Cadet Kelly DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

  • OVERALL
    2.0
    POOR
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
This is just bad.

I'll admit it right now, Hilary Duff movies are not my thing and Cadet Kelly did nothing to change my predisposition. Okay, I know that this is a kid' s movie, I know that at 16 Duff is a box office powerhouse (they're still saying she's 16 right? Either she's Peter Pan or she has a case of what Ralph Machhio had in The Three Wishes of Billy Grier !) Anyway this tale of Duff as a young girl, whose mother's new marriage is forcing her to attend military school is somewhat solid but solidly unspectacular. Duff is supposed to be a klutz, she's supposed to be defiant but at the end of the day this "outcast" leaves an indelible mark on this institution.

While not horrible, I just sat through this movie wondering when it was going to be over. Lets not even get into the pedantic dialogue about Duff's character wanting to "retain her individuality."
THE EXTRAS
Learning The Drills

They really put the girls through their paces with this. They sent them to a place where they were taught how to salute, handle guns and all that stuff. I am almost amazed because I thought that for movies like this they just wrote the script, cast the movie, shot it and then waited for the distribution statements to roll in. I guess I was wrong, they really take these movies seriously.

Selected Audio Commentary with Christy Carlson Romano and Aimee Garcia

As you can see Duff is missing, so I think it's pretty apparent who is the bigger and busier star, right? These girls are having a good time talking about the film, and I love how they try and sound so much more mature and older then they actually are. All in all, I think people who are fans of these actresses will enjoy this.

"Boot Camp" Party Planner DVD-Rom

This includes invitations, games, activities and recipes on how to throw a party based on this movie. Okay, I am 31, so I just sort of glossed over this feature. However, young kids who are into this might indeed get a lot out of it. To each their own, right?

Captain Cadet Stone's Drill Team Challenge Game

This is a game that needs two players and you use the controller for your DVD player to navigate through it's menus. Now, I didn't really play this game, but I must admit I think this is pretty cool. When I was a kid all we had were videotapes that weren't interactive at all!!!
THE VIDEO
Full Screen (1.33:1). The DVD is very crisply done. The picture sparkles so that we miss none of the nuances that Hilary Duff brings to the screen. A DVD like this serves two purposes. One, it pads the bottom line of the company that it releasing it. Two, it allows the main actor (and the other actors in the film), to gain a modic*m of experience in front of the camera that will hopefully translate over later into more important films. Nothing about the way this movie is shot and lit will really get in the way of the viewers ability to understand it.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. As this movie is about a military school there is a lot of military themed ambiance. Again, there is nothing unique or disruptive about the way this movie puts across it's audio. You can hear all the characters perfectly and what songs there are in this movie, are ones that seemed geared towards a younger audience. This is one of those movies that seems more like an exercise in putting a package together then anything else.
THE PACKAGE
Duff stands forefront on the cover, saluting us with her winning smile while Cadet Captain Stone stands behind her. If they are going for any kind of a Stripes vibe they are clearly missing it, then again what kid watching this is going to be able to have Stripes as a frame of reference, anyway? The back features Duff all decked out in a military uniform, and once again she is saluting. The worst picture is one where her face is dirty, as if she's really having a hard time in this military school. The makeup job is atrocious. There is a small description, a listing of the extras and the tech specs for this DVD. Packaging that will appeal quite nicely to soccer moms and Duff fans.
THE FINAL WORD
I didn't hate this movie and I didn't like this movie. Cadet Kelly is what it is. A way for Hilary Duff to look cute while she's put in a situation she would never in a million years be in. Maybe if I had kids I would feel differently about these things? I wouldn't be so "up" on other movies, and as a result I wouldn't know that Cadet Kelly was in fact not a very good movie. I suppose if I was that way, even the cover might appeal to me. Then again, I don't know if I had a civilization of children that a Hilary Duff movie would ever really appeal to me.

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