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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Glee: The Concert Movie

December 30th, 2011

Glee: The Concert Movie - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack

Glee has morphed from TV show to cultural phenomenon. Not only is the show a hit with fans and award voters alike, but it has sold countless DVD, Blu-rays, CD and concert tickets. Yes, there's a concert tour put on by the cast of Glee. Given the franchise's success, a 3D concert film seemed like it would be a sure hit. It wasn't. Is it a film that was only for the most hardcore fans? Will it work better on the home market? Or should fans stick to the show?

The Movie

As the name suggests, Glee: The Concert Movie is a concert film, which makes it really hard to come up with a plot summary. It's a concert film with the cast of Glee, in character, intermixed with documentary / interview segments with some of the fans whose lives have been changed by the show. That's all you really need to know about the movie.

So it's not quite a concert film, but it's not quite a documentary either. Does this combination work? Sort of. Maybe. It depends on your personal taste. There are a couple problems. Firstly, the movie itself is only 77 minutes long, not including closing credits, so there's not a lot of room for music here to begin with. There are more than a dozen members of the cast that perform in the concert. Even if the film was wall-to-wall music, each performer would only be the focus (solo or duet) for two or three songs. With all of the interludes, that average drops down to one or two songs. If you are a fan of one of the characters that gets shortchanged, you will likely have a lower opinion of the film. Also, the interludes just interrupt the flow of the movie. The main selling point of a live concert is the energy with the performers and the crowd feeding off of each other's enthusiasm. When the film switches focus from the music to the fans, it kills that energy.

On the other hand, if you are a fan of the music from the series, but weren't able to see the concert tour live, then this is film is worth checking out. Likewise, if you are a fan of the show and like to see how it has affected other fans, then the parts of the film focusing on the fans are great. I just think the two parts would be better separate rather than woven together.

The Extras

The extras include two deleted songs, two extended songs, and seven minutes of deleted character bits. (The last extra includes Sue Sylvester acting as host for the concert.) That's not a lot. There's also Shazam, a setup used to send bonus features directly to your mobile device. I don't have a mobile device, so I can't review it.

The Blu-ray looks and sounds good, but not great. The film has great clarity at times and the colors do pop, but it is not a visually demanding movie. It's a live performance, so the filmmakers obviously don't have as much control as they do when making the TV series, for instance. The audio is not as complex as I would have liked. It would have been nice to feel more surrounded by the crowd, but the audio mix we get is solid.

The Blu-ray only costs about 30% more than the DVD, which is a fare price to pay. Meanwhile the 3D Blu-ray only costs 25% more than the regular Blu-ray, which is also a fair price to pay.

The Verdict

The two parts of Glee: The Concert Movie both work, but I think they would have worked better as separate entities instead of woven together as one. That said, if you are a fan of the show, specifically the music, then it is worth checking out. There there's not a lot of extras on any of the three formats (DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and 3D Combo Pack), so it's only worth picking up if you are a more hardcore fan.

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Filed under: Video Review, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie