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Reviews & Ratings for
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

excellent music, very poor acting...

Author: twalker from USA
1 July 2004

Let me start with the "movie" aspects of this movie. They stink. The "actors" can't act. It is obvious that they cast this movie based on musical/performance talent and the acting was secondary. There are a few exceptions such as Anna Kendrick (Fritzi,) but for the most part the cast is clueless about acting. The film was also rather poorly directed IMHO -- there are many camera angles, etc that just don't make sense. The plot...well, there IS no plot. It's a bunch of teenagers who are different because of their talent who come together every summer to be around people who are like them and who will accept them. That's it. The storyline about Vlad and his three girlfriends is SO unbelievable it's just silly. Daniel Letterle (Vlad) is by far the worst actor of the bunch. So for the "movie" aspects of this movie, I give it a 3/10.

Now for the musical/performance aspects of this movie, the story is much different. These kids can sing, dance, and perform their you-know-whats off! The musical numbers are FANTASTIC. The singing voices of just about all of the kids who have solo singing parts are just amazing. The one that stands out to me is Sasha Allen (Dee.) The opening song of the movie is nothing short of extraordinary and her voice is the main reason (besides the fact that it is a very well written song of course.) Tiffany Taylor (Jenna) has a fantastic voice as well -- Sasha Allen's ist just more my style. Daniel Letterle has an excellent voice as well, as evidenced by his performance of "I Sing for You."

As others have said, this movie seems like an audition reel for the kids who are in it and lemme tell you it makes a darn good one -- as long as they are auditioning for a Broadway show and not a movie. The musical numbers are SO good, it it worth seeing this movie for that reason alone. The music gets a 10/10 in my book -- it just couldn't be any better.

Finally, if you rent the DVD, you must watch the "making of" special feature. It will really give you insight into Todd Graff's reasons for making the movie, his vision, and will show you what they were trying to accomplish with the film.

Overall I give it a 7/10 -- but ONLY because the music is so spectacular. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy the soundtrack :-)


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Cinematic Audition Tape

Author: tulsastorm from Tulsa, OK
29 June 2004

I feel like I just watched a 2 hour audition tape for Dawson's Creek: The Next Generation. The movie consists of young actors and actresses performing their hearts out in brief snippets of every Broadway play you can think of. The acting was excellent, but there wasn't much of a story line in this movie. Bert, the washed up musical songwriter, tries to give these kids a reality check, but soon realizes that drama camp is not about developing acting skills. It is an outlet for nerds, geeks, and misfits of all kinds to feel safe and accepted. This realization comes in the middle of the movie, but could have made for a nice climax and conclusion if it were played out.

Vlad, the too-cute-to-be-straight newcomer, shakes things up a bit this year. He wants to be at the center of attention, and he is. He flirts with every girl (and guy) and breaks their heart. It was easy to have his way with the women since all the rest of the guys gay. (When I was in speech & drama in high school, I certainly don't remember all the guys being gay.) Vlad befriends Michael, a black Hispanic transsexual gay teen with bad skin. Vlad makes a few misguided attempts to help out his friend, and it is painful to watch Michael following it. While my straight friends might mean well, they just don't understand what it is to be gay. Michael fires back that Vlad doesn't know...he's leads a perfectly normal life. Vlad reveals he is a little obsessive-compulsive and takes medication to suppress it. Ooh, that hardly equates to being gay. Maybe if Vlad had a terminal illness or his mother just died, I could feel sorry for him.

I'm on the fence about recommending this film. It really is an audition tape for the actors in cinematic form. Maybe if some of the musical numbers were toned down, more time could have been spent developing some of the supporting characters or actually building up to a climax. It had to have cost some money to obtain the rights to reuse those songs and dialogue anyway. If you went to drama camp, this movie might be worth watching to stimulate some good (and not so good) memories. Otherwise, skip it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tries to be a modern-day "Fame"

Author: KMPINTJ from North Carolina
29 May 2004

I was disappointed in this, though I did enjoy it to a degree. I guess I'm older than the intended audience, but this looked like a rip-off of "Fame" (which was MY generation's performing-arts teen movie), right down to almost the same set of stock characters. Still, those who don't fit into the regular high school social order will find much catharsis here, and for outsider adolescents, there can never be enough reassurance that it's OK to be different.

