Saturday, November 24, 2007

"High School Musical 2" vs. "Newsies"

High School Musical 2 is on right now. I’m totally sucked in. I won’t even pretend to be watching it for mere “cultural research.” It’s just pure sugary fun. I liken it to Newsies for the next generation, most likely because Kenny Ortega directed both of them (although no one actually watched Newsies until years after it was made. It’s more of a VHS/DVD phenomenon).

I completely get the Zac Efron thing. If I was 16, he’d be on my wall. Okay, probably not my wall, but I’d probably have a couple Seventeen magazines hiding in my room somewhere while I lip-synced to the soundtrack in front of my mirror. I only wish I was kidding.

A Tale of 2 Ortega Movies.

High School Musical 2


The Star

Zac Efron. Perfect Aldo hair. Rather sensational in Hairspray. Shot to stardom way too quickly. Pray for him.

Christian Bale. Arguably the Internet’s first star. Before major fan sites were old hat, he was bigger than the A-listers. A cult fave since the mid-'90s. And now Batman.

The Music

Catchy bubblegum pop. The soundtrack has been HUGE. And award-winning.

Rousing Disneyfied pop. The re-released soundtrack was selling more than Britney Spears on Amazon (when Spears was in her prime and it meant something).

The Fan Base

Smash hit. Even my brother could correct me on my “did they kiss or didn’t they?” trivia last weekend. Set viewing records on cable.

Cult hit. A guilty pleasure for my generation. And the one to follow. Not popular until VHS and DVD. Bombed at the box office.

That Solo

“Bet On It.” Zac gets to be all angsty and manly and dance by himself on a golf course. A departure from bouncy pop.

Santa Fe.” Christian gets to be all angsty and manly and dance by himself in a cowboy hat. A departure from bouncy pop.

The Kiss

Saved for the end. With music swelling, sprinklers going off, fireworks.

Saved for the end. He comes back for her. And the masses rejoice.

And now, for a visual comparison:
Zac in action:

Christian doing his thing:

Love live the Disney musical machine.

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