Friday, October 31, 2008

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 - creepy fun

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 is the first of the successful Disney teen musical franchise to get a theatrical release. Everything is bigger and shinier but the plot is essentially the same. Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is conflicted. He's the high school basketball star and his dad wants him to take up a sports scholarship to his alma mater. But Troy also loves singing in high school musicals with his girlfriend Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), the math geek who might leave before Prom for the Stanford summer school. Meanwhile, Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) wants to steal Troy and Gabriella's limelight (and a scholarship to Juilliard) and enlists her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) to help. Troy and Gabriella provide the gloopy romance and ballads - Ryan and Sharpay provide the comic relief. It's a simple formula and it works well. The dance numbers are professionally done with lots of energy. The kids clearly have buckets of talent.

So, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 is a good movie. It gives the fans exactly what they want: more of the same. Parents and guardians may, however, be less happy to sit through HSM redux and find themselves wondering how healthy it is for their kids to think that the world is filled with squeaky clean straight kids whose biggest problem is whether to accept that ivy league scholarship or that place at the prestigious music school. I grew up watching GRANGE HILL where Zammo got hooked on smack. This whole movement seems spookily STEPFORD to me.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 is on release in the US, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, France, Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Kuwait, the UAE, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Italy, Belgium, Indonesia, Peru, Portugal, Iceland, Italy and Panama. It opens in Russia, Romania and Turkey on November 14th; in Chile and Vietnam on November 20th; in Argentina, Slovakia and Venezuela on November 28th; in Australia, the Czech Republic and New Zealand on December 4th; in the Netherlands on December 10th; and in Japan on February 7th.

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