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Considering the ‘tween friendly sitcom source material, it should come as no surprise that HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE ($45) is pure, unadulterated, down on the farm, homespun corn- not that this is entirely a bad thing. Heck, folks today need to take wholesome family entertainment wherever they can find it, and they will certainly find it here. Of course, the phenomenal success of all things Hannah Montana, means that the movie version of the sitcom isn’t going to mess with the highly successful corn sweetened formula… or any other aspect of the TV show’s lucrative ‘tween appeal. Sure, adults aren’t going to be adding HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE to their must see feature films list anytime soon, but then again, they aren’t part of the demographic that this motion picture is being marketed to. All things considered, HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE is a feature film, which is completely, totally and ultimately critic proof. Heck, ‘tweens were going to see this movie regardless of what the major film critics thought of it, and it an absolute guarantee that those very same tweens will be putting it at the top of their list for must have videos.

The premise of HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE finds that the teen pop sensation is overwhelming the life of her true identity- Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus). With her alter ego causing her to miss saying goodbye to her college bound older brother and ends up ruining her best friend’s sweet sixteen party, Miley begins alienating both friends and family alike. However, when Hannah Montana gets into a much-publicized catfight with Tyra Banks, Miley’s father, Robby Ray (Billy Ray Cyrus), decides that his daughter needs a reality check. Although Miley thinks Hannah Montana’s private jet is heading for New York, Robby Ray decides to take his daughter back to her hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee, where he hopes to remind Miley of her much simpler roots. At first, Miley is resistant to giving up Hannah Montana and going back to a simpler way of life, but being around family, starts to have the desired effect on the small town girl who is still inside her. However, when a developer threatens Crowley Corners small town way of life, Miley finds herself needing the star power of Hannah Montana to do some good. The cast of HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE also features Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Mitchel Musso, Moises Arias, Lucas Till, Vanessa Williams, Margo Martindale, Peter Gunn, Melora Hardin, Jared Carter and Barry Bostwick. Look for some musical support from Taylor Swift, Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and JoeDon Rooney.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has made HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The corn sweetened goodness of HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE comes with an awfully purdy 1080p presentation that really can’t be faulted in any way. Image sharpness and dimensionality are pretty terrific, as are the levels of fine detail and texturing. Colors are warm and vibrant, in addition to producing highly attractive flesh tones. Blacks appear true, as do the crisp whites. Contrast is very smooth and shadow detail is really quite good. The elements from which HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE are transferred appear virtually pristine. There is a modest level of grain that gives the presentation a nice organic quality.

HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The musical component is where this soundtrack really shines, but otherwise, it has all the qualities of your average comedy sound design. During the talky stretches, the sound is localized right up front, with occasional effects being sprinkled around the soundstage and with ambience and fill falling to the rear channels. Musical numbers really enliven the soundtrack and make the most of the outlying channels. Additionally, songs and music reproduced with excellent fidelity thanks to the lossless encode. The bass channel enhances the music and give a bit of heft to sound effects. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Peter Chelsom. Featurettes and other programs include the following: The Hoedown Throwdown Home Experience (fifteen minutes), I Should Have Gone To Film School (fifteen minutes) and Find Your Way Back Home (fifteen minutes). Seven Music Videos, four Deleted Scenes, Bloopers and Bonus Trailers close out the standard extras. HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, while disc three provides a Digital Copy of the film.

As corny as some of it is, HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE provides wholesome family fun for ‘tweens and the rest of the gang. The Blu-ray presentation offers a terrific looking picture and good quality sound that shines during the musical numbers.



Hannah Montana The Movie (3-Disc Combo Pack Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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