High School Musical 3: Senior Year: Extended Edition (2008)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Apr-2009

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Musical Deleted Scenes-8 deleted scenes with director intro
Outtakes-Blooper reel
Featurette-Collection of featurettes
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time ?
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kenny Ortega
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Zac Efron
Vanessa Hudgens
Ashley Tisdale
Lucas Grabeel
Corbin Bleu
Monique Coleman
Bart Johnson
Case ?
RPI ? Music David Lawrence


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Song Lyrics
Hindi
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   Colour me amazed that after the previous two disasters, and with the same cast and crew, the third entry into the lucrative High School Musical series is somehow not a bad film, with moments of inspiration and cleverness in place of the previous abyss. Opening with a stock High School basketball grand final, typically the major conflict and finale of lesser teen films, High School Musical 3: Senior Year rejects the formula and uses this scene to reintroduce all of the major players as well as establish the underlying conflict that’ll drives the entire film all wrapped up in a genuinely catchy and well-choreographed musical number.

   Also consider an over-the-top prom date invitation that smoothly segues into an over-the-top ensemble piece parodying the entire prom experience from the different male/female points of view, and then consider that later our two protagonists Troy and Gabriella (Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens, whose acting and singing talents utilized for the first time) don’t even attend, both wrapped up in their genuinely sweet relationship and the looming, realistic threat of growing up and having to separate to follow their separate paths. For the first time, this entry into the series feels like a real musical, complete with reprises and solos and exceptional voice work by the entire cast, who are finally utilized to spectacular fashion. (Even the screeching of harpy Ashley Tisdale, reprising her awful role as Sharpay, isn’t close to the aural assault presented by the previous films courtesy of the catchy and well-written music.) But more so, there is real depth here, as the characters are leaving the safety of childhood, school and the people they grew up with as they blossom into adulthood.

   What prevents HSM3 from being a great film is the lack of subtlety: find a cringe-worthy though catchy tune in which Troy and best friend Chad (Corbin Bleu) reminiscing about the ease of childhood in which they revert to actual children, as well as an insane celebration of insane Sharpay’s insane celebrity ambitions in a musical number that is, again, very enjoyable. The film doesn’t trust its young audience with its themes and ideas enough to avoid being blatant, though much of it is offset with the goodwill earnt from the sweeter moments, such as the suggested relationship between Ryan (Lucas Grabeel, no longer a homophobic joke but an actual character) and Kelsi (Olesya Rulin), and the now wise, developed Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) offering sympathetic thoughts to the struggling characters. The unfortunate ending, in which the audience is invited to never forget the series after a contrived musical-graduation ceremony where most of the film’s conflicts are easily resolved just reminds how close HSM3 comes to being a real movie.

   Despite this, the film is very watchable and very enjoyable – the music alone makes any trials in the experience worthwhile. A grand step up from the first two, clearly the Hollywood budget favours someone – High School Musical 3: Senior Year is worth checking out.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

   The video is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

   High School Musical 3: Senior Year has a great video transfer, lacking problems with artefacts, interlacing, grain or any of my usual annoyances - it does, however, lack sharpness, with much of the film appearing slightly out of focus. This is an odd problem I haven't seen before, but it isn't too intrusive unless watched on a really, really big screen.

   Dark scenes are appropriately detailed and never suffer from low level noise. Likewise, the colours are very strong and dynamic and look excellent.

   There are subtitles in English and Hindi, as well as animated singalong subtitles in English. All that I sampled were accurate.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1.

   As a musical, High School Musical 3: Senior Year lives or dies by its audio, and I'm pleased to say it sounds great. The surround isn't utilized as much as I'd like, but what is here sounds excellent.

   The dialogue and effects are all perfectly audible and well mixed, meanwhile the soundtrack by David Lawrence, Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil and Shankar Mahadevan is standout, featuring very memorable, funny, romantic and catchy songs for its young cast and audience to embrace.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Animated Menus with Sound

   The animated menus, resembling a very flashy high school yearbook, are very nice and representative of the film, complete with song excerpts. This is how it's done.

8 Deleted Scenes (w/ introduction from director Kenny Ortega)

   A collection of deleted scenes with introduction by the director.

“Out of Sync: HSM 3 Bloopers” blooper reel (2:46)

   Ahhh, a blooper reel. Best to skip this.

Featurettes - “Cast Goodbyes” (5:40) “It’s All in the Dress” (2:31) “New Class Profiles” (13:18) “Night of Nights” (7:27) "Senior Awards” (2:15)

   A collection of making-of featurettes, mostly just fluff pieces that will be of interest to young fans.

Music and More

   A scene select specifically for the music in the film, with animated singalong subtitles.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   The R1 and R4 version of the DVD are identical, however the BD offers far superior picture and sound and is the recommended option.

Summary

   High School Musical 3: Senior Year is a good, not great, film that far transcends the previous two but doesn't quite excel. before.

   The video and audio are both excellent.

   The extras are very good, specifically for young fans of the film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ryan Aston (Bioshock)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output
DisplayPhilips 47PFL9732D 47-inch LCD . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE