"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" Movie Review

2/15/2011 Posted by Admin

"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never"

Movie Review

Directed by Jon Chu, 105-minutes, Rated G.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

To the nation's many Bieber fans, “Never Say Never” is a Godsend--a chance to get up close and personal with their teen idol, as the people who know him best add to Bieber-lore, with tales of his sudden rise to fame. It's an intimate look that still keeps him at a distance -- and hence, a pop-deity.

To the non-believers, “Never Say Never” should be avoided like the plague (and probably will be). They'll see it as a quick cash grab, which could've been released as a 10 minute MTV doc, blown to epic proportions in -- you guessed it -- 3D, which seems even more unnecessary here, because half of the film is YouTube clips of Bieber's early career.

Bieber’s sudden rise to fame takes up much of the film’s discussion. At 16, the young teen became an international superstar in less than a year. His early YouTube clips take up a majority of this part of the tale, documenting his first performances in all their pixelated glory. It’s certainly a surprising story, but it’ll certainly make you wonder why you paid the extra money for 3D glasses, when half of the footage is available for free online.

Intercut with the early footage are interviews with Bieber’s team. His manager, vocal coach, and family all throw their two cents in, chronicling their young boss’s journey. What’s surprising is how little time we spend talking to the Biebs himself. They keep him surprisingly distant in interviews.

Then there are the fans. This seems like a point of connection for the film’s key audiences. Young girls flood the screen with declarations of love. Kids will relate to their loyalty, parents might reminisce about their teenage obsession, but everyone else will probably be annoyed with the whole thing.

Nothing really stands out as anything memorable for non-Bieber fans. “Never Say Never” makes for a sub-par concert documentary of his impressive sold out show at Madison Square Garden, and his elaborate stage show creates some cool spectacle. But for those who can’t stand this sugary brand of pop confection would best steer clear. If you think Bieber’s extended hand reaching out to you in 3D sounds frightening, imagine “One Less Lonely Girl” pumping through your theater’s high-decibel surround sound system.

It’s difficult to be objective towards “Never Say Never.” You already know if you’re going to see it or not, which lies squarely on whether or not you appreciate Bieber’s music. But if you don’t, pray your kids have similar taste.

Grade: C

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