Thanks to Disney Channel Original Movies I now know a) who the three Jonas Brothers are and b) that Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez are in fact two completely different people.
I've also learned that any problem – usually a rivalry or some kind of misunderstanding caused by snippets of an overheard conversation – can be best remedied by a melodic song with a catchy radio friendly hook performed by a genetically flawless tween.
Another thing I discovered while screening the sequel to Camp Rock on Disney Blu-ray is that had I been editing Paul Hoen's movie which aired four consecutive nights over Labor Day weekend, I would've been fired immediately for axing Nick Jonas' number “Introducing Me,” which is a little too reminiscent of Jason Mraz's “I'm Yours” in favor of leaving in Lovato's pop twangy power ballad “Different Summers.”
Yet luckily for fans of the movies, critics who aren't sure they can handle another “let's rock” style cutesy moment or parents who will inevitably get various tunes stuck in their heads from the incessant replay of both the movie and soundtrack, Lovato's irresistible song is included in its entirety in this extended edition.
Extended editions of Disney Channel movies have become the standard for the wildly popular releases – most likely to give super fans a reason to go out and purchase the discs rather than make do with DVR replays of the recorded hits.
And to their immense credit, the network's infectiously upbeat production numbers and polished presentations have generated some truly entertaining work in the past such as Paul Hoen's The Cheetah Girls: One World, the first two High School Musical pictures, StarStruck, Lovato and Gomez's charming Princess Protection Program along with the latter's Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.
Unfortunately, Camp Rock 2: Final Jam is one of the weakest offerings in ages. Even though I haven't seen the first installment, its Little Mermaid sounding plot-line that involves boy band member Shane (Joe Jonas) searching out the girl who's voice he fell for over the course of a summer is far more creative than the sequel's slapdash idea that finds Camp Rock battling the new Camp Star to fight extinction in a musical showdown.
Distracting us from its thin plot with near wall-to-wall songs, Camp Rock 2 lives up to the promise that sequels should always be bigger than the previous titles in terms of pyrotechnics and an actual amphitheater that at one point transforms into a large playground despite Camp Rock's dwindling finances in their last tuneful hurrah.
Light on the bonus features aside from the option to let you rock-along with the characters and a few other brief featurettes, the nonetheless technically impressive Combo Pack also boasts a DVD and Digital Copy of the movie, thereby selling you the same film in three different formats to justify the price regardless of the fact that it's just not very good.
Perhaps they would've been better off somehow putting together a soundtrack sampler disc since I know they most likely wouldn't have wanted to include free copies of the album with songs that will be featured on the currently running Disney Camp Rock concert tour.
However, for kids who are starstruck enough by Disney royalty to settle for lesser movie quality, Camp Rock 2 is sure to appeal, even if most of us would've preferred a different summer title... complete with Lovato's “Different Summers” number.
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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.