Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids
- 1h 30min
The final performance of Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids' 20/20 Experience World Tour, filmed in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.The final performance of Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids' 20/20 Experience World Tour, filmed in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.The final performance of Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids' 20/20 Experience World Tour, filmed in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
It's really in the opening and the closing one sees it most; the film opens as Timberlake enters the arena where the concert is being held, but instead of the usual vapid things like getting make-up on or showing total foolishness, he gets the Tennessee Kids to introduce themselves. It's a good idea and it gets one intrigued; these aren't necessarily people who are there to look pretty and nice, they're career musicians who have been together for a while and they're happy to be doing what they do (one singer says she always has a smile on, and we can believe it, it's not disingenuous).
Because we have these short but empathetic profiles in the first several minutes, when it comes time for the songs to be performed we want them to do well and be spectacular. And then over the closing credits we see how this concert was put together by the crew, which was no easy task and involved things like moving machinery and planning stages and moving lots and lots of seats and lights and other things people might take for granted (so make sure to watch until the very end of the movie on your Netflix viewing).
Along with the main attraction, they put on a helluva show, and Demme makes sure as a director to get an appropriate tone depending on what song is up - so when it's just Timberlake with his guitar, he stays on him, where-as if there's a number involving EVERYONE (including the audience, and unlike Stop Making Sense he does involve them since, frankly, Timberlake is the kind of performer that asks the audience to come in on songs with him, not obnoxiously so but enough to keep things energized), he has a crane shot showing everyone in the arena, and then goes in close and captures the camaraderie of the musicians.
It helps that, and I don't know if this was Demme's doing or if it was just how the show was in general, that the lighting and effects on stage bring out the spectacle of the show. If I don't rate it all the way up high it is because, also frankly, I don't love all of the songs (though Timberlake and especially his players made me like a few more than I had expected, some were totally new to me as well), and it's difficult to ever hear "Let Me Rock Your Body" without thinking, still, of the 2004 Super Bowl.
But Demme's cinema, as it was in all of his concert movies, syncs up beautifully with what this particular act is trying to do, which is to be a bouncy, sometimes sexy and especially classy pop show ("Suit and Tie" is one of those that is infectiously cool too). But the point I'm making is that if you're already a fan of Timberlake's, then this is simply a sweet combination of a lot of his hits and some covers ("Human Nature" and "That girl is Poison" are two well done ones), and if you are on the fence or even have barely a casual interest, this filmmaker gets you the f*** into it. That's something.
This filmmaker will sorely be missed.
- Apr 26, 2017