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Blu-Ray Review: Fans Will Love ‘Hannah Montana: The Movie,’ Others Should Stay Away

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CHICAGO – This critic is not ashamed to admit when a teen-driven phenomenon works, having given positive reviews to most of Zac Efron’s filmography, but Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie” is too absolutely for hardcore fans only. Everyone old enough to pay for the Blu-Ray themselves are likely to be turned off.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

“Hannah Montana” is more of a brand name than a character. Watching the heroine’s feature film debut is kind of like watching a 102-minute preview for a bigger phenomenon or a commercial for a line of products. It’s like watching “Ronald McDonald: The Movie,” it’s just another part of the machine that is one of the most popular teen characters in the history of the Disney monopoly on kid’s entertainment.

Hannah Montan: The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Hannah Montan: The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Photo credit: Buena Vista Home Video

But does it have to be so creatively dull? “Hannah Montana: The Movie” just isn’t funny, interesting, dramatic, creative, or any of the other things it could have been if it didn’t feel like so much of a blatant cash grab from the pockets of the parents of the character’s biggest fans. It’s as if the team knew there was too much money to be made to retire the character without a movie but they should have delivered something that might have appealed to babysitters and parents as much as the little ones.

Hannah Montan: The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Hannah Montan: The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Photo credit: Buena Vista Home Video

The relatively charming Miley Cyrus stars as both herself and Hannah Montana, a blonde version of herself who also happens to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world. You’ll have to seriously suspend your disbelief but no one figures out that Miley and Hannah are the same person despite the only difference being their hair color.

Hannah/Miley has “The Best of Both Worlds” (to quote one of her song titles). She can shop on Rodeo Drive and hang with the stars as Hannah but still maintain her old-fashioned, folksy persona with her dad (Billy Ray Cyrus) as the “real” her. Of course, the trappings of fame have started to go to Hannah’s head and her father whisks her away to the family farm in Tennessee to teach her about what’s really important in life, which is apparently cute boys and hoedowns.

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” is really just a series of southern stereotypes set to the music of Miley/Hannah. Most of the singer’s pop tunes actually aren’t half-bad (the film would have worked better as a straight-up musical). It’s the connective scenes that are sometimes unbearable. Billy Ray Cyrus can’t play himself believably, Melora Hardin is wasted, and the romantic lead is just dull.

Despite my clear problems with the film itself, the Blu-Ray release of “Hannah Montana: The Movie” will likely satisfy any fan who can talk their parents into buying it for them. Released in a combo pack that includes a Blu-Ray, standard DVD, and digital copy of the film, “Hannah” also comes with tons of special features to keep Cyrus fans entertained.

First, the film itself looks spectacular in 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Disney knows how to do HD and their transfers continue to impress. Same goes for the English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. It’s perfect.

Copious special features include an impressive SEVEN music videos, “The Hoedown Throwdown Dance-Along: Learn the Moves!” (which could be used as a torture device on me if I ever had needed information), “The Dance Experience With the Cast,” Cast Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, Audio Commentary on the Film With Director Peter Chelsom, “Find Your Way Back Home,” and “I Should Have Gone to Film School”.

Clearly, the Blu-Ray release of “Hannah Montana: The Movie” can’t be faulted. It’s a well-oiled machine that’s used to satisfying its fans by now, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the Disney release delivers. If only the movie did the same.

‘Hannah Montana: The Movie’ is released by Buena Vista Home Video and stars Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Melora Hardin, Vanessa Williams, and Billy Ray Cyrus. It was written by Dan Berensen and directed by Peter Chelsom. The Blu-Ray and DVD will be released on August 18th, 2009. It is rated G.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Love it!

love this movie. The romantic lead is so not dull he is soooo cute! anyways great family that people of all ages should watch. LOVE IT!!

Brian.N's picture

Hannah Montana

It is refreshing to see someone write an honest piece about a movie that is widely popular and will make money simply due to the fact that it is Hannah Montana. casino

Rhys's picture

Re: Hannah Montana

Yes Brain you are totaly correct.

big dady's picture

hannah montana

well girl ! i m a big fan of urs u’ve got guts to do everythng !
i mean everythng. glamour , fame , beauty , darma n that at such a young age.
i really like u . i hvnt seen ur movie yet bt hope it will b just like u (pretty)
i pray to GOD that HE keeps on HIS blessings showering upon u!!!
may GOD helps u find the right path.
a big fan of u in ths small world :)

Rhys's picture

Re: Hannah Montana

I love this film, but there’s one downfall which is it makes me cry, but i like it overall with 10 been the highest i choose 9.

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