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Katy Perry: Part of Me Limited 3D Edition Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Review

Katy Perry: Part of Me movie poster Katy Perry: Part of Me

Theatrical Release: July 5, 2012 / Running Time: 94 Minutes / Rating: PG

Directors: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz / Tagline: Be yourself and you can be anything.

Cast: Katy Perry, Bradford Cobb, Tamra Natisin, Angela Hudson, David Hudson, Ann Hudson, Shannon Woodward, Mia Moretti, Angelica Cob-Baehler, Johnny Wujek, Glen Ballard, Keith Hudson, Mary Hudson, Russell Brand, Bonnie McKee, Adam Marcello, Tasha Layton, Lucas Kerr, Rachael Markarian, Ashley Ashida Dixon

Performed Songs: "Part of Me", "Teenage Dream", "Hot n Cold", "Hummingbird Heartbeat", "Who Am I Living For?", "I Kissed a Girl", "E.T.", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody", "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", "Peacock", "Not Like the Movies", "The One That Got Away", "Hey Jude", "Firework", "California Gurls"

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Walt Disney Pictures could not have had better timing on Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. Released in February 2008 at the peak of the tween empire's popularity, that 3D film grossed $65 million. The studio had even higher hopes for the following winter's similarly fashioned Jonas Brothers 3D concert movie,
but that sibling boy band was never quite as popular as Disney wanted it to be and their film flopped in wide release.

While Disney abandoned the 3D concert movie after that, Paramount Pictures saw a market for such youth-oriented theatrical entertainment. Released under their Insurge Pictures banner, the $13 M-budgeted 2011 3D movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never surpassed Hannah/Miley and domestically eclipsed the posthumous Michael Jackson's This Is It to become the top-grossing music concert film on record. The risk vs. reward factor of that effort made a follow-up inevitable, even for Paramount, who has essentially stopped making anything but big tentpole pictures.

Turning to the next logical youth icon, we get Katy Perry: Part of Me, a film clearly following the part-concert, part-biography mold employed on last year's hit. Perry's showcase would get a release nearly as wide as Bieber's and at the height of the much fiercer summer movie season. And just like the brothers Jonas, Katy would fall short of expectations, earning a small fraction of the studio's target.

A teenaged Katy Perry addresses the camera in this archival documentary footage. Katy Perry's parents Keith and Mary Hudson discuss their daughter's mainstream career.

Part of Me opens feeling like a public relations piece, as youths from single digits to their early twenties speak in YouTube-style confessionals about how Katy Perry has empowered them. That PR feel resurfaces when the songstress effortlessly engages fans, one in a Make-A-Wish t-shirt and with some kind of neck apparatus, in post-concert meet and greets. Fortunately, the film sheds that design for much of its 90-minute runtime, proving itself to have more substance and candor as a documentary foremost and a concert film secondarily.

Perry lends to a documentary much better than Bieber, in that she actually had an interesting upbringing and was not an overnight success. The middle child of Pentecostal ministers, Perry grew up in a house where "The Smurfs", Lucky Charms, and any music but Christian was not allowed. Exposure to Alanis Morissette at a friend's house is credited with opening Perry's eyes. Still, when she began singing as a teenager, it was strictly gospel rock. Those humble origins are well covered in performance clips, home movies, and footage from some kind of early 2000s documentary.

Such material is interwoven with a much different (and 3D, if you've got it) Perry performing for an audience of thousands (predominantly young girls) as part of her international California Dreams Tour. Her familiar hits such as "Teenage Dream", "Hot n Cold", and her breakout single "I Kissed a Girl" are performed on colorful sets with lively back-up dancers and no shortage of loud costumes, some changed mid-song and all making liberal use of the entire rainbow.

Katy Perry rocks a top resembling Hershey's Kisses for the film's closing number "California Gurls."

The film gathers remarks from the people in Perry's life: her stylist, assistant, make-up artist, best friends, siblings, and parents. Curiously, I can't recall a single one of them addressing Perry's music. How could they? It is merely infectious pop, candy for the ears as her shows and music videos are for the eyes.

