Paramount // 2011 // 104 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 25th, 2011
"There's gonna be times in your life when people say you can't do something. And there's gonna be times in your life when people say you that you can't live your dreams. And there's gonna be times in your life when people say you that you can't sell out Madison Square Garden! This is what I tell them: never say never!" -- Justin Bieber
Instant YouTube star Justin Bieber jumped out of cyberspace and on to the pop charts. He's living proof that music has changed thanks to the Internet. At one point he was an eight-year-old playing drums, and soon he was a street singer in Canada. The difference that made him a star? He launched a popular YouTube channel and eventually got in front of megastar Usher. A moppy hairdo, a pretty good voice, and celebrity endorsement made him a huge star. The world would never be the same for twelve year old girls everywhere.
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never traces his roots and shows us bits filmed from his first Madison Square Garden show. It was pretty much hastily put together, and in theaters it was even in 3D. Most of the interviews between song performances are with the adults in his life: parents, grandparents, producers, managers, vocal coaches, security guys, stylists, and any number of the army of grown-ups who help his career. The film tries hard to depict that the kid struggled to make it, as if life was impossible and against all odds. Sure, he was raised by a single mom, but he certainly didn't flail in the industry all that long. He used social networking and the Internet to get himself out there bigger and bigger. Things happened quickly. By the end this little kid from Canada is besties with Jaden Smith, and selling out Madison Square Garden. Heck, even Miley Cyrus shows up to help him out at one point.
This Blu-ray set includes the high definition version, a DVD copy, and a digital file. You can play this anywhere you want with this one package. The 1.85:1 1080p transfer is solid, showing an incredibly clear and colorful, detailed presentation, yet not one that stands out in the field. There's nothing to gripe about, and it looks solid for the most part. Some of the footage looks lower in quality because it was shot for YouTube or culled from home movies. Sound is a full surround, which does just fine with the concert sequences. Extras are fluffy including a three minute dance off sequence, the performance of "Favorite Girl" -- which was not in the film proper -- footage of Bieber getting a new haircut, and also a segment about how the singer "gives back" to his fans.
If you're a fan, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Blu-ray) is a no-brainer purchase, and if you are not then you probably won't even give this a second thought. It's nothing earth-shattering, just a concert film that tells the story of a kid who became a pop star by posting on YouTube. Could it happen again? Probably so, but Justin is the first of his kind. Twelve year old girls cry, boys hate him, and lesbians copy his hairdo. He's the king of playground pop!
Guilty of making twelve year-old girls faint.
Review content copyright © 2011 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated G
* DVD Copy
* Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber