their turf as a way to make them switch.  Axel offers tents with air conditioning and is willing to pay staff at Camp Rock double if they come to work for him.  And he starts inviting Camp Rock people to his camp and sure enough, as nearly all Camp Rock staff switch to Camp Star, a few Camp Rockers including Tess decide to make the switch to Camp Star.

Brown and members of Camp Rock are devastated.  Not only did they lose staff but without them, the camp will not function and would have to close down.

But Mitchie, the Grays and friends decide to step up and prevent the camp from closing and become part of the staff to save the camp and to make sure that Camp Star does not get the best of them.  Meanwhile, Nate Gray (played by Nick Jonas) starts to take a liking towards Axel’s daughter Dana (played by Chloe Bridges) and she becomes interested in him.  But because they are from rival camps, they try to find ways to be with each other without anyone finding out.

As Axel is determined to close down Camp Rock, Axel issues a challenge to Camp Rock.  A battle of the camps in a televised musical performance.  Brown knows its a ploy for Axel to shut down Camp Rock but without consulting him, Mitchie and friends agree to the competition and now both camps prepare to square off in a musical competition.  Will this be the end of Camp Rock?

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” features the extended version of the film which includes never-before-seen songs and scenes for “Different Summers” and “Waking in My Shoes”.

VIDEO:

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  Because the majority of the film is shot outdoors, the film looks vibrant and colorful in HD.   Especially during the performances at the Camp Star stage.  Cinematographer David A Makin (“Drop Dead Diva”, “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie”) did a good job in capturing the overall performance area.  The lighting was very well done during these performances and looks great in HD.

The accompany DVD is presented in widescreen (1:78:1) – enhanced for 16×9 television.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24-bit), French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround Sound and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.   Dialogue and music is crisp and clear through the center and front channels and there was a good amount of crowd ambiance coming through the surround channels.  Actually, the lossless soundtrack really takes advantage of the surround channels for this musical.  I was expecting more of a front and center channel driven soundtrack, so I was amazed to hear the surround channels utilized.

I actually dig the musical soundtrack for this film compared to the last film.  It’s all subjective to the listener but I enjoyed the addition of the pop R&B performances and a good balance of music this time around.

The accompanying DVD features a soundtrack in English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.

As for subtitles, the film is presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” comes with the following special features (in 1080p HD and standard definition and presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital):

  • Rock-AlongWhile watching the film, you can watch “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam” via “Rock-Along” in which you can sing along with the tunes (karaoke style titles for the lyrics are shown at the bottom of the screen).
  • Music Videos from Camp Rockers Around the WorldWatch music videos of performances for “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam” in other countries which include France (3:03, Lea Castel – N’abandone pas (Can’t Back Down), Spain (2:47, Lucia Gil – Tu ere mi cancion), Benelux (3:25, Dean en Sita – I Wouldn’t Change a Thing), Germany (3:31) and Italy (3:36, FINLEY – Per la vita che verra’).  Presented in standard definition.
  • Getting to Know the Camp Stars(5:44) Alyson Stoner interviews Matthew “Mdot” Finley and Chloe Bridges about how they got the part and what they did in their audition.  Also, their experience on filming “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam”.
  • Disney LiveDownload the latest trailers for upcoming Disney films or learn what is out on Disney Blu-ray.

EXTRAS:

This version of “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” comes with a slipcase cover and also comes with a DVD and digital copy of the feature film.

An awesome, fun and energetic sequel!

“Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” is another enjoyable musical from Disney that stays true to the tradition of the original movie (and other Disney musicals) featuring kids having fun, singing, dancing and of course, you also get some of that camp drama as well.

What I enjoyed about the film is that remains consistent to the first but also improves upon the original. Since 2008 with “Camp Rock”, both Demi Lovato and the members of the Jonas Brothers have improved vocally as pop stars. When I first watched Demi Lovato, her vocals worked with her character since she was not as established yet as an actress nor as a singer but now, watching her in “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam”, you can see the confidence. Also, I like the pop/R&B addition of  Mathew “Mdot” Finley.  This guy has star potential and definitely brings another dimension to the “Camp Rock” music soundtrack.

I also enjoyed the choreography for the sequel.  You have awesome choreographers Rosero McCoy (“Shake It Up!”, “Step Up”) and Chuck Maldonado (“Stomp the Yard” films) really taking the dancing to a new level with this sequel and in fact, when I started to see some stepping during the film, the first thing that came to my mind was “Chuck Maldonado” must be involved with this film and sure enough he was.

A major highlight of the film was the performance by everyone as they were singing the song “It’s On”.  It’s a very cool song that incorporates everyone into that musical scene and was similar to the “High School Musical” style of choreography of taking many people and having fun with the choreography but making it slick and cool and having an awesome song behind it. It was great to see everyone so involved and even seeing the main and supporting characters really going all out in the choreography. I was impressed.

The pop tracks “Fire” and “Walkin’ In My Shoes” were also pretty cool and it was good to see Meaghan Martin and Matthew “Mdot” Finley performing together. I thought the scene with Nate (Nick Jonas) singing to Dana (Chloe Bridges) was pretty charming and fun as Nate is a shy guy but he best communicates through his music.

And of course, for Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato fans, there are plenty of cool songs in this film especially with “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” by Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato as a song that is a solid ballad and awesome follow up to their 2008 “Camp Rock” hit “This Is Me”.

Now which film did I enjoy the most?  I have to say that I enjoyed the first film for its storyline. Mainly for the fact that Mitchie was an underdog and I enjoy films in which the underdog proves that she can be the best.  I enjoyed that about “Camp Rock” and Demi Lovato’s inexperience really helped make her stand out. We hardly knew anything about her then and when we saw her sing, we knew she had star potential. This time around, we have seen Demi emerge as an actress and singer and the same goes for the Jonas Brothers who have matured as well. But when it comes to the music and choreography, “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam” was much better than the original. The songs are catchy, well-produced and the choreography, as mentioned, is much, much better than the original.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” does come with the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy of the film.  But also, for fans who did enjoy the sequel, the extended version does have the never-before-seen scenes and songs for “Different Summers” and “Walking in My Shoes”.

Although, not a release that comes with a lot of special features and unfortunately no audio commentary or featurettes (would have loved to see the making of or even the training that went into creating the film), it’s still a solid release for fans of the film, Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers or those who enjoy Disney musicals. Picture and audio quality is solid and I think that fans will love this extended edition Blu-ray release.

Overall, “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam: Extended Edition” is another entertaining musical following the success of the original “Camp Rock” but also improves the film with its music soundtrack and choreography.  If you loved watching “Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam” on the Disney Channel, then you’ll definitely want to pick up the extended version of the film!

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