Finally, BUENA VISTA has released the original Disney Channel musical that started it all, "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (REMIX)," on blu-ray, simultaneously with the latest "theatrical" bookend of the trilogy, "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3," also on blu-ray. Each is available individually, or as part of a trilogy three-pack, including the previously released, "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2."
The very simple plot revolves around Troy and Gabrielle, two young kids, who have met, fallen for one another, akin to Danny and Sandy from "GREASE." When Gabrielle begins to attend the same school as Troy, upon return in the fall, a sweet innocent crush may turn into something more serious, albeit "DISNEY-style," or will it? There's never any doubt as to what will happen, but the show is enough breezy innocence to make the film enjoyable for the whole family in a way in which few "family" films have managed to recently. The songs are all forgettable, but that won't stop younger audiences from relishing them, as evident from the youngsters at our home theater blu-ray presentation.
"HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: Deluxe Extended Edition," revolves around all of the same characters/actors of the previous films. In the opening sequence, it's established that Zack is an even bigger/better basketball star at High School than anyone could've imagined. He's so focused in the game!!! Characters, again, break out into song and dance, even at a game, in a sequence that makes the dancing/fight scenes of "WEST SIDE STORY" feel so much more realistic and natural that, in hindsight, makes the Jets feel more like players in a Chekhov play! Nothing serious or realistic in the "final?" part of the HSM franchise. Well, maybe with characters growing concerned as they finish their senior year, questioning how life will be different for them in college and later. But, there's never a doubt that the two leads will continue their lovely relationship, in spite of Ashley Tisdale's continued attempts to thwart it!
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: REMIX" with this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. Colors are rich and notably better than on dvd. Detail is also more impressive than the 1080i cable showings, which brought about some chuckles from the kids, noticing less than perfect complexions on some of the star characters. Contrast is fine, although without deep, inky blacks. It's a better than average presentation, with a surprising amount of scenes offering that jump-off-the-screen kind of depth one hopes for on blu-ray.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3" with another 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. The increased budget of this film, allows for a bigger production design, and the colors are much bolder and vibrant in scene-after-scene here! Detail is also much more impressive than in the previous films, with consistent images that offer the jump-off-the-screen kind of depth one expects on blu-ray. Clothes, facial imperfections(not much with this cast!)are also more apparent. Contrast is still problematic in spots, with darker scenes lacking the fine detail of the rest of the film. But, it's an extremely pleasing image.
BUENA VISTA has provided a PCM 5.1 mix for "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: REMIX." While not aggressive, with most discrete effects targeted towards the front, some ambient effects pop up sporadically and the music is delegated through all speakers. It's not a whole lot better than the dvd, but fidelity is slightly more impressive and the musical elements certainly sound better in lossy than in the standard Dolby Digital mix from dvd.
BUENA VSITA has upped the soundmix for "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3," offering a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix this time around. Ambient effects are more abundant throughout and the fidelity is outstanding, with or without musical numbers. Bass is less obvious than we'd expected, but it's often a rousing mix, all the same!
All of the extras from the dvd "remix" have been carried over, including: Sing-Along with the Movie/"Bringing It All Together”/"A High School Musical Reunion"/"Learning the Moves"/"Disney Channel Dance-Alongs"/-"The Hollywood Premiere" and "Music Videos."
There are plenty of extras for "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3," including the
sing-along option, provided for with the first film and: Profiles: New
Cast Members/ 8 Deleted Scenes with Introductions from Director Kenny Ortega/
Blooper Reel/ “Night of Nights”/“It’s all in the Dress”/ “Senior Awards – Cast
and Crew Fun Presentations”/ “Cast Goodbyes”