The "performance" numbers in this show are quite well-done, as well; overall, I think theatre-minded kids, and young adults, will like this film, but just don't watch it with the typical movie-critic's eye.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie Worth Seeing

Author: Rockerchic53089 from Gig Harbor, Wa
16 May 2004

I liked it. I thought the acting wasn't the strongest, but the reason that the producers and directors chose the people was for their musical talent. And they weren't great actors, but they were still good,and I really liked it. And Vlad was very cute. I just noticed that he had somewhat of a Minnesotan accent in the movie. Maybe that's just me? I thought it was different and a little weird at some times, but it the ending shocked you for a minute, not like the end of "Friends" or anything. The musical talent in this movie was awesome, and I think that it's worth seeing, maybe with your girlfriends or something. Your guy friends (who're straight) would maybe find it a little weird, because they're guys. Go rent it girls!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

i could watch it again and again and i'll always be entertained

Author: strawberrycheesecake from phil
13 May 2004

anything musical does it for me and CAMP did. it's not so much the acting, etc. that popped out in this film as the songs they sang. it's as if the the songs WERE the film. each song was significant at some point in the character's life and it was incredible the way that they were all just belting it out, letting everyone know who they are and the same time they're not technically telling it. like fritzi's performance, and when michael sings several lines in "Century Plant"...the words that came out reflected the core of their beings and that was great.

plus i like the fact that CAMP was not all that teenybopperish (like i thought at first). it's more artsy than teeny and thank goodness for that.

people should make more films like this.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Movie with Joy, Fun, and Truth

Author: bdahern from Michigan, USA
8 May 2004

This is movie so filled with honesty and sincerity that words may fail to describe it.

This is the story not so much of a summer performing arts camp as the writer/director's IMPRESSION of his own time spent at a similar summer camp. To compare it with other films having come before is pointless, as I don't believe there has ever been a film of exactly this kind.

CAMP, the story of a group of teens finding their way and trying to make their mark as singers, actors, and dancers, so faithfully captures the spirit and emotion of these performing arts camps as to be nearly voyeuristic. From the handsome straight golden boy with his own hidden imperfections to the young man who realized his sexual identity too early for his parents' comfort, never has there been a feature to do justice to eager and ambitious young performers so well.

My younger brother spent many of his summers at these types of camps and it's vicariously through him that I recognize so many of the scenes shown in CAMP. The drama and interaction may seem pedestrian to those viewers used to highly-polished and carefully orchestrated programs set in similar school settings, but it is far truer presented here, bereft of the excessive glitz and shine.

The interactions and dialogue exchanges are genuine, and one wonders how many may have been taken verbatim from actual situations overheard by the film's writer during his youth. The gay kid who's tempted to experiment with straight sex as a potential way to "fix" himself. The two girls, one a young diva, the other her doting toady, shift from uneasy alliance to one of bitter--if ofttimes hilarious--rivalry. And the indescribably charming athlete-cum-actor who worms his way into everyone's heart, sometimes with no more motivation than to gain even more attention and to feel liked.

To top off this already appealing package, each performer in this cast is truly talented, and will subsequently delight and amaze you with their renditions of numbers both old and new. Within the first few moments of the feature, you may find yourself aching to own the soundtrack.

Talent and truth peppered with characters and encounters with which we can all relate make this feature one destined, if not for greatness, then certainly for repeated viewing. I found myself laughing at the plight of the young actor trying to decipher the imbecilic bulls**t of a nonsensical "art" play he's forced to perform from inside a dumpster. I felt my teeth grind as an embittered former professional, feeling degraded by being reduced to teaching work, attempts to pop his students' balloons by assuring them that their efforts will eventually amount to nothing.

