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HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE, 2009
Movie Review

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HANNAH MONTANA THE MOVIE
Movie Review

Directed by Peter Chelsom
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus,
Review by Matthew Toffolo




SYNOPSIS:

As Hannah Montana's popularity begins to take over her life, Miley Stewart (Miley Ray Cyrus), on the urging form her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) taken a trip to her hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee to get some perspective on what matters in life the most.

REVIEW:

It's just not fair to write about a film from my point of view because this film isn't made for a person like myself. I'm 15 years removed from being in the ultimate 8-15 year old Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana demographic.

My agenda all along for Hannah Montana The Movie was to watch this film in front of its real audience and take in their feelings of the film. Many times what you find funny and entertaining, people in another generation don't and vice/versa. BUT, if someone like me does like it, then they'll really onto something.

So I bought my pre-ticket to Hannah Montana: The Movie in advance (glad I did - the three theaters in the multiplex were sold out for the 12:15pm showing) and sat in a theater of 600 tween-agers and their moms for the Good Friday opening. I never realized until today how much the girls liked this Miley Cyrus and she seems like a pretty good role model too. I just worry that the vultures out there won't damage her ala Britney Spears. After all, we live in a world where people enjoy tearing down a successful person who peaked at an early age. And when you're young it's hard not to take things personally when less talented people attempt to judge them.

So I'm hoping Miley has the right influences because she is loaded with talent and is a good role model for people like my nieces. Last time I was down for the holidays, my 10, 8 and 6 year old nieces made me watch a few episodes of Hannah Montana: The TV Show and I didn't think it was that bad. A show filled with gags and pranks ala Three's Company (without the sexual innuendos - you hope!) mixed with entertaining songs. And the theme of the show is loyalty and that's a great lesson for all kids, especially girls growing up. I have two older sisters and I witnessed some of the most terrible exchanges of humanity with my sisters and her friends in their teenage years and hopefully, maybe, Hannah Montana can help ease those teenage angst and pains. AKA: Teenage girls --- just get along.

I met Billy Ray Cyrus back in 2000 when I was a Production Assistant for the TV show DOC, which he starred in. He was a nice guy who treated everyone the same, a great trait especially in this industry of job hierarchy. I remember the date December 22nd 2000 like it was yesterday. It was a long 18 hour day for me as it was the last day of shooting before their Christmas break and they needed to finish off their day no matter how long it took. It was freezing day and I had to work the entire shift outside, something I wasn't prepared for as I wore a misguided pair of sneakers to work and not my winter boots. By the time my day was over, all of my toes were numb. But Billy was having a good time as between scene and lighting changes he entertained whomever was around on the guitar. As the day neared midnight, his cell phone rang and it was his 8 year old daughter Miley. He was very tender with her on the phone and you could tell that he really missed her. I remember feeling all mushy inside how much he loved her. AND who would of thought that his little girl would be this gigantic enterprise just a few years later.

I do have a question though? Is Miley Cyrus this generation's Clark Kent and Hannah Montana the new Superman? That's really the setup isn't it. After all, pop-stars are really the ones with all the strength and power! A cliche setup loaded with many other cliches in Hannah Montana: The Movie.

But I didn't mind this at all. They knew there scene setups were a bit overdone and they paid tribute to them more than actually playing them like they've never been done before. There is even a tribute to The Monkey's TV Show of all things in the film. Something that will be completely over the tweeners heads.

All in all, a very entertaining film. And we know we're in a different world when Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus's finale song (the song that sums up the entire plot/theme of the movie) occurs, almost everyone in the theater raised their cellphones in the air to setup the most interesting audience participation moment in the history of my movie watching experience.

I hope my 3 nieces and nephew go see it because there is an important message in Hannah Montana: The Movie. And their mother's will probably like the film too.

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