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4.2 out of 5 stars
High School Musical (Encore Edition)
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2006
Format: DVD
Let me begin with this caveat; I have no teenage daughter at home. I find this the most fun and refreshing thing I've seen in a long time, and probably for the very reasons "serious" critics find it silly or pedestrian: the movie embraces its cliches and campiness wholeheartedly and makes me laugh aloud each time I watch it (and I've watched it more times than I care to admit) and the songs are hummable and singable and delightful. I've listened to the soundtrack at least once a day since I got it from amazon, usually on my way to work because the songs put me in a good mood. I mean, who doesn't want to do one of those cool dance moves in the car when "Stick to the Status Quo" or "We're All in This Together" comes on? I do refrain. I love theatre, I love show music, and I love "High School Musical"!
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134 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I'm a 40 year old adult and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie. And I'm not afraid to admit it that I"ve seen this over 6 times with and without my kids. I've taped the show and have had Korokee parties with my kids along with my friends kids. I'm still going to buy the DVD when it comes out, I'm so crazy about this movie. It brings back memories when we all went crazy over a similar movie, GREASE, when we were young.

when I first saw the commercials, I knew that this movie was going to be an "extreme" hit and could not believe our luck that we didn't have to go to the theaters to see it. I was counting the days until premiere day. The dancing, the singing, the music, the storylines, the total package was such a joy to watch. I've also bought the sound track and as another customer has written, it brings a smile and a wonderful feeling when I hear the music.
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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
It's New Year's Eve when Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) meet. They're picked at random from the crowd attending a teen party at a ski lodge to sign a karaoke song. To their surprise, they actually sound great together and the sparks begin to fly.

Returning from vacation, Gabriella is starting at a new school. She's hoping to shed her geeky girl image. On her first day, she runs into Troy, who is the captain of the basketball team at her new school. He's busy getting ready for the upcoming playoffs against their rival school.

In the back of their minds is the magic that happened when they sang together. The sign ups for the school's winter musicale have been posted, and both of them are tempted to sign up. Of course, that means Troy would have to face his friends, who think he should be focusing all of his time on basketball. And Gabriella would have to deal with Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) who, along with her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), is always the star of the school programs. Is it worth the potential social upheaval to audition?

This Disney Channel Original Movie has been getting lots of buzz, and for a very good reason. It had been on for about five minutes before I got a smile on my face, and the smile didn't leave until the movie was over. The story is fairly predictable, but the movie is lots of fun and the songs are great.

Instead of doing traditional Broadway type songs, the music here is pop. Of course, this works well with the intended audience of pre-teens and early teens. They even work in a hip-hop song and a salsa song to spice things up a little. About half the songs in this movie are auditions for the winter musicale, and they are very appropriate to the storyline. This actually starts with the karaoke song that Troy and Gabriella sing at the beginning "Start of Something New." For the climax, Sharpay and Ryan sing "Bop to the Top" which talks about getting to the top no matter what while our heroes sing "Breaking Free," a song about their desire to break out of the molds they are in.

The actors do a great job with their roles. Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens are especially great as the leads. There is a real chemistry between them that makes all their scenes so believable. I was a little annoyed by the over the top acting of Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay and Alyson Reed as the drama teacher. I know it was done on purpose, but I could have done with out it. Over all, it was a minor complaint.

The DVD features two versions of the movie. One is the regular film, but the other is the sing along edition that features the words to the songs at the bottom of the screen. The other features are ok. There are two music videos, a very brief behind the scenes featurette, and a "Learn the Moves" featurette that sort of teaches you a part of the dancing from "Bop to the Top."

While most of the bonus features aren't worth getting excited about, the movie itself is great fun. I'm just sorry I rented it since now I'll have to spend more money to buy it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2006
Format: DVD
I've heard alot of things about this movie, fortunately all of them after I saw it. I went in with no bias whatsoever, I'm not a musical person, there are very few I like. It feels like people will judge a movie too quickly, especially if it's marketed a certain way, or if the plot isn't a hard hitting sundance film festival winner. Just because this is a tv movie doesn't mean you can't like it, tv movie isn't a stigma for 'this movie will suck so badly it hurts'. On the contrary, this movie is one of the shinning stars of tv movies and Disney should be proud for finally succeding.

