Glee has arrived in theaters and has been receiving sensational reviews, some stating it to be one of the best movies of the summer. Various reviews mentioned brilliant song and dance numbers, fun and witty dialog, and behind the scenes shots showing the cast getting ready for the concert. I’m here to give my insight on the tale about the 3D event of the summer centering on the musical T.V. show.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie starts out showing thousands of fans of the popular TV show standing in front of the camera and giving the loser sign the show has made popular. The audience, unfortunately, is subjected to watching various die hard fanatics in their Glee attire as they tell the audience who their favorite characters are, and in some cases why they are. Once we get through the sea of “Gleeks,” we get a backstage look at Rachel Berry, Lea Michele as she shares how she keeps her vocal chords in shape for the show. After about ten minutes into the movie, the audience gets to hear their first song, which believe it or not is Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, and in a pretty awesome opening we get a full intro to cast of characters.
It’s here I’ll say that a majority of the set pieces in this movie are only excerpts from the live stage show. Fans looking to hear and see the complete versions of songs accompanied with fantastic dance numbers will surely be disappointed (a few numbers are almost the complete song, but these songs are few and far in between). Although I’m not a big fan, I have to admit that the songs they picked have a catchy, bumpy beat. A few of the numbers even have a good blend of dancing and special effects, but it is still not enough to call this the best movie of the summer. I’m also here to tell you that those stage numbers are, unfortunately, constantly interrupted with shots of the Glee fans going insane in their seats as they scream in excitement at seeing the cast on stage. To tell you the truth, about half the cinematography focuses on the fans, a majority of which are screaming girls.
In between the shots of screaming fans and show excerpts, the audience is subjected to one of two different scenarios. One scenario is the backstage preparation you were promised. The backstage is really nothing more than one or two members of the cast, acting as their characters in the show, making a couple of quick remarks to the camera, which are weak attempts to get a laugh out of the audience. There is no backstage rehearsals, no warming up dialog, and no good luck rituals, so if you’re expecting to see this you’ll be let down yet again. The other scenario is getting an insight into three real life stories about die hard Glee fans who state Glee has changed their lives. Throughout Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, the audience gets to hear about how hard these three kids’ lives were and how they were considered freaks/losers. However a shining ray of hope, Glee in this case, came to their rescue and now they are better people because of it. Although it is meant to be emotionally stimulating and inspiring, most of the editing, accompanying music and what the kids say elicits eye rolls more than anything else. I’m glad the kids found happiness and acceptance by friends, but the fact their stories were in a movie about the concert made me feel that these stories were used to pump up the already over inflated egos of the Glee cast. These stories really just didn’t seem appropriate to be in a concert movie and instead should be in a documentary or a news clip on T.V.
Perhaps the biggest thing that made me mad about this movie was the fact that it was only shot in 3D. The whole time I watched the film, I found the 3D pointless as it provided no special benefits to the movie, i.e., better depth in shading or things flying out of the screen. In fact, I found the 3D more distracting than anything else as the constant shadows of the screaming audience moving across the screen took my eyes away from the on stage performances. Thus the only reason I could think of shooting this film in 3D is that they wanted to make more money at the box office.
To finish up this review, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie seems to be more of a fan glorification movie than an actual concert movie. Although the song choices are good, they’re sung in the fashion that fans like, and some of the dance work is still as vibrant as ever, the screaming fans, and small song excerpts were really not that impressive. Tie in the fact that the back stage shots are weak and the fan stories — that take up too much of the running time — feel overacted and you have what amounts to a mediocre film. I suggest going to see the live show — it’s probably a better use of your money.