Grade for Glee fans: A
For the uninitiated: watch the show first, then get the concert on DVD.
Being one of only two people in a movie theatre, the other being my friend Mike, helped erase the potentially creepy feeling we might have had being the only adult men at Glee: The 3D Movie Concert. But there we were at a matinee of the film, 3D glasses on, smiling like fools and tapping our feet. The truth is, we are both Gleeks, and we both really enjoyed the movie. Will it convert those who haven’t joined the Gleek ranks? Not likely, since it gives real fans everything it wants, and doesn’t try for any more than that. But it could put to rest any doubt as to the talent of the cast. They are as terrific live as they are on an edited TV program.
And that concert, actually made to feel more “you are there” with its skilled use of 3D filming, is a true Glee-fest, with all of the best numbers from seasons one and two carefully recreated and then amped up to fit the stadium size with special effects that support, but don’t overwhelm the kids we are there to see. To be honest, I would have liked to see more of Kurt (Chris Colfer), Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Sam (Chord Overstreet), but beyond that, fans of the show won’t be disappointed. A fine balance of production numbers and smaller, one-character numbers are presented. Puck’s (Mark Salling) tribute to plus sized ladies, “Fat Bottomed Girls,” is as spectacular for its simplicity as the all out sexy vamping in Brittany’s (Heather Morris) “Slave 4 U” is for its amazing choreography and production values. Gwyneth Paltrow does a guest shot as Holly Holiday, substitute teacher, and her signature, “Forget You,” while Mike’s (Harry Shum, Jr’s) truly breath-taking dancing skills and Artie’s deep soul vocals are displayed in “P.Y.T”. Theatre fans will thrill to Rachel’s (Lea Michele) stunning “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and future Finch Blaine’s (Darren Criss) lead vocals on “Teenage Dream/Raise Your Glass.” And Mercedes (Amber Riley), Santana (Naya Rivera) and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) all shine in fun numbers where they are featured, too. To a person, the whole cast looks to be having the time of their lives. That joy of performing radiates off of the megaplex screen as it does the flat screen at home.
That a huge arena concert film can still feel as personal as a television program is a testament to the quality of this film. And maybe the best number of the show, “Born This Way” is as exciting to watch as it is heartening to be reminded that we are all, in fact, Gleeks. I had no reason to feel creepy after all.
P.S. - Be sure to stay through the Slushy-filled credits with those 3D glasses on, and stay for the encore number, too. You will not be disappointed.
(Photos and movie logo from 20th Century Fox and Fox Television)
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