Adoring the Jonas Brothers more or less ensures future embarrassment, but in the here and now, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience appears destined to rock female tweeners’ socks off. Joined during this 2008 Madison Square Garden concert by Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift, two other artists apparently begat from the same unholy teeny-bopper test tube, the Jonas Brothers—doofy older bro Kevin (guitar), hunky middle bro Joe (lead singer), and cutie-pie youngest bro Nick (guitarist/singer)—have a look and sound so pre-manufactured, you can almost hear the crinkle of their cellophane wrapping. No surprise that, when Labato hits the stage to perform one of her own numbers, both her lyrics and those of a Jonas song fit the background music, since everything about these acts has been meticulously crafted by the same Disney masterminds. In between the consistently raucous if thoroughly generic tunes, the film offers behind-the-scenes footage that’s as scripted as the concert’s “live” sound mix and the raft of CG-ized objects (a drumstick! A guitar pick! A flock of pigeons!) flying at the screen in true, gimmicky 3D fashion are artificial. The siblings’ songs and stage moves appropriate arena rock for pure bubblegum pop that’s unadventurous but, admittedly, delivered with a verve that reveals their knack for larger-than-life showmanship. Still, no amount of artist enthusiasm can change the eeriness of seeing young female fans weeping and hyperventilating over these focus-tested moppets, who at film’s beginning are seen getting awakened from seemingly normal human sleep, but whose every word, smile, gesture, and Mick Jagger-ish strut belies their actual pod-people natures. Far be it from me to deny that girls just want to have fun, but I hope they realize that once this latest teen idol fad has run its course, a mighty, mortifying hangover most surely awaits.
Once I figured out that "Play All" meant "Play Movie," I was greeted with preteen girls hyperventilating and music that sounded so canned that even an acoustic, sit-down performance by the brothers Jonas sounded pumped in from the soundboard. Bass levels are good on this 2D DVD edition of the theatrically 3D Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience, but overall the experience lacks dynamism, though that's likely no fault of the disc's tech producers. Blacks are splotchy, particularly during audience shots in which JoBros fanatics' glow sticks look like they're floating in a dirty oil slick. Colors, however, are Disney-bright.
If 90 minutes of screechy, curly Jonas Brothers exuberance isn't enough for you, there are two bonus songs, one of which, "Love Bug," is accompanied by behind-the-scenes footage. At 15 minutes, "Up Close & Personal with the Jonas Brothers" is a mercifully brief featurette that follows the three zany brothers as they see their concert stage for the first time, play with their new props (including personal water canons and a pyrotechnic guitar), and kick off their Burning Up Tour. Their enthusiasm is endearing (their tour director's, not so much), but the feaurette includes a voiceover that's about as manufactured-sounding and pandering as you'd expect from Disney. Revealing, raw, captivating.if you're 12. A terminally cheesy Disney Blu-ray promo spot from Disney Channel startups Dylan and Cole Sprouse is also included, and a digital copy of the film can be accessed from a second disc.
When the only pull quote Disney could scrape up for the back of the box is "Fans will love it!," it's safe to assume you won't.