9.2 out of 10
Concert movies are generally hit or miss. They usually either totally capture the magic of the concert and make you feel like you’re really there or they are completely pointless with live versions of your favorite songs that don’t even sound that good. Well, fortunately ‘Glee’ put together one awesomely fun show which translated into an awesomely fun concert movie. The performances are great, the songs and choreography are top notch and the non-song scenes are fun and touching. The 3D is actually superb here and one of the few times I think it was totally worth it.
‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ is 90 minutes of non-stop GLEEful bliss, the feel good movie of the summer.
Any spoilers will be clearly marked so you can avoid reading them if you so choose.
NOTE – Stay through the credits. After the first section with colorful graphics there is one more song and another home movie section. You can leave once all you see are the white text credits on black background.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie opens in Baltimore on August 12, 2011.
Full disclosure: I am a ‘Glee’ fan. I don’t think I’d go as far as to say I’m a ‘Gleek,’ but I do really enjoy the show. That will certainly be criteria for whether or not you like or love this concert movie. And for those of you unaware, ‘Glee’ had become such a hit television show that the cast went touring around putting on concerts in different cities and countries. This is a documentary style film chronicling that tour.
If you are familiar with the show you will recognize the songs. They are the same ones from the show. But this time around they are done in a concert setting so the performances and costumes are different. The movie is a fantastic substitute for the concert. If you weren’t able to go or if they didn’t put on the show near you, this movie is the next best thing. I’m not sure if it was just at our screening but they even cranked the volume up so that the whole theater had a concert stadium vibe. The 3D and fantastic camera work gave everything a very realistic feel.
But the true strength of ‘Glee: Concert’ is how well rounded it is. The film shows a wide range of the songs with a lot of numbers featuring solos or duets by the various cast members. There are great dance sequences to go along with each piece of music. But the movie goes even further. They show us shots of the backstage area as cast members prepare to go on. And then they go even further and give us a few real life testimonies of people who attribute ‘Glee’ to positive changes in their lives. The filmmakers took time to give us a short glimpse at their situations and how a TV show helped them to be themselves or overcome adversity. So the film is much more than just a camera pointed at a stage during a concert.
The 3D is actually really good here. The film was shot in 3D and that makes a big difference. The added depth as the characters dance around the stage and the effects it provides during close-ups is excellent. I still will not miss this fad when it’s over, but they did get it right with this one. Hey, that makes two 3D recommendations in one week!
The Britney Spears song performed by the Brittany character is a bit on the scandalous side. Now, I wouldn’t rate ‘Glee’ as a ‘family show’ but it is acceptable for a lot of age groups. It would probably be a pretty mild PG-13 rating using the movie scale. The song was a bit risqué in the episode of the show, but it is even more so in this concert. So, parents keep that one in mind.
The backstage scenes had all the cast members still in character. It would have been a nice change of pace to see the actors actually talking about what the whirlwind fame and demands of a concert tour are like. We’ve seen the characters in the show and on the stage, how about showing us the actors for a few seconds?
No Mr. Schuester? True, he only had a few songs in the show, but there was plenty of material to pick from to give him a song or two on the tour. Personally, I’d like to see the rendition of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ that he did with Neil Patrick Harris. That was a great cover!
A few new songs would have been nice too since fans of the show have seen these already.
The Bottom Line
‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ is the feel good movie of the summer. It’s really hard to sit there and not have a smile on your face as you often forget you’re in a movie theater instead of a packed stadium watching a live concert. It does have one or two numbers that are a little too raunchy for the overall theme of the show and it would have been nice to see the actors backstage instead of the characters, but those are minor issues in an otherwise fantastic concert movie. The songs are awesome, the dances are fun and choreographed well and the 3D just takes it to a whole other level. For once I can recommend a 3D movie and suggest you pay for the 3D. This is definitely one you should see on the big screen. It really is like being at the concert.