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High School Musical 3: Senior Year(2008)
High school seniors Troy and Gabriella are facing the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions to college. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.
For more about High School Musical 3: Senior Year and the High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray release, see the High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray Review
Starring: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman
Director: Kenny Ortega
» See full cast & crew
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray Review
The carnage continues...
Reviewed by Ben Williams, March 4, 2009
I will freely admit that I am probably the worst person on the planet to be reviewing High School Musical 3. I don't have kids, I'm not a fan of dancing and singing teenagers and I am completely clueless as to the popularity of these movies. So, in an effort to provide our readers with an accurate appraisal of the pros and cons of High School Musical 3, I've once again enlisted the help of my 9-year-old niece, Stephanie, to help me review the title. Stephanie has some reviewing experience under her belt; she helped me to slug through the original High School Musical, while showcasing her own song and dance skills. She's also a huge fan of Barbie, McDonalds and sugary snacks. Stephanie also has a Zac Efron poster in her bedroom and I believe she mentioned something about attending High School Musical on ice. That's good enough for me!
Since Stephanie did such a bang-up job on the plot synopsis for High School Musical, I'll let her describe the third film for everyone: "So, Zac (Note: Stephanie always refers to Zac Efron's character, Troy, as Zac. It happens.) and Gabriella are going to go to college and they are all scared and stuff. They are gonna miss each other! Zac plays a bunch of basketball; he's the best one on the team, all the other guys are nothing compared to Zac! They put on a play about school and Sharpay is being kind of mean again; I don't like her. They are awesome dancers and Zac is the best of them all. He's awesome at basketball, too."
I must admit that High School Musical 3 is a lot more enjoyable than the first movie. Being that it was intended for theaters and not home video, the film looks better and features better sets and costumes. I guess that's the kind of budget increase that a million screaming tweens command these days. Anyway, Stephanie was thrilled with the movie and reports on having seen it in the theater a mere 12 times. "My Mom said I couldn't go anymore. She's so bossy, sometimes." After the pouting session had ended, Stephanie resumed her choreographed dance routines, while demonstrating her command of the film's musical material. I would venture to guess that Stephanie's mastery of the moves and music from High School Musical 3 is not uncommon amongst fans of the series.
Even though High School Musical 3 is slightly more enjoyable than the first film, I still feel that this is entertainment intended for Stephanie and her peers; parents need only sit back and ignore what is happening on screen while the kids freak out. As a matter of fact, perhaps a High School Musical 3 viewing session would be a great time to catch up on overdue email responses, knitting or wound suturing. Just be sure to make plenty of room in front of the TV, as the kids are bound to knock over valuables as they practice their high-kicks and pirouettes.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, Video Quality
Disney has continually impressed video enthusiasts with their high quality Blu-ray encodes over the past few years. It's refreshing to see that a title like High School Musical 3 is given just as much care and attention as larger budget titles from the studio. Clearly, High School Musical 3 had a larger budget and more intricate production design than its predecessors; this AVC Mpeg-4 encode in the movie's original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 highlights these improvements in almost every shot. Stephanie was immediately impressed with the colors in the film, stating "Zac looks awesome; I love him." Clearly, she has her priorities in order.
As Stephanie mentioned, colors are nicely rendered in what amounts to a vibrant and saturated palette. Detail is also impressive, with fabric and skin textures nicely realized. Stephanie was particularly impressed with Sharpay's hair, "it's so weird looking, I mean, is that a wig or something? It's all over the place. Gross." Black levels occasionally suffer from a slight amount of crush during the presentation, but it's nothing worth getting into a twist over. As the film progressed, I found myself more entranced by the pretty colors and depth of field. Stephanie responded, "Hey, snap out of it! This is a really important part!"
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, Audio Quality
I wasn't expecting much from High School Musical 3 in the sound department, so imagine my surprise at discovering that Disney had given the movie an excellent 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Stephanie was equally impressed and responded by running around the room and jumping on the furniture. After calming her down a bit by threatening to make her watch the movie with the Spanish language track turned on, Stephanie resumed trash- talking the various "villains" in the film.
For a movie that is focused on music, this track does and excellent job of rendering the film's silly songs with excellent fidelity that takes advantage of the full 5.1 range of speakers. It's actually quite involving, despite the corn-ball subject matter. Bass was a little on the light side, but it was more than made up for with exceptional dialogue clarity and dynamics. Stephanie agrees, adding, "louder… stop shushing me!"
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Profiles: New Cast Members
- 8 Deleted Scenes with Introductions from Director Kenny Ortega
- Blooper Reel
- "Night of Nights"
-"It's all in the Dress"
- "Senior Awards – Cast and Crew Fun Presentations"
- "Cast Goodbyes"
- High School Musical 3 Sing-along Mode
By the time the special features rolled around, Stephanie was giddy with anticipation. Much like the extras from the first film, she enjoyed Sing-along mode and several of the short featurettes, however, the deleted scenes seemed to annoy her. "Why wasn't that in the movie? I want that in the movie; can you put that in the movie?" was repeated several times with increasing frustration and anxiety. Stephanie was also less than interested in the introduction to the new cast members, "I want more Zac - - not that one!" Parents, take note.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
For Stephanie, High School Musical 3 marks the end of an era; a time when kids could obsess over the ruminations of a bunch of "teenagers" who dance and sing their way through school. For me, it was the end of a series of painful hours where I was beat over the head with a seemingly endless barrage of hokey plot points and dancing basketball players. I survived the experience slightly bruised and a little worn out, but I'm sure I'll live. Parents will likely feel the same way that I do about High School Musical 3; there's just not much that appeals to adults, but the experience of seeing the kids get all worked up makes it a worthwhile experience. Disney has delivered the film to Blu-ray in a package that looks and sounds great, while including a minimum number of slight supplements. As I put the High School Musical experience behind me, I'll never forget Stephanie's joy and exhilaration in viewing the films, the range of emotions she experienced, the picture she knocked off the wall of my home theater or the coke she spilled on my new universal remote control. Oh well, Stephanie said it best: "Just go get another one… stop whining."
Adjusted rating for fans of High School Musical: 5 stars across the board
For everyone else: Tylenol and sedatives.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year: Other Editions
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High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - February 17th - February 17, 2009
French novelist Andre Malraux is quoted as saying "A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else." Its hard to think of a better way to describe the man that was Mohandas Gandhi. Through his nonviolent actions, he sought ...
• Disney Announces More Classics Coming to Blu-ray - January 7, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced some of the upcoming Blu-ray titles fans should expect to see released this year. Additionally, Disney has announced that all Disney-branded new releases and Platinum Edition Blu-ray titles will feature a DVD ...
• High School Musical 3 Announced for Blu-ray - December 19, 2008
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced that they will release 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' for Blu-ray on February 17th, day-and-date with the DVD release and the same day as the Blu-ray release of 'High School Musical: Remix'. Technical specs ...
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High School Musical 3: Senior Year Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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