In the World of Disney when five high school kids meet in detention, they do not talk about deep dark secrets and learn a life lesson by the end of the day like a great John Hughes film. In a Disney film, they play music, sing, and dance.
Following along in the footsteps of High School Musical and Camp Rock, Lemonade Mouth is another teen flick filled with pop music. It’s not a musical because they don’t randomly break into song. The songs are self-contained within the story and have a legitimate reason for appearing where they do.
Filmed in one long flashback as the band is about to perform at Madison Square Garden, Olivia (Bridget Mendler) narrates the story of how the band was formed and their rise to stardom.
It all started when five social misfits found themselves in detention. But detention wasn’t held in a regular classroom. It was held in the musical room. That is if you could call a tiny little dungeon in the school basement where all of the non-athletic clubs were forced to go. If your activity didn’t make money for the school, then you were banished to the basement by the school principal.
But sheer boredom and random tapping on a desk, which turned into a beat, bonded the small group of outcasts into an improvisational band. It was a band that lasted for a few moments and then they went their separate ways. Having shared such a magical moment, Stella (Hayley Kiyoko), the new kid in school and rebellious spitfire, kept pressure on the others until they agreed to become a band.
The band becomes popular with the kids at school as they take an adversarial and critical stance with the principal and his policies. But the more he complains and bans them from playing at the school, the more popular they become.
While it’s a nice family film, the storyline isn’t anything new. It has a positive message for kids, Be Heard, Be Strong, Be Proud. There’s the typical rival band, Mudslide Crush, which has a worse name than Lemonade Mouth, that is trying to ruin them. There’s an over-the-top principal and parents who just don’t understand. But in the end, you know it’s all going to work out.
Like a lot of Disney films, it has pretty good music. It’s a mixture of rap and pop, but it’s all fun and well done. The soundtrack even broke into the Billboard top five albums upon its release.
The most disappointing aspect of the DVD release is the lack of special features. You get two discs in the extended edition. One disc is a DVD of the film and the other is a digital copy. There is one special feature that is an extended version of the song “Livin’ on a High Wire.” The other feature is that you can watch the film in “Rock-Along Mode” so you can sing along with the songs.
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