The Screening Room
hsm 3
Let me just get it right out and say it; I didn't like "High School Musical 3: Senior Year."

“High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. This is a review of the DVD.

Maybe it's been the endless onslaught of seeing those kids from East High everywhere I go. There's nothing really wrong with the whole "High School Musical" juggernaught. I think Kenny Ortega and crew have developed a nice franchise that Disney has taken to the world. It's this generation's "Davy Crockett" or "The Mickey Mouse Club." It's clearly aimed at kids and possibly teenagers who aren't yet cynical. I'm just burnt out on it, so maybe that's the reason why I'm not too keen on Number 3.

Watching the movie with my daughter a few months ago at the beautiful new Cinemafusion in Anaheim, I was struck by how slow the movie plays. I was also struck with how repeatitive it seemed, and how the kids of East High weren't kids anymore. Watch television shows where the kids are cute, perky and funny, you grow on them being kids. Then they grow up and they aren't so funny, perky or cute as they once were.

"HSM 3" isn't a terrible movie, but it feels like we've seen this story before. And we have in parts 1 & 2. The writer's essentially took the same formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, and tries to twist it into something new. But it doesn't work this time around. The charm of the original isn't there because the kids are no longer kids, the romance isn't fresh, and much of the movie feels like it's on cruise control.

Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) sings a big showstopping number, "I Want It All," but it's basically the same song she sung in "High School Musical 2," the song "Fabulous." "Gotta Go My Own Way" feels like the other songs Gabriela (Vanessa Hudgens) sings in the other two movies. I couldn't help but think of Olivia Newton-John singing "Hopelessly Devoted To You" in "Grease."

Maybe it's the formula of "HSM" that's got me down now. The kids are just a little too perfect and sweet, though in "HSM 3," the mood of the film has a rather drool tone. They're graduating and might not see each other again. Just like in "Grease." Yet those fabulous 20-somethings in "Grease" didn't have Facebook or texting. Besides, a lot changes after high school, Wildcats. Do you think they'll let you sing and dance at your first real job? "We're fired, we're fired!" they'd sing.

Of course I'm poking fun at the conventions of "HSM." No matter what I think, "HSM" still manages to pack them in, whether it's in a movie theater or at home.

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photos: © BVHE. All rights reserved.
DVD Quick Glimpse



Decent sequel to "HSM," but not quite as charming

Director: Kenny Ortega

Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale 



Picture: Good
Sound: Good


Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

February 3, 2009
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