"OMG you can reach and touch his face"
Thursday night, Rocks Off went to the first midnight screening of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, in 3D no less. Yes we had a chaperone, but the late hour and the theater's location wasn't conducive to masses of screaming girls.
The location we saw it at was the only one in our vicinity with tickets available. Not bad for a midnight showing of a film arguably aimed at people who are right now as of this writing probably learning about the Great Depression in social studies class, or sitting bleary-eyed and dreaming of the shirtless Bieber they saw last night.
Four times, by our count, not that we were literally counting.
On first glance, a 16-year-old boy doesn't deserve a film about his life and career, chronicling his ten-day journey to a sold-out Madison Square Garden gig. He hasn't lived enough yet, not in the greater sense that he hasn't paid for an abortion, been laid off, or had his car repossessed.
But as the first pop star fully formed by social media - discovered on YouTube, coddled by Facebook, communicating to fans and friends via Twitter - Bieber was already overdue for a movie, and one in that uniquely 21st-century medium of 3D. Even after two years in that pop machine, you can already see that that mechanism is reaching an apex. Rightfully so, the Beebs seems to already be diversifying his personal stock.
The film caters to the Canadian teen idol's young fans, making expert use of the 3D effects during the loads of live footage - "OMG you can reach and touch his face" - while reeling in parents and the otherwise uninitiated with his origin story: Raised by a single mother and his grandparents in Stratford, Ontario, learning drums at the age of three, playing guitar soon after, and seemingly born to destroy the hearts of women of all ages.
You see the kid age over just the course of the two hours of Never Say Never. We watch him shave. Yes, he seems to be able to grow facial hair, and his voice slowly gets deeper in turns. He has a deeper register than he gets credit for. In five years he's going to have a baritone if the vocal coach that tours with him does her job right.
The backstage scenes also show Bieber's defiant streak. Who knows, maybe this will be a preview of things to come. Neck tattoos, shattered paparazzi cameras, and wrecked motorcycles seem to be par the course for people in his position.
The crowd shots in between the more narrative documentary moments show girls proclaiming that they want to be his "first wife," among other G-rated salaciousness. Funny that kids coming up now have no concept that at one time, your first wife was to be your only wife, and not something akin to a long-term prom date or a summer love. If you are thinking of a career in divorce law in a decade or so, we salute you.
Anyhow, here are the notes from our two hours spent watching Justin Bieber in 3D. Our final verdict: there are worse pop stars to be stuck with for the next 70 years or so. He can always be a drummer if this whole teen-idol thing doesn't work out and cross over into his twenties.
Sitting down for the @justinbieber 3D movie. This happening. My Black Flag tattoo just melted off my arm.
All the trailers in front of the Beeb movie are about farting and the prom. How are the trailers even in 3D?
This movie starts out sort of heavy. His mom raised him alone, getting pregnant at 17, with his grandparents' help. He had Bieber hair as a baby. No lie.
And his mom is hot. Like a younger Catherine Keener. His dad shows up. They sort of dress alike.
Welp, he does shave. Just saw that. Also, the crew can randomly pick him up and throw him at will. He also likes to play with backstage machinery.
He says grace before he eats pizza with his friends from back home. And his mom is hot. Did we cover that? Also, seeing him with his dude-friends his own age
All these industry people are talking about him like he's Elvis. L.A. Reid, Usher show up finally. To the kid's credit, he did all this without Disney.
Creepy thing about this in 3D is the crowd shots of screaming teen girls jumping out at you. It's unsettling.
There was just a two minute segment with Bieber's hair whipping his hair back and forth set to Etta James' "At Last" that included a cameo from Snoop Dogg.
He's been shirtless three times so far. He doesn't look like he could bench press for shit.
His love of the color purple is only rivaled by Prince. Even his handlers all have purple hoodies.
He's playing guitar in a metal heart suspended over the crowd. Somewhere Tommy Lee is smiling.
Miley Cyrus just showed up to talk about the perils of fame. In ten years this movie will be awkward, because she might not be famous.
Gotta tell you, I didn't hate seeing 3D Miley in leather hooker boots. What? She's 18 now.
Segment about his voice problems on tour were vaguely apocalyptic. Lots of prayer. Terse words from doctors. You can imagine young girls crying at this part.
Jaden Smith just showed up. Yes, Will Smith's kid. He fancies himself a rapper.
Just saw a lady twice his age walk across the screen with "JUSTIN" scrawled on her boob.
Have not seen one teen boy in any of these crowds. Not that we were was looking.
And yes, Justin Bieber has small nipples. Let's get that out of the way.
My first love broke my heart for the first time.
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Random Lionel Richie in the credits. What? No Slash?
Bieber is no Lemmy, but nobody is perfect.