Blu-ray Review: ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’ Croons to the Choir

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CHICAGO – Music documentaries and concert films, by their very nature, are pieces of advertising and propaganda. They play to the fans…as they should. Wouldn’t it be much worse if they didn’t? What if you were a hardcore fan of an artist and paid your money to sit through something that didn’t put them on a high-enough pedestal for you? On those terms, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” completely works — it’s a movie made for fans of its famous star and I can’t imagine them not adoring it.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Intercutting interviews with Justin Bieber, his family, and friends, with a notorious concert at Madison Square Garden, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” is an unusual concert film for one major reason — you rarely hear any of the songs or see any of the performances uncut. They’re almost all intercut with interviews or shots of Bieber acting like “a regular kid.” Wouldn’t fans just want the music sometimes? And not hear from his school teacher in the middle? That could be a sign of my age in that young fans are probably used to songs being cut by VJs, scrolling tweets, and other such nonsense.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 13, 2011
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 13, 2011
Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

I have to admit that I’m not a fan and I’ve never purchased Justin Bieber tickets. And I do like a good pop song, but I just don’t think the kid’s songs are all that interesting — he’s got a God-given voice but that doesn’t mean he or the people behind him can write a good pop song, something he has yet to do. He’s totally charming, down-to-Earth, and sweet, but I’m just not into his music. Forgive me Bieber fans. I know I’m a total dork but I was more interested in how Bieber might be changing the market — using YouTube instead of Disney or Nickelodeon — than in his actual music.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 13, 2011
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 13, 2011
Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

But I can realize that “Never Say Never” wasn’t made for me. And those screaming fans, chronicled with frequency in the film, should love this movie. Footage of Bieber playing on the street as a kid, interviews with his mom, stories about his childhood — I’m not old enough to forget the days when I was a hardcore fan of some musicians and would have loved this kind of insight.

And the fact is that Bieber comes off looking somewhat worth the idol worship. He’s a sweet kid with a love for music and a respect for his fan base. He pushes himself to become better and he could actually pull it off. The question now is if he’s the next Justin Timberlake or the next…well, name one of the other guys from N’Sync. The movie, as it should, makes the case that he’ll have staying power. We’ll see.

The Blu-ray release is a bit mediocre. The video and audio are impressive enough but the special features are pretty lackluster. You know they had HOURS of footage of that concert. They couldn’t include more as deleted scenes? Maybe next time. As Justin says, you can never say never.

Special Features:
o Concert Dance Off
o Favorite Girl
o R.I.P Hair Flip
o Giving Back
o BD Live

“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” was released by Paramount Home Video on May 13th, 2011. It is rated G.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous353's picture

I am in love with Justin

I am in love with Justin Bieber’s movie!!!

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