Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
Directed by: Ryan Tancharoen
Cast: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Release Date: August 12, 2011
This is a “Seen It” review. You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. That means all plot points and spoilers are fair game and will be discussed. The only reason to read this review is if you have already watched the film, or never plan on seeing it, but for some reason, you’d like to know what TSR thought about it. We walk you through the key moments in the film, adding in our thoughts along the way. You’ve been warned.
PLOT: A concert movie for the TV show “Glee,” mixed with real testimonials by people whose lives are changed by the popular series.
Movie: Introduced by the screams and general praise of thousands of adoring fans, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie begins with “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Thoughts by TSR: Okay, it’s a concert movie. Screaming fans before the show starts, that’s fine. Hearing people gush about “Glee” or their favorite Power Ranger, sure. I was hoping the amount of fan focus would be pretty tame. Oh, and the polos. I wasn’t surprised that “Don’t Stop Believing” kicked off this catastrophe, but I was confused as to who chose polos as the outfits that they would all wear (aside from the obvious sponsor, Lacoste). Watching all of them walk up and down the stage was dumb.
Movie: After a forgettable performance of “Sing,” we receive our first testimonial from a fan named Janae. This is then followed up a completely unrelated rendition of “Empire State of Mind.”
Thoughts by TSR: The fan interviews came back. I warmed up to this a little, but knew that it could go nowhere but down. Nothing great was going to come of this movie taking time away from its actual concert to tell us about one of the fans in the audience. And just as I had expected, everything got worse.
Suddenly we were learning about this one specific fan who was talking about how much she loved “Glee,” and then we were hearing a cheerleader coach talk about and it, and then we found out she was a little person. Suddenly the movie had taken a huge ugly turn toward the wasteful. After this moment it follows up this little story (of which I hoped would be over) with Artie, in a wheelchair, singing “Empire State of Mind.” He throws up Jay-Z’s “rock” hand signal, which is both funny and really sad.
Movie: We meet the biggest fan of character Brittany, and then see a performance of “I’m A Slave 4 U.”
Thoughts by TSR: We get it, you’re the biggest Brittany fan (at least according to this movie). You know, I don’t think naming a pet after a TV character necessarily guarantees you a spot of being top fan. After all, perhaps you like saying the name “Brittany.” Regardless, the gimmick of a blonde “Glee” character who looks like Britney Spears named Brittany S. Pierce is brought to the stage, grabbing a lot of extremely outdated and grubby bits of Spears’ original “I’m A Slave 4 U.”
Movie: Mohawk’d casanova Puck sings “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.
Thoughts by TSR: Mohawks? I don’t buy it bro. I thought that dumb haircut was outlawed once Crazy Town’s “Butterfly” fell off the Top 40 Fail Charts, and it stayed that way. Puck’s rendition of “Fat Bottomed Girls” was mostly laughless until the stage production literally put exercise bikes on stage for the line “get on your bikes and ride!” Wouldn’t being on an exercise bike take away the supposed fat bottomed-ness? I think you screwed this one up too, “Glee.”
Movie: Lea Michele hears that Barbra Streisand is at the performance, and then sings “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
Thoughts by TSR: This was creepy. When the voice behind the camera (whom we never see) tells Lea Michele that Barbra Streisand is in the house, she has a reaction that is hard to determine whether she’s in character, or just being herself. It’s a really freaky moment. And silly too, because there’s no backup band playing with her during this moment. Barbra’s even a no-show. We do see someone give Lea Michele the death stare in the front row, however, and the singer does get in our face in the ugliest way possibly – in 3D.
Movie: Artie and Rich perform “Pretty Young Thing.”
Thoughts by TSR: Oh, they’ve got Michael Jackson jackets. How cute. Is Rich doing the Jackson junk grab? Good for him. Who cares? Why don’t you damn kids go home and watch Youtube?
Movie: Everyone talks about how much they love character Kurt, especially Trenton, a young black male who tells us his story of how he was ousted. Then, Cory Monteith sings “Jessie’s Girl.”
Thoughts by TSR: Oh god, this wasn’t going to end good. Colfer is probably the person who I consider to be the brightest aspect of “Glee,” and he has a great voice. While I have great respect for a person like Trenton, I don’t really care to hear about his story, especially in the context that his life is influenced by a TV character. The filmmakers put salt on my bitter wounds with cheesy reenactments of Trenton’s moments, which look awful in 2D, and even more grotesque under the false pretense that it’s in “3D.”
Movie: Santana and Brittany perform “Valerie.”
Thoughts by TSR: I’ve never heard this song before, but I don’t thank “Glee” for bringing it to my attention (also because it’s not that good). The dancing is pretty involving in this scene, meaning they’re actually doing something on stage.
Movie: Janae comes back into the film and talks about her prom date, Reed, who also likes to compare his life to a TV show. Lea Michele sings “Firework” by Katy Perry.
Thoughts by TSR: Michele can’t dance much, but she can fist pump, apparently. Why does she always look like she’s going to cry when she sings? Good to see that Reed has been brainwashed too.
Movie: An a capella boyband called “The Warbblers” sing “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry and “Silly Love Songs” by Paul McCartney. A young Asian boy dances and sings along with Darren Criss in a homemade video.
