23 August 2007

High School Musical 2 Review

Ok, so I'm a little late getting my review in... what can I say? I'm trying to play mommy and daddy at home and still uphold my employment. Let's just say I have renewed respect for my wonderful wife, and no free time anymore. Well, except for a couple of minutes here and there in the which I have pecked away at this quasi-novel.

My kids and I saw High School Musical 2 on premier night and loved it. As mentioned in the previous post, we were familiar with the soundtrack, so we knew some of what was coming, but it was fun to see how Kenny Ortega crafted the dance scenes to go with the musical numbers.

Kenny never ceases to amaze me; how he can take huge groups of kids and get them all doing really cool dances, looking completely polished and professional. I tip my hat to the mastermind there. Did I mention the use of props in the dances? In the first High School Musical, we were impressed by the number "Getcha Head in the Game" where the Wildcats basketball team danced with basketballs. We see that again in High School Musical 2 in the opening number "What Time is It?" and then see more props in other numbers such as kitchen utensils and baseball bats. It's awesome.

One of my favorite numbers, aside from the two full-cast ones at the beginning and end of the movie, was the kitchen scene... "Work This Out." Many of the Wildcats get hired on at Sharpay's parents country club and the boss comes across as a major hemmorhoid their first day there (thanks to Sharpay.)

The song focuses on everyone's distress having second thought about what would otherwise have been a cool summer job. Troy, of course, tries to rally the troops and help them see if they work together they can still have fun and save the summer.

In the middle of the number they get a little STOMP-esque, banging on pots, pans and glassware to go along with the song. It's quite a fun number.

One number I didn't so much care for was Sharpay's "Fabulous" which happened when the crew was all arriving at the country club. The bathing suits were a little on the skimpy side. One thing that most impressed me about the original High School Musical was that they proved to filmmakers everywhere that a movie can be done completely wholesome (void of any sex, drugs, violence, vulgarity, etc.) and still be one of the most popular movies of the year. I feel like this number was a little of a "sellout" though I'm sure with today's fashions, it would've been hard to find things more modest. Still, I feel that those things don't need to be in movies... I appreciated the "breath of fresh air" the original High School Musical was.

That said, I'll be writing Disney to express my feelings and hope that they take it to heart... I'll be utilizing the Save Disney Shows emailer to do so and encourage others to do the same.

Without giving too much away, the premise behind the movie is about the Wildcats' summer vacation, centering on Troy and Gabriella's summer romance which the evil Sharpay tries to bring to an end. Disney's teen start Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) also makes a very brief non-speaking part cameo in High School Musical 2. It's a sort of "Where's Waldo" deal where you have to be paying attention to see her there. I think I also caught a glimpse of Moises Arias (Rico from Hannah Montana) earlier in the film for a split second, but I'll have to wait til I see the movie again to confirm. Who knows, maybe they slipped a few others in there that I missed. It'll be fun to try to spot them next round.

I enjoyed the story and the numbers; it was a great continuation from the first and I look forward to the third. Rumor was it would have a haunted theme but some of the stars have recently revealed otherwise; though I understand none of them had read the script at the time of their interviews Instead it will most likely deal with Senior Prom and Graduation; which would be a fitting end to the trilogy.

If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it; just make sure you watch the original High School Musical first if you haven't seen it already.

Thanks again Disney for all the fun that is High School Musical.

(And my apologies for the sketchiness of this review... I'm working on little to no sleep and have had to write this over several settings; needless to say, the train of thought derailed several times over the course of this writing. But don't worry no animals were harmed during the writing of this post.)

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