This review first appeared in The West Australian on March 20, 2008
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert is rated (G), stars Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus and Kenny Ortega and was directed by Bruce Hendricks.
I gave it 3 stars
The invitation says dress as your favourite pop star, so some arrive with long blonde wigs, while others are adorned in masses of sequins and bling.
But once the hoards of young girls are inside the cinema and have donned their 3D glasses they all have one thing in common; these Hannah Montana fans suddenly look a little bit like nerds from a science lab.
That includes me, looking twice as dweeby as the three seven-year olds to my right. The arm has fallen off my daughter’s glasses and unable to reassemble them in the dark, I instead sit with her wonky pair balanced on my nose for 75 minutes.
Real 3D glasses give cinema goers a digital 3D experience like never before but there’s no way you’d want to be caught dead wearing them once the lights come up.
Plus, they do come with a warning that they should not be used as sunglasses. It’s amazing that a simple pair of plastic specs can achieve what they do.
When fireworks go off on stage during Hannah’s concert, it feels like the smoke is swirling around the cinema. There are also times when it feels like members of her band, their instruments and mike stands, are coming out of the screen. And certainly the intro to the film, with swirling 3D images, had many children screaming with delight.
Similar technology will be featured in the forthcoming James Cameron blockbuster Avatar and the U23D movie. But let’s not kid ourselves; the 3D effects are not the main attraction of this concert movie.
Girls aged four to 14 just want to see their TV idol Hannah Montana, played by Miley Cyrus.Cyrus, 15-year-old daughter of 90s crooner Billy Ray Cyrus (yes, of the annoying Achy Breaky Heart fame), plays Hannah Montana on the popular Disney TV series.
By day Hannah Montana is a regular brunette school girl called Miley Stewart, who just likes hanging out with her friends. But by night she is transformed into a blonde pop star adored the world over.
One of my entourage prefers Miley to Hannah because she says she is prettier as Miley. Another prefers Hannah because she has blonde hair.Children interviewed in the movie say they like her because she’s smart and funny. I think she has a great smile but her teeth remind me of Chelsea Clinton.
Whether Cyrus is a tween role model or just the latest merchandiser’s dream can be debated until the cow’s come home but we will no doubt continue to embrace her while she continues to behave herself.
Some American fathers were so desperate to get hold of tickets to Hannah/Miley’s sold out concerts they were prepared to run in high heels in the rain to win some during a radio station promotion.
Hannah and Miley are both polished performers, strutting, singing and dancing through disposable, poppy sing-along numbers such as Nobody’s Perfect, Girl’s Night Out and I’ve Got Nerve.
It’s not ground breaking but Cyrus, whose husky voice belies her age, packs out stadiums. There’s not as much behind the scenes footage as one might have hoped for from this type of concert film.
Vocal warm ups, a botched dance move that sees Cyrus get dropped by her dancers, occasional chats with ma and pa Cyrus. Certainly, there’s little to give the impression that Miley Cyrus gets much time to ever live like a regular teen.
We also get to see Cyrus working closely with Kenny Ortega, the whiz choreographer behind the hit High School Musical franchise. I always thought he would be younger.
So blonde wig aside, what’s the big difference between Hannah and Miley you might well ask?
Miley’s a little more rock’n’roll. She has 30 seconds to lose the wig and the cute shimmery outfits, roughing up her look with belts and chains. Cyrus also shows off her softer and more mature side in a gentle acoustic ballad, I Miss You, dedicated to her late grandfather.
The concert and the film close with the upbeat Hannah Montana theme song, Best of Both Worlds, about having it all. But there’s no point stomping your feet for an
encore. Once the confetti starts falling and the band leaves the stage, the house lights come up and it’s time to tuck those glasses away.
The film screened in selected 3D capable cinemas.