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Review: Hannah Montana: The Movie and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

By Cinema and Reviews

I dis­covered a lovely Hollywood stu­dio phrase the oth­er day: exe­cu­tion depend­ent. It means a script that won’t make money unless good people are involved. This week’s films are the oppos­ite: films that sell regard­less of whichever tal­ent­less hack is in charge; two films that will con­tin­ue to make money for the machine for months, if not years, after this review is decom­pos­ing in some aban­doned corner of the Internet.

Hannah Montana: The Movie posterFirst up, the phe­nomen­on that is Hannah Montana. For an etern­ity (or three years depend­ing on your point of view) Miley Cyrus has been chew­ing up the tv screen as the pop sing­er lead­ing a double-life on the Disney Channel. After the suc­cess of High School Musical on the big screen (and a digit­al 3D con­cert of her own that screened in Wellington last year), Miley and Hannah have hit the big time and, even though it took me a while to come around, I can sort of see the appeal.

For those com­ing to this par­tic­u­lar party late the premise is this: Miley Cyrus plays a kid called Miley who dreams of being a pop star but her dad (Achy Breaky Heart’s Billy Ray Cyrus) won’t let her unless she pre­tends to be someone else and keeps her home life as nor­mal as pos­sible. As the film begins, Miley has let her Hannah char­ac­ter go to her head – to the extent that she would prefer the New York Music Awards to her grandmother’s birth­day in Tennessee – so Billy Ray diverts the private jet to sleepy little Crowley Corners to try and bring her to her senses. Meanwhile, a dast­ardly tabloid hack (Peter Gunn) is sniff­ing out the truth and a developer (Barry Bostwick) wants to turn Crowley Corners into a giant shop­ping mall.

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Review: U2 3D, Nim’s Island, Street Kings, St. Trinian’s, College Road Trip, Hunting & Gathering, Blindsight, I Have Never Forgotten You and The Real Dirt on Farmer John

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

U2 3D posterEarlier this year I arbit­rar­ily decided that the Hannah Montana 3D con­cert movie was not cinema and chose not to review it. Now, a few short weeks later, I exer­cise my right to indulge in rank hypo­crisy by stat­ing that the U2 3D con­cert movie is cinema and, thus, belongs in this column. Pieced togeth­er from con­certs in soc­cer sta­dia across Latin America (plus one without an audi­ence for close-ups), U2 3D is an amaz­ing exper­i­ence and truly must be seen to be believed.

I hadn’t expec­ted the new digit­al 3D medi­um to be used so expertly so soon but cre­at­ors Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington have man­aged to make the entire sta­di­um space mani­fest with float­ing cam­er­as and intel­li­gently layered digit­al cross-fading, giv­ing you a con­cert (and cinema) exper­i­ence that can not be ima­gined any oth­er way. Even if you are not a U2 fan this film deserves to be seen as an example of the poten­tial of 3D to trans­form the medium.

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