22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This sequel to High School Musical features the same stars as the first film and nearly the same plot. Once again, high school hunk Troy (Zac Efron) ponders whether he should stick to the stuff he knows (in this case, the sweet Gabriella), the conniving Sharpay wants him there beside her, and eventually everyone learns that they're all in this together. OK, that wasn't fair. That's also the plot of "Grease," and for that matter, nearly every other teen musical.
In this case, though, I couldn't help feeling let down. Unlike the original (High School Musical (Encore Edition)), this film breathes not a breath of fresh air. It is, in essence, just a clone of its mama. If you loved the first film you'd like this one -- it has the same feel-good bounce -- but I bet you won't be watching it as often.
So why four stars? The music. It's better! "You Are The Music In Me" is a sincere, catchy duet by Gabriella and Troy (Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron) that uses a gospel chorus to rise above nearly everything ever cranked out by today's dime-a-dozen pop tarts. "Everyday" (also Gabriella and Troy) is in the same vein, a Britney-esque bouncer with a finale that seems literally straight out of a black church. "I Don't Dance" boogies along like an old big-band number, while the staccato boy-band rocker "Bet On It" (Troy) recalls the best of Michael Jackson. Finally, "All for One" is a hand-clapping shout-out that hints, a little, at Sheryl Crow's "Soak in the Sun." The soundtrack is available here: High School Musical 2.
Why "Extended Edition'? Because an additional music scene has been integrated into the film: the musical number Troy and Sharpay rehearse. The scene features Sharpay playing a pineapple princess looking for her "fresh fish prince" in the Polynesian fantasy "Humuhumunukunukua'pua'a." Bonus features include a sing-along feature, rehearsal footage and music videos.
One final note: Though this DVD is in fullscreen, the Blu-ray version is widescreen.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2008
I was amazed by the amount of extras on this 2-Disc DVD set. What a fantastic set--with over 5 hours of bonus material. The story is typically light-hearted fun as you would expect from this franchise. It's the last day of school, and all your favorite East High Wildcats are counting down the seconds for the final bell that tells them it's finally summer! The rousing opening song is "What Time Is It?" and gets the movie off to a high energy start. Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), and the gang must get summer jobs; meanwhile, Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) wants to get Troy a job at her country club, Lava Springs, so that he can sing with her at the talent show and become her new boyfriend. Unbeknownst to her, the club's manager, Mr. Fulton (Mark L. Taylor), has to hire the entire gang to get Troy...including Troy's girlfriend Gabriella. Sharpay does everything she can to break the two up, including setting Zac up with a sweet college scholarship. Can Zac resist?
Visually, this movie is a technicolor feast that harks back to the Esther Williams/Busby Berkeley musicals of MGM. One of the most spectacular numbers if "Fabulous," sung by Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) as she lets everyone at the pool know that she has impossibly high standards. Her brother, played by Lucas Grabeel, is dolled up like Elton John and plays a pink piano in the shallow end of the pool while wearing a white tux with hot pink lapels. Definitely classic!
Spec-wise, the DVD audio is a speaker blowing Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and the video is full-frame. Sure, for those with 16x9 or widescreen TVs it's a disappointment. However, this movie was originally shown on the Disney Channel, and as you can clearly see in the behind-the-scenes documentaries (as you look over the shoulder of the camera and see the framing), this movie was COMPOSED for full-screen, even though there was spillover frame to fill out a widescreen. Minor quibbling point...still a great piece of entertainment suitable for ALL ages.
Now onto the extras...there's a ton! You get a great sneak-peak at High School Musical 3 (which will actually debut in theaters), which shows that the whole gang is back, along with three newcomers (looks like Sharpay may have some competition in the conniving department from the new girl). There are also some deleted scenes; although they were trimmed for the right reasons, one does explain a little bit of how Gabriela got to the Country Club for the talent show. Backstage Disney also gives you High School Confidential, an assortment of LOTS of featurettes such as:
*Manly the Dog: director Kenny Ortega's dog who has a featured spot in the movie as Sharpay's pampered pet.
*Sharpettes: Sharpay's sidekicks, featured in the "Fabulous" number
*Hilarious one about Ashley Tisdale; all her costars say she is like Sharpay, even though she protests. Very cute.
