I am probably the last person who should be reviewing this movie. If you know me, you know my tastes tend towards the metal side of the equation. I am not exclusively metal, mind you, but I do shy away from pop music. I understand it as a necessity and I understand that some of these people do have talent. At the same time, I am much more likely to make a sarcastic comment about it than anything else. With that said, I don’t hate Katy Perry, but I cannot exactly be called a fan.
The movie is called Katy Perry The Movie: Part of Me, and I think that is exactly what we get. While this piece of musical entertainment pretends to be a documentary, it feels carefully produced to protect the image of its subject. We get only a glimpse of the real Katy Perry, a part of her, but never the whole thing. The movie is as slickly presented as one of her music videos.
The movie opens with a series of fans talking about the impact that Katy Perry and her music have had on their lives. It made me laugh a little. I don’t deny that music can have a profound impact on a person, I just don’t believe this is the music to do it. There is no harm in it; if it provides you comfort and touches you in a special way, it would be silly not to use that to your advantage.
The bulk of the documentary follows Katy as she mounts a massive world tour filled with countless shows, innumerable fans, and a plethora of costume changes. The effort and energy needed to put this show on night after night is considerable. It is clear as day that everyone involved is putting all of their energy into the tour.
In between concert performances and pieces on the production of the tour, we get interviews with friends and family as well as clips of Katy growing up. We see early performances of Christian music with her family, who are strict Pentecostal Christians, and her early years as a signed artist and all the trouble that went with it.
She is an interesting character. On one side we see her talking about being herself, original, and not being what is expected. I see that in her earlier clips and music, even if at the same time she was trying really hard to be another Alanis Morrisette. However, in what she has become, I see part of her and part of what a record label wants her to be. If you believe this is all her being original, you are kidding yourself.
Taken at face value, Part of Me is a fun, flashy half concert/half documentary. We get a brief glimpse of Katy, her relationship with Russell Brand, and how she feels about her fans and the way her career has gone. I still feel this faces around the truth to protect the image. It is a biased studio production made to make the young fans scream with glee while giving the impression that you getting a real behind the scenes look at who the real Katy Perry is.
It could be worse, and I’d be lying if I didn’t think it was a little bit fun. I also do think there is more to her than many other pop stars, just don’t look too closely for it here, this movie presents little more than what is already known.
Audio/Video. The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The quality varies pretty wildly from bit to bit, but there is always good detail. The high points are always the concert clips which are filled with sharp color and intricate detail. There are the candy coated wonderland the Katy Perry seeks to deliver for her fans. Quality slips in the behind the scenes clips filled with uneven lighting. Detail still seems to be there, but it doesn’t pop the same way.
The soundtrack is of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 variety. Much like the video, it is at its best when in the concert setting. It makes good use of the surrounds to put you right in the middle of the concert hall. The bass thumps, the crowd roars, and it is quite immersive. Te rest of the movie is comprised primarily of dialogue and it is clear and focused but little else of note, of course, it is all, it doesn’t need a lot of space.
- “Last Friday Night.” Full concert performance.
- “Waking up in Vegas.” Full concert performance.
- Grandma: Thinking of You. Extended clip of Katy and her grandmother.
- The Grammy’s You’ll Never Take Away from Me. Preparation for her performance a the Grammy’s in February 2012.
- California Dreams Tour: Behind the Scenes. A group of featurettes that look at a variety of aspects of the tour, from learning new dance moves, to getting tattooed, too the process of making a hit.
Bottomline. Enjoyable piece of fluff entertainment. It is a piece targeted with making the fans smile and keeping up the image of the star attraction. A little trifle and nothing more. Just smile.
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