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Blu-ray Review: Prom

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There is very little to recommend in Disney’s Prom, a dull-witted box office flop arriving as a two-disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack (the second disc is a standard DVD). The tagline for this unimaginative time-waster is “Who are you going with?” – and that’s just about the only concern throughout the movie. A whole bunch of high school guys try to impress girls with elaborate methods of asking them to prom. These methods involve body paint, huge signs, cheerleading routines, and just about anything else that might convince the girls.

Nova (Aimee Teegarden) hopes the school’s number one prep Brandon (Jonathan Keltz) will ask her to prom. Nova couldn’t be more gung-ho about planning prom. She lives for it in a way that is nearly unhealthy. But Brandon has other plans (an interview to get into his dream college) and can’t take Nova to the dance. This is Prom’s central irony: the prom’s biggest supporter, who has committed countless hours to its preparation, can’t manage to get a date.

Complicating matters, all of Nova’s hard work goes up in flames – literally – when a carelessly ignored candle sparks a fire that consumes the decoration storage room. Enter Jesse (Thomas McDonell, a very poor man’s Johnny Depp), the school’s resident motorcycle-riding rebel. In the film’s most improbable twist, Jesse is “sentenced” to helping Nova with prom prep in order to avoid expulsion. He and Nova must learn to work with each other as they recreate the decorations.

As Nova and Jesse’s relationship morphs from repulsion to attraction, Prom tracks the exploits of other students. There’s Lloyd (Nicholas Braun) and his multiple failed attempts to secure a date with an available girl. Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) wants to go to prom with Simone (Danielle Campbell). But Simone is torn because of her attraction to the two-timing Tyler (De’Vaughn Nixon). All of these interactions are exceedingly boring and by-the-numbers. They exist simply to pad out the thin plot. Prom skirts any serious issues. Just because it’s rated PG doesn’t mean Katie Wech’s screenplay couldn’t have worked an ounce of depth into the characters.

Prom looks perfectly fine on Blu-ray in a 1080p high definition transfer. The film was shot digitally with Arriflex’s relatively new Alexa HD cameras. There isn’t any good reason for the movie not to look good, transferred directly from the digital master. Sharpness is never an issue, with crisp, well-defined images throughout. The color scheme is a bit muted, featuring mainly pastels and earth tones. But the colors are realistic and well represented. Fine detail is impressive, with every sparkly decoration glittering impressively.

Audio for Prom is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. There’s nothing wrong with this serviceable mix, but it’s not especially impressive in any specific way. Basically Prom, as an audio experience, is dominated by dialogue and pop music. Both elements are free of problems. The dialogue is crystal clear, blending well with the boisterous tunes. The rear channels are pretty quiet throughout, but nothing in the soundscape really calls for anything more. The LFE cranks out a fair amount of bass, again just the appropriate amount to satisfy the needs of this undemanding mix.

The standard DVD includes a blooper reel and a short promotional “making of” featurette. These features are included in high definition on the Blu-ray. Also on the Blu-ray is “Last Chance Lloyd,” a short film centering on the character portrayed by Nicholas Braun. Though billed as an “all-new short,” this appears to be cobbled together from deleted scenes involving the hapless Lloyd trying to score a prom date. Rounding out the extras are a short selection of deleted scenes and a generous selection of music videos of songs from the soundtrack.

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About The Other Chad

Hi, I'm Chaz Lipp. An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."