Justin Bieber: A Vague Presence in His Own Origin-Myth Doc
The Bieber movie, a concert experience and origin-myth documentary, is not goodnot that it needs to be. It is draggily paced and lacks felicity of form; the 3-D is a rip-off and the songs are pap, save a snippet of Etta James singing At Last while Biebers glossy fringe sways in slow-motion. The buildup to a Madison Square Garden climax-concert roughly structures Never Say Never; a throat infection creates the threat of cancellation, before Get well Tweets reinforce Biebers rededication to showbiz grind and u, the fans. Interspersed is a retelling of Biebers journey, from small-town boy in Stratford, Ontario, to the outbreak of Bieber Fever. A convincing case is made that the YouTube phenom was a talented kid with a knack for sponging up Top 20 radio styles when promoter Scooter Braun discovered him. From there, the movie admiringly details the stoking of a phenomenon by Braun and Team Bieber; ennobling marketing hustle, JB: NSN is A Hard Days Night half devoted to Brian Epstein. Theres no scrimping on the Bieber herewe see him serenading onstage, shirtless in the dressing room, in home videos, and in candid hometown visitsbut hes a curiously vague presence, obscured in the shadow of this monument to his brand.
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