Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience
Rated G for general audiences.
Recommended for all ages
Run Time: 76 minutes
Quick Take: Tween girls will go crazy for the Fab Three in this big-screen, 3-D concert movie. Moms won't mind it, either.
Just the 'Experience' Jonas Brothers Fans Are Looking For
I wouldn't be surprised if a whole lot of girls take up the bass viola.
Call it an unexpected side effect of the new Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience. Those aren't leggy, scantily-clad dancers pumping up the crowd behind the famous siblings; they're bow-wielding, string-playing lasses whose expertise with a classical instrument netted the Holy Grail of JoBros fandom. Namely, a spot close enough to the trio to tousle those famous curly or (in the case of ultra-dreamy Joe, flat-ironed) tresses. Heck, I would have worn lederhosen and picked up the accordion if it meant getting up close to dreamboat du my jour, David Cassidy.
Kids, who said those music lessons wouldn't amount to anything?
That said, it's not that I actually heard anyone say, "Mom, can I take up the bass?" during the movie. Truth be told, I didn't hear anyone say anything except "Aieeeeeeeeeeee!" and "I love you, Joe!" and "Aieeeeeeeeee!" This is a Jonas Brothers movie after all, where appreciation is measured on the Richter scale. The happy shrieks began in line 30 minutes before show time where Alex, 9, Jillian, 10, and Leah, 12 (Team Joe); and Kelliann, 12, and Haley, 13 (Team Nick) joined hundreds of girls fidgeting excitedly and photographing themselves with the movie poster before entering the theater and cheering from roughly 10 minutes before until well after the credits stopped, the lights came on, and the cleaning crew arrived.
In case it's possible that you don't know the Jonas Brothers, they're Kevin (the funny one), Nick (the young one), and Joe (the "Omigod, omigod, it's Joe, it's Joe, It's Joooooooeeee!" cute one). Together, with their sparkling smiles and appealing, clean-cut style, this latest in mop-topped heartthrobs follow the footsteps of all who came before, prompting girls to sleep out in Times Square, hurl themselves over barricades and dress up as room-service waitresses to sneak inside the boys' hotel rooms and convince them to play for their high school dance (oh wait, that was Marcia Brady and Davy Jones). And, they play music: poppy ballads and upbeat numbers that get their audience to swoon and sing along whether they're one of seven thousand in Anaheim's Honda Center, or among a few hundred in a movie theater in suburban Massachusetts.
The Experience gives fans what they really want, namely a concert, guest stars (Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift), plus behind-the-scenes footage, courtesy of loveable "Big Rob" Feggans, security chief, rapper, and all-around Jiminy Cricket. Fans get to see the boys waking up in their New York hotel suite, greeting enthusiastic fans on the way to their Times Square record launch, and whipping off shirts backstage during a mid-show costume change (my ears are still recovering from that last one). Feggens says he's caught a few fans trying the Marcia Brady approach via room-service carts, thereby illustrating the old adage about "The more things change..." The sum total is an exercise in adrenaline. Even a technical delay couldn't dim the movie audience's enthusiasm, the girls orchestrating a rousing and spontaneous sing-a-long of "Burning Up" that surely surprised patrons next door watching The Reader.
The 3-D portion of the concert flick includes gimmicks aplenty -- flying guitar picks, hurling microphones, and a spray of foam that seems to all but invade the movie theater. It's hard to say whether the 3-D added to the experience, but certainly, the devoted were convinced. The opening-night audience, including tots, teens and moms, declared it second only to an actual live show. "I loved it," said Stephanie, a mom who brought along daughters Samantha, 9 and Katelyn, 11. Samantha no doubt spoke for the lot of them when she gushed, "I'd definitely see it again!"
Who knows? Maybe she'll even take up the bass viola.
Kids Will Like:
Concert highlights, especially fave songs like "Burning Up," were great at creating that concert vibe. Girls happily swayed and sang along as if it were the real deal. (I'm no marketeer, but I'll bet in-theater glow sticks would have been big sellers.) A music video with the boys clowning in Columbus Circle and performing sans fans in Central Park will have kids wondering, "Where the heck was I that day?!" Declared Samantha, 9: "I loved it when Joe dressed up as a police officer!" And, there was that foam spraying, an event that seem to surprise even the on-screen audience, morphing them temporarily into what looked like a kind of G-rated rave.
Parents Will Like:
You only had to live through your own boy-band phase (The Monkees, New Kids, N'Sync) to smile at the nostalgia: same frenzy, new generation. And, you've got to love those Jonas boys. Nick, in particular, sings, writes, plays drums and guitar and tumbles well enough to throw a round-off back handspring right down the stage. Even those of us due north of the target demographic (like the North Pole) can appreciate such multi-skill.