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I Wish We'd Said NEVER!
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (DVD)
Member Name: karenuk
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (DVD)
Advantages: The screaming little girls will love it!
Disadvantages: Their parents won't.
Well, it was half term and my 14-year-old daughter is a big fan of Justin Bieber, so it came to pass that my boyfriend and I ended up in the cinema watching Never Say Never - the sort of movie that has an audience of young girls who should be doing their homework or playing with their Barbies. For those out there lucky enough not to know who Justin Bieber is, he is a 16-year-old Canadian singer currently making the knees of little girls go weak, as he sells millions of CD, posters and T-shirts.
We had expected the cinema to be sold out, but there were only about fifteen people watching it. I had thought he would be badly acting a leading role in some hammy romance, but no, Never Say Never turned out to be a kind of documentary about his life (yes, all sixteen years of it! The book will be next!!) interspersed with concert footage. Oh and it's in 3D too, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. This was my first 3D film and I really didn't enjoy it, as the glasses hurt my eyes and gave me a headache. Thankfully, most of it is fine to watch without using the glasses.
For people my age, this was vaguely reminiscent of Abba - The Movie, but vastly inferior. It is basically the story of the run up to Justin's big concert at Madison Square Garden, so we get to see the build up, as well as a few of the routines he does at the event. We follow him through his rehearsals and the big crisis of a poorly throat! (Oh no!)
We meet his family as well. His parents separated when he was young (His mother is beautiful and looks about 25!) and the doting grandparents have quite a lot to say. The previously absent father turns up at a concert (Funny that!) and does the proud daddy bit. We also get to see lots of photographs of him as a baby and a toddler (cue lots of 'awwwww's from the girlies), then video clips of him singing and dancing as a youngster, including the ones on YouTube which was how he was found by Scooter Braun from So So Def record company. Some of this was quite interesting, as it documents how he came to be discovered and how difficult it was to reach the top.
I was impressed to find that he does actually have some talent - he can sing, he can dance and he plays the drums and guitar. So that was nice. He does come across as a bit of a brat at times though. I guess you'd expect it of any teenager, but I did sympathise with his entourage, especially the poor guy whose job it is to cheer him up and keep him on task. It was interesting to hear from his vocal coach too and to see how he was styled and how much say he had over his image.
There are a couple of scenes where he is being a "regular teenager" and playing with his friends (all boys - funny that), but his vocal coach tellingly says how Justin sometimes complains he can't be "normal" now, to which she states that this is now "normal" for him. It's a hard life, being rich and famous.
One part of the film that was particularly irritating were the clips of over-enthusiastic fans saying how amazing, awesome, wonderful and gorgeous he was. Sigh. From ponytailed six-year-olds to young ladies who were surely too old to idolise a sixteen-year-old boy, each one seemed to get more embarrassing and cringe-worthy as it went on. Then there were adults saying how this kind of phenomena was brand new and that Bieber Fever was something unique. Er no. The Beatles, The Osmonds, The Bay City Rollers, Madonna, Michael Jackson - the list goes on. Squealing girl fans at concerts and over-enthusiastic autograph hunters are nothing new. I had posters of Morten Harket on my bedroom wall in the 1980s and cried when I saw Madonna live in concert. Every generation has its idols; my eldest daughters loved The Spice Girls.
Admittedly, I am not the target audience for this film, but let's face it, we parents have to sit through the film too. I tried to find interesting bits in Never Say Never and there are a few, but the 1 hour 45 minutes does drag and by the end of it, I was Tweeting to keep myself busy! One Tweet included saying how I hadn't realised the film was in real time, as it felt like it had lasted sixteen years.
My daughter loved it though, as did the other kids in the cinema. They were literally screaming at some points! So if you have a Bieber fan in your midst, they will enjoy it, I am sure. There are other stars in the film too - Jaden Smith (who is very charismatic actually), Miley Cyrus (Oh dear, what are you wearing, girl?!), Usher (Oh, he's older than twenty, whoop whoop!), Boys II Men and some other acts I have thankfully forgotten. The music overall is okay, nothing wonderful (of course!) but nothing offensive and I recognised two or three of the songs.
Overall, it is reasonably well made, but feels more like a documentary that would be shown on Channel 4 than something you would pay to see at a cinema. It has interesting bits, but isn't something I would like to sit through again. Without our I phone, my boyfriend and I might possibly have began eating the chairs for want of something to stimulate our brains. But my daughter enjoyed it - which was the main thing. Afterwards, she bought Justin Bieber's album on CD, so the torture could continue when we got home too. Which was nice.
Summary: A concert tour docu-filmy thing about Justin Bieber.
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