Thoughts by TSR: I had no idea who “The Warbblers” are, or where they came from. I feel bad for any of the critics around me who are completely new to “Glee,” as they probably think this group is just another preppy boy band. I like their rendition of “Teenage Dream,” but doing “Silly Love Songs” doesn’t seem necessary. Just like finding a little boy who dresses like Darren Criss. Give me young kids who play ukuleles, not lil’ feet shufflers. Oh, and get a smaller tie bro.
Movie: Trenton returns to tell more about his story. Chris Colfer is finally given longer screentime with his “Happy Times Are Here” duet with Lea Michele.
Thoughts by TSR: I think Colfer and Michele have pretty similar voices, so this duet is a bit weird. It does have good harmonies, and I believe that the stools they sit on are related to the ones I have in my kitchen. Oh, Trenton was talking again. Whatever.
Movie: The characters continue making small talk backstage. The man behind all of this, Ryan Murphy, is nowhere to be seen. Artie does a sh*tty rendition of “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats.
Thoughts by TSR: This isn’t “backstage.” This movie doesn’t offer us a view into these performers as people, but instead as characters. Even their backstage banter is in character, regardless as to how they address each other. And I’ll just say it – Artie shouldn’t sing “Safety Dance” because he sucks at it, and doesn’t have a strong enough voice. I don’t care if that’s the song he needs to get out of his wheelchair, he doesn’t deserve it.
Movie: We see Janae have fun at prom, and she wins the title of prom princess. With the music room in the background, we hear “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat sung by Chord Overstreet and Dianna Agron.
Thoughts by TSR: For some reason, the filmmakers leave out the part where Janae drinks the “Glee” Kool-Aid after saying “‘Glee’ changed my life.” She wins prom princess, which might be easier to do if you have a documentary crew following you around. It’s the movie’s choice of taking time-filler material, but then it backfires because we know so little about the characters and care so little about their hurdles.
Movie: Gwyneth Paltrow shows up, sings “Forget You,” and then says “Let’s go eat tacos” before getting offstage.
Thoughts by TSR: Again, I can imagine the non-Glee fan being extremely, extremely confused by this. “Why is Gwyneth Paltrow on stage? Who actually remembers Duets?” Nevermind the taco reference.
Movie: The world’s biggest Brittany fan is back, and shares her experience with meeting Heather Morris, but talks about her like she’s still Brittany.
Thoughts by TSR: Brittany S. Pierce is not real, she is a CHARACTER. Many fans shown in this movie seem to miss this point, but these characters are worshiped like idols, even though they’re created in scripts and played by people picked out by suits. The movie was trying to make this a happy moment, but its so delusional that it’s actually pretty sad.
Movie Kurt sings “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and Trenton says that he found a similar “Glee club” in his local theater department.
Thoughts by TSR: This is why the Beatles rights were on mega-lockdown for years. Because stupid bullsh*t happens like this, where legitimately peppy tunes are slowed down to sound like they’re being performed at a funeral. This moment also brought back horrific memories of Across the Universe. Then I started having a freakout about our iPod generation. And about how bad the Black Eyed Peas were during halftime at the Super Bowl. And how this wasn’t any better.
Movie: The Glee kids sing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” while wearing shirts that display labels they’re not originally OK with. Trenton, Janae, and Brittany’s biggest fan (still can’t remember her name) all talk about the lessons they’ve learned from this TV show.
Thoughts by TSR: I was almost dead when this happened, but I somehow survived. I had heard of the Lady Gaga episode on “Glee,” but I’m sure that moment wasn’t as crowded with such melodramatic crap as this segment was. Also, isn’t Dianna Agron wearing a shirt that says “Lucy Caboosey” kind of mean?
Movie: The Glee people sing “Loser Like Me” while fans are shown again talking about the importance of this TV show in their lives. The movie cuts to black.
Thoughts by TSR: Oh joy, the only original song in the movie. And guess what? It’s very forgettable. And I am so damn tired of that lazy editing method – cutting to black. There’s no reason for it other than to maintain a lazy joke that the show seems to rely on. But there should be a rule. You can only cut to black so many times before your movie officially sucks. Considering that rule, this movie really, really officially sucks.
Movie: After the initial credits, the Glee folk return back on-screen and sing “Somebody to Love” by Queen, and then the little Asian boy dances during the rolling credits.
Thoughts by TSR: Nothing ever ends. The “Glee” movie felt like it was never going to end. Rubbing a second Queen cover in my face was just mean. That little boy still needs to get a smaller tie.
There’s a difference between liking a musical group or a TV show, and being in a cult. This concert movie confirms that the often-used imagery of colored punch in a cup is meant to represent cult Kool-Aid more than anything else. Like a wacked-out documentary advertising a money-sucking religion, it features performers (actually “characters”) singing old and non-original songs, while people testify in between to how a T.V show has changed their life. It’s like when people say Joel Osteen saved their life, but he can’t hear them because he’s too busy buying sports cars. (And yes, Joel Osteen is a character). This is evangelical scamming for the pop masses. And only half of it is in 3D. And there’s only one original song.
“Glee” is meant to inspire warm feelings with it’s “Silly Love Songs,” but this cheaply made 3D movie basically encourages hatred towards its shallow existence. I used to wish L. Ron Hubbard would come back as a zombie and tell his “followers” that he was just joking, ruining their faith. Now I just can’t wait for “Glee” to be canceled.
FINAL SCORE: 1/10