Jonas Brother: The 3D Concert Experience (US - BD RA)
Gabe cries out to God, wondering what he possibly did to deserve this torture...
I think most of us can agree I gave Ms. Miley Cyrus her fair shake when I reviewed her 3D concert film The Best of Both Worlds. I established that Cyrus’ brand of corporate pop wasn’t the kind of thing I was willing to seek out in my spare time, but I had enough patience to respect the film for what it was. Either the Jonas Brothers are really that much more intolerable than Hannah Montana, or my patience has officially run out. I hated the entire experience of watching Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. What’s worse, I can’t muster even a grudging respect for the group’s oddly anachronistic music. I’m a total sap when it comes to the painful process of getting songs I hate stuck in my head for days, but I honestly can’t recall a single lyric or melody while writing this review. If that’s not a sign of ineffective pop musicianship I don’t know what is.
Everything about Hannah Montana is more genuine than everything about the Jonas Brothers. Well, except the name Hannah Montana. The backstage stuff that accompanied Cyrus’ film added what I thought was a degree of humanity to the massive persona. In the case of the Jonas Brothers the behind the scenes stuff is obviously staged in a kind of mock Hard Day’s Night fashion, and it does nothing more than to dis-endear the trio to an even stricter degree in these eyes. During the concert Cyrus’ genuine performance, complete with a lack of breath and a few minor flubs in the singing, went a long way in pulling minor respect out of me. Everything about the Jonas’ performance appears pretty obviously pre-recorded—from their all too crisp vocals to their flubby finger ‘guitar playing’. I could be wrong, but I know enough about playing music to make an educated guess (when curliest haired Jonas takes to the drum set he does appear to be playing, but there’s simply no way in hell he’s singing while drumming like that).
The recent South Park episode concerning the boys was right on track for the most part, because despite the G-rating, these gyrating hips, shirtless backstage moments, and audience thrusting crotches express some pretty blatant sexuality. Frankly that makes me super uncomfortable, so I won’t pursue the subject any further. The less I say about the footage of screaming fans the better, I assume. I’m feeling a little sick just picturing it.
The 2D behind the scenes stuff appears to have been shot on some less than ideal hi-def cameras. The footage is bereft of a lot of colour, features thin black levels, and the details are average at best. There isn’t a lot of noise, but there are some compression artefacts fluttering throughout. The concert footage, on the other hand, may actually be the best home video 3D I’ve ever seen. I hate to admit it, but the 3D effects work more often than they don’t. The away from camera effects are pretty flawless, and the in-your-face stuff is much more clear than I’m used to out of my set. Like all red/blue 3D the colours don’t really work, unless they happen to be red or blue, making the pallet a constant purple overall. The 3D also causes white lines to form around the forward facing 3D things. The 2D version is expectedly clean and generally perfect, like the IMAX scenes on the Dark Knight release.
Assuming the group’s music is something you actually want to hear, this DTS-HD 7.1 track is going to thrill your pre-pubescent pants right off. The tracks overall bass is perhaps a little too throbby for the music’s own good (though it’s actually pretty hard to make out the bass guitar), but the drum sound is rich, the guitars stand out during solos without sounding too unnatural, and the vocals are clear and warm. There are some neat stereo and surround tricks in the mix (revealing the unnatural nature of the track’s ‘live’ status), though the rear channels are mostly devoted to horrible screaming girls and echo effects.
The disc’s features are thankfully brief, including two cut songs and a brief behind the scenes featurette. The first cut song, ‘Love Bug’ (03:30, HD), utilize footage from the behind the scenes to create more of a music video effect than a concert effect. ‘Shelf’ (04:20, HD) fits in better with the rest of the film. ‘Up Close and Personal with the Jonas Brothers’ (15:00, HD) is a totally fake love letter to the group’s fans. Behind the scenes footage is cut to group voice over and half-assed interview segments. I don’t think it’s any secret that these guys are a studio produced product, not an ‘up from the underground’ group, so the less than genuine aspects are all the more painful. They work hard and give it up for their fans, I see that, but they didn’t earn their spot at the top, some studio executive did.
This is not my thing, my tween readers. Please don’t take offense at how nauseating I found these icky little crooners. The Blu-ray disc does feature the best home video version of a 3D video presentation I’ve ever seen, and the DTS-HD sound is solid all around (except, you know, the fact that the music is terrible). The extra features are pretty minimalist, but I’m guess that the young ladies buying this disc aren’t going to really care about a lack of director’s commentary. Good luck to all you parents out there.
* Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Gabriel Powers
All ages admitted
Release Date: 30th June 2009
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master 7.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Extras: Two Bonus Songs, Up Close and Personal, DVD Version, Digital Copy
Easter Egg: No
Director: Bruce Hendricks
Cast: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas
Length: 89 minutes
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