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|Index||160 reviews in total|
"Camp" was, without a doubt, the very worst film I have seen this year. Worse than "Hollywood Homicide" worse than "From Justin to Kelly" worse any other piece of moving image media I can think of. The film has no real narrative structure, just a series of poorly directed scenes amounting to nothing. Graff has made the fatal error of moving stage to screen: the adding of the closeup. The actors linger for endless seconds, huge in the frame, clearly uncomfortable and lacking in motivation. This is what make this film such a difficult experience: the "actors" don't act, yet they don't seem natural. We have resolutions in the final act of the film for characters who were barely present in the narrative, and no resolutions for the conflicts presented by our main characters. The songs (were the original ones really composed by Stephen Trask, of "Hedwig"?) are dull, the musical moments poorly staged. I can only imagine that Graff was attempting, in part, a kind of post-modern parody/homage of the summer camp movie, but unlike "Hot Wet American Summer" which travels the same route, this never went far enough. In short, poorly written, poorly staged, nearly incomprehensible in its construction of narrative, and not the least bit campy, the most shocking part is how 12 producers wrote a blank check for this film.
What a disappointment! A cast full of talented supposedly-gay kids, and
whole film revolves around the ONE straight guy at the
The film also presumes that all gay male kids are just bursting to put on a dress, which is preposterous. I found this insulting and moronic. The movie does have a few very touching scenes, but they all revolve around the heteros. One wonders if all those gay kids are there for anything other than laugh fodder. Just like in "Will & Grace," the one hetero character gets all the romance and all the sex.
On the positive side, this film does show a heterosexual male who is kind-hearted and friendly with his gay comrades. This is refreshing. It also has a few impressive song productions, but the stars of those productions, mostly black females, are mysteriously ignored throughout the rest of the film.
And straight white males still think the world hates them? Even in a film which is heavily advertised for gay audiences they are still the only ones being shown in a positive or realistic light.
It was the worst film I have ever had the misfortune to watch. I only went to see it on the strength of the trailer. The only pity is that the film was not as long as the trailer.The plot had lots of opportunities but they were not grasped and exploited professionally.
Todd Graff isn't the most brilliant screenwriter or director, but he
knows whereof he speaks in this low-key indie about a camp for
musical-theater-loving teens, and the original setting and
youngsters' appeal go a long way toward offsetting the
dramaturgical errors and rather aimless plotting. The central
friendship between Vlad and Michael, for instance, isn't very
convincing, nor is the notion that a washed-up songwriter like
Hanley would be hiding all that good stuff up his sleeve. But the
kids are an overwhelmingly likable bunch, the new tunes by
Stephen Trask are pretty good rock-theater hybrids, and the
in-jokes about musical (and nonmusical) theater are enormous
fun for aficionados. Also loved the "Turkey Lurkey Time" number,
with the original Michael Bennett choreography, yet! He'd be so
take your typical teen movie. add showtunes. take away any hint of
talent outside of some pretty good belting voices. throw in stephen
sondheim just so any theatre kid will feel compelled to see it and you
this movie's plot is so feeble that it would be better off if it just showed the performance segments. the acting is painful to watch. really, as a theatre lover, i'm ashamed that so many of my peers relate to this. i wish people would realize that they're a lot better than this movie.
it never really goes anyway. you never really bond with any of the characters and you're left at many moments thinking,"what was that all about??"
Even for an independent film (with what I'm assuming was a low budget),
Camp ranks among the worst movies I've ever seen. The plot is unclear
and filled with holes. Certain details about characters seem to appear
conveniently out of thin air when needed and vanish just as quickly,
rendering any character development awkward and ineffectual. The flow
of the movie feels like the script was passed through the hands of 20
or 30 different directors - each scene has a slightly different
atmosphere, and seems to pull the plot in some new, nonsensical
direction. The acting could not have been worse, save for a few
The only way I managed to sit through this film was to joke around about it with my friends while watching. It's worthy of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
If watching a bunch of high-strung theatre star wannabes prancing
around and hissing at one another is what you're in the mood for,
"Camp" is made to order. I happened to be in the mood for it, but even
so found that it tested my patience. For one thing, it's way too long
for its subject matter. For another thing, it's all over the place as
far as plot goes, with no dramatic center to anchor the story. O.k., I
wasn't expecting "Citizen Kane," (hell, I wasn't even expecting
"Legally Blonde"), but I do like my movies to be written with a modicum
of competency. "Camp" flounders from one scene to the next, sort of
focusing on three principal characters but not really even doing that,
climaxing in a flashy dance number that looks like the final scene from
"All That Jazz" mixed with an episode of "Star Search." What this movie
is good for, however, are the musical numbers. Seeing teenagers belt
out songs from "Follies" and "Company" is admittedly fun. And there are
some life-affirming lessons about being true to yourself, etc., but
these are even more diluted than your average after-school special.
There are worse ways to spend a couple of hours, but you might want to consider re-watching "Fame" instead.
Please understand, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE musical theater -- particularly the work of Stephen Sondheim. Trust me, this is NOT the venue to hear/see any of his work, or any of the other composers,lyricists and playwrights represented in this movie. The kids in this movie are obviously too young to realize how bad it is, but the adults should be ashamed of themselves. Some of the kids seem to have some talent, some of the singing in particular is very strong. But unless you are related to the teenager in question, no one should have to witness world weary songs like "I'm Still Here" and "The Ladies Who Lunch" sung by perky 17 year olds. Sadly, though, the "on stage" portion of Camp is a dream come true compared to the behind the scenes plot lines. I haven't seen so much bad acting since my niece made me watch "Saved by the Bell." And the writing is worse!!! Do yourselves a favor -- don't watch this.
Worse than Spawn. Yes its true. Atrocious acting, bizaare plots points,
you can tell it is from a first time director. The theatre was laughing
the wrong reasons. Some scenes in this movie were so contrived and
The characters were not fully explored and reasons were not given for most
of their strange actions they perform during the narrative. There is too
much of the main character Vlad, the pretty boy, and it hurts at some
to see his wooden performance over and over. I think the director may have
been going for a 'Finding your true self' piece but it seems to push
anti-gay sentiment slightly and the ending does not work at all. This is a
shameful waste of celluloid.
Well, maybe not the worst. I suppose that title goes to "The Room." However, "Camp" runs a very close second. I thought I was in for a fun, musical romp, especially with all the incredible raves it got from Rolling Stone, Newsweek, NY Times, etc. What I got was a ridiculous and completely convoluted story line (Calling it a story line is a stretch), BAD acting and some of the worst songs & singing ever to hit the screen. It was so bad, it was truly amazing. Question: You people who have given this film great reviews, tell me - Are you kidding? Really, are you joking? Or are all of you musical theater geeks who attended this camp or better yet, employees of IFC/Jersey Films?
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