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Walt Disney Home Video presents
High School Musical 2 (Extended Edition) (2007)

"I told you to hire Troy Bolton, not the entire East High student body!"
- Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: December 11, 2007

Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Other Stars: Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Mark L. Taylor, Bart Johnson, Robert Curtis Brown, Jessica Tuck, Alyson Reed, Christopher Warren, Jr., Ryne Sanborn, Olesya Rulin, Kaycee Stroh, Tanya Chisholm
Director: Kenny Ortega

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:50m:58s
Release Date: December 11, 2007
UPC: 00786936740370
Genre: family


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- CA-A B+

DVD Review

There are teen sensations that simply take over the pop culture landscape, and then there's the High School Musical franchise. Taking hold of a demographic that's a bit too old for Hannah Montana, the geniuses at Disney have created a series that will seemingly last beyond even the willingness of its stars to continue to participate. It's hard to believe, but there have only been two of these movies so far, with the latest, High School Musical 2, making its DVD debut just in time for this gift-buying season. Disney's disc features an extended version.

The teenagers at East High are enjoying their last day of school, champing at the bit for summer vacation to begin. The most popular guy in school, Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is the new target of the evil Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), who is devising a plan to get her mitts on him. Sharpay has her father hire Troy at his Lava Springs Country Club, and he, in turn, ensures that all of his friends work with him this summer, throwing a kink in her diabolical plan. Instead of just Troy, Sharpay has to deal with Chad (Corbin Bleu), Taylor (Monique Coleman), Kelsi (Olesya Rulin), and, worst of all, Troy's girlfriend, Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens). In longing after Troy, Sharpay alienates her twin brother, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), who gravitates towards his circle of friends, making this summer his sister's worst nightmare.

The plot is hardly the reason kids flock to these movies. It's all about the "cute" girls and guys, and, more importantly, the singing and dancing. I'll be honest, there's very little for thirty-something guys like me to get out of this endeavor, but I guarantee you that Disney could care less what I think. The fact that my 12-year-old and her friends can't stop talking about this DVD release is all that matters. It's easy to see why they lap this stuff up, as each and every conversation focuses on anything and everything that teens and preteens care about, from teachers at school that they love and hate, to the new cute guy or girl that they want to pass a note to in class. The writers and director Kenny Ortega (Newsies) must be commended for giving their target audience exactly what they want.

I'd love to get inside the heads of the young (yet rapidly-approaching adulthood) cast to see what they truly think about the cheesy lyrics they're singing, as well as the accompanying, tightly-choreographed dancing. What little storyline exists is even more preposterous than that of the first film, and serves solely as a bridge between each song-and-dance number. The most entertaining bits are the livelier ones, including those surrounding the songs I Don't Dance and Work This Out. The sappier numbers slow things down even more, but even those above the target demographic can get at least a little interested in the up-tempo stuff, if only for a few minutes.

One aspect of the singing that even my daughter and her friends should be miffed about is the over-dubbing of many of the main stars' voices during a few numbers. This overwork by the filmmakers to ensure that everyone's voice is timed perfectly results in tunes that simply don't sound natural. Sure, the teens watching probably won't even notice this anomaly, nor would they care, but it's still a distraction for other prospective audiences. Despite this, and any other complaints old fogies like me will gripe about, expect more of the same in the upcoming, and inevitable, High School Musical 3.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Presented in its original full frame aspect ratio, the film looks just as good, if not better than it did during its television premiere. The colors are amazingly bright, enhancing the bubbly pop music numbers immensely. Finely detailed images are also prevalent, with nice sharpness and consistent shadow and black levels. There's virtually no dirt, grain, or other blemishes on the print.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio brings to life what this movie is all about, the music. The surrounds get a nice workout, as the music envelopes the viewer at all times. The lyrics are always easy to understand and are never drowned out by the rest of the audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
8 Other Trailer(s) featuring 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition, Twitches Too, Underdog, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True - Special Edition, TinkerBell, Hannah Montana: Life's What You Make It, Snow Buddies, The Aristocats: Special Edition
1 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Bloopers
  2. Sing Along with the Movie
  3. High School Karaoke Lyrics
  4. Phineas and Ferb Sneak Peek
Extras Review: The extras begin with four minutes of bloopers that are basically a musical montage of the cast goofing around on the set. We then get the "Humuhumunukunukuapa'a" exclusive scene, which is a five-and-a-half minute version of the scene. There are four music videos as well, for the songs You are the Music In Me in both English and Spanish, and Gotta Go My Own Way in both English and French.

Sing Along with the Movie is a feature that provides lyrics as subtitles during the film, while we also have the option to watch the film with High School Karaoke Lyrics on or off. With "on" selected, the film plays with the lead vocals turned off and the lyrics appearing as subtitles on the screen.

There's also a Rehearsal Cam, which allows the viewer to watch rehearsal footage for nine of the film's music scenes, running a total of just under 36 minutes.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

The time that throngs of teenagers have been waiting for all year is finally here. Yep, it's the Disney DVD release of High School Musical 2 (Extended Edition), and the gang from East High are taking their show to the land of summer vacation. Amid the numerous musical numbers are wonderful audio and video presentations, as well as an extras collection that fans will love.

 


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