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Hannah Montana: The Movie(2009)
As Hannah Montana's popularity begins to take over her life, Miley Stewart, on the urging form her father, takes a trip to her hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee to get some perspective on what matters in life the most.
For more about Hannah Montana: The Movie and the Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray release, see the Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 10, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Mitchel Musso, Moisés Arias
Director: Peter Chelsom
» See full cast & crew
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray Review
A sugary sweet family film that fails to distinguish itself from the crowd...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 10, 2009
I can think of three storylines that would have helped a Hannah Montana flick appeal to my sensibilities. One: Miley Cyrus, reeling from the realization that her career is consuming her every waking moment, sneaks into her father's study to look for a bottle of whiskey, only to discover the entrance to an underground complex filled with blonde and brunette doppelgängers. She stumbles backwards and screams, struggling to come to terms with the revelation that she is, and has always been, a Cylon. Two: while vacationing at a remote woodland resort in her father's Tennessee hometown, Miley is forced to contend with an evil Japanese spirit (preferably an ohaguro-bettari) who slaughters her family and attempts to consume her soul. Just as the demon is about to inhabit her golden-locked alter ego, the young guitar-wielding sensation learns that her music causes the ancient abomination unspeakable pain. Three: in the wake of a catastrophic global disaster, Miley is left to wander the ashy deserts of a post-apocalyptic American wasteland. Initially, she kills to survive, but soon she descends into scraggly haired, steely eyed insanity, killing anyone who mutters the word "Hannah," earning the fear and respect of the nomadic populous, and eventually assembling an army of road warriors intent on establishing their own twisted law in a world gone mad.
But while Hollywood and Disney executives scramble to greenlight my scripts, I suppose I'll focus on Hannah Montana: The Movie as conceived by screenwriter Daniel Berendsen and director Peter Chelsom (Serendipity, Shall We Dance?), a decidedly G-rated, family-friendly cautionary tale starring teenage pop sensation and television superstar Miley Cyrus.
After fighting with former supermodel Tyra Banks over a pair of shoes (a catfight that ignites a media frenzy), missing her beloved brother's college send-off, and inadvertently ruining her best friend's birthday party, a young girl named Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) has to come to terms with the fact that maintaining her wildly popular celebrity persona, Hannah Montana, is having a series of profound and detrimental effects on her personal relationships and career. But that all changes when her father, successful country music singer Robby Ray Stewart (yep, dear old dad Billy Ray Cyrus), takes her on a vacation to their corn-n-hayseed hometown: Crowley Corners, Tennessee. While there, Miley reconnects with an old friend named Travis (Lucas Till), dodges a tenacious photographer (Peter Gunn) trying to uncover Hannah Montana's secret identity, and agrees to help the town save a stretch of land from greedy developers... by putting on a concert, of course.
Hannah Montana: The Movie is perhaps the first family film I've ever encountered that literally teaches children to hide who they really are. Miley doesn't learn to share her true self with the world, she learns -- after bumbling through an identity crisis I surely thought would result in a worthwhile life lesson for young girls -- to continue concealing her identity. Sorry to spoil the oh-so-thrilling Dance Dance Revolution ending but, if I had a preteen daughter, the last thing I'd want her to be told by one of her rosy cheeked role models is to create a second persona for herself; one she only shows to those who are a part of her innermost circle. Is that what we've really come to? Teaching a budding adolescent mind that it's okay to live your life as if you're someone you're not? Even when Miley reveals herself to a stunned crowd, her peers and fans encourage her to keep her secret... which, after coming to terms with who she is and how she wants to be perceived, she decides is a great idea. Sigh.
Shaky, maligned moral aside, Hannah Montana: The Movie is big, dumb, semi-harmless fun for the preteen girl set. The film's antagonists hail from the clumsy, redemptive school of villainy, jokes and gags are strictly of the buh-dum-tish! variety, slapstick pitfalls and lame one-liners abound, and wholesome values wipe away every well-intentioned mistake the characters make. As a flighty bit of cinematic whimsy, the film works fairly well, and even gives the perpetually grinning pop star a few choice opportunities to showcase her somewhat promising dramatic chops. As anything more significant? Not so much. In this world of PR boundaries and choose-your-own-adventure morality, I imagine it's quite difficult for Disney to hold the moral compass it once proudly displayed in each of its family films. Perhaps I missed the nuances of Hannah Montana's message while pushing through its aw-schucks shenanigans, but I was surprised by how little it had to say about adolescence, honesty, integrity, and self assuredness. Ah well, I don't have a daughter though, so what do I know?