You owe it to yourself to enjoy this feature. Acting background or not, you will no doubt feel a kinship with these remarkable young men and women, and if you let yourself, be touched by the film's sincerity and passion.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Skip American Idol

Author: jonathanlander from Houston
8 May 2004

What a fun and unexpected discovery. I recall the previews which didn't do it justice. This is a clever and entertaining sleeper. Some of the lines are hysterical and the song and dance scenes are precious. Especially notable: the Turkey Lurkey number and "Ladies Who Lunch" - you'll spill your vodka stinger when you see this one. Wonderful performances by a cast of unknowns that harkens back to Fame - only better. A nice cameo by Sondheim adds a little unexpected twist. These kids can act, dance and belt out a tune. Curl up with a big bowl of popcorn for this one. Only thing is this made me wish that I could carry a tune myself - too bad I'm tone deaf.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I loved Camp and thought the actors(especially Robin De Jesus and Vince Rimoldi) were great

Author: Laine Pelka ( from Manhattan, New York
28 April 2004

Iloved Camp. I thought it was amazing and inspiring and I really fell in love with the actors. I especially liked Robin De Jesus(My favorite) and Vince Rimoldi. Though these two actors were my favorite I found the rest of the cast quite inspiring also. Besides loving the cast I thought the plot was interesting. I am involved in Drama so personally could relate and the camp looked like a place I would like to be. The characters of the actors, and the actors themselves captivated me but not only that the voices of many gave me the chills. Sasha Allen's voice was one of the most amazing voices ever, and some could hit notes you couldn't imagine. Though I am a big fan, I can respect and understand why others wouldn't because it would be difficult for others to relate and its very different.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: (vdudley) from Flordia, USA
25 April 2004

Greetings. I felt compelled to write a comment about CAMP because I thought it was tremendous and wonderful and I liked it even better the second time. The premise and timing and storyline were riveting and the characters were so relateable and brave and vulnerable at the same time. I related to them all and definitely feel that most of us feel like outcasts on some level, especially during the teenage years. I was surprised at the way Vlad's character was shown to be flawed as a people-pleaser because it's very real and subtle and not portrayed very often in movies but was very insightful. Michael's character was moving and complex. Ellen was perfect. All the secondary characters were also absolutely superb.

Now for the singing, I have never been fond of musicals, but this movie interwove song and drama flawlessly. I never once thought, oh no, not another song. The singing was so wonderful. The first song just hit me to the core. I got the CD but was disappointed that Ellen's song - I'm Going to Love You - wasn't on it because I thought it was amazing and I loved her conviction and voice.

The cherry on the cake was when at the end of the movie the name Todd Graff came on the screen because I met him at college and worked on some kind of project with him. Can't say I remember it or him well but I had actually been thinking about Todd a few weeks earlier and wondering that I hadn't seen him in any movies in a long time and wondering what he was up to - weird. It was fun to go through the DVD extra segments about casting and the background and the filming and see/hear Todd. Way to go, you deserve lots of credit for making a masterful movie. The cast was superb and I loved them all.

I hope we see lots more from Todd Graff!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Humor + Amazing Music = Excellence

Author: theparadigm83 from Tucson, AZ
2 April 2004

Where to begin? The music. Simply amazing, I don't think I have heard better soundtracks in my life (with Newsies as a close second). The fact that these songs were sung by the actors themselves, nearly all of them in their late teens to early 20's, was remarkable. True, the acting wasn't Oscar-worthy, but the awkwardness and seemingly "forced" dialogue between the actors added to the overall tone of the movie, and absolutely fit into the formation of each character and his/her traits.

I have heard a few people respond to this movie negatively in part of the acting quality and the stereotyping, which in my opinion, are absolutely absurd bases. As mentioned before, the acting wasn't the best, but the stereotyping is a complete miss. Sure, there were gay kids involved in it, but anyone who has been a part of theater surely knows that isn't a rarity. And the gay kids that appeared in the movie were not "flaming" by any means. Sure there was Spitzer (who i believed was deserving of such a larger part), the extremely "gay" gay kid, there was Vlad, who wasn't exactly the "straightest" straight guy, and there was Michael, the drag queen, who really wasn't "flaming" just because he was a drag queen (which most people think).

I think the story was very well done, and in the fact that the serious moments weren't all that serious, mainly because they were very awkward, and also in that there was an element of humor that captured me as well as my friends who have watched it with me. It isn't a laugh-out-loud comedy, but a silent inner chuckle comedy, and that was what made it interesting. It was a different sort of movie for a different sort of movie watcher. 8/10...perhaps a 9/10 for Michael pulling off that dress.

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