By: Henry J. Fromage & Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Once again revisiting the inspirational riches to riches rise of Scooter Braun, *ahem* Justin Bieber, Believe is a documentary that has a purpose other than convincing you to buy more Justin Bieber CDs. We promise.
HJF: Well, he’s certainly a good musician, opening with a beautiful piano piece, and going to town on a drum set later. Too bad immediately after both scenes we get more croony bullshit that is the opposite of good music. Also, I don’t think he’s a bad kid. Honestly, this kind of early fame would fuck anybody up, and as shamelessly pandering as the sick girl montage is, Bieber isn’t playing to the cameras for it.
OVB: The opening Piano Piece is titled “Lick my Love Pump”…
HJF: About that shameless image burnishing: I think it’s more his handler/manager Scooter Braun’s fault. Fuck, he’s a toolbag full of every variety available over at the Douche Depot.
The Home Depot’s New Jersey affiliate does things a little differently…
OVB: After that stunt at the Great Wall of China, I’m beginning to sense a distinctive Game of Thrones vibe in Bieber’s image.
HJF: The stage show is the height of ridiculousness. I can understand the paparazzi action film crap, as hamfisted as it is, but what’s with all this flying angel bullshit? Is he the only person out there that actually liked Legion?
Uggh. I know the intent of these shows is to monetize (weaponize?) teen estrogen, but damn…
OVB: There was a moment in the concert when Bieber stepped to a portion of the stage which began raising him up high into the air, with the audience cheering him on in some kind of pseudo-religious fervor. It was then that I realized the symbolism inherent in the image presented. Justin Bieber was literally putting himself on a pedestal… I doubt “the Biebs” himself understood this message, but his handlers certainly did…
HJF: There’s something cultish about the way he interacts with his fans, making them almost Bride of Christlike. Not only do they feel like they’re his real girlfriend, but he cultivates that feeling. If I was Selena Gomez, I would have ran like hell, too.
The documentary makes sure to accentuate this, but the parallels it tries to make when it pulls vintage footage of screaming teens circa the British Invasion are hilariously overdrawn. Just because you can make teenyboppers juice up doesn’t make you the Beatles.
OVB: Also, why is it that Bieber is still asking us to “Believe” in him? At this point in his career, asking your audience for approval just comes off as desperate.
HJF: The big interview that Jon Chu includes, which is supposed to make up for the curious lack of one in Never Say Never, works against the poor kid more than it helps, showing how incredibly inarticulate this apparent songwriter is. It also reveals a grand total of no information about him as a person nor addresses tougher questions like his recent behavior.
OVB: Admittedly, not every writer is as eloquent in a one-on-one conversation as they would be in their own medium. With that said; if the filmmaker was trying to make Bieber look good, he failed.
HJF: The extent to which it even acknowledges the hailstorm of King Joffrey-esque bullshit that the Bieber circus has fed on in the last few years is limited to one paparazzi incident, not even the one with the punch. What a damn cop-out, as well as an utterly wasted opportunity to actually rehabilitate his image (not that they expected anyone watching this to give a damn).
Hearing him explain the piss bucket would have been worth the price of admission alone.
OVB: Judging by the interviews in this film, it can be assumed that Bieber’s entourage want you to see him as a normal young adult struggling to evade the trappings of celebrity deification. They want you to understand that beneath the veneer of pop glitz and glamor, Justin Bieber is a normal everyday teenager. But by resolutely avoiding any controversy the film exists only as a way to satisfy the self-fellating egos of the people involved.
We lied. This is a feature-length album commercial and a sad, cynical attempt at pandering, crowd-preaching image rehabilitation. And even on those grounds it doesn’t work.
Take a Drink: for every screaming girl. Ha, no, you’d die, and the last thing you’d hear is Hell’s harpies beckoning you onward.
Take a Drink: for every fan shown that isn’t a teen girl
Take a Drink: when Justin acts like he has some sort of street cred
Take a Drink: when Scooter Braun has trouble enunciating around Justin’s dick in his mouth
Take a Drink: every time Justin grabs his dick and points at a teenage girl
Take a Drink: each time someone talks about how hard of a worker Justin is
Take a Drink: whenever John Chu gets volunteered for something
Do a Shot: when Usher shows up still wearing his pajamas
Do a Shot: for Bieber in those fucking pants. Fuck those pants.
Do All of the Shots: when Justin literally puts himself on a pedestal.