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Movie Review: Glee: The 3D Concert Movie

August 12, 2011

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie – A 20th Century Fox Release

Release Date: August 12th, 2011 (for two weeks)

Rated G for some sexually suggestive dancing

Running time: 85 minutes

Kevin Tancharoen (dir.)

Dianna Agron as Quinn Fabray

Lea Michele as Rachel Berry

Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday

Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson

Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel

Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson

Heather Morris as Brittany Pierce

Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams

Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans

Mark Salling as Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman

Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez

Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang

Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones

Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes

Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang

©20th Century Fox.  All Rights Reserved.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) in Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.

Our reviews below:

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Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

After two successful TV seasons and numerous CDs, the cast of Glee recently took their impressive singing and dancing on the road.  One of the New York concerts in the multi-city tour was captured using 3D cameras, and the finished product offers a thoroughly entertaining way to spend 85-minutes.  From the controlling Broadway-bound Rachel (Lea Michele) to the unassuming Finn (Cory Monteith), Gleeks will have a great time seeing these characters on the big screen.  Between musical numbers, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie also gives us touching documentary footage of three very diverse fans who have had their lives changed because of the show.

As this was an incredibly short production, some of the edits between segments feel as if they could have been tighter to make for a smoother final product.  A little too much time is spent with the screaming fans in the audience, and the slight backstage interviews with the cast as their characters don’t really give us any more insight than what is reached on the TV show.  The number where Artie (Kevin McHale) gets up out of his wheelchair to perform the catchy “Safety Dance” kind of seems to go against the admirable messages of acceptance.  I’m also not a big fan of the overhyped Lady Gaga, so could have done with a little less focus on their performance of the popular earworm, “Born This Way.”

But music is the heart and soul of this film, and all of these kids can really sing.  In no particular order, highlights include:  The Glee cast rocking it out with high energy covers of My Chemical Romance’s “Sing” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  Blaine (Darren Criss) and The Warblers’ excellent covers of Katy Perry’s definitive modern teen love anthem “Teenage Dream” and P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass” are also rousing crowdpleasers.  On a quieter note, we also can’t forget Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) moving rendition of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  The endearingly dumb Brittany (Heather Morris) also gets several memorable moments to prove herself as one heck of a dancer.

If you watch the TV series, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie provides the same sort of empowering feel good entertainment that the show does in its best moments.  The song and dance numbers are a lot of fun, looking impressive on the big screen and rocking on an admittedly loud sound system.  In the end, Glee is about making us all proud to raise our thumb and finger to our forehead in the shape of an “L” and never stop believing in ourselves.  Although many can wait for the DVD, serious Gleeks are encouraged to unite at the theatre and embrace this message on the big screen.

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Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

Mixing songs and documentary footage of fans who’s lives have been changed for the better from Glee, this makes for a light pleasant time at the theatre.  All in all, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Glee concert movie.  Personally I would have preferred to see the actors backstage out of character for their interview segments, but it’s a minor fault in an otherwise fine film.

The doc footage mixed in-between the songs worked well to break things up, although it really is the performances most will be going for.  I did find that compared to the talking segments, the music was way too loud.  I had to practically block my ears at times the music was played so loud – I get it’s to give it a concert feel, but we’re not seeing this in a concert hall and it was loud enough to almost be distorted in a theatre auditorium.  The 3D is pretty needless – especially with the surcharge – but since there’s no other way to see it before DVD, it’s tolerable.

There are several numbers here that stand out, including Blaine (Darren Criss) and The Warblers’ performance of ‘Teenage Dream’, and Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) brilliant rendition of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’.  The Glee 3D Concert Movie will be in theatres for a limited engagement, and fans of the show who couldn’t catch the concert will be happy to have this.

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Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Review by Nicole

***1/4 (out of 4)

Be yourself.  This is the message of Glee, the popular musical television series that has inspired millions of teens and young adults to accept their own differences and the differences of others.  Now the series has inspired a live concert tour, which was filmed in 3D for the big screen.  The song numbers are paired up with mock interviews from the Glee characters, as well as real interviews with teenagers who, thanks to Glee, have learned to accept and embrace who they are.

