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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Prom

August 27th, 2011

Prom - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

Prom opened in April to soft reviews and even weaker box office numbers. In fact, it missed the Mendoza Line during its opening before practically disappearing from theaters just a few weeks later. Is it really that bad? Or was it unfairly ignored by moviegoers?

The Movie

As the title of the movie suggests, Prom tells the story of a group of kids as they get ready for the prom. There's Nova Prescott, who is a classic overachiever and class president. She's hoping Brandon will ask her to the prom. Meanwhile, there's Lloyd, who's not even planning on asking anyone to the prom, because he's given up on getting a date, much to the annoyance of Tess, his younger step-sister. On the other end of the spectrum, Tyler and Jordan are expected to be the prom King and Queen, except there are problems in their relationship. Lucas wants to ask Danielle on a date, but since they are both sophomores, they can't go to the Prom and he doesn't think there's a point in asking her out on a date. Next week we meet Jesse, the bad boy of the school, who we know is a bad boy, because he rides a motorcycle. The principal threatens to prevent him from graduating, if he doesn't change his behavior. (He later forces him to work with Nova after the prom decorations are destroyed.) Finally there's Justin and Mei. They are going to the prom together and were planning on attending the same university in the fall. However, Mei got accepted to a prestigious university in New York, and she hasn't told Justin yet.

While the film switches between all of these storylines, the main story thread we follow is Nova and Jesse being forced to work together and getting to know one another and eventually developing feelings. That sounds like a spoiler, but it really isn't. It's obvious from the first time you see the two sitting together outside the principal's office that this is where the film is going. In fact, almost every part of the movie is dreadfully predictable. Its filled with far too many cliché characters, from the overachiever, the shy outcast, the player, the bad boy, etc. and they are all just going through the motions to the inevitable conclusions. What little character development we see, like in the case of Jesse, is telegraphed from the start and has been done countless times in far better movies.

Speaking of the bad boy, very early on while in the principal's office after getting chewed out for his bad behavior he says, "I'll leave this place in one piece for ya. Because is September, you're going to be right back here." Yeah, that's cause it's his job. And he probably makes close to $100,000 a year. 'You have job security!' is not really a burn.

It wouldn't be so bad if the film had a little more charm, or a little more edge to it. Everything here is bland, as well as predictable. I can't exactly say I hate the movie, because that would mean the film is capable of generating an emotional response. It is so safe there's little to enjoy or to hate. It's just there.

The Extras

Extras on the DVD are limited to just a short making of featurette and some outtakes. That's low, even for a rental.

The Blu-ray includes the two above extras, plus a few exclusives. There's a short film called Last Chance Lloyd with Lloyd trying to ask out several girls with the help of his step-sister, Tess. It goes as well as it does in the movie. There are a few deleted scenes, with an intro from the director and producer. Finally, there are seven music videos on the Blu-ray.

The film does look and sound good on Blu-ray. Not great, but good. The film only cost $8 million to make, so you can't expect it to have the same level of detail as a $100 million blockbuster, but there's not a lot to complain about either. The details are great, the blacks are deep, the colors pop when needed, etc. It is just not a very showy movie. The audio is likewise uncomplicated. The dialogue is front and center with the music being the only thing preventing the surround sound speakers from being completely ignored. Don't expect directional effect, dynamics, or even a lot of bass.

The Blu-ray / DVD Combo pack costs more than 40% more than the DVD alone, which is high for this type of release.

The Verdict

Prom is strictly TV movie quality. Had it aired on Disney Channel instead of going to theaters, I think it would have been better received by its target audience. If you are part of the target demographic and like Disney's TV movies, then it is worth checking out, but even then, I would recommend renting the DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack.

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Filed under: Video Review, Prom