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Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam(TV) (2010)
Mitchie, Shane, Jason, Nate and their friends return to Camp Rock for another great summer of music and fun. However they soon learn that a new state-of-the-art music/performance camp, Camp Star, has opened across the lake and has lured away many of Camp Rock instructors and campers -- putting the future of Camp Rock in jeopardy. And when Camp Star's hotshot performer, Luke Williams, challenges Camp Rock to a musical showdown to see which camp really has the stronger musical talent, everyone prepares for the ultimate battle of the bands. Meanwhile, in a classic "Romeo and Juliet" twist, Nate falls for the daughter of the owner of the rival camp.
For more about Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam and the Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray release, see Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on September 10, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Paul Kevin Jonas
Director: Paul Hoen
» See full cast & crew
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray Review
Requisite Sequel 2: Far from the Final Franchise Jam...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, September 10, 2010
Remember when teen pop idols had little more to offer young fans than a rack of flashy clothes, an eight-song cassette and a double-sided poster in the latest issue of Tiger Beat? You know, back in the good 'ol days before every Cyrus, Tisdale and Lovato came pre-packaged with a Disney Channel contract, cable specials, ongoing series, albums and side projects, film and television cameos, live concerts, made-for-TV movies, family-friendly values, reality shows, guest spots and appearances, international tours and a variety of MyFaceTer accounts. Oh, and did I mention the merchandising? Backpacks, binders, lunch boxes, videogames, Barbie dolls, T-shirts, socks, Crayola art supplies, bed sets, knit caps, accessory packs, board games, trading cards... whew, it's enough to consume an average 21st century teenage girl fifty-three times over and drive her poor, befuddled parents stark raving mad.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam isn't just the inevitable sequel to the hit Disney Channel original movie, Camp Rock, it's yet another brick in the Jonas Brothers' empire. Will it appeal to its target audience? Absolutely. Hand the Jonas Brothers a bag of Fritos, record the monotony that ensues and release it on VHS, and millions of copies will be sold within three days. Does the film come bundled with a cute, wholesome message? You betcha, and it's a harmless, aw-shucks heart warmer too. Does it prop Demi Lovato and Joe, Nick, and Kevin Jonas on a bubblegum pedestal and let them belt out pre-recorded songs till they're a wee bit pink in the face? Does it ever, and they barely break a sweat. But one all-important question remains. Is it a good film? Not really, but honestly, that's beside the point.
As you might expect, the same could be said of Final Jam's plot (which, by my estimation, is thinner than the patience you'll have after watching the brothers' less-than-epic Battle of the Rock Camps go down). This time, it's all about bitter rivalries as the selfless members of Camp Rock take on the egomaniacs running rampant at Camp Star; Lovato and the Jonas Brothers vs. the former Camp Rockers who defected and cozied up to Camp Star's sleazy owner, Axel Turner (Daniel Kash). The prize? No less than the hearts and minds of every summer camper in the vicinity, of course. The stakes? One camp will enter, one camp will... be inexplicably put out of business after losing the impromptu contest. (Let's just say airtight logic isn't exactly a priority here.) Naturally, unexpected love brews, slapstick hilarity abounds and the kids at both camps learn a valuable lesson about how a real rock star should act. Along the way, thirteen songs muscle their way to the forefront, transforming The Final Jam into a glorified series of music videos; one in which the story is primarily designed to drag Lovato and the Jonases from upbeat song to lovelorn ballad to climactic show-stopper.
If it all sounds a tad trite, well... that's because it is. Lovato is a bubbly, believable lead, but she doesn't have much to work with in the way of a script. Joe flashes his trademark smirk ad nauseum, hobbles around with a chicken on his head (literally) and leans into his mic on cue, but tends to overextend one minute and under-deliver the next. Kevin is effectively employed as comic relief (and even has a nice turn as a counselor to Camp Rock's youngest members), but has little else to do. And Nick smolders as Rock's romeo, pursuing a forbidden relationship with Star's Juliet (Axel's daughter Dana, played by Chloe Bridges), but approaches his scenes as if he's in an entirely different film (one that shows more promise, actually). Worse still, the dialogue is chintzy genre fodder, the story itself is predictable and derivative, the songs are lively but irritatingly polished (the result of being recorded off-site in a cushy studio no doubt), the comedy is two rim-shots away from being mind-numbingly dull, and the only cheers Final Jam is likely to earn are from pre-existing Lovato and Jonas converts.
