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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Born To Perform
by Betty Jo Tucker

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never highlights the natural talents of a youngster who was born to perform. But it also shows the importance of hard work and being surrounded by supportive people who care about you. Still, how could anyone resist the charms of such a cute little guy who played the drums and sang so appealingly at such an early age?

This documentary includes home movies which clearly document Justinís musical ability -- even as a toddler. And it presents evidence of how Justinís popular YouTube videos made him the first pop star emerging via that venue. However, the emphasis in the film is on Justinís fans plus his journey to a sold-out concert performance at Madison Square Garden. Because I have a special interest in musical numbers and behind-the-scenes activities like the ones presented here, Never Say Never entertained me. And, letís face it -- although I have grandchildren, Iím not immune to Bieber Fever. Yes, shaky hand-held cameras and too many cut-away shots from Justinís numbers interfered somewhat with my enjoyment of this documentary, but I found most of the film quite fascinating.

Speaking of musical numbers, Iím especially impressed with the songs Justin sings alone -- one while flying in a suspended heart over the crowd of adoring fans and another while playing a white grand piano and warbling soulfully onstage. This surprised me because I love Justinís remarkable back-up dancers, and thatís part of the reason I looked forward to seeing Never Say Never so much. Iím a bit disappointed that too many things are going on during the concert sequences -- big screens, smoke, guest stars, explosions, etc. -- which results in the dancers failing to receive the attention they deserve.

Never Say Never never forgets about Justinís avid fans. They are shown screaming, crying, laughing, declaring their love for him, and being treated royally, especially in Justinís delightful renditions of ďOne Less Lonely GirlĒ during his concert tour. The filmmakers also give these teeny boppers a special treat by adding a slow-motion shot of Justin moving his head from side to side while his famous hair flies slowly and gloriously through the air. 

Justin may be blessed with exceptional inborn talent, but Never Say Never shows his good fortune also includes the type of people around him -- such as: his loving mother who, as a single mom, raised him with the help of his lovable grandparents; his caring vocal coach; his never-say-never producer Scooter Braun; and his friend Usher, who gave a boost to the ladís career by recognizing his tremendous potential early on. 

Guest stars in Never Say Never include Usher, Miley Cyrus, Jaden Smith, Ludacris, and Boyz II Men. They do their best, but Justin outshines them all. 

(Released by Paramount Pictures and rated ďGĒ for general audiences.)

For more information about this documentary, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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