Kernel Rating (out of 5):
Length: 90 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Age Appropriate for: 10+. A lot of whether you think your child can handle the film depends on if you let them watch “Glee” in the first place. If you’re comfortable with the show’s dramatic high school plotlines, about teen pregnancy, bullying, homosexuality, hooking up and sex, then you’ll also be OK with a character’s performance of a Britney Spears song that involves lots of panting, gyrating and cleavage. The bit is lifted entirely from a second season “Glee” episode.
Why would you see “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” if you aren’t already a Gleek? And if you are one, then you’re going to see the movie anyway, no matter what I say. Oh well — you’ll probably like it.
By Roxana Hadadi
“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” claims it’s a “new way to see all your favorite characters” from the TV show, but you won’t. Expect to see the same songs from the first and second seasons of “Glee” performed in basically the same way, with the actors pretty much in the exact outfits they wore all those episodes ago. If you’re a stickler for consistency, “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” has got it.
But for some fans of the show (including me), the movie version of “Glee” is a bit lacking — basically because there’s nothing a committed viewer of the show hasn’t already seen. As a glimpse into the “Glee” Live! In Concert! 2011 tour (the film was recorded June 16 and 17, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey), it’s not that telling. Actors Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris and everyone else stay in character, so Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Kurt, Artie and Brittany are who you briefly see between songs, as they get primped backstage and banter with each other. If you’ve seen the show, you understand their relationships and will get the humor; if not, you’ll be lost.
But why would these characters, these losers from Glee Club, be on tour together, performing at a huge sold-out venue? On the show, they can’t even get their own parents to come to their concerts!
Argh, let me stifle my indignation at such a profound lack of context. If you don’t think too much about it, “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” is a solid wallop of fun — Michele gets to belt out songs like “Firework” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” Morris gyrates all over the stage (in 3-D!) during “I’m a Slave 4 U” and Darren Criss, as always, steals the show as Blaine from rival high school club the Warblers, performing “Teenage Dream” and “Silly Love Songs,” among others. That guy can serenade me any day.
And unlike “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which had the same concert movie approach when it was released in February, “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” also focuses on stories from fans who say “Glee” changed their lives. High school student Janae, who identifies herself as a “dwarf”; 19-year-old Trenton, who forcibly came out as gay in eighth grade; and Josey, who has Asperger’s syndrome, all talk about how “Glee” made an impact on them, and there are numerous shots of screaming fans to reinforce how great the show is. This is a bit of substance from director Kevin Tancharoen, but of course, it’s totally self-serving. It’s like he’s saying, “I know you paid 3-D ticket prices to see this movie about this concert, and you may have paid to see the tour, too, and you watch the TV show every week, but did you know how great ‘Glee’ is? Did you, did you?!”
None of these criticisms will matter to you if you like “Glee,” of course. It would have been nice to have more backstage interviews with the cast — especially Monteith and Dianna Agron, who despite being the two main stars of the show with Michele, don’t talk to cameras at all — and more of a plot would be appreciated, but ultimately, you get what you pay for. And since what you pay for includes seeing Morris’s abs and Harry Shum Jr.’s dancing in 3-D, you’ll probably like “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.”