One plus with this movie is that it's clean, I didn't have to wince, I know swearing and sex happens all the time, but isn't it overused to the extent of 'ahhhh!!! make it stop!!!', I've gotten to the point where I either tune it out or turn it off. For me this movie, is like sugar, it's crack, it's bouncy, it's clean fun, all those add up to enjoyable for me. The characters are strongly put together, while slightly cliched they charm you, the plot while thin tugs at your heart. I can relate to Troy and Gabriella, I may be 17 and this is targeted at me, but isn't that okay? They deal with the things I deal with, pressure, seperation, pain, and all because of friends who they trust. Both characters, Gabriella; strong but not rock hard nor the perfect girl, Troy; Confused, unsure, but confident. This isn't just a fairy tale romance either, but ups and downs, no storybook kisses, just closeness and honesty.

The music itself is extremely catchy and well worth watching just to listen to it, the sounds and songs amuse me and they are enjoyable not painful (like most musicals I've seen lately, famous or otherwise). You can be forty or sixty, thirteen or five and you'll still enjoy this, it's made for nearly everyone, it's guilty pleasure if you don't want to admit you like it. :) Seriously, watch this movie
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This film should have been a major theatrical release. The music is that good, and the performances by the young but highly talented cast are uniformly superb, led by the amazing Ashley Tisdale. From Les Miserables to High School Musical by age 20, she is a Broadway prodigy in a class by herself.

As a composer/librettist of Broadway musicals myself ("Marva!", a musical play about famed inner-city educator Marva Collins), I can appreciate the extraordinary combination of effort it required to make High School Musical into the splendid production it is. All of the songs are first-rate, but "We're All In This Together," "Stick to the Status Quo," and "Get 'Cha Head In The Game" are particular standouts. You'll find yourself singing them endlessly.

There are good reasons why the musical recording of this film is the first television soundtrack album to top the Albums Chart in twenty years. Those reasons are the songs. They are uniformly melodic, intelligent, and professional--rare qualities in today's music scene. I cannot recall any other album that actually made me wish that many of the tunes had been of longer duration! Several of the excellent numbers on High School Musical are only 2 minutes long or less, yet pack an enormous amount of heart and quality into every one of those few seconds. What a contrast to most recordings, where a bare minimum of musical and lyrical ideas are stretched, prolonged with preludes, repeated, and repeated again to make up for the almost total absence of substance!

The "Stick to the Status Quo" song warrants special mention because it brilliantly captures the reality of high school peer pressure within the context of an engaging large-cast production dance number. Who has experienced high school without feeling the stifling impetus to remain within rigidly defined boundaries of behavior, dress, and attitude? This song illustrates the foolishness of such self-imposed censorship without preaching, and is all the more a triumph because of that subtlety. If an athlete can bake, and a scholar can be into hip-hop, maybe there's hope for all of us.

It would be inaccurate to pigeon-hole this as a "message movie," notwithstanding the worthy subtext of tolerance, individuality, and inclusion. This film does not overemphasize or exaggerate its theme. Rather, it is seamlessly woven into the overall fabric of the entertainment. In the same way, racial and gender equality and diversity are not spotlighted as obvious morals, like they might have been in a lesser work. Instead, these principles are taken for granted as givens in the lives of these young people, who never would think to question whether it is appropriate for people of different races to date, or whether females can be the most accomplished scientists and mathematicians around. The film is much more effective in conveying these noble messages because of the subtlety with which it handles them as part of the unquestioned structure of modern life.

The musical-within-a-musical approach works well, too, because it makes room for a wide range of song styles, including a parody of the old Donnie & Marie Osmond song and dance shtick and a hot salsa number, "Bop to the Top," which is catchier than virtually any hit single within recent memory. These infectious yet funny numbers are nicely interspersed with the songs that are part of the main story as sung extemporaneously by the characters. And the wonderful high-energy choreography by the great Kenny Ortega is breathtaking, particularly in group-dance songs such as "Get 'Cha Head in the Game" and "Stick to the Status Quo."

