Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to DCOM Month.
I looked at a famous DCOM from the old era, so let’s do one from the new Era. Yep, it’s their 2nd most infamous new one, the first being …well you know.
It’s a prime example of everything new disney is about, for better or for worse. It stars not one, but two Disney people you may know, and it has them signing.
I’ve actually never seen it, so I have no idea how good/bad it is. It could be a guilty pleasure, or genuinely bad. I have no idea.
But first, let’s discuss said stars, Demi Lavoto and the Jonas Brothers. I find Demi okay. She’s no Selena Gomez but there are worse actors out there, though her singing has never been the best. She was okay in Princess Protection program (which I may or may not get to) and had her moments in Sonny with a chance. Overall, she’s your typical Disney star. Not amazing but, okay. Oh, and she went insane, got better, and then dropped off the face of the earth.
Then there the Jonas Brothers…not a fan. They were the one direction of their day, churning out crappy songs and batshit insane fangirls. I don’t hate them personally, but I sure can hate their fans. However, there is no use bitching about them, since the exact same thing happens with every pop singer/band. That’s why I can’t care about One Direction. It’s the same piece of shit I’ve stepped in before, why complain?
So we have one fairly okay star, and one cruddy band. Maybe this will be okay. What else has this director done?
This, is Camp Rock
Right off the bat, we meet Mitchie (?), played by Lavto as she wakes up for the last day of school. We also get our Obligatory background pop song.
After that she heads down, and hey look her Mom is the mom from Wizards of Waverly place. They see a news report about Shane Grey, played by Joe Jonas, saying he stormed off the set of their latest video and that the band is big trouble. Huh, a Disney star usually goes insane AFTER they star in a movie.
The fact that Demi is shocked by a pop star going insane is hilarious in hindsight, by the way. Anyway, Demi has been dropping very subtle hints that she wants to go to the titular Camp rock.
They can’t afford it, so she is rejected and heads off to school. Her friend is un-happy to learn that Demi can’t go.
“But you have to go! Anybody who wants to be somebody in music…which you already know”
SHREDDER: I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to them!
So later she gets home and finds out that IS going to Camp rock after all. But there’s a catch: Mom’s catering company will work there, allowing Demi to go. She’s so happy that Mom going to camp with her doesn’t bug her!
So off she goes to Camp rock, where we see the Alpha-bitch Tess. Just thoughtIi’d help make that even more obvious. Let’s cut to Demi exploring the camp where teens just bust out their instruments like crazy and don’t seem to be dong anything normal.
She bumps into Caitlyn, played by Alsyson Stoner. Ohai Isabella! She tells Demi that Tess is the Alpha-bitch.
“She’s good at trying too hard to be good”
Tess’s mom Is a big shot music person. But of course. The Musical director shows up and then two black guys start acting black and stuff…I don’t know. Anyway, it turns out this year, the camp has a special celebrity instructor…..Shane Grey.
We meet the Joe bro’s themselves, as Shane isn’t happy to be here while his brother Nate and Jason are cool with it. The camp thing is meant to get Shane back in people’s good graces, which means there must have been a big meeting for the camp to accept a guy who is kind of a dick now.
Also, Jason is the dumb one, though all of them are dumb if you ask me. They drop Shane off and drive away. Also, as if you can’t tell Tess is a bitch, Demi sees her bossing around her friends and stuff. See,there’s this final jam thingy and Tess is entering with her little girl group, which from the sounds of it is way too talented to be in this movie.
Anyway, Shane is of course bombarded with Tweens wanting to jump his bones. He hides somewhere and hears someone singing and is entranced, but has no idea who was singing. Of course it’s Demi which he would find out if he stuck his head just for a bit, but whatever.
Cuz he didn’t do so, he finds no one there when he gets inside the room where he heard the singing. Before that clich-ness can set in, we cut to the first Jam. Here we get a song by some random group which has catchy but sports weak and repetitive lyrics. Though I admit, it’s so over the top with the dancing, that it becomes fun to watch for how dumb it is.
Caitlyn hammers in how Tessa rules the camp and stuff. If Tessa wasn’t Sharpay levels of amusing, I’d say WE GET IT. Oh, OUT OF CONTEXT LINE TIME:
“I love your mom”
“Of course you do”.
Then Demi lies to Tess and says her Mom is the president of Hot Tunes TV China. Oh joy, I bet we’ll get the liar revealed plot with this. Tess and her goons buy it for some reason, and even invites her to join their cabin. For an Alpha-Bitch she sure is dumb. Sure, pick up one random person for their gang cuz of something that may be be true, or is not more impressive than the other campers credentials.
