“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” will not only encourage the year’s most infectious toe-tapping but it will also make you want to stand up and shout, “Encore! I don’t want it to end!”
The musical movie based on FOX’s hit television series “Glee” is a force to be reckoned with. Even without the witty writing of showrunner Ryan Murphy and the likes of Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester and Jane Lynch’s Coach Sue Sylvester, “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” delivers plenty of fun with an upbeat attitude to boot.
“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” allows Gleeks who were unable to obtain tickets to the sold-out “Glee Live! In Concert!” tour to enjoy the unique experience of attending the show, except on the big screen. Additionally, the film’s on-stage performances are interwoven with intimate behind-the-scenes footage of both characters and fans.
Showstopping group-performances include “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Born This Way” and “Loser Like Me” while notable solos include Lea Michele’s “Firework,” Heather Morris’s “I’m a Slave 4 U” and Mark Salling’s “Fat Bottomed Girls.” Even Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Holly Holliday on the show, makes a cameo, belting out “Forget You.”
However, just as on the show itself, Darren Criss’s Blaine Anderson and the Dalton Academy Warblers steal the show with a triplet of tunes – “Teenage Dream,” “Silly Love Songs” and “Raise Your Glass.” Criss and Michele are also the troupe’s two best performers, hamming it up for the camera and putting the 3D technology to good use.
The one and only sour note is director Kevin Tancharoen’s attempt to legitimize the phenomenon as a life-changing – scratch that, life-affirming – entity. “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’s” behind-the-scenes footage is a mix of seemingly staged wise-cracking from the cast (doing so in character), fans boasting about being the biggest Gleeks of all and stories from real-life social misfits.
Needless to say, the playful bits featuring the cast are a lot of fun, breaking the fourth-wall, so to speak, and offering up a few laugh-out-loud moments. And witnessing people from all ages and genders profess their undying love for something always makes for fascinating study of human nature and its response to pop-culture.
However, each time Tancharoen cuts to the real-life social misfits, the spectacle stops as viewers – even the most hardcore Gleeks – recognize the feeling of being manipulated. Granted, “Glee” is fun, but let’s not make it out to be something that it is not. These moments are few and far between, though, and the rest of “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” is nothing short of glee-mazing.
“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” (PG – 100 minutes) is now playing at movie theaters throughout the Valley. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.
Listen to Joseph J. Airdo’s “Movie Maverick” radio segment, every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. during “The Daily Blender with Jeffry O’Brien” on KBSZ – NBC 1260 AM and 96.1 FM.