Glee: The 3D Concert Movie

17 Sep

Title: Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
Kevin Tancharoen
Writer: –
Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Ashley Fink, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz
MPAA Rating: 
PG, thematic elements, brief language and some sensuality
84 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
Rotten Tomatoes: 


The amount of love you’ll feel towards this movie is directly correlated to how much you love the TV show. I mean, if you’re someone who every Tuesday night of the fall TV season is tuned in on Fox watching Glee, and you describe yourself as a total gleek and download all the songs on iTunes then you will no doubt consider Glee: The 3D Concert Movie the ideal fix to get you through until the season 3 premiere. And, look, I mean, I like the show, I’ve watched every episode so far and I have some of the songs and I totally get a kick out of many of the episodes, I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a gleek but I certainly like what the show offers. That being said, I just didn’t get why we needed this film at all.

I get that this film was made for hardcore fans of the show, I do, but this is still a film that was playing in theaters across the world, and as such it should have still made an effort to appeal to non-fans of the show, to entertain them for an hour and a half and to, even better, try and convert new people to the show. But this does nothing of the sort, this just tends to the likings of people already obsessed with the show, and makes no sort of effort whatsoever to be something unconverted or unaware people might appreciate.

I mean, seriously, I get that the kids from the show tour because their songs have become a huge hit and people will pay money to see them, and I certainly get why they play their characters on-stage and make up a whole show, because those are the characters people have fallen in love and identify with, but then we get this film and we get some behind-the-scenes stuff and they are still in character. And that really ticked me off, actually, I mean, you had Glee characters backstage on a Glee concert tour, delivering one-liners appropriate to their characters even though we had no tangible explanation as to why this group of misfit kids was the subject of a concert documentary and were being applauded by crazy tweens. I really didn’t get that, not to mention that it would have been far more interesting to get to hear from the actual actors perspective, to hear how their lives have changed from playing these characters. That would have made Glee: The 3D Concert Movie a worthwhile movie to go watch even if you have no real interest in the show.

I feel like people will tell me that it all doesn’t matter because gleeks will eat it up, and they will, but it does matter. Yes, this was a celebration of the show, a self-validating kind of film for the superfans that was directed by Kevin Tancharoen (who did the quite crappy Fame remake) with the very clear intention of getting as many squeals from the fans in the audience as possible. And that’s cool, Mr. Tancharoen gives us full songs on-screen and intercuts them will all of these super upbeat interviews with fans of the show that will obviously talk a lot about how Glee has made them accept their differences and find support in people like them. This is the ultimately propaganda for the TV show available, one that makes it seem like this accepting community that improves the lives of pretty much everyone who loves it.

Another thing I didn’t love about this was the fact that, to me at least, concert movies should be sort of a replacement for being there. You look at the greatest concert movies around and they’re the ones that you’ll buy so that you can put into your home theater and experience being there. This is nothing like it, I mean, yes, you get concert bits and Lea Michele can sing like it’s nobody’s business, but the camera work is just too distracting, coming in from weird places using wires, tracking performers like crazy as they move around and edited super fast so that in the end it feels nothing like having been to a concert. The desired effect of feeling like you’re there, like you’re experiencing something you missed is gone, you’re now just experiencing something else while you enviously watch audience members on your screen who actually got the feeling you were searching for. Though, to be fair, there are more than a few glimpses of actual concertgoers who look totally bored and disengaged from what they’re seeing.

Yes, this is a movie made for fans of the show and it’s bustling with energy both on and off the stage, and the production and the message does fit the Glee phenomenon perfectly, but I don’t know, I really wanted this to be more accessible for non-fans, and that’s why I won’t really recommend it. But fans will love it, though, the 3D effect of it all really puts it all in your face, and Lea Michele, like I said, can sing like crazy, and Darren Criss and Chris Colfer are very good at playing their characters, and you can really appreciate Heather Morris’ (who’s awesome) and Harry Shum Jr.’s dancing skills here which is very good. But this just seemed like an exercise to get its hardcore fans to be even more hardcore fans, and not to win over some new ones. I didn’t like Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, but I will still be there this coming Tuesday night watching the third season premiere.

Grade: C+


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