BUENA VISTA has released "WIZARDS ON DECK WITH HANNAH MONTANA" on dvd.
This sort of feature film, recently debuted on the DISNEY CHANNEL and
serves as a way to feature the stars and general storyline atmosphere of
the the three biggest hits on DISNEY, "WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE," "SUITE
LIFE ON DECK," and "HANNAH MONTANA."
For those just getting acquainted with the name "Selena Gomez," due
to her newly hyped songs getting play on radio, she's here as well.
The Russo family wins a free trip to Hawaii after Justin wins a
writing contest. Justin and his sister Alex(Gomez) and the twins from
"SUITE LIFE ON DECK" are introduced right away, and this segment moves
ahead with a brisk, fun pace. Justin hopes to meet and pursue a
relationship with London, but his mean-spirited sister does everything
she can to thwart his dreams. Although kids seem to find this toxic
relationship between the siblings, funny, it seems pretty discomforting
for adult viewers to observe.
The 2nd segment of this feature focuses on Bailey(a sweet girl), her
aspirations to see the sold-out Hannah Montana concert when they land in
Hawaii, and Cody's plan to get the tickets needed to impress the girl of
his dreams, all amidst a shipboard scavenger hunt offering the concert
admission as the main prize!
The third and best segment of the feature is devoted to Hannah
Montana and plays out as well, feeling just like any of the typicaly
great episodes of the "HANNAH MONTANA" series. The "HANNAH MONTANA"
series highlights the comedic talents of Miley Cyrus, in "I LOVE LUCY"
inspired scenarios. When the wig Miley uses for her "HANAH" persona is
blown overboard, her dual life is at harm of being exposed. Of course,
there are other funny obstacles built around the dual roles she has to
maintain, all with the relationship potential, between Justin and
London, and Cody and Bailey in the background.
While all three series are entertaining for kids, there's a
surprising amount of charm here to make them almost endearing to adults
as well. "WIZARDS" and "ON DECK" are definitely good quality shows, but
even within the attempted blending of these series with "HANNA MONTANA,"
as presented here, it's easy to recognize the latter series is the
better executed of the three.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct full-frame aspect ratio, as it
was originally aired. Colors are rich and vibrant throughout. It's a
really impressive transfer, especially for a tv to dvd release. Blacks
are deep enough to maintain a surprising amount of detail in darker
scenes. It's still not of a high enough caliber to be considered
"reference quality," but it's one of the best looking presentations that
any of the series have offered on dvd thus far.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital soundmix. Unfortunately,
surrounds are barely noticeable and separation effects are rarely
utilized. The minimal use of ambient effects is disappointing when
considering the "feature" length aspect of this presentation. The
shipboard location, along with other settings could've been greatly
enhanced with even slightly better use of discrete effects. Fidelity is
adequate but unremarkable.
The only extras offered are a video segment with Justin's award
winning essay, some blooper moments and behind-the-scenes footage.