Written by Pirata Hermosa
It’s only been a year since Mitchie (Demi Lovato) went to Camp Rock for the first time. Her first year was spent pretending to be someone she wasn’t. But it wasn’t until the final performance after Final Jam that she came out of her shell and let everyone see just how truly talented she was.
But now it’s a new camp season and everything is going to be great. That is until Camp Star opens across the lake and threatens to run Camp Rock out of business by stealing away all the counselors. So instead of the fun summer with her long-distance boyfriend, Shane (Joe Jonas), she ends up having to organize a group of experienced campers to become the new counselors and then come up with a musical number that will blow away Camp Rock during the Final Jam competition.
While Mitchie and Shane’s relationship flounders and leaves him puzzled wondering if he made the right decision to come off tour, the romantic aspect of the film focuses more on one of his band mates, Nate (Nick Jonas), and his wooing of Dana (Chloe Bridges), who just happens to be the daughter of the opposing camp’s owner.
It’s not a terribly complex or unique plotline, and since it’s a musical, the most important aspect is how good are the musical numbers. The biggest difference between the first film and the newest one is that it’s focusing a lot more on the singing of Mitchie, Shane, and his band. In the original one it was a camp of kids all coming up with different songs and performances in the normal course of a camp atmosphere. In other words, they actually worked on their singing and dancing. In the latest film you have a lot more of Mitchie just suddenly breaking into a song that nobody has heard yet they all seem to know the song and all the dance moves.
Even so, the songs are really good and go along perfectly with the story, the best two being “Can’t Back Down, and “It’s on.” They are both filled with lots of energy and attitude that really show off Lovato’s vocals. Another exceptional song is “Introducing Me,” which is a quirky song performed by Nate to show Dana what he is really like and what his feelings are. The songs performed by Camp Star are the weaker songs on the soundtrack. Instead of focusing on the music it’s more about image and gimmicks such as lasers and fireballs, which works well within the context of the film.
The Blu-ray combo pack contains three discs, the Blu-ray, the DVD version and a digital copy for your computer. The Blu-ray is in 1080p High Definition (1.78:1) with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The images are crisp and clear, so much so that you can see the dust on the hardwood floors and see the scratches left behind after some of the dance routines. The audio is just as good where you can actually pick out the individual singers during the group numbers and draws you in by making you feel like you are right in the middle of the action.
There are three special features on the disc: “Rock-Along” when this mode is activated words appear on the screen during the musical numbers much like a karaoke machine. “Getting to Know Camp Star’s Newest Stars” is a sit-down interview with Chloe Bridges and Matthew “Mdot” Finley that is moderated by Alyson Stoner. “Music Videos by Camp Rockers From Around the World” contains five different videos by foreign artists singing various songs from the film interspersed with clips from the movie. The oddest of the videos being the one from Germany where a gruff-looking projectionist sings the Joe Jonas part to the song “Wouldn’t Change A Thing” while he watches clips of Demi Lovato singing the other part in the film.
Along with the special features, the set also includes two new scenes, which are basically just two new musical numbers.“Different Summers” is a nice song by Lovato, but it was better left out of the original film. The entire premise is about the two camps having a showdown at Final Jam, but if this scene was left in then the two camps would have already competed and takes away from the suspense of the story. “Walking in My Shoes” is another number that fortunately was left out of the original as well because it does nothing to advance the story and is just another generic soulless performance by the Camp Star kids.
While the film isn’t going to win an Oscar, it’s family friendly and has that familiar Disney feel to it. The songs are well written and produced, and with Demi Lovato’s amazing voice on most of them it’s hard to not be drawn in. If you like Demi or the Jonas Brothers, then you’ll really going to enjoy this film. Even if you’re not a fan of any of them, the characters are so likeable that you just might find yourself becoming one.