High School Musical 1080p X264
I loved the first high school musical film so I paid for the on demand to see this sequel earlier. However, it wasn't up to my expectation.Surely there were new outfits(including bathing suits), larger stage sets, better choreography, and various styles of songs. So it was not bad if you just want to see more singing and dancing, or if you are fans that only expect to see them again.But I felt there was something lacking. I sensed more of showing off other than real passionate acting in there (Well, it must be hard to do so after they become famous), which made the characters pop out of the story and become unreal. And the plot (especially the ending) was dry and unconvincing, making it even worse.HERE STARTS THE SPOILER -------------------------------------------Firstly, the setting in the resort country club wasn't indeed necessary. It doesn't need to be in the country club to play base ball, swimming, or join a talent show. And the golf scenes actually made the plot weaker because it is hard to believe that Troy was "naturally" gifted in golf as well. Come on, he is a human after all. Making everyone else play stupidly wouldn't make him more like a genius. On the other hand, Sharpay's make up reminds me nothing more than Paris Hilton, especially her sun glasses and hair styles. And it is so sad to see that supporting roles didn't have chance to show their own personalities at all this time. The major weakness is the ending. By the time I saw Troy coming back to talk to Sharpay, I was expecting Sharpay and Troy to sing together then Ryan and Gabriella. But no, Sharpay and Ryan has nothing to do with it in the end. Ryan asked Troy to do a favor for Sharpay, which turned out to be just another revenge to his sister, as if rejecting her in face was not enough. He directed the show knowing Troy wouldn't be singing, then in another split second he suddenly gave his role to Troy graciously and left himself out of it. And most interestingly, Sharpy, who was abandoned by Troy, rejected by Ryan, then tricked by troy again to believe she would have a chance to sing, end up finding herself kicked out. After all these, she was still amazingly happy and felt thankful to her brother. Well,not even Pairs Hilton would be this dumb. It can't be clearer that such a plot only wanted to show that this film was all about Troy and Gabriella, nobody else dares to sing in the closing show. OK, I get it.
High School Musical 1080p X264
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I definitely don't fit into the target demographic for Disneys' "High School Musical", and when my friends saw it in my DVD collection they threatened to disown me. At that point I figured I could either (a) say "HOW DID THAT GET THERE?! and quickly distract them by popping in Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket", (b) sheepishly admit that I'm a dork and in serious need of help, or (c) rabidly defend how awesome this movie is, accusing them that if they're too closed-minded to give it a try then their inner child must be dead and rotting in their dark pit of hearts.I opted for (c).As I said, this movie is fantastic. Directed by Kenny Ortega, known for many TV stints and music videos but perhaps best known as Michael Jackson's choreographer, you know immediately that this is a flick with some professional music and dancing. But for me, what I really liked was the theme of this movie, something unlike anything I've seen before. And I've been secretly watching teen flicks since the 80s with classics like "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club" and so on.Through the ages, most teen flicks, if not all, have focused on one theme: the idea of outcasts & nerdy underdogs rising up and doing battle with the popular kids. True, it's a great theme that every teen (and every adult, for that matter) should understand. Dare to be different. Be uncool, and do it in the coolest way possible.Here in "High School Musical" we get a reverse twist on that. The star of the movie (played by Zac Ephron) is already one of the cool kids, good looking, smart, sports jock. But he dreams of doing something as totally uncool as singing in the high school musical.From there the theme materializes. This isn't just another "revenge of the nerds" type story, but instead it's a very individualistic, and dare I say existentialist, take on how to exist in society. Drop all labels, cross all boundaries, do whatever you want. There's a great line in the movie where Zac says to his father, "What if all my friends laugh at me?" and the father responds, "Well then they're really not your friends." Gems like this may be obvious in life, but they bear repeating to kids as well as wayward adults. Are you a 45 year old corporate executive who's afraid to quit your job and be a hairdresser? Watch this movie. Even if your situation is not as extreme as that, we all encounter pockets of resistance based on what people expect of us. And often, it's much harder to climb *down* from a successful position than it is to climb *up* from nothing.Besides that, the movie is just plain fun. All the character are lovable, even the "villains" who in this case are the scary sister & brother team played by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel. They reminded me of something out of an old Tim Burton flick (Edward Scissorhands) with their hilarious portrayal of the proverbial small-town big fish. Another memorable villain is the failed-diva drama teacher who always seems to be one measure away from breaking into "I'm So Pretty" (don't worry, she doesn't). Zac's female counterpart is played by Vanessa Hudgens who also does a great job of depicting the new transfer who doesn't know how or where to fit in.Like I said, this is a great film with a solid message for all ages, as long as your inner child isn't dead. I'm not sure if this review was of any use to you, but it sure silenced the room when I shouted it at my friends. In short, this movie is for anyone who's not afraid to yell "I love High School Musical!"
The other night, having nothing else to do, I popped in the DVD of High School Musical just to see what the "fuss" is all about (My younger sister owns the HSM dolls, clothes, towels, movies, CDs, video games, sheet music, etc). Though not usually drawn to the musical genre or Disney Channel dramatic fare, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this film held my interest and entertained me for its duration.Plot-wise, HSM doesn't deviate too far from standard Disney programming. When new girl to school Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) begins to form a relationship with school beau Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), it draws the ire of popular girl Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and facilitates an overhaul of East High's social cliques.What sets the storyline apart from, say, a typical episode of Hannah Montana, though, is the way the school stereotypes are portrayed. Instead of getting too preachy, Disney instead wildly accentuates those stereotypes and lets the simple messages of diversity and acceptance speak for themselves. Troy is the All-American boy every girl has a crush on, Gabriella is the stunningly beautiful girl next door, and Sharpay is the over-the-top princess who rules the school with her status.Of course, HSM needs to (as a musical) ultimately be judged on the quality of its musical numbers...the category in which it succeeds fantastically. From the very beginning, when a karaoke DJ hands microphones to Troy and Gabriella and tells them "you might thank me for this someday", viewers will realize the quality of the musical numbers about to come. Though Efron does not provide his own vocals, he IS able to adroitly portray the conflicted Troy (basketball vs. singing) through acting and dance. Hudgens' tunes are usually softer, but very poignant ("When There Was Me And You", in which Hudgens flies solo, is my favorite piece in the film), while Tisdale is probably the most talented actor/singer/dancer of the bunch in her fantastically choreographed and special effects-laden numbers.So, if you are a parent/older sibling who wants to know what make your child/younger sibling go crazy over HSM, I would encourage you to sit down and watch this film (preferably with them). Even the most jaded critics will be humming (or outright belting) the catchy melodies long after the end credits roll.
Don't take this the wrong way, I adore Disney, their animated shows and films I still watch. However, some of their shows and films now I cannot stand, Hannah Montana and Cory in the House especially. And I have to say I do not like this movie at all. I like musicals and I like high school films, and I liked the idea and it should have worked but it didn't. The only real redeeming quality is that the choreography is actually quite impressive.However, the cinematography is nothing special, while the score and songs are disappointingly forgettable, plus is it me or did anybody feel there were too many songs? The story is incredibly simplistic and predictable, the script is very fluffy and weak, the pacing too rushed, the morals are cloying and the direction is lethargic. The acting is bland too, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are alright I suppose but they lack chemistry and I never warmed to their characters, maybe because the characters in general were so unlikeable and clichéd. As for the supporting performances they are poor in general especially Monique Coleman. The singing was okay but there was too much of it I think.Overall, I didn't find it that great, sorry. 1/10 Bethany Cox