So Demi heads to their cabin where they talk and say stuff like this:
Made up slang ftw. Also, I just noticed that no matter what Demi is in, she will always have a big ass smile on her for most of the run time. At first it was cute, but now it’s really annoying.
So it looks like Demi is being welcomed to the Alpha-btich army with open arms. Oh joy, we’ll get into THAT cliché, joy. So the next day, the picking finger of the Counselor makes Demi sing a little. She’s fairly okay, but of course everyone says it’s OMGAMAZING1!11.
So Tess asks Demi to be a background singer for them. She says yes,, and then Demi has a run in with Shane. Of course he acts like a dick and doesn’t care. After that, the counselor tells him to shut the fuck up and stop being a douche. I have to say, this guy Is getting kind of awesome.
So Demi attends the next class thingy, where Shane is the instructor. This leads to a dance routine with a generic catchy song in the background. After that there’s another scene of Demi lying and Alpha-bitch stuff. Oh, and mom says this:
“She doesn’t seem like she’s your type”
So that night there is a camp fire jam. And thus, we get a villain song! Sort of, it’s sung by the villain who is boasting, anyway. It’s really catchy and fun even if it’s also kind of lame. Either way, it’s the best song so far.
The next day, Demi overhears Shane singing.
“That was different”
‘From my usual cookie cutter pop star stuff”
Says the guy in the movie that’s only cookie cutter pop star stuff. Wait, I just realized….for a movie called Camp rock, there seems to be a lack of …rock! Then again, Camp Pop isn’t as catchy.
Shane says he just makes stuff the label thinks will sell. This could be a bold statement against Disney Stars themselves…but in this movie, that would be hypocritical. Besides, the stuff he was singing just now is still pretty typical.
Because this movie loves cutting suddenly, we cut to later when Tess bumps into Isabella here.
“I’d respond but-”
“But you are responding by saying that you’re not responding”
Cue foodfight between Isabella and Tess. Demi get wrapped up in it and the counselor pulls them aside. Tess blames Isabella, and Counselor doesn’t listen to her story and just punishes her. Great guy, eh?
Also, Demi doesn’t stand up for her. Lovely.
But whatever, let’s cut to Shane hanging with Demi, and singing his latest song. He sings alone yet somehow there’s a background singer. The song itself is some cookie cutter love thing
So after that Demi is really happy, but wait, it turns out no one knows about how Demi got here due to the catering job thingy. So when Isabella walks in to help out, Demi’s secret is discovered.
So the liar has been revealed. And sadly, they do it in a really typical way. Somehow, it matters if Demi is a cook’s daughter or not. Hell, before she lied to Tess, it didn’t seem to matter that people assumed she got here normally.
But even with the lie, it can be understood why she lied to the alpha-bitch so this feels contrived. Demi then loses sympathy points when she doesn’t calmly explain and just bitches at Alsyon/Caitlyn /Isabella.
Once again, we abruptly move on to that night, which is the Pajama Jam. I’ve never been to a rock camp, but I swear they make up these dumb jams as they got along. This time, Caitlyn plays some music but Tess acts like a bitch once again. Then Demi snarks at her. Next scene..
When will this movie have an overarching plot with stakes, and all that stuff? You know, like an actual movie?
So Demi and Caitlyn talk and as it turns out, Isabella was part of Tessa’s group. WHAT A TWIST! See, Caitlyn was starting to upstage Tessa, and since she is the only star of the group, Isabella was kicked out.
“She can make you feel so important and popular, but so what?”
So that serves as a warning to Demi, and then the two pals make up. Which makes that last scene, you guessed it, entirely pointless!
Anyway, remember how Shane heard Demi’s voice but had no idea it was her? Well, he lets the camp know he’s looking for “The voice” and gets tons of girl singing for him. Needless to say, the montage doesn’t work.
Demi and Shane meet up again, and have some oh so subtle romance. They talk about Shane’s image as a jerk, and how he’s not one, and whatever. Tess sees them talking, and then later finds out Demi’s secret due to some spying.
Later, Shane performs for the camp with his band mates. The song is about as good as most Jonas Brother songs. After that, Tess gets Demi to admit to everyone that her Mom is just a caterer. Tess makes Demi look a bitch for lying, and then storms off.
