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February 13, 2008 > Audiences want more: "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds"

Audiences want more: "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds"

By Mona Shah

Welcome to the phenomenon that is Hannah Montana - a one-girl money machine! In a move that maybe a godsend to the hordes of desperate parents unable to secure tickets for their heartsick teens during the teen star's sellout tour last year, now comes the 3-D movie version of the stage show. Playing in theaters for one week only (and not previewed for film critics!), it opened nationwide to phenomenal ticket sales, an astounding three-day tally of $29 million. Disney has now extended the engagement, not a big surprise, that one. One's opinion of it may depend more on age than exposure to other rock-concert films. But there's no denying the film delivers on its promise: 74 minutes of Hannah/Miley doing her/their full-throated, pop-superstar thing.

For the benefit of those who have been living under a rock, "Hannah Montana" is a genuine cultural phenomenon. Daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, the titular character of this hit Disney Channel show is a bona fide pop recording star. Her show highlights Miley Cyrus as both her alter ego (Montana) and herself.

The stage setting for the movie is a tricked-out arena rock at its glammiest, with multilevel platforms, multiple video screens, pyrotechnics, and tons of dancers and backup singers, and a walkway that projects performers right off the screen and into moviegoers' laps. The camera also ducks backstage and behind the scenes to capture Cyrus as she rehearses for the tour or prepares for her next stage number. Her mother and father make brief appearances, lending a bit of down home earthiness to the movie. Jonas Brothers - another Disney-manufactured boy band - are Miley's special guests.

However you look at it, it's hard not to get caught up in all the bubble-gum pop and wild frenzy of the movie and the hype surrounding it. So, if you can afford the price of the ticket, go, enjoy the show.

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