Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Music Blu-ray & DVD Review: The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience -- Deluxe Extended Movie (2009)

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Perhaps a little bit of Tinkerbell’s “fairy dust” was sprinkled on the Blu-ray of Walt Disney Home Entertainment’s The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience – Deluxe Extended Movie that arrived in my mailbox for review.

For, not too long after I removed the packaging, I found myself in a sea of coincidences as though I were playing a new pop culture game called Connect The Jonas Brothers wherein—like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon—the basic idea is to link the celebrities to others in the fewest moves possible. Except in the case of
Connect The Jonas Brothers, there were no degrees needed as a direct connection was made between the trio of heartthrobs and a majority of other items filling my mailbox shortly thereafter.

First, along with Jonas-- on 6/30, Disney also released the surprisingly delightful Princess Protection Program—one of their cable channel’s wildly popular original movies (that truth be told as a “film” was actually more engrossing from start to finish than this concert)—which started Disney cutie Demi Lovato whom the Brothers had not only met on Camp Rock but whom they also invited to perform a song with them on their "Burning Up Tour" captured in this movie.

Secondly—after watching The Jonas Brothers Movie and finally discovering who the super popular singers were as prior to the film I couldn’t name any band member or pick them out of a boy band lineup-- I found another connection in the form of the film’s showstopping guest performer Taylor Swift. Like the Brothers—I’d been completely unfamiliar with the work of Ms. Swift but as soon as she hit the stage I soon became a fan of the singer.

With an instant command of the audience, Swift’s brilliant use of banjos and fiddle players and sassy Shania Twain blend of straightforward, blunt lyrics produced an irresistible confection of pop-rock-country (or "PopRockCo" as I’m trying to call it, working harder than Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls to make my PopRockCo “happen” more than her character’s coined “Fetch”). Her catchy track “Should’ve Said No” stole the tour and the film away from the Brothers and it actually took them awhile to recover!

Realizing that Swift’s appearance and name were familiar not only because of her super fame but also because she was staring back at me in the cover story of the most recent issue of Glamour Magazine—I was stunned to read the article and learn about her former relationship with the Brothers' lead singer and Most Popular Pretty Boy-- Mr. Joe Jonas who dropped Ms. Swift in a twenty-seven second phone call. Further digging online revealed that he did so as to move onto the beautiful dark-haired actress Camilla Belle— and once again,
Connect The Jonas Brothers ruled the day as Belle’s new film Push from Summit Entertainment shortly arrived thereafter for review.

And when I realized that I couldn’t turn on the television without seeing the Brothers on Larry King Live, hearing Kathy Griffin tease the host about them (and share their mutual fandom of my personal favorite—Kevin) as well. Likewise, I began to feel like I was transported to the Land of the Jonas especially when I had double vision and conducted a Film Intuition 2-Disc DVD giveaway when Disney was kind enough to send a second copy of the film.

Thus, I was given the unique opportunity to judge both the DVD and the Blu-ray—which actually was unnecessary since par for the course of Walt Disney’s superlative set packaging, the film arrived in Blu-ray form on 3 discs so that viewers could watch it in Blu-ray on Disc 1 in 2D or 3D (with the 4 free Jonas Brothers edition blue and red 3D cardboard glasses included), in 2D on DVD in Disc 2, or by downloading it onto their computer or portable device with Disc 3’s 2D Apple and PC compatible Digital File technology.

As for the film itself-- although it begins with an interesting and candid morning wake-up sequence as their security man, handler and stage MC (?) "Big Rob" awakens the three Brothers at 4:30 am for a full day schedule and director Bruce Hendricks pulls a “run from the screaming girls” sequence in an homage to the seminal rock film A Hard Day’s Night-- essentially it is as the title promises, “a concert movie” overall.

In this extended edition which offers four songs (two of which—“Can’t Have You” and “A Little Bit Longer”—that are worked directly into the movie adding 13 minutes to its running time) that were previously unavailable in the theatrical version-- fans are given a great view of the show and the opportunity to watch the concert in either 2 or 3D via the pristine Blu-ray quality we've come to expect from Disney.

I tested out both technical options as well as switching from the Blu-ray to the DVD for a comparison and I have to admit that while the 3D offered some cool gimmicks, overall it was distracting, headache inducing and unnecessary, dulling out the gorgeous colors of the superlative Disney Blu-ray quality. In fact, I felt that you lost so much of the Blu-ray presentation and its sheer capability by opting for 3D that I couldn't help wondering why the company hadn't offered the option to put 3D on the DVD as well since.

And this is especially because 3D masks what Blu is capable of which was evident right off the bat when I switched out of the mode-- took off the glasses and moved into a sequence in 2D where the color clarity and gorgeous contrast of the flesh tones, depth perception and heightened sense of the entire picture made the Blu-ray pop more than any glow-stick in the crowd would in 3D.

Happily to parents or those who either don't want to go for the budget priced value 3-pack which offers the film in every edition (so that you'll never have to buy it again if you switch to Blu-ray in the future), I can attest that the DVD of The Jonas Brothers Movie is of excellent quality as well. While there's a noticeable difference when you move from Blu directly to DVD and more so when I moved the disc from the up-convert capable player to my standard DVD player, it's still a terrific transfer and proof that Disney doesn't put their name on a lackluster product.

Although I must say that I wasn't a huge fan of the music of the trio since most of it sounded a bit too similar and I wasn't that mesmerized by the teenage Jaggar stylings of Joe Jonas (and actually more impressed by Nick's voice and Kevin's guitar skills)-- there's no denying that the three together put on one entertaining show with back-flips, pyrotechnics, a string section and more. And honestly, for the price of a disc in lieu of a concert ticket with the best view available for every single song-- super fans won't do better than this title, except when they watch it and play
Connect The Jonas Brothers at the same time.
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