GLEE THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE
Documentary of The Glee Live! In Concert! summer 2011 tour featuring Dianna Agron (Quinn), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Darren Criss (Blaine), Kevin McHale (Artie), Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), Heather Morris (Brittany), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Naya Rivera (Santana), Mark Salling (Puck), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike), Chord Overstreet (Sam), Ashley Fink (Lauren) and members of The Warblers. Special guest appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Review by Louise Keller:
Whether you're a seasoned Gleek or new to the pop-culture phenomenon that began as a TV musical series, you'll be tapping your feet and humming along in this upbeat, energetic 3D concert movie. A celebration of being different, the cast is a mix of characters of varied shapes and sizes, who sing songs whose lyrics somehow reflect an aspect of their lives or how they are feeling. Don't Stop Believin' is the anthem and if the screams and enthusiastic reception at the Sydney premiere is any indication of how the film will fare, there are a lot of Glee believers out there.
Everyone seems to have a favourite cast member. There's Rachel (Lea Michele), the Natalie Portman look-alike with the Barbra Streisand voice, Quinn (Dianna Agron) with the hot bod, hair extensions and oversize ego, Artie (Kevin McHale), the geek who symbolically performs occasionally in a wheelchair, Blaine (Darren Criss) the smooth dark heartthrob, Mercedes (Amber Riley), whose generous voice matches her size and my favourite, the openly gay Kurt (Chris Colfer) with a voice as sweet as his face, among the group. His rendition of the Beatles song I Wanna Hold Your Hand is touching. Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday sings a song too. There's no shortage of talent among the cast, who belt out the tunes during sold out concerts in their North American tour on a spectacular backdrop of special effects and strenuous dance routines.
Inter-cut through the concert (shot during two concerts in massive venues in New Jersey), are snatches of interviews and conversations with the Glee cast, Glee fans and those whose lives have been uplifted, influenced or changed by the Glee phenomenon. Most memorable are an Asperger sufferer inspired by Glee to face the world and a charismatic female dwarf whose enthusiasm and joie de vivre is contagious.
While Justin Bieber trades on his boy next door image, the Glee phenomenon promotes the notion of being accepted for who you are. Watching this non-stop, colour-fest of vitality, youth and music, somehow that seems to be a pretty good thing.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Sing, dance and be a Gleek; whether you're black, yellow, white or plain, gay, straight or unsure, whether you are fat, thin, short, tall or somehow challenged by your appearance or your inner fears, Glee will help you proudly celebrate it - whatever it is.
If you value your Gleedom, you won't need me to tell you that this concert movie is a Glee-feast. All the guys and girls are there in 3D (you can almost reach out and touch them), singing some of their most popular songs, including I'm a Slave 4 U, Raise Your Glass, Teenage Dream and Lucky, as well as the original songs that became chart-toppers such as Losers Like Me and the show's anthem, Don't Stop Believin'. There is also a well received surprise guest spot from Gwyneth Paltrow.
The high energy concert is shot and edited with the same high energy and punctuated by backstage chats - including some jokey ego-blasting - and by interviews with fans whose lives have been changed by the Glee phenomenon. Genuine tears and sincere confessions add texture to the otherwise irrepressible enthusiasm.
This show licences everyone to be a teen in spirit.
The secret to their popularity is their boy and girl next door presentation (for the most part) and their nurtured ordinariness connects with fans who feel Glee gives them a voice and a stature. The wardrobe strikes a note between plain and party, but glamour isn't what they sell. Given the messy state of the world, Glee is an oasis of unsophisticated and pretty innocent dancing, singing and joking.
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GLEE THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE (PG)
CAST: Dianna Agron, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Chord Overstreet, Darren Criss, Ashley Fink
PRODUCER: Dante Di Loreto, Ryan Murphy (Jaff Zachary 3D producer)
DIRECTOR: Kevin Tancharoen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Glen MacPherson
EDITOR: Myron I. Kirstein, Jane Moran, Tatiana S. Riegel
MUSIC: Not credited
PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 11, 2011