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HTF DVD Review: Hannah Montana - Keeping It Real



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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted April 11 2009 - 04:22 AM

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Hannah Montana: Keeping It Real




Studio: Walt Disney
Year: 2008
US Rating: Rated TV-G
Film Length: 113 Mins
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo Surround, French & Spanish Language Tracks
Subtitles: French & Spanish




US Release Date: March 31, 2009
Review Date: April 11, 2009

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“In some ways you're just like all your friends…But on stage you're a star”


Hannah Montana premiered on the Disney Channel on March 24, 2006 to surprisingly large numbers. A record 5.4 million viewers tuned into Disney’s television station to watch a young girl live a double life as a normal schoolgirl teen called Miley Stewart by day and superstar country pop singer called Hannah Montana by night. The show follows Miley as she balances the fun and hard work of leading that double life; dealing with boys, cell-phones, schoolwork, parents and the struggle of concealing her secret identity by day and the fame and success of her pop star life by night. .

The cast includes Emily Osment as Lilly Truscott/Lola, Mitchel Musso as Oliver Oken/Mike Standley III, Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart and Miley’s real father, Billy Ray Cyrus as Robby Stewart.

Hannah Montana was created by Michael Poryes, the man responsible for the enormously popular That's So Raven starring Raven Symone, who, in a deal with Disney, has helped continue the fantasy of pop idols and capitalized on such popularity with the release of a slew of merchandising, from clothing to DVD’s and movies and just about everything in between.

Disney has provided a collection of five episodes from the show on DVD for the first time here; episodes that feature Hannah getting into a variety of awkward (and mostly unoriginal) situations. The humor is broad, the acting hard and over the top and the emotion simple. The target audience of this show, and thus this collection of episodes, is laser sharp and most certainly geared toward young pre-teens. Where the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert film ( Best of Both Worlds) celebrated this young girl’s musical talents and briskly zipped through a collection of songs in good fun, the show is something of a different animal and one that, as this reviewer finds, is especially hard to find something to connect to.

There is no denying that the young Cyrus girl is cute and talented, though the extent of that talent is barely given a chance to be poked or prodded by the uniformly silly and routine show. Surrounded by young actors hamming it up fand exaggerating themselves or the cameras, perhaps trying to shine a little light in the shadow of the overwhelming main star of Miley, the show at times becomes just a lot of sound and silliness; difficult to find any clean coherency or quiet moment that is sincere. The popularity of show is indication enough that it, and its lead star, is striking a chord. The success of the 3D concert and the likely success of Hannah Montana: The Movie demonstrate that this ‘gold mine’ of Disney’s has yet to complete its journey.


The four episodes, plus one additional bonus episode, include:

1.The Test of My Love
2.Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get A Phone
3.Yet Another Side of Me
4.We’re All On This Date Together
5.Ready, Set, Don’t Drive (Bonus episode)




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Walt Disney provides Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real in its full frame (1.33:1) broadcast ratio. A brightly colored show presented cleanly here on DVD without any real issues. It retains the look of the television broadcast (though not for those who catch it on Disney HD) and suits the show just fine.



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Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real comes with a Dolby Digital Stereo options. The sound suits the show well enough, heavily focused in the front speakers. The laugh track is spread across the fronts but there is very little to be heard from ant surround action. The opening titles song is the most active of any moment in these shows.




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Miley’s Makeover: Hannah Gets A New Look - (4:17) – Follow Miley Cyrus getting a makeover as Hannah Montana, capturing a modernized 80’s look. Two wardrobe artists take us through the clothes rack of concert costumes.




Final Thoughts

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real features some rather good guest stars such as Ray Romano, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Donnie Osmond and Corbin Bleu. The show’s target audience might be satisfied with this collection of five episodes, though not having season sets may be a turn off for more savvy pre-teens.

This one is for pure fans only, though Disney has sweetened the deal with the inclusion of a coupon codes to get up to a $7.50 movie ticket to see Hannah Montana: The Movie opening in theaters on April 9, 2009.



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Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
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#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted April 11 2009 - 04:30 AM

Just a quick note, according to Boxofficemojo.com, Hannah Montana: The Movie trounced the competition with Friday box office receipts of over $17MM - handily out-grossing the other notable wide release, Observe & Report by over three-to-one. Hannah Montana is still the flavor of a very long month!
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted April 12 2009 - 03:06 AM

Neil,

Thanks for the review. I've been holding out on this DVD for my children, mostly because we own all 65+ episodes of the series on VHS and because the complete seasons of the show (one of which is out already) will in my opinion eventually be released. I didn't think that these four (and now five) packs were going to be continued, but I guess they are going to be coming out periodically.

As for Hannah Montana: The Movie, we saw it on opening day (Friday), during the first showing. The crowd was, as to be expected, just a little excited to be there. I will post my thoughts on the film, which was much better than I thought it was going to be, in the appropriate thread. Posted Image

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   msmith

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Posted January 29 2010 - 05:10 PM

The movie was excellent and as always Miley stunned all of us.I wish to see another movie in this series.