Two weeks ago, I was given the dubious assignment of writing a review of the Justin Bieber 3D biographical/concert movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. I put off seeing it for a week, hoping one of two things would happen: either the “higher ups” who commissioned the piece would forget about it or, by some miracle, the movie would be pulled from theatres so that I wouldn’t have to spend $15 or whatever they charge for 3D movies these days.
So you must understand my horror when I had heard that they were releasing an extended director’s cut version of the film for a limited run this past week that included 40 minutes of bonus Bieber footage. Way to go, Procrastination; you really came through in the clutch this time.
Before I even considered stepping foot into a theatre to buy a ticket, I figured I should scope out some randomly sampled audience reviews from the Internet, preferably from people who aren’t biased by the modern-day black plague known as “Bieber Fever.” What I read only confirmed my worst nightmare; besides critiques that described the film as “boring” and “only appealing if you’re a die-hard Bieber fan,” there were also several reports of reviewers being nearly deafened by the shrill shrieks of young girls in the theatre who scream in unison whenever their adorable heartthrob’s face showed up on the big screen. With the second half of the film simply containing footage from his 2010 concert tour, I can only imagine the screaming girl factor is doubled.
As I continued to mull over the whole concept of actually watching the film, I began to question the optics of a 23-year-old college student sitting alone in a darkened theatre filled with mostly pre-teen girls. There was simply no way that this could possibly come off as “normal behavior,” and I seriously wondered whether the theatre operators would grow suspicious and call the police just as a precaution.
(For the record, I could not find a friend or relative willing to join me. They were, however, willing to mock me for even considering the notion of sitting through a Justin Bieber movie).
I also feared what might happen if I went to watch the film and ended up writing a scathing review that tore Justin Bieber and his followers a new one. I’ve seen the death threats posted on Twitter towards those musical artists who beat out Bieber in this year’s Grammy Awards and heard about the clippings of Justin Bieber’s hair that, when I last checked, were going for upwards of $40,000 on eBay. Clearly these Bieber fanatics mean serious business and have connections to people with big pockets (presumably not just their mommy and daddy).
It’s not so much that I fear the wrath of pre-teen girls — I’m pretty sure I could take out three or four at a time if they tried to jump me in an alley — but I’m a pretty clumsy guy. I tend to hurt myself through my own stupidity, and I don’t want to have a furious faction of underaged Bieber-loving tweeters trending death threats and praying that I “fuck myself then [sic] die in a hole,” (that’s part of an actual tweet directed towards Esperanza Spalding, a jazz artist who beat out Bieber for the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammys). I can’t handle that sort of bad karma as I go about my daily business, and I also don’t want to worry that there’s a legion of little girls plotting to murder me.
I eventually decided not to go see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Instead, I watched The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I found it to be very entertaining, with some stellar performances from the supporting cast. Plus, the plot included a secret organization of people who wear magical hats. And I think even the Beliebers out there can agree that magical hats are awesome.
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never: The Director’s Fan Cut 3D is a movie in theatres.