I have had the Extended DVD Edition of the Jonas Brothers The Concert Experience for less than a day, but I can already tell that it will be both one of my prized possessions as a Jonas Brothers fan, and one of my greatest sources of frustration as a discerning-type Jonasphere observer.
When I saw that the DVD contained extra songs, I was delighted. More JB for me to love, repeatedly. Two songs extend the movie itself: “A Little Bit Longer” and “Can’t Have You.” Both are great, and I am thrilled that performances of both these songs are captured for all time. The Bonus Features also include two concert songs: “Lovebug” and “Shelf,” as well as a Behind the Scenes feature: “Up Close and Personal with The Jonas Brothers.” Such riches, can my DVD player and computer contain the wonderfulness of it all?
Discussion of the DVD, after the jump!
[a/n I did not purchase the Blu-ray DVD, so cannot comment on the 3D aspects of the film. I apologize for this, and invite any with knowledge to comment about the translation of the 3D effects to the DVD version]
“Can’t Have You” is a personal favorite of mine, and the version here doesn’t disappoint. We get to enjoy Joe’s opening dance, his vocals sound wonderful, Nick and Kevin’s vocals are also highlighted, and it’s a listening treat for all. There is also a camera behind Nick’s drum set, which catches everything he must do to move from drummer to singer, and still hit the emotionally exciting bridge of the song. Impressive to watch, and I was once again reminded what a pro this kid is, at not even 16, here. The song continues to build to its climactic end as all three guys and several band members stride downstage and bring the music right into the faces of the frenzied crowd. Emotional, concert heaven, no doubt about it.
Not that I was surprised, but “A Little Bit Longer” is Nick’s personal testament and a wonderful song. The treatment here is lovely: one pin spot on the white Baldwin, lots of tender profiles of Nick’s beautiful face and hands. Nick’s performance is simplicity itself: a singer, his piano, and his pain. Moreover, because we know Nick’s story and his absolute sincerity, he walks the artist’s line between pathos and maudlin without missing a step. The footage of this song is edited beautifully, also, with shots of the brothers and backing band brought in flawlessly as they join in, bringing the song to its powerfully uplifting ending. Great stuff.
“Shelf” is not a part of the movie, but is instead in the Bonus Features. I absolutely love this song, and I love the version here. However, the rhythm of this song, its whole vibe, is slower than the other sing-along rockers that would have surrounded it in the context of the movie: “Hold On,” “BB Good” etc. I can’t argue with the decision to leave it out of the film, coming as it does so early on and in such upbeat company. No doubt, live in concert it was a highlight and a change of pace; but just as the movie might be gaining momentum, not so much. In my opinion, “Shelf’s” quirky sensibility is better served in the Bonus Features.
“Lovebug,” is also in the Bonus Features, and is simply wonderful. It seamlessly weaves rehearsal footage of the song with backstage shots and concert performance. It perfectly showcases JB’s charisma, presence, and power as performers… Herein is one of the sources of my frustration with the Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience in general: Why, oh why was this wonderful song not in the theatrical release of the movie? “Lovebug” is a delightful song, and it’s likely that critics and other uninitiated non-fans encountering it (most likely for the first time) would have been “bitten” by its charm. I feel strongly that the song’s inclusion might have moved some of them to consider JB in a different, less dismissive, light.
The “Up Close and Personal with The Jonas Brothers” bonus feature includes footage of the guys from the first time they ever saw the Burnin’ Up set, right through the Madison Square Garden show. In this piece on the DVD, the Jonas Brothers do a scripted voice over. But had it been used at the beginning of the theatrical release of the film, no voice over would have been necessary, the footage would have worked on its own to give a sense of who the Jonas Brothers are, how hard they work, and the tightness and commitment that they generate and foster in their team. Again, another missed opportunity for enlightening the uninitiated. Again, I have to wonder why it was not included. Instead, this footage was cut in favor of the obviously acted breakfast scene, the screaming, chasing fan girls at the beginning of the film, and the “Live to Party” montage towards the end. I can’t agree with the choice. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the theatrical release cut of this movie. I sat through it multiple times and enjoyed every moment. However, now that I know there was something more real, more honest if you will, available, I’m sorry it wasn’t used. In my opinion, the movie would have been the better for it.
Without argument, this DVD is a treasure trove for the fan. But even as I discover the delights within, I ask myself, “Why am I, who am already a fan, the first to see this footage? Why was it not a part of the theatrical release of the film, containing as it does such wonderful moments of both backstage and performance?” Forgive me, Revelers, I can’t help but rant against what I perceive to be Disney’s willful and short-sighted handling of this movie and its potential. The theatrical release of this movie could have been a film that honestly included some sense of what the Jonas Brothers world is like behind the scenes. In my opinion, the theatrical release of the film didn’t wholly succeed in this area.
All this begs the question: was the Jonas Brothers 3D movie project intended to engage and grow new fans, or to appease existing fans with exactly what it is perceived they want? Appeasing fans is not a bad thing, and speaking solely as a Fan Lady, I love this movie. Speaking as a discerning type, however, I maintain the fans would have embraced the footage that was left out of the theatrical release, and what’s equally important, more of the critics and non-fan viewers who were so dismissive of the movie, might have embraced it also.
So Revelers, how does JB play on your home screen? Any favorite moments or other thoughts to share?
[Via: Amazon.com (photo)]