*Zac Factor: All about Zac Efron
*Special photo gallery where you can guess what baby photos match your fave HSM star.
*The Making Of "HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUA'A."
*Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus is actually in HSM2; never knew that until I saw the featurette about her cameo!
*Cast Favorites: The stars dish (except for Zac who is not in this one) about their favorite singers, movie actors, desserts, and more.
*On Location - Visit the resort area of St. George, Utah
*In The Kitchen - Lucas Grabeel takes fans behind the scenes of the clubhouse kitchen set.
In the Music & More section you get:
*Dance Along: follow along to the moves of "What Time is it?" and "All For One." You'll be doing these dances in no time by following multiple camera angles.
*Music Video "All For One" - A special performance of the song is intercut with the cast recording session and behind-the-scenes footage.
And lots more! All HSM fans should add this one to their collections!
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
I have two daughters (5 & 7) and they love the movie, love the characters and can't stop watching both HSM 1 and 2. For very conservative parents (I kind of consider myself on the conservative side), this isn't all that bad. They do kiss in this one, at the end. Other than that, I can't say there is anything else in the movie that requires explanation to the kids (not that I needed to say anything about "the kiss"). It is actually good, clean fun, unlike many of the other videos that come out nowadays..
34 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2007
I really don't understand the negative reviews for this movie as I found it to be really great. As usual, one wonders if they saw the same film. This movie was made to appeal to pre-teen and teen viewers and it's been a hit with them this summer. I'm not a teen, but I've always loved teen movies and I found it terrific. I've had lots of kids say positive things to me about this movie and so I know it was well received. I'm just so glad that musicals are popular again as I've always liked that genre. Music has a way of touching people in ways that a regular film just can't. Yes, this film has been marketed, but I have to say that to market successfully you have to have a good product (which this is).
Ok, we all knew that the movie producers would have a really hard time matching the success of the first movie which was a real classic. This movie came so close to being even better than the first. I think what did this was the outstanding music, vocal performances of Zac & Vanessa, and choreography. Also, the "romantic quotient" is quite high and there are plenty of romantic scenes for those of us who like those kind of movies. Zac and Vanessa have a lot of onscreen chemistry & their real love for each other really shines through on film. I can see that there are a few scenes that are going to get 'stuck' in my dvd player! :) Also, the message is very good about staying true to yourself and making the most of opportunities while you are young. If you go off the track, it means nothing and you can lose sight of what's really important and become someone you don't want to be. There are more positive messages as well, and I think that's one of the things that is so great about these movies.
Extended version? This makes me happy because it seems to mean extra features and perhaps deleted scenes. Yipee! It should be great. December 11th can't come soon enough. Also, the idea of a 3rd movie about their prom in theatres is exciting to me. I say, bring it on...there aren't enough great movies like these.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2007
My four year old daughter loved "Troy Bowltun" and "Gabreehlla" from the first HSM and couldn't wait to see the second one! The funny thing is, I was almost as excited as she was! I can't get over how Zac Efron is basically a new David Cassidy - looks, singing, everything. . .I really want to see him in Hairspray. I think that Zac gets an opportunity to do a bit more mature acting in HSM 2. However, I think that Vanessa Hudgens' acting seems more stunted. Ashley Tisdale is perfection as Sharpay. I wish that Lucas Grabeel would do a spin-off of this movie . . . he seems to have the whole package when it comes to acting and singing. Buy this movie -it is pure enjoyment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2007
I was excited to see this sequel production of High School Musical 2. I am a Mom and teacher who really enjoys these "innocent-like" shows.
I actually liked it better than my 17 yr old daughter. She said it was corny and untrue to life. However, I really liked the resort they filmed this at, and the storyline. It is true to life on Troy's struggle for his identity, as with all teens. I really like Lucas, who played Sharpay's brother. He is sooooooo talented. I really liked him in the baseball musical number. He is an excellent singer and a wonderful dancer. I wish him a lot more success. I would have liked to have seen the heavy-set girl do more. She is a very talented dancer and singer. She was always in the background. It is also good to have non-skinny actors in these movies, because everyone is not 104lbs. I, also, thought that the pool song number with sharpay was very clever. It shows a lot of work was put into it.
