Disney's 'Prom' is an ambiguous movie. What age group is this aiming for? Kids younger than high school age aren't going to be able to relate to the whole prom theme, while kids in high school are bound to think of this movie as too corny and stupid for them to waste their time on. Either way, 'Prom' got made, and now I have to review it.
It's not that 'Prom' is bad, it's just so dreadfully bland. It's a story about a school getting ready for the big day. Prom is upon them and the high schoolers take it quite personally. Prom is a big deal, and they know it. It's the be-all end-all of their existence at that moment. If they don't get a date for prom they might as well cease to exist.
Nova (Aimee Teegarden) is the goody two-shoes who's putting together prom. Readying the decorations, directing the night's events, all the while trying to balance her busy life of overachieving. Jesse (Thomas McDonell) is the resident too-cool-for-school guy who rides a motorcycle and figuratively gives the finger to The Man. He doesn't conform. Going to prom? You gotta be kidding. He's not getting into one of those penguin suits. Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon) is the star football player trying his best to keep all his many lady friends happy. Simone (Danielle Campbell) is a young girl who finds herself in a love triangle between Tyler and Lucas (Nolan Sotillo). Lucas is a hopeless romantic and hopes to woo Simone with his boyish wiles. However, Lucas is best friends with Corey (Cameron Monaghan). Not only do the two act like they're dating, but Corey can't bare to see his best friend pining for a girl while leaving him in the lurch. There are even more stereotypical characters that fill each and every role you'd need for a teeny-bopper story of high school love, but it's really no use going over them here.
'Prom' is a movie with nothing at stake. These kids are risking absolutely nothing, and we more or less glide through the movie from one clichéd scene to another until we wind up at prom with every character landing exactly where we thought they'd land.
It's all so predictable it becomes grating, but you knew that, right? You knew what a Disney movie called 'Prom' would be about. There's no hiding the fact that Disney is trying to target a specific audience (although I have no idea who they might be).
If 'Prom' does get one thing right it's the unintentional effect of displaying how awkward and ultimately how stupid prom really was. Without realizing it 'Prom' completely marginalizes the practice of having a prom. Sure, it says at the end that there's more to life than prom, but we also realize that prom didn't even need to happen. These kids were fine whether or not they found dates. But, at that age prom seriously becomes this big to-do. If you don't go something must be wrong with you. You're missing out on the most fun you'll ever have had. At the time prom, along with any other high school activity, seem important beyond belief. Watching 'Prom' makes you realize how silly you were for thinking that in the first place. It isn't the movie's intention, but that's exactly what it accomplishes.
All of these characters are so formulaic and so cookie-cutter that it's hard to care for any of them. They've all been ripped from other, better movies. McDonell is trying his best Heath Ledger impression as he puts on his "bad boy" face and wallows about his dad not being around and how he like totally hates his life and all that. That's how each character and their arc plays out. This movie is completely by the clichéd high school movie book. It never steps out of line or throws any surprises our way. The characters do exactly what we think they'll do because they don't have any minds of their own. They were created in a character Auto-Tune machine and left to do the mundane and redundant. 'Prom' is a waste of time for you and any teen you may have residing in your home.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
The movie comes in a standard Disney Blu-ray keepcase with a 50-GB Blu-ray disc and a DVD copy of the movie. Even though the front of the case doesn't display the Disney Movie Rewards logo this movie does indeed come with a Rewards code that will give you points. It's a region free release.
It's all sunshine and sparkles when it comes to 'Prom's good-looking, generic video presentation. The 1080p picture has a warm, candy-coated finish. Colors are bright and lively. Skintones run a tad hot due to the warmer palette. Blacks and dimly lit scenes are nicely rendered offering optimum shadows.
Fine detail shines on faces as the looks of the movie's young stars gives off a soft almost squishy appearance. Individual hairs are apparent and tiny flecks of light shining down on the gymnasium floor during prom are just some of the intricate details you can expect to see.
Edges are nicely defined and even tiny writing like the "Stick Hippos" logo on Corey's shirt is completely visible. This isn't a demo disc though. It's not one that you'll throw in to show off your TV, but it does have the Disney quality attached to it. Even though it's a less-than-stellar movie, at least it looks good while failing.
Overall, I thought the audio presentation here – which is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix – was a bit dim. It wasn't where it could have been let's just say that. This isn't 'High School Musical' so you're not going to be bombarded with bombastic musical number after musical number. Instead 'Prom' assaults you with generic pop/rock music that fills up the front of the sound stage, but has trouble getting into the rear speakers to truly envelope you.
Even though the soundtrack is playing a lot of popular music the LFE seemed a little subdued. Not much, but even the hip-hop sounding songs seemed encumbered by a less than enthusiastic bass line.
Dialogue is clear though. Rears, like I mentioned above, are a little anemic. There's nothing overtly wrong with this mix, but there's also nothing special about it. It's as generic as the movie.
Well, it's a Disney movie called 'Prom,' what were you expecting? This is only for those people who know they're fans of this stuff. I have no idea who you are, but apparently you're out there. Stick this one next to your 'High School Musical' collection I guess. As for the presentation, it looks okay and sounds decent. Nothing too special in either of those aspects. The special features are a lump of generic features for a generic movie experience. For fans only, whoever you are.