Women On Film – “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” – Susan Granger reviews

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Like Hanna Montana before them, The Jonas Brothers are ‘tween idols, releasing multimillion selling records and selling out stadiums nationwide. So it’s a blessing to parents’ wallets that youngsters can enjoy this peppy, 75-minute performance in a movie theater rather than scrambling for hard-to-get tickets and trekking to a ‘live’ concert.

What’s on the screen is footage from their 2008 arena spectaculars, supplemented with behind-the-scenes glimpses of them romping and riding Segways. But that does not include their recent appearance at the White House, fulfilling the fantasies of Sasha and Malia Obama.

For those unfamiliar with the Jonases, they are really brothers whose deeply religious parents accompany them on the road; their father is an evangelical pastor. At 21, Kevin is the eldest. He plays lead guitar and does backup vocals. The middle brother, Joe, is 18 and seems to propel the show as the lead singer. 17 year-old Nick, a.k.a. “Mr. President” plays guitar, keyboard and drums. He has Type 1 diabetes, which he dramatically reveals in a heartfelt solo number, “A Little Bit Longer.”

Nick allegedly dated and dumped Miley Cyrus, prompting her to write and record “7 Things I Hate About You.” He’s now dating Disney-bred Selena Gomez. And Joe expressed love for country singer Taylor Swift before moving on to his music video partner Camilla Belle. I’m told you need to know these timely gossip tidbits to appreciate the swooning fan fervor for this trinity that’s captured by director Bruce Hendricks.

The Jonas Brothers’ style seems to combine the Backstreet Boys and NKOTB, emphasizing repetitive three-part harmony. They warble about teenage angst, emphasizing chaste love and heartbreak, touching on the temptations of drugs and sex. All three wear purity rings and have vowed celibacy until marriage. That’s what’s behind the lyrics to “Burning Up”: “I’m slipping into the lava/I’m trying to keep from going under/Baby, you turn the temperature hotter/’Cuz I’m burnin’ up for you, baby.”

As for the 3-D, it’s a gimmick involving tossed sunglasses and guitar picks. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” is a high-decibel, shriek-inducing 6 for its intended audience – which, I suspect, includes few of us over the age of 30.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.