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  Publicity Stills of
"High School Musical 3: Senior Year"
(Courtesy of BVI)

Director: Kenny Ortega
Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson, Alyson Reed, Olesya Rulin, Chris Warren, Jr., Ryne Sanborn, KayCee Stroh, Matt Prokop, Justin Martin, Jemma McKenzie-Brown
RunTime: 1 hr 52 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/highschoolmusical3/

Soundtrack: Our Review of the Official HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 Soundtrack

Opening Day: 24 October 2008


Disney’s “High School Musical” phenomenon leaps onto the big screen in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR, which finds high school seniors Troy (ZAC EFRON) and Gabriella (VANESSA HUDGINS) facing the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions to college. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about their future. With incredible new music and exciting dance numbers designed to take maximum advantage of the big screen, this motion picture extravaganza delivers plenty of high-energy entertainment from East High’s talented ensemble.

Movie Review:

The musical experience of a generation becomes a motion picture event. The worldwide phenomenon is now a movie. After going through thick and thin the past three years with Troy Bolton, Gabriella Montez, Sharpay and Ryan Evans, Chad Danforth and Taylor McKessie, what’s life going to be like when finally graduate from East High? And after sweeping the world by storm with the first two High School Musical (HSM) TV movies, why shouldn’t you be anticipating this cinematic experience?

Apologies if we are sounding like gushing fans of the HSM franchise. While some readers may have no clue who Troy (not the movie starring Brat Pitt, for sure) or Sharpay (definitely not the name of that cute puppy in the window) are, all we can tell you is that the impact and influence of HSM on pop culture is so wildly successful, the silver screen debut of this franchise is going to be a sensation you can’t run away from.

In this third movie, the HSM gang finally becomes seniors in high school, and as all seniors will tell you, they will be graduating to face a whole new future. Lovebirds Troy and Gabriella face the possible scenario of being separated from one another as college approaches. What better way to tackle these issues of growing up than to sing your hearts out in a spring musical extravaganza, complete with catchy tunes, spectacular dance sequences and colorful costumes?

Ten new songs have been written for this movie, and each one is stamped with the signature HSM brand of wholesomeness. You can bet the soundtrack albums will be flying off shelves and selling like hotcakes when they are launched in stores. There are no surprises here, considering that many of these new songs are unofficial sequels from the previous movies. The opening number “Now Or Never” reminds us of “What Time Is It?”, the lovely duet “Just Wanna Be With You” is reminiscent of “You Are The Music In Me”, Gabriella’s emotional performance “Walk Away” rings a bell with “Gotta Go My Own Way” and Troy’s angst ridden “Scream” takes you back to his similarly angst ridden “Bet On It”.

No idea what we are talking about? No worries, because the Disney brand of wholesomeness always works, whether you have watched the last two movies or not. The HSM formula is in place, with relatable characters like the school jock (Troy), the school belle (Gabriella), the school bitch and her well meaning twin brother (Sharpay and Ryan), the school brains (Taylor) and her sports inclined boyfriend (Chad). The same goes for the songs too, with its catchiness and radio friendly tunes.

The only things which have changed are the impressive production values. With an increased budget of US$30 million (the last two TV movies were made for an average of US$7 million each), you can expect revolving stage sets, uncountable costume changes, lots more extras and even more impressive dance choreography. With more money pumped into the project, Zac Efron’s Troy already looks prettier, Vanessa Hudgen’s Gabriella already looks sweeter, and Ashley Tisdale’s Sharpay already looks bitchier.

Not that we are complaining, because we enjoyed this musical extravaganza, and as the curtains literally drew the 112 minute to a close with close up shots of each of the up and coming young stars, we feel like saying goodbye to the HSM gang, and thanking them for the music.

Movie Rating:

(You’ve got to experience it to believe it - the musical experience of a generation that has become a motion picture event is definitely worthy of its hype)

Review by John Li


. High School Musical 2 Extended Dance Edition DVD (2007)

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. Hanna Montana: Behind the Spotlight (2007)

. The Cheetah Girls 2 DVD (2007)

. Jump In! DVD (2007)

. High School Musical OST (2006)

. High School Musical 2 OST (2007)

. High School Musical: The Concert OST (2007)

. Disney Mania 5 OST (2007)

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