Before I can say “Who cares?” Shane shows up and thinks she lied to him to use him cuz he doesn’t let her explain. Oh yay, the liar revealed plot has reached the really boring part. Like I said before, I don’t hate this cliché as much as Doug walker does, but man did this movie do it in such a useless, boring way.
All these weakly written contrivances make it so there’s no reason for this to even happen, so it falls flat on it’s face. How can we care if gets all slow and shit when it’s not well done?
Also, Shane doesn’t think that the voice could be demi. He’s tries every voice by now, but hers. You think he would be good at process of elimination.
So after the boring “I didn’t have to lie” bullshit, Demi and the gang get ready for the final jam. After the getting ready montage, Tess accuses Demi of taking her charm bracelet. Of course she planted it in Demi’s stuff, so they all think Tessa was telling the truth.
Because everybody in this movie is an idiot, they don’t question anything and bam Demi and Isabella from the final jam. And thus, the final jam arrives, and Tessa’s little background dancers finally quit. Oh goody, another cliché which only works if the villain reforms, which, I don’t think will happen.
So, she goes up by herself. Said song is decently catchy, and it’s another cool villain song. Her villain songs are the only ones I even remember.
Her mom is in the audience, but during the song she gets a phone call and decides to leave the room. This makes Tessa trip and runs off to cry. Okay, maybe I was wrong about that reform thing..
So she’s out. But peggy the Tessa goon is in! It’s some slow song that isn’t all that good, but it has emotion and it’s not awful. After that, Peggy and the other chick bump into Tess, who admits she was pretty good.
Huh, that was sudden. Aside from maybe a couple things, were was no hint of any mommy baggage, or of any good-ness in her. You can’t just have her act like Sharpay the whole movie and just make her change at the end! I admit, I didn’t see it coming, but it’s done so cliche-ly that it doesn’t really matter.
With that done, Demi shows up and Brown (the counselor) lets sing…for some reason. If you’re gonna pull shit out of your asses, why bother setting up anything?
So she breaks into song, and it’s okay. It’s generic, but the singing itself is passable, so I cant’ knock it too much. Shane hears this and knows it as the voice. So shane comes out and sings with her (which I don’t think is legal in this camp jam thing but whatever) and through the power of song, they share love-y dove-y ness.
After that, the winner of the final jam is announced…PEGGY THE TESSA GOON! Okay, that I didn’t see coming, but should have seen coming. Tess is cool with this, and even admits to Demi what she did with the bracelet thing.
“See you next summer”
And that’s all the apology Demi needs. Shane talks to Demi and it seems like he’s forgiven her on the groudns that…she was a voice he heard. Yeah, she never apologizes or explains to hm what happened, he just somehow knows she’s cool now.
With that, they have the “final jam session” which means DANCE PARTY ENDING. They sing “We Rock” and while it’s the most memorable non-villain song…anyone who just watched this movie knows it’s a big fat lie.
And then we cut to three months later. Demi, Isabella, Tess, and her goons are now best friends and are hanging out at home. Isabella set up a recording studio in her garage, so they sing a little bit. The song itself is okay, but that’s not important.
What is important, is that after the song ends…so does the movie. Even with that padding, it still ending abruptly. And yet, it was still 97 minutes in the end.
Wait, why do I care? It gets this review over faster!
Most DCOM’s style end up being a huged guilty pleasure for me. But this one…I’m a little mixed on.
On one hand, it is a guilty pleasure. It can be entertaining in how over-dramatic it is, and it’d fun to mock. Tess’s bitchy-ness early on helps to make this entertaining.
But on the over hand, it’s a mess. To the point where it just becomes boring in the end. The story is incredibly cliché and when it isn’t, it’s just sloppy. Things sometimes happen for no reason, and some of said cliches are so poorly written, it’s amazing.
You saw how quickly scenes go without any development or purpose. On of that, the characters are pretty dull, with nothing going on. Even our hero doesn’t do much, and the romance is really forced and undercooked.
The acting is decent, but nothing amazing. Also the songs are dull but tolerable.
However it’s still not…that bad, or even torturous. Thanks to some amusing elements, it ends up being fun to riff on and I can forget the dull writing at times. BUT, it’s not campy enough to become High School musical levels of Guilty pleasure, sometimes the bad writing it is.
I don’t know if I should give it a flat out terrible grade for that reason or raise it for not being THAT awful. It is sort of a guilty pleasure, but it’s just…i don’t know. I think i’ll let the Guilty pleasure aspect win out, as it was fun to do this review at points. So..
See ya, and don’t worry, the next one will be good.