OPINIONATRIX…because my opinions dominate

{June 23, 2008}   This Camp sorta rocked!


Maybe it’s because I actually went to performing arts camp, or maybe it’s because my inner 12 year old secretly loves schmaltzy Disney movies, but whatever the reason I really enjoyed Disney’s newest movie musical Camp Rock.

Ok, the script was horrible, the characters under-developed and the ending was clear before the movie even began.  However, under all this mediocrity was a cheesy musical that brought me back to childhood days when dreaming of being a super star was still a feasible life plan. 

Having actually been to a real life version of “Camp Rock,” called Stagedoor Manor, and experiencing this type of camp first hand, I have to hand it to them they weren’t that far off.  Sure they ramped things up a bit, but at the heart of it, kids at these camps tend to be super talented, devoted and uber competitive. Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of a first class super star as one of my camp counsellors although I imagine that would have been completely awesome.

Camp Rock took the basic disney formula and churned it through the machine to get a ‘new’ story.  I thought the performances by the actors were good and I really enjoyed some of the music.  Sure it is cheesy “believe in yourself” kind of stuff… but this is Disney- what did you expect?? 

I know this was supposed to be a vehicle for the Jonas Brothers, but the only one who really got any serious airtime was middle bro Joe.  The other two throw in a couple of lines here and there and intermittently show up on screen — is there a reason they are in this movie other than the fact that they wanted to be? Probably not, but when you rule the tween scene I guess this is reason enough. I do have to hand it to them though, their music is pretty good (not to mention they write it all themselves), and it also doesn’t hurt that Joe Jonas is adorable and completely fun to watch prance across the screen… it is no wonder he is the newest teen heart-throb.

All in all I enjoyed this.  I realize it wasn’t very good, but that is even more reason to give it a look.  It’s perfect for a lazy summer evening when you just want to kick back, veg out and spend a little time with your inner pre-teen.  The only real bummer is the realization that you are probably too old to go back to camp this summer.



The press has been buzzing about this movie for weeks and the fans have been anticipating it for years. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it should come as no surprise that the Sex and the City movie has almost usurped the 2008 election in terms of coverage and conversation.

I should confess now that I was not a fan of the show during its 6 year television run. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t have access since I don’t subscribe to HBO. I have seen an episode or two on late night tv, but never really fell into the frenzied, obsessed mass of women that look to Carrie as g-d and Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha as disciples.

However, when I friend of mine invited me out for “a night with the girls” to go see Sex and the City, how could I decline? Even as a non-fan, I didn’t want to be left out of countless future conversations, nor did I want to pass up a fun girls night out. So I went figuring that even though I didn’t know the backstory or personalities of any of the characters I would be able to figure it out.

What did I think?

Well, to start out I should say that this movie may be about 4 women but there are 5 lead characters (6 if you count “the city”). Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are merely the vessels used to show off the countless designer gowns, suits, shoes and outfits that sashayed across the screen at every turn. It was like a feast for the fashion hungry eyes. Yes, I know that designer labels may be overpriced and frivolous, but they are also fun and beautifully gorgeous.

The first hour of the movie moves at a quick, if not predictable pace, and is truly the epitome of a fun romantic comedy. It is lighthearted, funny and filled with many “aww how cute” moments. Carrie and Big decide to marry, we are ensconced in the perfection of their relationship, and the wedding planning begins. There is even a bridal fashion shoot for Vogue thrown in which can only be classified as fashion porn. For the other girls; Miranda is dealing with the fact that her marriage is falling apart, Samantha is struggling with being bi-coastal (now that she is living in LA with Smith Jerrod) and Charlotte is lost in happily married bliss.

But now, thanks to the wedding, they are back to wining and dining as a foursome. It is almost perfect, except that it isn’t. Big gets cold feet, stands Carrie up and thus sends her into a downward spiral. This is the point at which the movie begins to feel long and especially overwrought. We spend the next half of the movie waiting for Carrie to get back on track and figure out her next move.

I have to say, the details of this movie are definitely a plus. Every flower, belt, outfit and glass seemed placed deliberately. It was, if nothing else, a beautiful movie. I only wish the plot and writing had been thought out with the same amount of deliberation. At times the dialogue felt over dramatic and unrealistic, and 2 and a half hours is too long for a plot that is all too predictable.

All this aside, I would probably recommend you see this movie if you are looking for a fun way to spend your night. It is a perfect movie to see with a bunch of your girlfriends as long as no one is expecting anything magnanimous in terms of movie making. The Sex and the City fans I saw it with were swept away in a SATC like bliss, consequently I would surmise that the fans will probably get the ending they had been hoping for. If you are looking for an award winning film you should probably turn elsewhere…

Go see the movie and be part of the nation wide Sex and the City conversation that is sure to be happening around water-coolers everywhere. Just keep in mind though, Sex and the City is a movie, not the second coming of the messiah.

et cetera