Plot: What’s it about?
Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato) loves to sing and even writes her own songs, so when she finds out she can attend a rock music camp over the summer, she is beyond thrilled. But her family doesn’t have the money for her to go, which means both she and her mother will have to work in the camp’s kitchen, to keep the bills paid. Her excitement soon turns off however, when arrives at camp and finds herself surrounded by rich, very talented campers. As she comes from humble roots, Mitchie feels inferior and decides to make up her own new persona, to better fit in. Meanwhile, she simply tries to keep the truth from being uncovered and deals with her fellow camper Tess Tyler (Meaghan Jette Martin), Camp Rock’s official diva. Will Mitchie be able to keep her secret unrevealed and if not, how will she cope when the truth is out?
I never thought I would say this, but maybe High School Musical wasn’t that bad. After that franchise racked up such impressive numbers, Disney went back to the well to try to spark another tween juggernaut, Camp Rock. I didn’t like either of the HSM movies, but compared to Camp Rock, they’re minor masterpieces. This is simply one of the worst movies I have ever seen and I have watched a lot of terrible movies, so that is no small feat. In between thirteen musical numbers, we have the most cliched, recycled plot around, with not even a slight effort to make this unique. At least the HSM movies had some decent energy, whereas Camp Rock’s stars don’t even seem to care enough to even give it the old college try. I have no idea why the Jonas Brothers have become so popular, but they’re here and turn in weak, manufactured performances. Unless your child is addicted to all things Disney Channel, Camp Rock should never be seen…by anyone.
Video: How does it look?
Camp Rock is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is light years beyond the Disney Channel broadcast, but I doubt it will bowl over veterans of high definition. The movie’s bold color scheme holds up well, so hues are bright and vivid, while black levels are consistent and perform well. The issue here is with detail, as the depth simply isn’t here than you’d expect, given how new this production is. I wanted crystal clear, razor sharp visuals and sadly, that isn’t what we’re given. The detail is stable and better than the DVD to be sure, but don’t expect too much.
Audio: How does it sound?
This sounds like it was designed for television, not a movie theater. I know this is indeed the truth, but I hoped for a wider, more theatrical audio presentation. Even this uncompressed PCM 5.1 option is unable to pull much out of this material, despite the obvious abundance of musical elements within. The surrounds rarely come into play and when they do, the result is weak and unremarkable. So we’re left with a front channel presentation that really doesn’t offer much of an improvement over watching this on cable. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As you watch, you can enable two special modes, karaoke mode and sing-a-long mode. In sing-a-long mode, the words are placed on the screen so you can follow, while karaoke mode removes the main vocals, so your own voice can shine above those within the movie. This is actually quite cool and sure to please younger viewers who want to belt out the songs with the on-screen stars. A slew of featurettes are also here, but none offer much depth and all are geared toward younger viewers, so they’re easily skippable. Exclusive to this Blu-ray release is a six minute tour of the movie’s sets, not a great inclusion, but more is better than less, right?