Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is a 3D story of a pop prodigy who mastered a drumkit before he was ten years old and sold out Madison Square Garden when he was barely old enough to drive. Using a mix of archival and concert footage, it follows Bieber from his humble beginnings in Stratford, Ontario to superstardom.
Richard Crouse: Mark, generally these kind of music biographies are simply made up of backstage footage and embarrassing childhood photos wedged in between the tunes and this movie is kind of like that as well, but what really sold me on the film was the picture it painted of Bieber before he got famous.
Mark Breslin: I don't think either of us is the target demographic for the movie. I've had very little exposure to the Bieber phenomenon, so the movie was fresh to my eyes. Yes, I liked the footage of Bieber before he was famous, especially the bit of him playing competent drums on a chair at a very early age.
RC: To say we’re not the target market is an understatement like saying that Justin Bieber has a few female fans, but there’s no denying the kid has talent. The music in the concert sequences sounds like white noise to my ears, but it the early footage of him playing and singing on the streets of Stratford and drumming with a local band is pretty impressive. I thought the movie presented him as being less pre-packaged than other teen stars. What did you think?
MB: Well, that's what they'd like us to think. There are a lot of references to how Bieber achieved his success without the Disney or Nickelodeon machines, and that's true. He is the product of some grassroots push, and I found the footage of that very interesting. But when his manager—who is more likable than most—calls him the "underdog," I call that spin. Or even more proof that the Internet has created a new business model. And what did you think of the 3D?
RC: The “underdog” reference was the most glaringly disingenuous thing in the movie. Anyone selling out Madison Square Garden in less than half-an-hour is not an underdog—anything but. If anything, he is as you say, a new kind of business model—fame via YouTube. How 21st century. Makes the American Idol format seem weathered and tired. As for the 3D, it works in the concert sequences, less so in the documentary sequences but the little girls will love how Bieber seems to jump off the screen.
MB: Jump off the screen indeed! Scary—I really didn't need the moppet in my lap!