Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (Blu-ray)
Directed by Bruce Hendricks
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:11080pAVC codec
Running Time: 89 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
MSRP: $ 44.99
Release Date: June 30, 2009
Review Date: June 22, 2009
After the tremendous success of the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D concert event in theaters and on home video last year, Disney played copycat and put another of its stellar musical acts on tour and filmed it in 3D for theatrical and later home video presentation this year. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience takes performances from three evenings of concerts and edits them together into this film. While the tour played to packed arenas around the country, the film didn’t make nearly the splash that the Montana/Cyrus film made this time last year. Despite this disappointment, the film has now been released in 2D on DVD and in 2D and 3D on Blu-ray. It offers fans of the singing trio an up-close-and-personal look at their idols on stage with a tiny bit of insignificent offstage footage.
The film begins with the boys being roused from their beds at 4:30 a.m. by bodyguard "Big Rob" Feggans and mumbling incoherently to one another over an uneaten breakfast before heading out for their busy day. It continues with what looks suspiciously like a staged fan attack (shades of A Hard Day’s Night) as the boys maneuver through New York City traffic on their way to an early morning gig at Good Morning America. Throughout the movie, we occasionally leave the concert stage to show the boys in a hotel room looking down on their throngs of fans (with some not so subtle comparisons to the mania The Beatles generated four decades ago) or see them gaze in awe at the massive midnight turnout for their CD launch in Times Square. These little segues are harmful to the momentum of their concert though, admittedly, as the trio’s set contains songs which all sound very much alike, some variations were probably unavoidable. In the second half of the concert, the film stops and a pastoral music video of their new song “Love Is on Its Way” is likewise inserted into the proceedings. It’s another intrusion into the frenzied mood of the concert with a sequence which might have better served as a coda to the film or used to play the closing credits over.
The concert itself repeats pretty much the stage design and business from the Montana/Cyrus concert film last year (the boys spelled the star as she changed from Hannah to Miley) only here they’re the stars that the continually outreaching hands of the tween girls want to grab. Joe Jonas is the trio’s lead singer and seems to be the one most mentioned in the sporadic clips of fans placed throughout the movie. Oldest brother Kevin doesn’t get any solo singing moments (though he plays a mean guitar) while youngest brother Nick gets four solos (though the two lead singing brothers sometimes switch off singing lead in the same song). Nick’s singing is the least successful, his voice possessing a nasally twang and very thin top notes that either betray a voice changing with age or some bad vocal habits he’s acquired as the team has found huge, mass acceptance. Kevin and Joe work the extended runway throughout the film while Nick tends to linger on the proscenium stage without as much movement (though he does play both piano and drums on other levels of the multi-tiered stage).
Demi Lovato, who co-starred with the brothers in the Disney Channel’s very successful Camp Rock cable movie, makes a guest appearance with the boys to reprise her song “This Is Me” and then sing counterpoint with co-star Joe while chart favorite Taylor Swift also pops up to sing “You Should Have Said No” with her band and with the boys joining in. Both guest stars, however, are on and off much more quickly than expected and might as well have saved themselves the trouble.
The 3-D aspects of the film get the usual attention: things thrown at the camera like drumsticks, guitar picks, sunglasses, fireworks, water, and foam as well as a number in which the boys are placed on hydraulic towers that rise far above the crowd (a very neat 3D shot). The boys do some acrobatic moves as well during the show, and 3D shows those off quite well, too. Two songs not featured in the theatrical release (“Can’t Have You” and “A Little Bit Longer”) have been added to the home video release. The original theatrical cut is not an option here. You get the extended concert only with the only option offered whether to watch in 2D or 3D.
The film is shown in its theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. The 2D version features a very sharp and densely saturated image that is visually appealing despite the lack of that third dimension. Flesh tones are marvelous and very lifelike. If this were the only version of the film in the package, it would individually rate 4.5/5. The 3D version uses the anaglyph red-blue glasses (four pairs are included in the package) and naturally the resultant color quality is compromised by this method of representing 3D in the home. The 3D works better in this Blu-ray release than it did in last year’s Montana/Cyrus concert Blu-ray with fewer instances of ghosting and tighter, better represented multiplane arrangements of the singers, their backup band, and the wildly appreciative audience. The film has been divided into 24 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio mix gives the home viewer precisely what he expects from a concert soundtrack: clear, precise vocals in the center channel with instrumentation (the band surprisingly includes a string section) spread through the surrounds along with the audience reactions and pyrotechnics, water, and foam spray noise in the rear soundstage. There’s plenty of bass to give the LFE channel a workout as well.
Aside from offering the choice of either the 2D or 3D version of the film (and after a single viewing of the 3D version, I’d always opt for the 2D for its clarity of image and bright, rich colors and in high definition offering its own unique dimensionality), the disc offers only a few meager bonuses.
Two additional songs not included in the final concert may be chosen individually. Both are in 1080p. “Love Bug” runs 3 ½ minutes while “Shelf” runs 4 ¼ minutes.
“Up Close & Personal” is a truncated 15-minute condensation of the “Burning Up” tour showing its genesis with production manager Rob Brenner and its progression through a number of cities leading up to their triumphant appearance in Madison Square Garden. It’s in 1080p.
The disc contains 1080p trailers for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, G-Force, and Jonas.
Disc two in the set is a DVD version of the movie (in 2D only).
Disc three in the set is a digital copy of the film with directions inside for installation on PC and Mac devices.
Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience will give the band’s many tween fans a better than front row seat for their concert performance. The Blu-ray features both 2D and 3D versions of the movie (both of which have different and appealing qualities to offer fans of the guys) with DVD and digital copies of the movie to give added value for those who purchase this edition.