I watched quite the collection of movies over the last couple of weeks while I was out of town. You will find that there are a number of musicals and a number of teen movies. Also, there is a bit of Zac Efron prominence, but it was just coincidence.
Hairspray - I had already watched this, but enjoyed re-watching it with my sister. I thought Adam Shankman did a good job with this one, and that it was well-cast. I was a bit annoyed with John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, but the casting of Tracie (Nikki Blonski), Penny (Amanda Bynes), and Seaweed (Elijah Kelley) was really good. I also adore James Marsden and love that he can sing and dance. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can see Twitch (runner up from this season's So You Think You Can Dance), as well as the uber-annoying Cassie S., contestant from MTV's Legally Blonde casting show for the new Elle Woods.
High School Musical - I had no major interest in any of the High School Musical movies, but my sister insisted I at least see the first one. So I watched it and here are my thoughts. It was awful, and I loved every minute of it. I can see the appeal of Zac Efron, and the acting wasn't quite as bad as I had expected (except Vanessa Hudgens...). Other stand outs here were Lucas Grabeel as Ryan and the adorable Olesya Rulin as Kelsie. Ahsley Tisdale was pretty good, too. I can't remember all the music from this one, but I liked Start of Something New and Getcha Head in the Game. Does Zac Efron not sing his own songs in this?
High School Musical 2 - I then borrowed HSM2 from a friend so my sister could see it (and I guess I could watch it, too...). I actually ended up watching it twice. So I remember more from HSM2 than HSM for the sake of this post. I loved the baseball-themed I Don't Dance. The choreography was very old-school and really fun. I even watched some extras on the practice for this scene. I just really liked it. It offset the very strange Humuhumu... that seemed SO campy (even more than the rest of the movie). I could have done without that. Also, Zac Efron's Troy has a solo Bet on It. The song was fine but the choreography (or lack of) was very awkward. The duet-turned-group songs Music in Me and Everyday are very catchy, starting off slow and turning into something you want to sing along with.
Overall, I can see why people can't sit through a HSM movie, but I could, and I enjoyed it, even though I know they aren't all that great. I would even watch HSM3, but probably not in the theater. If you keep an eye out, you will see lots of SYTYCD alum. After the first two, Ryan Evans/Lucas Grabeel comes out as my favorite character/performer.
Rent - I have seen Rent a number of times on stage, and everyone knows that the movie just didn't do it justice. But it is still fun to watch and sing along with (Kenzie taking Mimi and me doing Roger). So that is what we did. I also noticed Blake from SYTYCD. Is it required that SYTYCD contestants be in EVERY movie musical? I think so.
Penelope - I think I have almost seen EVERY movie that James McAvoy is in (and some TV), so this one was a requirement. For one, I am always disappointed when he doesn't have his Scottish accent. So in this one, he had an American one, but I forgive him. I wanted this movie to be great, because I really like the cast and the fact that this cast did this kind of movie. Unfortunately, the real-life fairy-tale thing has already been done, and done really well (see Enchanted!). I wasn't bored by this movie, or annoyed, or disgusted. It just didn't live up to what I wanted from it. That's all. It was still a feel-good one, and enjoyable to see.
John Tucker Must Die - This is my step-mom's favorite movie. I have actually avoided it like the plague up till now. I don't really care for Jessie Metcalf. I finally gave in and watched it. It really wasn't very good. The most amusing part was the appearance of some now-better-known faces, such as Taylor Kitsch (Riggins from Friday Night Lights) in a single less-than-stellar scene, a quick cameo from Nicki Clyne (the late Cally Tyrol from BSG), and a long-haired Penn Badgley, pre-heartthrob/Gossip Girl days. Unless you are 15, I say skip this one.
You can see why I combined this post. One, I watched a LOT of movies (including tidbits of Transformers, 21, and a few others). And, two, nothing was really worth an individual post.