Radio Rebel

June 16, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Tara Adams (Debby Ryan) is a very shy young woman, at least when other people are around. As introverted as she is, she comes to life when she becomes the Radio Rebel, host of her own webcast. She hides behind the Radio Rebel persona however, as she wants to keep her true identity a secret. As the Radio Rebel, she talks about high school social issues, being true to yourself, and being able to express yourself. Of course, she isn’t as talkative when she is outside of her broadcasts, but the show is quite popular. So popular in fact that a local radio station wants to pick up her show. She has watched her high school slowly change thanks to her show, but a jump to a real radio station threatens her shroud of mystery. Tara wants to continue to express herself, but she is scared of what would happen if the truth was revealed. Will she stay hidden behind her microphone, or will she reveal who she really is and live the messages she broadcasts to others?

As this is a Disney Channel original, Radio Rebel is light, brisk entertainment, but it also has some redeeming social content. The movie shines a light on the issues of self confidence, peer pressure, being yourself, and not being afraid to stand up for your beliefs. These are simple, yet powerful traits and Radio Rebel’s target audience will certainly benefit. While those themes are made loud and clear, they’re not forced, instead woven into the storyline, so it never feels like an after school special. Debby Ryan is quite good in her role here, one that teens will be able to relate to and appreciate. The rest of the cast is solid as well, more than on par with similar Disney Channel features. While Radio Rebel might not have the high profile of some of the Disney Channel’s other original movies, it is well made and offers positive entertainment. So if you want to instill some positive lessons to your teens, Radio Rebel is a great way to do so, while also being entertained.

Video: How does it look?

Radio Rebel is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a clean, sharp visual treatment that has no problems I could pick up on. The detail level is great for DVD, with solid depth from start to finish. The colors look bright and natural, while contrast is dead on as well. I couldn’t find anything to complain about here, as this is just a terrific presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

This Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is quite good, making the most of the movie’s somewhat limited audio presence. The music is the most active element, as the pop songs are lively in the surrounds. Most of the scenes are low key in terms of sound design, but there are exceptions that put a little jolt into the surrounds. I found dialogue to be crystal clear and free from problems like volume issues, harshness, or drop outs. So not one of the more explosive soundtracks out there, but Radio Rebel sounds great and I detected no reasons for concern.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some deleted scenes, a blooper reel, a music video, and several promotional behind the scenes featurettes.

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