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Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)

May 30, 2011

Starring: Justin Bieber
Director: Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D, Step Up 2: The Streets)

Quick Thoughts: I can’t say I own Justin Bieber’s album, but I can admit I admire his talent and success. This film basically documents his shockingly rapid rise to fame and culminates with his sold out concert at the world famous Madison Square Gardens. It’s marvelously edited, interweaving home videos from Bieber’s childhood with more recent footage of the young prodigy embracing his newfound fame. Never Say Never is presented as an underdog story, but that’s a tough pill to swallow as we can see that the star possessed immense confidence and talent from a very young age. Granted, selling out MSG at age 16 is remarkable, but one gets the feeling while watching Justin’s story unfold that future success was inevitable. Bieber is not only profoundly talented, he’s also blessed with pop star good looks and natural charisma. I’m not going to knock on the kid’s work ethic, but it’s not like he grew up in the Detroit projects and had to fight against all odds like Eminem did. The right person happened to watch his YouTube videos and happened to have some solid connections in the music business. Case closed. Never Say Never works as a documentary that celebrates Bieber’s rise to fame, but as an underdog story, I’ll take 8 Mile any day.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Not much unless you’re a fanatic.
Sequel Potential: N/A
Oscar Potential: None
Nudity: N/A
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 64% Audience: 67%
IMDB Rating: 1.3/10 (WTF…)
Recommendation: Obviously a must own for Bieber fanatics, but I also think it’s worth seeing for any fan of music in general, especially those that aren’t familiar with Bieber’s story. It’s easy to dismiss JB as the latest teeny-bopper and pop fad, but this documentary gives a deeper glimpse into the world of someone that’s clearly a lasting talent. I won’t go as far as to call him the next Michael Jackson, but there’s a lot of potential here for future greatness.

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