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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Hebrew, Arabic, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Featurette - Cinderella Couture: The Making of a Fashionably Modern Fairytale
  • Music video - Our Lips Are Sealed
  • Behind the scenes footage - Screen Tests
  • TV spot - Kids with a Cause PSA
  • Interactive game - Find Your Prince/Princess Challenge
A Cinderella Story
Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 91 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

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Talent challenged Hilary Duff
Once upon a time in the San Fernando Valley, Sam (Hilary Duff) lived with her beloved father. All was well in their little family until Dad marries Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge). Sam now has a wicked stepmother and two ugly stepsisters, Brianna and Gabriella (Madeline Zima and Andrea Avery). When Samís father passes away, he leaves his diner and all his worldly possessions to Fiona. As the Cinderella tale goes, Sam is now at the mercy of her wicked stepmother. While scrubbing floors and taking burger orders, Sam dreams of one day being free and meeting her Prince Charming.

The only one who Sam can confide in is her mystery email pal, who asks if they can finally meet at the Halloween dance. But when Sam discovers that her mystery buddy is the most popular boy in school, Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray), she decides to disguise herself and not reveal who she really is to her Prince Charming. When they meet Austin doesnít recognise Sam, despite the fact she is only wearing an eye mask. When the clock strikes twelve Sam rushes off to work at the family diner and Austin never finds out her true identity. But while she was fleeing at midnight, Sam drops her mobile phone and thus the Prince is left with a way of finding his Princess.

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Tween fairytale

A Cinderella Story is not the worst film I have ever seen, but itís very close. Granted, I am not the target audience, but I enjoyed the similarly teen girl targeted The Princess Diaries and the utterly delightful Ella Enchanted. This take on the classic Cinderella tale is just insulting to any girl of any age, but especially to its target audience of 8-12 year old girls, otherwise known as tweens. Hilary Duff is the tween queen, due in large part to her Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire and the subsequent, Lizzie McGuire Movie. Although she is talent challenged and A Cinderella Story demonstrates her very limited acting range, Duff's shiny appearance, crisp white smile and wholesome Ďgirl next doorí appeal have garnered her a loyal band of tween followers who will no doubt lap up this lacklustre modern day revamping of Cinderella.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16:9 enhanced playback for widescreen displays, this transfer is much more impressive than the actual film. Colours are vibrant and skin tones natural. Details are admirable and shadow detail respectable. However, there are a few problems which are unacceptable considering the film is only a year or so old. While the video is free of any major film artefacts, there is softness to certain images and one or two moments of colour bleeding that harm the presentation of the film.

If there was every a film that didnít require a dynamic soundtrack, itís this one. But it's afforded a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix anyway. The cringe worthy dialogue is always clear and audible and the always important teen movie hit song selection sounds fine. Surround is barely utilised, even for music and effects, meaning that the 5.1 mix is really wasted on this movie. Overall this is a well balanced, but limited sound package

A Cinderella Story has been released with a bounty of extras that should please every Duff enthusiastic.

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Cotton Candylicious menu

Hanging out with Hilary & Friends is the title given to the cast audio commentary. Fluffy and fun, the speakers never provide anything substantial, but what can you really say about a film with no substance. The cast do provide some nice anecdotes and behind the scenes stories that are mildly, very mildly, entertaining.

Cinderella Couture: The Making of a Fashionably Modern Fairytale is an eight minute featurette that focuses on the various costumes of the film. Basically, the designers discuss how difficult it was to make Hilary Duff look anything but stunning and how each characterís wardrobe reflected the character.

Find your Prince/Princess Challenge is a game in which you can discover whether Chad Michael Murray or Hilary Duff is your perfect mate.

A music video showcasing the Duff sisters butchering the Go Goís classic Our Lips are Sealed.

Various Screen Tests for almost all the younger members of the cast are presented with bad quality video.

Kids with a Cause PSA is a one minute charity TV spot featuring Hilary Duff.

There is a small two minute collection of Additional Scenes that even if included, wouldn't have made the film any more entertaining.

The last main extra is a Theatrical Trailer which contains every slightly entertaining moment the film has to offer.

The final extra is an easter egg video clip hidden in the special features menu.

There is nothing really bad about this film, it's just complete fluff that insults its target audience. It attempts to borrow the charm and appeal of the classic '80s teen romance, Sixteen Candles, even naming the title character Sam after that film's heroine Samantha Baker. But A Cinderella Story never comes close to offering one slightly entertaining or appealing moment.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Hilary Duff in another piece of fluff."
    - Rebecca Taylor
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Sony KDE 42XBR950 Plasma
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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