Roxy’s Best Of…Chester, NJ

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Nov
07

London and Maddie Review Disney’s High School Musical 3 at the Chester Clearview Cinema in Chester, NJ

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It has been a while since our family has taken in a new movie at the theatre. The sunny summer weather happily kept us on the beach in Bay Head, NJ and away from the tenplex, though we went out when we were back up north in Chester, NJ one evening in July to see American Girl Kit Kittredge (and her famous treehouse) in action.  Disney’s High School Musical 3 came out two weeks ago, but we’ve been busy with Halloween and school activities until this afternoon.  The girls had the day off from school for the statewide New Jersey teachers’ convention, and you can bet London and Maddie couldn’t wait to see Troy, Gabriella, and all of their favorite Wildcats in action on the big screen.

Believe it or not, I haven’t read a single review…not in the newspapers, not in the blogosphere. I did see a story in the Star-Ledger about local teen Max Ehrich who is the youngest dancer in the movie, and the girls were on the lookout for him (if you’d like to play along, look for the #4 Wildcats basketball team jersey with “Patrick” on the back) in the Wildcat dance routines, but he was hard to spot.

I’ll let you know ahead of time that you’re in for a rave (five of them!)…from London, Maddie, their adopted third sister Abby, my good friend Susan, and Roxy here.  All three girls said they liked High School Musical 3 better than the first two HSM movies…maybe it was seeing it on the big screen, or the new slick dance productions?  They’re already begging me to download the soundtrack to my iPod so they can add the new songs to their band’s routine.  “Which part did you like best, girls?”  “We loved….ALL of it.

As Susan whispered to me as we sat behind our daughters in the darkened theatre, Troy was looking very buff… allegedly Disney had to cut a Troy shower scene to keep their “G” rating… and his dance moves have improved over the past three years.  Naughty Sharpay was at her most fabulous, with an interesting new sidekick named Tiara Gold.  The storyline hasn’t changed much…there’s a new “Spring Musicale,” this time featuring the entire senior class, as well as a couple of new underclassmen who may be keeping the hope of a High School Musical 4 alive, but from both the moms’ and girls’ perspective were not strong enough to pull it off.  Troy, Gabriella and the rest of the Wildcats face the end of their senior year and the teenage angst that goes along with prom, college choices, and saying goodbye.  And yes, there was quite a bit of corny Disney-style launching into song at every turn.  I still can’t help wondering who Disney’s target audience for the High School Musical trilogy really is… while I know our teenage babysitters saw HSM 3 on the day it came out (more raves), when I was in high school I would have been insulted by the Disney take on an emotional and challenging stage of life.  Teen idols — Andy Gibb, Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett for me – started around the 3rd or 4th grade and ended well before high school, replaced by scruffy rockers like Bruce Springsteen.  Maybe things haven’t really changed…I know a lot more 6-7-8-9-year-olds than high school letter jackets were in the theatre with us.  For two moms and their dare-I-say tweens, High School Musical 3 was a fitting end to the high energy, eminently danceable trilogy. I just hope London and Maddie and their peers aren’t disappointed when they reach West Morris Mendham High and find out that our drama department doesn’t spend millions on sets and costumes.

Rex stayed back at the home office to finish up some work on a small yet attractive transaction for a buy-side client, and missed out on all the movie fun.  London and Maddie reported back that he would have to catch up when it comes out on DVD.  High School Musical 3 is showing for at least the next week at Clearview Chester Cinema 6 and at a theatre near you.

Clearview Chester Cinema 6, 169 Route 206, Chester Springs Mall, Chester, NJ  07930.  Phone:  (908) 879-4444.

Do call ahead for showtimes.  Rex, London, Maddie and I happened to stop by the theatre on Tuesday when the girls had a half-day off from school, and it turns out there is no such thing as a weekday matinee anymore… maybe only in the summer when the kids are out of school?  I did check online and was relieved to find the 2pm Friday High School Musical 3 matinee.

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