Rather than try to find meaning and worth in songs like "Ur So Gay" (which, interestingly, though part of the tour setlist, does not make the cut), the film focuses on Perry's personality and perseverance, her needing several years and multiple record labels to make it big. The unspoken truth is that talent isn't necessarily related to success. The latter at least can be quantified for Perry, as news reports excitedly announce her as the first female to get five #1 singles out of one album.

Part of Me gets weight from the unforeseen baggage of Perry's personal life, as it captures the dissolution of her 14-month marriage to British comedian and actor Russell Brand. The tour had been scheduled to allow a few off days for the newlyweds every couple of weeks, with Perry to fly to whatever part of the world Brand was working. He is seen early on as an encouraging backstage presence and then vanishes, only heard from in text and photo messages. Their divorce would be announced before the tour's final stops.

Prior to that, the marital troubles' effect on Perry is evident, as she is seen crying and curled up in the fetal position to her entourage's concern. The film adeptly treads a line, not airing dirty laundry as salacious tabloid and reality television fodder, but also not shying from depicting Perry unglamorously at a personal low in the midst of her worldwide fame and prosperity. Watching her on the verge of tears gain her composure and plant a smile on her face as she is elevated to make her grand stage entrance with spinning peppermint pinwheels on her chest, speaks volumes about celebrity, the illusion of happiness, the cost of success, and the value of showmanship. It's something you don't expect in a movie about someone who sings things like "I wanna see your peacock-cock-cock."

The film's feeble theatrical performance has resulted in a speedy trip to home video. Katy Perry: Part of Me is now available to own as a single-disc DVD, a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack, and, the subject of this review: a 3-disc Limited 3D Edition serving up the film in Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy formats.

Katy Perry: Part of Me Limited 3D Edition Blu-ray 3D combo pack cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD Details

1.78:1 Widescreen (DVD Anamorphic)
Blu-rays: 5.1 DTS-HD MA (English), DVD: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
All: Dolby Digital 5.1 (Descriptive Video Service)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese; BD Movie only: English SDH
DVD Closed Captioned; Spoken Extras Subtitled and Captioned
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (2 BD-50s & 1 DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $54.99
Blue Keepcase in Embossed Glossy Cardboard Slipcover
Also available in Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy ($39.99 SRP), DVD ($29.98 SRP),
and Amazon Instant Video

VIDEO and AUDIO

Like most documentaries, Part of Me is composed of assorted media which vary in quality. Naturally, the original concert and behind-the-scenes footage looks outstanding. Aside from one oddly grainy scene, this content is essentially as flawless as standard and high definition will allow it to be. The film is nicely shot and Perry's act relies heavily on candy-colored visuals, which makes this 1.78:1 presentation pretty sweet and striking in 1080p.

The soundtrack is no slouch either, with the Blu-ray's potent 5.1 DTS-HD master audio engaging the surround channels on song performances, which are not surprisingly presented at a slightly louder volume than the rest. A Dolby Digital 5.1 descriptive track for the blind is included on all three discs, as are English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles. While they are missing something (i.e. Perry's lyrics), know that the Blu-rays' English SDH stream and the DVD's closed captions provide those.

Katy Perry gets held from a dancing Asian Elvis in her full concert performance of "Waking Up in Vegas." 90-year-old grandmother Ann Hudson tells Katy Perry about the pocketed G-strings she made for Las Vegas showgirls.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

All of the set's bonus features appear on Disc 2, the standard Blu-ray. It presents them in high definition, but the concert performances are of noticeably lesser quality than the film.

First up come full concert performances of "Last Friday Night" (4:17) and "Waking Up in Vegas" (4:25), which show off the fanfare and playfulness that the film largely only hints at.

Next come unused bits (5:57) of Perry's visit to her 90-year-old grandmother in Las Vegas, who talks about perfume and making G-strings for showgirls. Perry shows up at Grandma's senior community for some karaoke and then Grandma returns the favor by appearing on stage after Perry performs "Thinking of You."

Katy Perry is hoisted up in a rehearsal for her 2012 Grammy Awards performance. A pink-haired, bespectacled Katy Perry reacts to getting an ankle tattoo commemorating the California Dreams Tour.

"The Grammys You'll Never Take Away From Me" (5:19) finds Perry rehearsing her post-divorce performance at this year's Grammys in which she debuted her new song. Unsurprisingly, we see everything but the ambitious fakeout performance itself.

Six shorts fall under the heading California Dreams Tour: Behind the Scenes. "5, 6, 7...Oops...8" (3:32) discusses Perry's dancing difficulties with looks at her rehearsing moves for "Hot n Cold." "BFF" (2:40) finds Perry hanging out with her best friend Shannon Woodward. "California Dreams Tour Tattoo" (5:49) documents Perry getting an ankle tattoo in honor of the tour, as some crew members get matching ones and she even gets to give tattoos to her tattoo artist and father.

"Surprise!" (1:57) has Perry and company giving a birthday surprise to the tour manager. "Celebrities" (2:17) expands upon a section of the film, as Perry's contemporaries (Rihanna, Adele) speak highly of her and she meets with David Hasselhoff and Justin Bieber backstage, the latter tackily asking her to promote his Christmas album. Finally, the illuminating "E.T." (3:02) has Perry getting updated on the chart status of her different single in foreign markets and planning her promotion efforts accordingly.

David Hasselhoff gets his picture taken in between Kitty Purry and Katy Perry in "Celebrities." The film's most widely-used poster design becomes its menu image on DVD (seen here), Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D.

Inexplicably, the DVD included here is not the same one sold on its own. Whereas that one has some bonus features, this one only has previews. Seems like it's more work for the studio to create less value for this combo pack.

The Blu-rays try to stream trailers via your BD-Live connection. I got through most of Fun Size, before it kicked out. DVD has the files hard-coded on the disc, allowing for uninterrupted promotion of Fun Size, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, and Titanic.
Its Previews listing advertises the stop-motion It's a SpongeBob Christmas before repeating the other three trailers. Part of Me's trailer is not a part of this set.

A digital copy of the film and an UltraViolet stream are both available to download with the set's enclosed directions and code.

On all three discs, the static menu plays "Firework" in its entirety over the poster/DVD cover art. The Blu-rays support bookmarks but sadly do not resume playback (suggesting Titanic was a fluke and not an indication of improved Paramount disc authoring).

The Limited 3D Edition gets colorful purple-dominated cover artwork different from the DVD and Blu-ray combo's one-sheet recycle. It also is recreated in a glossy, embossed cardboard sleeve. Inside, an insert supplies your unique UltraViolet code while promoting other recent Paramount BDs. A second provides you with a pink ticket that might entitle you to meet Katy Perry. If your insert, like mine, lacks a code, or if you didn't buy this, you can generate a free one online.

A blue-haired Katy Perry reflects on her short-lived marriage to Russell Brand. A stop in Japan allows Katy Perry to enjoy tea among cats.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Though Katy Perry doesn't seem especially worthy of a theatrical documentary, Part of Me proves to be more compelling than expected, based on her relatively slow rise to success and the personal drama captured in her California Dreams Tour. Those simply wanting high quality versions of Perry's flamboyant concert performances of catchy, tolerable pop may be disappointed to find them buried in an inspirational biography, but that design yields more substance and filmic value than the music alone. While the modest box office numbers suggest this won't win Perry many new fans, her millions of existing ones should enjoy it with the right expectations.

On Blu-ray, the film boasts strong picture and sound plus a decent collection of bonus features. While the three-disc 3D edition does get fun artwork and a slipcover, the film's use of 3D is awfully minimal to justify the ten extra dollars it currently commands. You probably wouldn't feel like you're missing out on much getting just the regular two-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo.

Buy Katy Perry: Part of Me from Amazon.com:
Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy / DVD / Instant Video

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Related Reviews:
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
The Voice of Katy Perry: The Smurfs | Katy Perry Music Video: When in Rome
Featuring The Music of Katy Perry: Prom Mean Girls 2 Glee: Season 2, Volume 1 Beavis and Butt-Head: Volume 4
The Best of California Dreams The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light Elvis: That's The Way It Is Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

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Reviewed September 25, 2012.



Text copyright 2012 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2012 Paramount Pictures, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, Imagine Entertainment, Perry Productions, Direct Management Group,
and Paramount Home Entertainment. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.