When you're a YouTube sensation, what's left to learn?

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

on February 09, 2011 by Pete Hammond

justinbiebernews.pngThe surprising thing about the new behind-the-scenes documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is that it should have appeal well beyond the star's young, adoring female fan base. The film is a really entertaining look at the Bieber phenomenon; the music in Never Say Never is great and Bieber proves himself to be the real thing as a musician and performer. This 3D film should have fans flocking to theatres on opening weekend, and word of mouth should guarantee a strong box office return perhaps eclipsing similar past music docs about other current teen faves Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Profits should be huge when it hits DVD.

The picture, which attempts to be a real inside look at Bieber, his rise and his current fame, revolves around the 2010 tour for his CD and builds with mounting suspense to his performance at New York's Madison Square Garden. Unlike the Cyrus and Jonas films, this one does not aspire to be a filmed concert with a few extras. Perhaps because Bieber is the first YouTube born and bred pop star, footage exists of every point in his young life and career and is used liberally to tell the story of this young, musically gifted Canadian who rocketed to fame with lightning speed. The film opens with those early YouTube postings and cleverly weaves in the Bieber tale with engaging, if carefully chosen, segments tracking his everyday life on the road. Jon Chu smartly directs and uses his experience from Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D to load this one with energy and style. Cho tries to go beyond the expected concert footage to create a storyline that gets the audience involved in every aspect of the tour and the kid's life, including lots of home movie-style footage. One sequence in which Bieber becomes ill, threatening the whole enterprise, is expertly handled and craftily edited for maximum impact. Of course the show will go on, it always does, but to his credit Chu manages to put some doubt and real-life problems into the mix.

Along the way there are various cameos from Cyrus and Jaden Smith (Bieber performed the song "Never Say Never" with him for the film The Karate Kid) but both get in the way of the real story here. As the film is designed for Bieber's fans, Chu never really gets too far beneath the surface of the real showbiz tale, so family, associates and Bieber manager Scooter Braun all come off like saints. Anything that isn't remotely favorable to the young star and his crew is quickly glossed over, but this film's goal is to be entertaining, not a warts-and-all expose of instant teen stardom. On that level it succeeds beyond expectations.

Distributor: Paramount
Cast: Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith, Miley Cyrus, Boys II Men
Director: Jon Chu
Producers: Scooter Braun, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Usher Raymond and Antonio Reid
Genre: Music Documentary
Rating: G
Running time: 105 min
Release date: February 11, 2011


Tags: Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith, Miley Cyrus, Boys II Men, Jon Chu, Scooter Braun, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Usher Raymond, Antonio Reid

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  • summerbieber07 on 13 February 2011

    It was AMAZING!!!! even if you're not a jb fan u will love it i promise

  • beibermyballs on 17 February 2011

    absolutely terrible,
    possibly the worst movie ever made
    i would rather watch "plan 9 from outer space" a 100 times then see this again
    hopefully they will realize their mistake and stop making movie as god awful as these
    don't waste your money on this "bieber fever" instead see something good like
    "I Am Number Four" or if you are looking for laughs "Just Go With It"

  • beibermyballs on 17 February 2011

    only positive reviews you will see of this monstrosity are from those preteen fans of the bieber boy

    • gio on 04 March 2011

      I'm over 50 & went to see this movie to find out what all the fuss is about.

      Really enjoyed the movie. I'm not naive, and realize this story is almost too good to be true. Certainly Justin's mother must have had a tough time raising this child without a father. Also seeing how burned out Miley Cyrus is at 18 is sad. Justin's handlers are working him almost as hard, but hopefully he won't get too burned out before he's old enough to taste beer.

      What I don't understand is people like @Beibermyballs that expend so much energy invading the internet to bash the kid. Bieber is harmless, his music is basic [there will always be a huge hit song which repeats the word "Baby" is repeated ad invinitum], and the Beiber message is positive.

      P. S. @Biebermyballs "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is hilarious, but "Just Go With It" is truly awful. Now go do your homework like a good boy.

  • gio on 04 March 2011

    ^^^^^^ sorry, typo. I meant "ad infinitum".

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