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Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids

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At no point, did I ever think I’d find myself saying, “I’ve got to experience the Justin Timberlake concert movie!”. I mean, I’m aware of Mr. Timberlake as a strong performer, in many forms of media, but it’s not like I actually listen to his music. But then I started reading about “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids”. And the buzz was palpable, after it premiered at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival. Soon, I learned that it was directed by the eclectic Jonathan Demme, who most think of as the man who guided the multiple Oscar winner, “The Silence of the Lambs”. However, some don’t realize that Mr. Demme has a solid documentary background, a lot of them covering musicians. For instance, there’s a whole series focusing on the legendary Neil Young. Plus, many critics consider the 1984 Talking Heads concert film “Stop Making Sense”, the greatest of its kind.

So, you know what? I recommend that you definitely take a look at “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids”. It chronicles the final date, of the 20/20 concert tour, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mr. Demme employed renowned cinematographer Declan Quinn, and he used up to 17 cameras to capture all of the action–including two free-floating ones set in the audience. The massive concert set is particularly incredible, and Timberlake, and his hard-working team, are talented, fluid, and energetic. And the icing on the cake? Mr. Timberlake dedicated the finished product to one, Prince Rogers Nelson. So, is it in the league of “Stop Making Sense”, and Prince’s own “Sign o’ the Times”? Not quite, but maybe only a shade below. And it’s streaming on Netflix currently, while appearing in limited theaters.

Grade:  B+

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