Until then, I guess I'll just have to keep pitching ideas for Hannah Montana: The Movie 2. Try this on for size: Miley, ever the conscientious political crusader, decides to abandon her illustrious singing career and pursue a life in international diplomacy. However, unbeknownst to her and her stodgy government handlers (Clint Eastwood and Richard Jenkins), an embittered ex-dancer with ties to the Russian mafia (Jackie Earle Haley) takes advantage of his former employer's sudden overseas accessibility and plants a series of bombs in the embassies she's set to ...
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Hannah Montana: The Movie features a solid 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that renders the vibrant primaries of Hannah's world and the earthy hues of Miley's hometown with ease. David Hennings' chosen palette is a bit muddy, but intentionally so, quelling the overwhelming reds and blues that frequent the film's opening act. Thankfully, skintones are fairly lifelike, black levels are satisfying, delineation is revealing, and contrast, while dull on occasion (particularly during scenes that take place in the Cyruses' country abode), is relatively strong. More importantly, detail exhibits all the traits of a high-quality, high definition presentation. Fine textures are crisp and refined, definition is sharp and natural, and noise reduction and edge enhancement are either nowhere to found, or have been applied judiciously. It helps that the technical transfer is clean and commendable -- I didn't encounter any artifacting, banding, crush, or pesky digital anomalies. While the picture never really blew me away, it wasn't plagued with any major distractions or debilitating mishaps.
Ultimately, Hannah Montana fans -- especially those who take the time to compare the sparkling Blu-ray transfer to its shoddy DVD counterpart -- will be pleased with the results.
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney serves up an impressive (albeit slightly unspectacular) DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track that handles Hannah Montana's somewhat limited soundscape without resorting to too much artificial gimmickry to enhance the experience. Dialogue is perfectly intelligible and well prioritized, and effects -- while anchored to the front of the soundfield throughout the majority of the film -- are weighty and clear. Moreover, LFE output is generous, particularly during Miley and Billy Ray's various songs, and overall dynamics are suitably strong. Granted, rear speaker support is unexpectedly tame (this is, after all, a chatty family comedy), but each musical performance takes full advantage of the multi-channel presentation. The mix does a fine job creating the illusion of a crowded outdoor show during Miley/Hannah's climactic third-act gig, and injects some decent interior acoustics and ambient presence into other notable scenes as well. All things considered, audiophiles will probably shrug their shoulders and wonder where the magic's at, but fans of the film will be happy with the track's sonic wares.
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Blu-ray edition of Hannah Montana: The Movie retains all of the supplemental content that appears on the Deluxe Edition DVD, adds in a few notable exclusives, and includes both a standard DVD and Digital Copy of the film. There isn't a lot of content on tap -- I'm sure young viewers would have appreciated an audio commentary with the Cyrus clan -- but Miley fans will find it to be a fairly satisfying package nonetheless.
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Unless you have a preteen daughter, I doubt Hannah Montana: The Movie is even on your radar. However, pinging parents would be wise to skip this morally ambiguous exploration of dual-identity and rent something else for the kiddies. Ah well, even if you are one of the tweenybop few who decide to take the plunge, you can at least be confident in the results since the Blu-ray edition of the film boasts a noteworthy AV presentation and a healthy supplemental package. My advice? Skip it if you can, rent it if you must, but avoid a purchase unless you can't possibly fend off your children's requests.
Hannah Montana: The Movie Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - August 18th - August 18, 2009
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• Hannah Montana Blu-ray Gets Detailed - June 18, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced the special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Hannah Montana: The Movie', which is due to hit store shelves on August 18th, day-and-date with the DVD release. This three-disc set - which includes ...
• Hannah Montana Movie Coming to Blu-ray - June 8, 2009
In an early announcement to retailers, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'Hannah Montana: The Movie' to Blu-ray on August 18th, day-and-date with the DVD release. The three disc set (which will also include a DVD and digital ...
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