[Review] – Katy Perry: Part Of Me

5 Aug

Title: Katy Perry: Part of Me
Year: 2012
Directors: Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz
Writer: –
Starring: Katy Perry
MPAA Rating: PG, some suggestive content, language, thematic elements and brief smoking
Runtime: 93 min
IMDb Rating: 4.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Metacritic: 57

Katy Perry is a huge pop star. She’s 27 and has two multi-platinum selling records to her name (her debut was actually released in 2001, seven years before One of the Boys, under her real name, Katy Hudson, and was a gospel record that sold about 100 copies). The thing is, it seems that Katy Perry is just always there. Her Teenage Dream album was released two years ago, and yet it seems like we’re listening to new singles from it every other month. That’s because Katy Perry is an artist that knows how to make catchy singles.

I’m not going to get into the debate about artists who make commercial singles by the unit or those who make cohesive, artistically-pure albums, because that’s beyond the point here. But I will admit that the records that Ms. Perry has amassed over the years by being such a massive hit with her singles are pretty impressive. She’s the only artist to have spent a consecutive year with a song in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 (that record’s at 69 weeks), she has sold over 37 million digital tracks in the U.S. alone (and over 74 million worldwide), and Teenage Dream became the first album since Michael Jackson’s Bad to spawn five number one singles. Her California Dreams Tour was a huge success, earning nearly $60 million over its 124 dates that were sold at 98% of total capacity, over a million people seeing her live.

Well, now Katy Perry has another thing to her name, her own 3D documentary concert film. And here’s what’s even rarer: it’s actually kind of good. I mean, it’s obviously not a classic look into an artist because it does indeed serve as a marketing ploy to make the ubiquitous Ms. Perry even more ever-present, but I ended up having a lot of fun with this one. That’s mostly because Ms. Perry herself is just ridiculously likable, she’s able to charm you like crazy, and she’s actually a real hard-worker so you end up respecting her. And yeah, the technicolor, candy-flavored spectacle that she puts on and that this film documents can get to be pretty cool to watch, at least from a visual standpoint. Though the 3D is kind of useless.

We’ve gotten a few of these kinds of films lately, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never being one of the most notable examples from last year (I gave that one a C). But this one is actually one that I would recommend to an extent, I liked what I got, and if you like the idea of Katy Perry singing on-stage and giving you her deliciously cotton-candy-by-way-of-Willy-Wonka show criss-crossed with footage of her telling you about her life (in 3D, no less), then you might just love this film.

Plus it’s cool not only to know all those record numbers I displayed above, but to actually take a look at why they actually happened, to see the huge impact Katy Perry has on thousands of adoring teenage girls. Obviously it gets to the point in which it all feels a little bit informercial-y with the testimonials from these fans saying why they love Katy Perry so much and how she has had such a positive impact on their lives, I thought those parts were a bit much at times, but the ones that didn’t have talking heads but that just showed the adoring crowds did the talking for me.

That’s really why I’m giving this film a slight recommending grade. I mean, the film itself is, you know, whatever, besides the point really, and the 3D is kind of pointless too, no matter how adept for the added dimension the gimmicks of Ms. Perry’s stage show may seem. I just loved seeing the impact of a true pop superstar. And, most importantly, this one of those concert films that you don’t personally have to be a huge fan of the music to dig it, because you start digging it through osmosis, as you hear people say how much a song like ‘Firework’ means to them, you kind of go “okay” and just kick back and enjoy it.

Plus, like I said, she’s just terribly charming. I mean, this is an artist who burst into the scene with a song called ‘I Kissed A Girl’ (and she liked it) and one of her latest singles has a hook that goes “we went streaking in the park / skinny-dipping in the dark / then had a ménage à trois”, and who’s whole persona is always been a bit bi-curious and very sexual and lust-inducing. And yet parents think she’s a terrific role model for their tweens, which may seem totally off but after seeing this movie and seeing how genuinely hard she works and how she’s all about loyalty and standing up for one’s self, you’ll think that there are indeed far better people in the media for kids to look up to nowadays.

Like I said, recently there have been many films like this, mostly centering on artists that, like Ms. Perry, appeal to a younger demographic that will flood theaters to see it, namely Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. I’ve only seen the Justin Bieber one, and I went into it expecting to give it a failing grade, and while I didn’t like the film, I thought it was better than I expected, and I ended up liking the tween sensation a bit more. Well, here you have a star that’s infinitely more likable, has infinitely better songs, and you have a couple of cool stories about her life, as well as a sneak peek into the drama that was the unraveling of her marriage to Russell Brand. So, again, if you’re going to see a 3D concert movie, this one’s a decent option.

Grade: B-

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