Jenae, a cheerleader, is like any other teenage girl.  She looks forward to her prom, with the dancing, the beautiful dress and a handsome date.  What makes Jenae unique is that she is only four feet tall, a difference that she and her classmates accept.  Trenton is a young man who happens to be gay.  When he was 13, he got outed by a classmate without his consent.  He lived through the hardships of being different in a world that does not always accept people for who they are.  Josie is a huge Glee fan.  At 15, she realized she is an Aspie, (a verbal autistic person).  One great thing about Aspies is that they become very knowledgeable in their favourite subjects.  While Josie is usually shy, she is quite comfortable talking about Glee.

Each of these three stories shows us how Glee has touched so many young lives in a positive way.  All three of these stories are equally uplifting and inspiring.  However, Josie’s is most personal to me as I know people on the autism spectrum.  It is wonderful to see a positive first person account from an Aspie who embraces autism as a natural difference, not as a disease in need of a cure.

The musical numbers in Glee: The 3D Concert Movie are spectacular.  Some of the highlights include countertenor Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” baritone Blaine (Darren Criss) and the Warblers’ rendition of “Teenage Dream,” as well as Kurt and Rachel (Lea Michele) singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy.”  Actually, there are too many great numbers to list here.  But one standout performance was a video of a Canadian pre-schooler dressed in a Warbler uniform, dancing in perfect rhythm to the numbers.  Nothing could be cuter than that.

One minor complaint is that the film is a bit loud, which leads to some sound distortion.  Both problems are easily corrected with earplugs.  I also was a bit confused why able-bodied actor Kevin McHale, whose character Artie uses a wheelchair, suddenly stood up an danced on his feet.  Doesn’t that defeat the point of the film?  Overall, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is an amazing feel good film that celebrates life, making everyone want to dance and sing along.  Right now, the world could use a little Glee.

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Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Review by Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Gleeks of the world unite.  Glee: The 3D Concert Movie celebrates being who your are and the joy of song and dance.  Part concert footage from the Glee cast’s recent tour and part documentary profiles of fans who have been inspired and transformed by the show, this film is pure positive energy from start to finish.

The movie cuts back and forth between footage of fans, backstage chats with the cast as their Glee TV characters, and some really good song and dance numbers by the cast as a whole, with solos and duets as well.  The highlights include Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” sung by the Glee Warblers led by Blaine (Darren Criss), The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” sung by Kurt (Chris Colfer) and a really nice duet between him and Rachel (Lea Michele).  Of course, the big production number is that of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” highlighting the film’s message of diversity and acceptance.

What makes this concert movie different from others are the truly inspiring stories of three fans whose lives were changed by Glee’s message of believing in yourself.  Jenae is a cheerleader with a physical difference, Trenton is gay and Josey has Aspergers.  One of the real treats is an Asian pre-schooler dressed as a Warbler whose dance moves rival those of the Glee cast.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, I would have liked to have seen the cast members out of character backstage.  The 3D didn’t do much except add some depth and shoot confetti at the end.  When this comes out on DVD, the 3D won’t be missed.  In theatres for a limited time only, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is a real treat for those who missed the live concert tour.

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Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is just as one would expect: selected numbers from the TV series interspersed with brief clips of fans cheering their favourites, dressing room trash talk (in character), and profiles of three people inspired by the show’s positive message: a charming little cheerleader, a bigger Aspie girl, and a young gay man. Just long enough at 84 minutes, it gives most of the cast a chance to show off their best numbers, sometimes in shortened form–a welcome improvement in the case of “Born This Way” with the cast in their labelled  (Lebanese, etc.) T-shirts. With the exception of a guest appearance by a popular substitute teacher, the faculty (Sue,  Mr. Shu’ et al) are absent.

Fans will love the loud 3D experience, but I would recommend holding out for the DVD.

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Consensus: Mixing entertaining footage from the recent live tour and interviews with fans who’ve had their lives changed because of the popular TV show, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie will be enjoyed by Gleeks wanting to experience the many impressive musical numbers on the big screen.  *** (Out of 4)

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