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Muppet gangster not returning for HSM4, Sez Jim Hill

9 Jul

A thoughtful friend this morning sent me news I definitely need (plus a headline I’ve totally stolen from her email), from Jim Hill’s update on High School Musical 4:

Now where this gets interesting is – rather than make use Matt Prokop, Justin Martin and Jemma McKenzie-Brown (whose Jimmie Zara, Donny Dion and Tiara Gold characters were deliberately introduced in “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” so that this Disney franchise would then have some recognizable-but-still-affordable performers to built future “HSM” installments around) – is that “High School Musical: East Meets West” is reportedly going to feature an all-new cast.

Mind you, that’s most likely because Ortega is no longer directing the “High School Musical” movies. Kenny’s moved on (Most recently, Ortega was the director / choreographer for the now-canceled Michael Jackson “This is It!” concert that was planned for London’s O2 Arena). In his place, Disney has hired Jeffrey Hornaday. Who is probably best known for the choreographer of “Flashdance” and “Captain EO.”

Thank goodness! I found those newly-introduced characters quite tedious. I’m guessing their HSM3 market-testing didn’t give quite the results Ortega might have been hoping for.

And while it’s not news that Ortega is moving on, nonetheless I’m still a bit disappointed every time I read it. It’s a bit like hearing that George Lucas wouldn’t be directing the next Star Wars installment….except wait, that would be a good thing.

In any case, I’m still wishing they’d make the Haunted High School Musical that turned out to be HSM3: Senior Year instead. So, I’m somewhat reassured that “Halloween” is one of the plot keywords listed for HSM4 on the Internet Movie Database.

Be Prepared – Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19

9 Sep

September 19 is the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. There’s still time to prepare! Check their site for pirate tunes, embroidery stitching patterns, Frequently Asked Questions (what’s chum, anyway?), and a schedule of events, both regional and online.

No word yet on the plans for International Talk Like a Ninja Day.

High School Musical 2: All About the Shoes, Baby

18 Aug

I watched the premiere of High School Musical 2 last night, along with my son and two of my adorable nieces. There was, predictably, much support for the right side of the blatant class warfare, and much swooning over the clean-cut, sharply-pressed teen stars.

If you watched it, you don’t need me to summarize; if you didn’t watch it, I’m sure you don’t care to hear the basic plot details anyway. But here are the crucial stats and highlights, from the point of view of my living room television audience:

  • Ryan wore a total of 12 hats. One could be fairly certain of his emotional sea-change when he slipped on Chad’s baseball cap, and then actually wore one multi-color hat for an entire day. It would seem that his constantly-changing fabulous headgear was a side-effect of chasing rainbows with his drama-queen sister.
  • Chad’s t-shirts are the must-have fashion accessory of the summer. Everybody needs a t-shirt reading “Warning: Do Not Read This Shirt” or “He Did It.” Or, one viewer’s favorite, “I majored in vacation” (which, conveniently enough, is in fact available from But most elusive was the final t-shirt, which appeared to have text inside the silhouette of a television. Multiple, exhaustive attempts to freeze-frame at just the right moment were foiled; it would seem that the shirt never appeared close enough to the camera, and unobstructed enough, to read the text.
  • Based on the comments of various characters in the movie in talking to Troy, the entire movie can easily be boiled down into a parable of how well-made, expensive Italian shoes can disrupt one’s personal relationships and spiritual development.
  • Nobody should ever rhyme “beef” with “teeth,” even in a song about dental floss.

Having learned these important lessons, we now await patiently for the next installment: High School Musical 3: Gradu-Dancin’ (formerly titled Haunted High School Musical). My hope? That the under appreciated Kelsi will finally get some serious screen time and a little more emphasis in the plot. Ryan’s just had his well-deserved day in the sun . . . so c’mon people, let the geeky girl save the day next time!

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