Hannah Montana The Movie (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Family / Music
Disney || G - 102 minutes - $44.99 || August 18, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-08-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Peter Chelsom
Writer(s): Michael Poryes and Rich Correll & Barry O'Brien (characters); Dan Berendsen (written by)
Cast: Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Vanessa Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus


Theatrical Release Date: April 10, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 7 Music Videos
  • DVD Copy
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

No doubt I’ll be strung up and hung for what I’m about to say, but I must admit, Hannah Montana The Movie is not the atrocity I had read it was. I can’t say it’s anything particularly good, but I found the movie to be harmless. Predictable, of course, but perfectly harmless.

Obviously I’m not the target audience for Hannah Montana so keeping that in mind, while kids and early teens might find it fun and enjoyable adults will think it’s boring and tedious, but still marginally entertaining especially compared with other movies that are aimed directly at the younger viewers.

Basically the story is about Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus), a down to earth teen who moonlights, I guess that’s the right word, as international pop sensation Hannah Montana. When her superstar lifestyle was changing her personal priorities, Robby Ray Stewart (Billy Ray Cyrus) takes Miley back to her roots in Crowley Corners, Tennessee so she can find herself again and away from the glitz and glamour of bankrupt California.

One of the ideas that I kept thinking about in my own slight boredom with the story was how stupid people must be to not realize that Miley and Hannah are the same person just a blonde wig and stylish clothing being the difference. Then I thought, “Well, if the city of Metropolis couldn’t figure out that Clark Kent was Superman without his glasses, who am I to criticize the whole Miley/Hannah identifies?” Is it kind of dumb? Absolutely. It also makes the ending, as predictable as it was, have an even less impact. When Hannah Montana, in mid-song and after making a long speech, takes off the wig and EVERYONE is shocked that the girl in this small Tennessee town was in fact a worldwide superstar. Go figure.

Although I cannot proclaim that Hannah Montana The Movie is akin to Grease or anything, it’s not the horror others have said it is. It is aimed squarely at a specific demographic but even being waaaay outside that demo, I still managed to laugh a couple times at some of the easy jokes and the story, as basic as it is, kept my limited interest until the very end.

I should mention that I don’t find Miley Cyrus that annoying nor is she Lucifer incarnate. She very well may be hypocritical and not the ideal for some people’s kids (I don’t have any, so it doesn’t concern me) and it is quite possible that her real life persona is nothing to admire, again, I could care less. I don’t judge Tom Cruise on his real life antics (I’m not on meds so his comments on that subject were not offensive) and I won’t do it to Miley Cyrus. Just judging the movie on its own merits, there’s nothing that special about it but with my own lowered expectations, it still wasn’t that bad.

Hannah Montana The Movie was directed by Peter Chelsom, who also helmed the infamous Town & Country, Serendipity and Shall We Dance. Chelsom provides that wholesome bright visual palette perfect for the innocent story and still managed to make Miley Cyrus into a decent actress, all things considered. The movie was written by Disney-scribe Daniel Berendsen (The Cheetah Girls: One World, The Cutting Edge: Going for Gold) and features Vanessa Williams as well as cameos by Taylor Swift and Tyra Banks.

One note about Taylor Swift, now that I think about it: the subplot involved the town raising money to buy land to prevent a developer from building a mall and the idea came that someone like Hannah Montana could come in and raises the money needed. Now, I realize that Taylor Swift isn’t the superstar that Hannah Montana is, but she’s no slouch either.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Feature Commentary – Director Peter Chelsom sits down for an interesting track where he explains his approach to directing the movie (he knew very little about Hannah Montana) and about the story itself. Nothing to get excited over but at least one has been included given Disney’s recently propensity of releasing limited features.

Deleted Scenes (10:36; HD) – There are a few deleted scenes none of which are that good but thankfully the director explains why they were cut (hint: pacing). I did find one sequence somewhat amusing centered around Miley’s brother not getting into college and having to pretend he did.

Music Videos (8:15) – Not one, not two... but seven music videos are available for your enjoyment with a play all option as well! Includes “The Climb” which I admit I did kind of like. Shh, don’t tell anyone...

“Backstage Disney”
The Hoedown Throwdown Home Experience (14:39; HD) – This featurette covers the moves to the “Hoedown Throwdown” was done and shows others in the cast and crew handled it (which we see during the end credits). And then there is a separate section where you, yes YOU, can learn it too! You know you wanna. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Find Your Way Back Home (15:06; HD) – Miley and her mom and takes the viewer on a tour through Tennessee (where she grew up) and some spots she likes including an ice parlor, the humane center and sings at a local café. Her tour is followed by her dad talking about why he loves Tennessee.

I Should Have Gone to Film School (15:18; HD) – Jason Earles (plays Miley’s brother) takes us behind the scenes interviewing various members of the cast (Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment and Billy Ray Cyrus) and crew (producer Alfred Gough and others) as they talk about what they do on the set. I must admit, the explanations of what various crew members do are interesting (1st and 2nd Assistant Directors, Co-producers, etc).

Fun with Hannah & The Gang (3:53; HD) – This is a standard gag reel where the cast goofs off or flubs their lines and all that good and funny stuff.

Last is Disney Live where you can check out “Radio Disney” and shop at the “Country Store”. Unfortunately the “Radio Disney” was not available in my network or something. That’s a shame... The “Country Store” is a feature that can run while watching the movie and allows you to shop for items you see in the movie. Cha-ching!

Finally there disc 2 contains a DVD Copy while disc 3 has a digital copy (iTunes and WMV compatible).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Hannah Montana The Movie is presented in its original 1.85 aspect ratio and with 1080p high definition (AVC/MPEG-4 encoding). Overall, the picture looks nice but at times it was also soft. Although the bright and pretty color pallete comes across the small screen nicely, this isn’t a ‘wow’ kind of video transfer, probably on par with other Blu-ray releases.

Now Disney’s 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is impressive especially from the opening moments as Miley/Hannah goes on stage to sing in front of a roaring crowd. The track features good dialogue levels and great audio during the musical scenes. This is an all encompassing audio feast with strong rear channels, a balanced center channel and not an overly heavy subwoofer.



.::OVERALL::.

I think it goes without saying, Hannah Montana The Movie is for fans only. As I said, the movie itself isn’t that bad and talking as someone who never has seen the show before, I didn’t mind it all that much. The Blu-ray itself is pretty good with some decent features and solid video and audio quality.