Movie review: 'Glee's' free on TV, glum on film
Aug 13, 2011 at 5:49 AM
What’s wrong with “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie”? Well, pretty much everything, except for some of the singing and playing. A few of the singers have terrific voices and lots of charisma, and the band is hot.Then there’s the rest. The film is purportedly a documentary look at the recent stadium tour by core cast members of the inexplicably popular TV show.And, as hinted, some of the performance footage – notably the stuff with the dozen or so singers onstage all at once – is strong and exciting. But some of these folks are simply not as good as others. Some of them – and I have no doubt about this – aren’t even singing live; they’re lip-syncing.While there’s a smokin’ ensemble version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” to kick things off, and a steamy solo – courtesy of the show’s gyrating, scantily clad, buxom character Brittany (Heather Morris) – of Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U,” there’s a tepid take of Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl” and a not-exactly-inspiring “surprise” appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow covering Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You.”Still, if this was just a concert film, the enthusiasm and energy might have kept things enthusiastic and energetic. But the filmmakers decided to add another dimension, one involving the TV show’s fans, who are gathered outside a concert venue to explain, ad nauseam, who their favorite characters are and how the show changed their lives.Really? This TV show changed your life? Honest? Have you actually modeled yourself after Rachel and Blaine and Quinn and Artie? That’s kind of sad. Also sad – make that infuriating – is the fact that these little bursts of interviews are here at all.Yes, I understand that the filmmakers want to share with the world that it’s OK to be gay or be a little person or have Asperger syndrome.But I’d tender a guess that most people going to see this film will be there for the music, not for all of this repetitive chatter breaking up the flow of the concert footage.On a whole other level, I kind of worry about some of these folks, especially since it’s a sure thing that “Glee” is going to be cancelled someday. Seriously, what will these poor souls do without it?And I can’t quite come to grips with one of these rabid fans looking right into the camera and saying, happily and proudly, “All of the characters on the show are losers, and we’re all losers, too.” Another reason the film doesn’t work as a documentary is because the cast members stay in character, even in the makeup room, where cameras are stuck in their faces so they can converse in uncomfortably forced backstage banter. We never get to meet the people behind the characters.And then there’s the 3-D – you know, the gimmick that allows theaters to charge a few extra bucks on each ticket. Oh, the cameras are flying all over the place, moving right along with the performers, much like they did on that other 3-D film, “Avatar.”But while that film used the technique for a sense of depth that grabbed viewers and wrapped them up inside another world, what passes for 3-D here is the “startling” effect of a wireless microphone repeatedly popping off the screen as a camera gets a close-up of whoever is behind it.Sorry, given a choice, I’d recommend sticking with the TV show. At least there you can get your “Glee” for free.GLEE: THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE (PG for some sensuality) Directed by Kevin Tancharoen. Cast includes Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer. 1 star out of 4.