Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's no content in this much-hyped 3D event film that's inappropriate for grade-schoolers and tweens -- who will probably be dying to see it, given Hannah Montana's enormous popularity. Miley/Hannah is likable, wholesome, and friendly, an uber role model for kids. When not onstage, she's shown joking around with others on tour, hanging out with her family, and practicing guitar. That said, it's clear she's also a commodity -- a fact that's punctuated by snippets showing how far fans will go to get tickets and how they dress up like Hannah when attending concerts.
What's the story?
There's no mistaking Miley Cyrus for Britney Spears. In HANNAH MONTANA AND MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT, Cyrus is fresh-faced and enthusiastic, with nary a hint of the salaciousness that tinged even the earliest of Spears' videos. The film mixes behind-the-scenes footage -- Cyrus learning a mike-stand trick, worrying over a fall, walking hand-in-hand with her mother, etc. -- with onstage performances in which, a la her popular Disney TV series, she switches between her Hannah Montana alter-ego and her true identity as country music crooner Billy Ray Cyrus' equally talented daughter. Cyrus' fans -- and they are legion -- will eat it all up, from the 3D gimmickry that has drumsticks flying in your face to the parade of frothy pop hits in which lyrics like "nobody's perfect" and "life's what you make it" deliver positive, girl-power messages that any parent can get behind.
Is it any good?
Concert aficionados looking for a truly electric show are likely to find themselves longing for a little bit of Spears' edginess. The bursting confetti and pyrotechnic tricks make a splash, but there's little of the showmanship that made concerts by Spears (and her former mentor, Madonna) a real experience. Here, the dance steps and most of the music are fairly rudimentary and forgettable. Only when Cyrus sings a song she wrote for her grandfather do things feel genuine; the rest of the numbers seem engineered to promote the Disney product that is Hannah Montana. It doesn't help that some theatres are charging kids double the usual admission price for the privilege of seeing their idol on a movie screen (maybe they thought $15 for movie tickets wouldn't seem so bad compared to the $1000 price tag that some real-life concert tix have fetched).
Concert documentaries are supposed to give viewers a glimpse behind the curtain, but Cyrus' handlers and the movie's producers are strictly toeing the party line in this look at the teen sensation's life, which seems like a bit of a shame. Still, young fans won't be disappointed; they'll be too busy digging the Hannah Montana groove.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the Hannah Montana phenomenon. What makes her so appealing? Why has the show become such a big hit? What makes her different from other young celebrities? Why do you think she's so grounded? Do you think this movie's really a true "documentary"? Does it show anything but a perfect vision of the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana lifestyle? Does that matter? And does it bother you at all that people paid thousands of dollars just to attend the live concerts? Why or why not?