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Featured DVD Review: Lemonade Mouth

May 21st, 2011

Lemonade Mouth - Buy from Amazon

Lemonade Mouth is based on a book of the same name and first aired on the Disney Channel in April. It's ratings were good, for a TV movie, not phenomenon good like the High School Musical films, but it was still a solid hit. Will those who missed it the first time around want to watch it on DVD? Is the DVD worth picking up?

The Movie

The film starts with Olivia White describing how huge the band Lemonade Mouth was, but how it had humble beginnings.

It starts one school day with five students, Olivia White, Stella Yamada, Wendall Gifford, Charlie Delgado, and Mohini Banjaree, heading off to school. For different reasons (skipping class, disrespecting authority, etc.) they all end up in detention under the watchful eye of Miss Jenny Reznick, the music teacher. Miss Reznick has been butting heads with Principal Stanley Brenigan, and leaves the five of them unsupervised to continue the argument after hearing his Segway. They are supposed to clean up the music room, but instead start playing the instruments and improvising a song. When Miss Reznick returns, she's not upset, but decides these five should form a band. In fact, she wants them to enter the Rising Star competition to show Brenigan that it's not just the jocks and the cheerleaders that deserve respect.

However, the five kids dismiss the idea out of hand. They don't know each other, they have other commitments, etc. But it doesn't take too long before they agree to at least give it a try. (They have to, or there wouldn't be a movie.) Now they've got to overcome their differences and work together to form a band, all while avoiding the wrath of the more popular Mudslide Crush, who will also be competing in the Rising Star competition.

At this point, you can probably guess the general plot of the rest of the movie. The film is filled with various coming of age plot points. The film makes the point that you should "be yourself" and "stand up for what you believe in", as well as setting up the typical "cool kids vs. the outcasts" underdog story. Granted, it's aimed at younger kids and not critics who will instantly recognize the plot, and for tweens it is acceptable fare, plotwise. As for the acting, it's on par with expectations. Most of the kids are either relatively unknown, or recruited from other Disney projects, but they handle their parts well. (On a side note, Hayley Kiyoko, who plays Stella in the movie, is the new Velma in the direct-to-DVD Scooby Doo films.) Also, Christopher McDonald can play this role in his sleep. He has done dramatic acting where he was a good guy, and I'd like to see him do that more often. That's not an insult, just a comment.

As for the music, which is obviously a big draw, it's catchy, if a little over-processed. Of course, what I consider over-processed is probably considered normal by most people who listen to the radio these days.

The Extras

The only real extra on the DVD is an exclusive scene, which plays at the end of the credits as well as separately. While you can also watch the movie in Rock-Along mode, but that's just subtitles. The DVD does come with a digital copy on a second disc.

The Verdict

Lemonade Mouth is on par with other Disney Channel movies and should please fans of High School Musical and American Idol. The DVD doesn't have a lot of extras, but I think it might sell well enough to produce a sequel.

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