Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert



NEW YORK -- If there ever was a commercial film release that also qualified as an act of public service, it's this 3-D concert film from Disney. Although it should reap plenty of coin for its so-called limited engagement, the awkwardly titled "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" also comes as a godsend to those hordes of desperate parents unable to secure tickets for their heartsick tweens during the teen star's sellout tour last year.

For the benefit of those who have been living under a rock, "Hannah Montana" is a genuine cultural phenomenon. The titular character of this hit Disney Channel show is a bona fide pop recording star whose recent sold-out, 69-city concert tour famously resulted in tickets being resold for unimaginable prices. Hannah Montana is played by actress-singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus, who in bizarrely schizophrenic fashion also performs under her own persona.

Considering that it runs a scant 74 minutes -- which includes numerous backstage scenes -- the film clearly is not presenting the entirety of the live show. But it should offer enough to please most audiences, and director Bruce Hendricks has filmed the fast-paced musical action in sufficiently breathless fashion. As with the recent U2 concert film, the 3-D aspect -- you'll duck when the musicians throw guitar picks and drumsticks at the camera -- adds greatly to the experience.

The concert itself, conceived and produced by director-choreographer Kenny Ortega (the "High School Musical" telefilms), is a typically flashy affair featuring plenty of lavish visual, film and lighting effects and nonstop movement. Some of the film's more amusing background scenes show the young star's game attempts to handle such choreographic duties as manipulating her microphone stand with her foot and letting herself be hoisted in the air by several male backup dancers.

Besides the deafening concert footage featuring Cyrus performing as herself and her blond-wigged alter ego, the film also features a musical appearance by the Jonas Brothers, another youthful act catering to the same demographic. (It's more than a little disconcerting when one of them introduces a number by saying, "This is for all the ladies in the house.")

Cyrus' proud pop, singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus, makes a few appearances as well, at one point reassuring his daughter about the quality of her band: "And that's coming from a guy who's played every Indian casino between the Atlantic and the Pacific," he says.

Montages of various crew members all wearing Hannah Montana wigs and a seemingly endless procession of screaming little girls add to the fun.

Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Bruce Hendricks
Producer: Art Repola
Executive producers: Doug Merrifield, Vince Pace
Director of photography: Mitchell Amundsen
Editor: Michael Tronick
Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Kenny Ortega, Billy Ray Cyrus
Running time -- 74 minutes
MPAA rating: G