I ,also, like these characters and these movies because the characters of Troy and Gabriella are very much like the Beach Blanket Bingo set of the 50's & 60's with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. As a matter of fact, Vannessa, who plays Gabriella, is just like Annette! America needs simpler and sweeter shows like these!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This Blu-Ray version of "High School Musical 2" is a widescreen (1.78:1) presentation of the TV-movie, with 5.1 48 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio.
Like on the standard DVD, an additional music scene has been integrated into the film: the musical number Troy and Sharpay rehearse. The scene features Sharpay playing a pineapple princess looking for her "fresh fish prince" in the Polynesian fantasy "Humuhumunukunukua'pua'a." The bonus features will be identical to the standard DVD: a sing-along feature, rehearsal footage and music videos.
As for the film itself, this sequel to "High School Musical" features the same stars and nearly the same plot. Once again, high school hunk Troy (Zac Efron) ponders whether he should stick to the stuff he knows (in this case, the sweet Gabriella), the conniving Sharpay wants him there beside her, and eventually everyone learns that they're all in this together. If you loved the first movie you'd like this one -- it has the same feel-good bounce -- but I bet you won't be watching it as often.
So why four stars? The music. It's better, and sounds fantastic in this Blu-ray release. "You Are The Music In Me" is a catchy duet by Gabriella and Troy (Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron) that uses a gospel chorus to rise above nearly everything cranked out by today's dime-a-dozen pop tarts. "Everyday" (also Gabriella and Troy) is in the same vein, an early-Britney bouncer with a finale straight out of a black church. "I Don't Dance" boogies along like an old big-band number with choreography inspired from West Side Story, while the staccato boy-band rocker "Bet On It" (Troy) recalls the best of Michael Jackson. Finally, "All for One" is a hand-clapping, surf-guitar shout-out that hints, a little, at Sheryl Crow's "Soak in the Sun."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
This is a Disney movie made for TV, for the youngsters! This is not Emmy material, its for fun, so you who are complaining aobut it need to remember who it was made for in the first place. My daughter and her friends loved it. I did enjoy many of the musical numbers, especially the baseball field dance number. Down side, Vanessa's laughter and giggles just seemed too forced for the movie, but I think the supporting cast did a fine job. It will be a gift for my daughter at Christmas as I'm sure it will be at the top of her wish list.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
Having been a Disney fan all my life, I always look forward to new releases. With the Success of High School Musical I wondered how they could top this production. They did though. HSM2 is thoroughly enjoyable with great acting by all the cast and the musical numbers are out of this world. The energy exibited along with the fun they seemed to have during the production made it even more enjoyable. It is a fantastic production and I recommend it for anybody who enjoys Disney. This is sure to become a classic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What a great angle for the DVD release: film a song sequence that edits cleanly out of the broadcast premiere, then put it back to create an "extended edition." It certainly did not hurt the success of the Disney Channel premiere of High School Musical 2 did not include the song "Humuhumunukunukua'pua'a," and it made the DVD premiere all the more exciting for the millions of fans who have made this one of the biggest pop culture icons of our era.
The song, by the way, is surely an affectionate nod in a way to Annette Funicello, whose top 10 hit, "Pineapple Princess" is referenced in the lyrics. The whole infectious silliness is very much in the fun style of the early Disney pop tunes.
And the movie is very much in the spirit of the bubbly 60's Beach Party movies that starred Annette and Frankie Avalon, though High School Musical has more budget and less innuendo. One could even draw a direct parallel between the poolside finale and Annette's poolside number in the film, Pajama Party.
To its credit, the High School Musical sequel is true to its original style and does not give into what was surely a temptation to cash in on the success with endless cross promotion ("Hey everybody! Look who's just dropped in! It's TV's Regis Philbin!") There are very subtle cameos by Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers strictly for eagle-eyed fans and that's about it.
The bloopers are especially ingratiating, showing the cast off to its most endearing advantage. It looks like everyone's having a ball making the movie, though it's also very hard work as other special features prove (i.e. Zac Efron taken through take after take on his "Bet on It" number.
No tween home will likely be without one of these DVDs. Say what you want about this franchise, it's perhaps the clearest parallel from the Mickey Mouse Club days to today, utilizing a talented stock company of young talent and giving them fun, frothy entertainment to shine in.