In the end, older adolescents will see the sequel for what it is and react accordingly. Younger teens, particularly of the female persuasion, will swoon and scream for more, more, more! Parents, meanwhile, will find an excuse to sneak out of the room, something that should prove to be quite easy considering how innocent the whole shebang is. Chances are you already know if Camp Rock 2 is going to appeal to your family. I may scoff at the film now, but if I had a nine to thirteen-year-old daughter begging for a copy of the flick, I'm sure I'd relent and add it to my shopping cart too. I'd probably even enjoy watching it with her, so long as it was putting a smile on her face.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray, Video Quality
While I expected to encounter garish primaries and gaudy splashes of color at every turn, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam isn't brimming with spray-tan skintones and neon-lit eyesores. Its 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is rather attractive actually, offering an inviting array of summery hues and sunny dispositions. Black levels aren't perfect, contrast is a bit inconsistent (particularly when the sun goes down) and softness creeps into the proceedings from time to time, but the film's modestly budgeted, made-for-TV roots seem to be the cause. For the most part, fine textures are nicely resolved, edges are crisp and clean (despite some minor ringing), and a faint veneer of smartly preserved grain is draped over each scene. Artifacting and banding are kept under control as well, and crush is the only notable oddity that makes its presence known. Other anomalies are either negligible (as they are in the starkly lit, blue-bathed opening and closing concert performances) or altogether non-existent, and the whole of the presentation is as pristine as it should be. The Final Jam's photography certainly isn't going to win any awards, but from a technical perspective, Disney's transfer gets the job done. And then some.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track also delivers the goods. The songs sprinkled throughout Camp Rock 2 are anything but organic -- the performances themselves are lip synced and the film's otherwise convincing soundfield abandons any sense of authenticity or acoustic realism the moment each one begins -- but, as pre-recorded studio nonsense goes, it all sounds relatively impressive. Vocals are crystal clear (even if they don't fit their surroundings whatsoever), the Jonas' guitars envelop the listener and Nick's drums provide a hearty, LFE-bolstered beat whenever he picks up his sticks. Dialogue is just as bright and intelligible, and has the added privilege of politely mingling with the film's solid soundscape. Moreover, the rear speakers handle instrumentation, campfire chatter and environmental effects with ease, the LFE channel lends itself to the excitement that ensues on-stage and off, dynamics are often invigorating and directionality is fairly engaging. I did notice that pans are a bit stocky at times, but the few mishaps that occur don't detract from the mix. All in all, I don't have much to complain about when it comes to The Final Jam's lossless track (at least none that aren't directly related to the film's original sound design). Adolescent audiophiles will be most pleased.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Blu-ray edition of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam doesn't have many special features to offer. The disc's "Rock Along" mode is merely a karaoke-esque experience that kicks in whenever the film reaches a song, "Getting to Know Camp Star's Newest Stars" (HD, 6 minutes) is a brief meet-the-cast EPK, and a collection of five international music videos (HD, 17 minutes) round out the already paper-thin supplemental package.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I won't waste much more of your time rolling my eyes. Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam targets a specific audience and succeeds in what it sets out to accomplish. And I'm sure you already know whether it will be a hit or a miss at your house. Thankfully, Disney's AV presentation is a notable one. Made-for-TV production values aside, its video transfer and DTS-HD Master Audio track tackle everything that comes their way with ease. More special features would have added more value to the release, but I doubt many teens will lament The Final Jam's slim supplemental package for long. If someone under your roof has a Jonas Brothers poster on their wall, purchasing this one is a no-brainer. If your kids are too young or your teenagers are growing out of their Jonas phase, pass this one by. Nuff said.
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Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Camp Rock 2 Announced on Blu-ray - August 17, 2010
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam for Blu-ray release on September 7, in a BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack. This sequel to 2008's Camp Rock stars Teen Choice Award-winning actress and recording artist Demi ...
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