Before you invest 70 minutes in Justin Bieber: Limitless, read this
MarVista Digital Entertainment's Justin Bieber: Limitless is a documentary set for release on iTunes Sept. 30. Here are a couple quick things you need to know before you invest your time and money in this feature.
Justin Bieber: Limitless follows the Canadian heartthrob-turned-singer everyone loves to hate from the time he was 12 years old. If you never really knew much or cared much about Justin Bieber and how he became a juggernaut in American pop culture, Justin Bieber: Limitless will run you through all the fun facts.
He was raised by a single mother, Pattie Mallette, who bought him used instruments as funds would allow. After the young Biebs won second place in a singing contest performing Ne-Yo's "So Sick," his mother posted it on YouTube. From there, JB slowly became a YouTube sensation (none of his music has ever done terribly well on the radio) and when Def Jam's Scooter Braun accidentally clicked on one of Bieber's YouTube videos, a star was born.
If you tune into this feature hoping to develop a newfound respect for the young artist that will help you to better tolerate his offstage antics (as I was), you'll be disappointed. To the contrary, after hearing the details behind his rise to fame, a rational, levelheaded viewer (not the millions of 12-year-old girls who think he can do no wrong) comes away even more disenchanted. This kid had it all: good looks, talent, Canada and the U.S.'s adoration. Now he's the pop icon everyone loves to hate, who elicits little more than an eye roll and audible groan when discussed publicly, who makes people change the channel when he comes on TV and who has a petition with more than 200,000 signatures on it for his deportation to Canada. What a grievous waste.
Although it is touted as a story of this star's rise and fall, it's all about his rise and delves very little into Bieber's obnoxious, entitled behavior of the last couple of years. It's hardly mentioned until 57 minutes in, when the narrator finally talks about Bieber's DUI arrest in Miami in January 2014. This is followed by the narrator saying that this "was the first in a series of negative events." Yeah, not so.
It was right about 2012 when we started to see the wheels come off the Bieber bus. There were tales of DNA tests for a 4-month-old baby, scuffles with the paparazzi, high-speed chases through his neighborhood and throwing up onstage (which was blamed on potential alcohol and drug use).
Things didn't improve in 2013. A photographer was killed while tailing JB, he was captured on camera smoking weed, rumors swirled that he cheated on girlfriend Selena Gomez, he showed up late for concerts and scheduled appointments, wore a gas mask when leaving a hotel, egged a neighbor's house while shouting profanities and there were more tales of drug use.
The point is, Bieber's arrest in Miami wasn't even close to being the "first in a series of negative events." The obvious absence of Bieber's real track record of bad behavior, combined with the late introduction of the controversial aspect of Bieber's career really got us wondering about Justin Bieber: Limitless. Did Bieber's PR reps think it was time for a documentary as a means of damage control? Did this documentary gloss over Bieber's scandals to better appeal to his fans?
We're not sure what's behind the obvious flaw of this documentary, but we will say if you are an avid fan of Bieber's, you'll likely enjoy the film. If you're a 12-year-old girl, you'll probably like the film. If you're looking for some silver bullet in this documentary that will help you to become a Justin Bieber fan, you probably won't find it.