Review- Glee: the 3D Concert Movie

Chris Colfer and Lea Michele in Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (20th Century Fox)

Perhaps the only real preface that this needs is that this concert film, perhaps more so than most, is really geared towards the fans of the show. I’m not sure how it would translate to someone who doesn’t watch it regularly. For the record, I didn’t see the first season and do not care for the term “Gleek” in general, therefore, I will not refer to myself as such despite watching the show.

So, basically, if you like the show you’ll likely enjoy this, if you don’t like the show you won’t care for this because this has a lot of the same pros and cons as the show does. What disappoints in a new and surprising way are some of the technical elements of the film.

The cinematography of the concert scenes is trite and facile and doesn’t engage you at all. A further problem is few and far between are the times where you get a true sense of depth which is an issue in a 3D film on an aesthetic level and on a value level since the poorly shot 3D is costing you extra money.

The editing within songs during the film and of the film as a whole is also a bit uninspired the pattern is quickly and easily decipherable and not very creative in the least.

What is not a given that takes this film a slight cut above things like the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana film and the Jonas Brothers are the interstitial segments where fans of the show discuss what it has meant to them and how the show has made a difference in their life. We learn a little of their story and also of the positive impact that the show is made. Aside from the focal stories there are random interview snippets and of course the four-year-old Warbler wannabe who is hilarious.

Another aspect that lends this film a bit of a dynamic element is that for the most part you see the actors offstage staying in character, which leads to some very humorous moments throughout. This fine line between documentary and narrative makes the film a little more interesting than it otherwise would be.

The songs that are chosen are great and are performed very well and due to the concert nature of the performance are not overproduced. You get to see Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Amber Riley really sing without exorbitent amounts of affectation. It also showcases Mark Salling who is likely the most underrated of the show’s performers. The concert’s set list is a bit like the show, however, it’s at times a bit unbalanced and skewed towards a few performers but eventually everyone in the film does get their moment.

While it can’t even be called the best film of its subgenre this year it is as mentioned before better in terms of overall content than those in the past few years. It’s light enjoyable fare that will definitely please fans if not necessarily create new ones.


61 Days of Halloween- Introduction and A Blade in the Dark

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

A Blade in the Dark

A Blade in the Dark is a film by Lamberto Bava (Demons, son of Mario Bava) which fits in perfectly in the Giallo tradition of filmmaking. You have all the necessary components: an unknown killer, a series of unexplained deaths, a theme song anchoring the film and a twist as to who is the culprit. What is most clever is that Bava here makes his protagonist a musician working on a film score so the repetition of the theme is naturalistic most of the time and can’t get annoying.

You may notice a slight similarity to Four Flies on Grey Velvet but there is a decided difference here. In this film you also have a film-within-a-film which doesn’t take up a lot of screen time but plays a significant role. You see one of the pivotal scenes full-frame before the credits roll and only later realize it’s a film-within-a-film. This little vignette also features Giovanni Frezza who was the poster child of the genre in the 1980s appearing in the works of Fulci and the elder Bava as well.

Giovanni Frezza in A Blade in the Dark (Blue Underground)

The twist in this film is one you think you see coming but you truly don’t. The film does a great job of dividing your suspicions in this whodunit and thus misdirecting you completely. While there is one scene in particular, the first kill, that stands out as being awkwardly staged the rest of it is handled masterfully. There are some tooth-clenching sequences and great gore work.