Kevin on films with Disney kids

Tue, 04/21/2009 - 3:42pm
By: Kevin Thomas

If you were “17 Again” would you want to see “Hannah Montana The Movie”?

Probably not, but here are my reviews of both just in case…. Enjoy them.

Miley Stewart (music star Miley Cyrus) is an average 16-year-old girl who has a pretty normal life. Except she has a big secret: she is also pop superstar Hannah Montana. She rocks it on the stage and lives a normal life too. The only people who are in on her secret are best friends Lilly (Emily Osment) and Oliver (Mitchell Musso from “Monster House”). Unfortunately, Hannah has started to become a stupid spoiled brat. Plus, her Hannah Montana persona is beginning to completely take over her life. In one scene she goes to a shoe store and gets into the ultimate fight with Tyra Banks. They both want the same pair of shoes, and let’s just say that soon… ‘everybody was kung-shoe fighting.’

To dodge an annoying paparazzi Miley shows up at Lilly’s over the top sweet sixteen party dressed as Hannah. It quickly becomes a disaster and Lilly isn’t noticed at all. Thanks to Rico (Moises Arias from the TV show), Lilly’s cake blows up in her face and although Hannah tries to make things better, she does the complete opposite.

Since Miley is becoming a brat, her dad Robby (real life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) decides to take her to their old home in Tennessee so she can go through a “Hannah Detox” process and attend her Grandma Ruby’s (Margo Martindale) birthday. A quite reluctant Miley goes with this, thus canceling their plans to go to New York for the Music Awards.

Miley soon reunites with childhood friend Travis (Lucas Till), thus remedying the situation a small amount. She finds out that the town, Crowley Corners, is in deep financial trouble and being threatened to be developed into a mall. Robby meets farmhand Lorelei (Melora Hardin) and the two of them start to build a relationship as well. So here are the questions: Will Travis become her boyfriend? Will her secret be blown? Will she save the town? Will you like this movie when you have to drag your pre-teen to it? What the heck am I saying? This came out a week ago, so if your daughter is a fan of Hannah Montana you’ve already seen it!

I’m not a big Hannah Montana fan, but the movie impressed me and so did the songs. The slapstick humor is big in the movie-people falling off horses, out of trees, etc., and I laughed a lot. If you can pretend you are young again you’ll probably like it.

Rated G for Great Songs and I give it 3 1/2 stars.

Speaking of being young again, another teen TV star Zac Efron takes a break from musicals and tries to act in “17 Again.” He halfway succeeds. This film is rated PG-13 for language, sexual material and teen partying (yes, they can actually rate a movie for that.)

Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Parry as the older version of Zac Efron) is a 37 year-old man whose life is not going so well. When Mike was 17, he was Mr. Smooth, on the basketball team, and dating and later marrying the hottest girl (Allison Miller) in high school. We discover that he gave up a basketball scholarship because Scarlett was pregnant at the time. Mike is now living in a nightmare. His wife, Scarlett, is in the process of getting a divorce from him, and his kids, Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Alex (Sterling Knight) don’t like him at all. Luckily, Mike still has his best friend, Ned Gold (Thomas Lennon) the school nerd turned multi-billionaire.

One day, Mike is reminiscing over the picture of his old team in the school when a strange old janitor asks him what he would do if he could somehow become 17 again. Mike thinks the old man is nuts, so he walks away. Then, through a long sequence of events, he wakes up to find that he is 17 again (Efron from High School Musical plays the younger Mike) and the movie really starts to get going.

When he wakes up in Ned’s house and looks in the mirror, he freaks out. After convincing Ned that he is really 17 again, Mike and Ned try to figure out how this has happened. They think the old man is Mike’s guardian angel who turned him back to into a teenager so he could get that college scholarship.

Mike decides to act as Ned’s son as he goes back to school. He is in for a shock. Maggie is dating school bully Stan (Hunter Parrish), who consistently is mean to Alex. He quickly becomes friends with Alex, and Mike is happy that he gets to spend time with his son. When he reconnects with Scarlett, it goes a little too far. He is only a student to her, not her husband, so Mike must be careful what he does and says around her.

I did like this movie. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I was going to, though because I thought it would there would be more humor for 14 year olds-not just adults. The acting in it is good, and the characters are fine. Mike’s frequent father-like speeches (as his teenage self) are hilarious, but ongoing. Sterling Knight, another Disney Channel TV star, does great in his first movie. I actually think Efron does a better job at musicals then normal acting. Even so, if you are a person who liked Efron’s previous work (HSM films, “Hairspray”), you will like this too. I give it 3 stars.

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