My daughter and I watched this movie without fail, every time it was broadcast on the Disney Channel. As a result, I can testify from personal experience that it holds up well under repeated viewing, and I do mean repeated. Because of the wonderful combination of song, dance, romance, humor, and inspiration this motion picture always seems fresh, even after many viewings. I believe "High School Musical" will transform popular culture in a highly positive direction, moving a new generation of young people toward a much broader appetite for music, dance, and drama. It will preserve the genre of melodic book musical for many years, at a point when its future appeared precarious at best. No one could have predicted this impact in advance, but now it seems clear. What a contribution!

Bravo!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon January 17, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
There was a show that ran on TV a few years back called Freaks and Geeks that was a pretty realistic depiction of a day in the life of your average high school student; High School Musical is the antithesis of that series.

High School Musical is full of unrealistic situations, boy band and Broadway wannabe crooning, freaks/geeks/and jocks living in harmony...the movie's a drama club/band camp fantasy. But it's a nice message about respecting every individual for who they are. Very nice.

And my 4 year old daughter LOVES it! In 3 days I think she's watched it 15 times. It's all that's on our living room TV anymore during the kids' waking hours. Pure torture. As a result, my two sons, both under the age of 10, have asked if they can go live with their grandparents.

My daughter sits there happy as ever, singing along...it's really quite adorable if I watch my daughter and not the movie. As for my boys, I catch them actually watching too sometimes, but they'd clearly rather be somewhere else. So I'll just have to trade off sitting with my daughter for a while and hanging with the boys with whatever they decide to occupy themselves with until my daughter gets tired of the movie. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

What? There's a High School Musical 2, and a third on the way? AAAAHHHHHHH! *Sky repeatedly bangs head against the desk.*
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2006
Format: DVD
The movie was so awesome! I watched it 50 times!!!!!!!!!!! I thought Vanessa was hot too! I give it 2 thumbs up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2006
Format: DVD
High School Musical a story about how two high schoolers, basketball player Troy and math genius Gabriella. They meet on New Year's Eve at a cruise ship. The host of a party randomly chose them to sing karaoke. A week later, Gabriella transfered to Troy's school in Albequerque, New Mexico. They had realised their singing talent when they sang karaoke. So, they tried out for the high school musical. Their peers and Troy's dad didn't approve of their choices, so they planned things aganist them to tear them apart. Especially diva Sharpay and her brother Ryan. They tried to make sure Troy and Gabriella were no where near the stage. Sharpay had a crush on Troy. This was all leading up to the real deal, the musical. However, Gabriella was in the math decatholon and Troy was in the basketball championship game. Sharpay persuaded Mrs. Darbus, the drama club teacher to switch the musical to the same time of the math decatholon and the championship game. Everything else, you will have to watch on the movie.

I think HSM is great for all ages and it is certainly a very good movie. I can't wait until the sequel!

- A High School Musical Fan Age: 10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2006
Format: DVD
As the mother of two elementary aged daughters I really appreciate the themes of this movie. The movie really has very little romance in it. Although Troy clearly attempts to kiss Gabriella two times, both times he is interrupted. It is extremely rare to see a movie without any physical romance! Even the "G" rated Ice Princess has kissing! The characters in the movie are concerned about breaking out of the stereotype cliques they belong to and whether or not they will be accepted by their friends if they do. The moral of the movie is that they should follow their hearts, break free of the stereotypes, and do what they think is best. There is a scene where Troy even stands up to his father for boxing him in to the jock role. The diversity of the characters is a plus. And it doesn't hurt that Kenny Ortega (who directs a lot of Gilmore Girls episodes and choreographed Dirty Dancing) was in charge! The dance scenes are entertaining for everyone and the original songs are decent songs, sung by amazing talents. Vanessa Anne Hudgins' voice in particular has a wonderful tone to it. My kids keep the CD playing in the house all the time and I am not (too) sick of it yet!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2006
Format: DVD
i am in 9th grade this movie is so good

i have 3 little sisters (12,10 and 7) i though they were crazy when they told me to watch it

We were out the night it aired on tv so my sis recorded it, the movie plays all the time when tney are home one night i watched it and was hooked even my dad had watched it with them 3 times. my friends are crazy about the movie too

my whole high school watches it well i know that up untill the 11th grade love it

in the car we have the cd and my friends my sisters and I sing along the whole ride its fun for all amazing music, story and dancing (it doesnt hurt that the lead guy is hot)

this is a great movie for the whole family
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