Backstreet Boys – Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of
Directed by: Stephen Kijak
Starring: Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, Kevin Richardson
By: Nevra Azerkan
Rating: [The Breakdown]
The Backstreet Boys had the premiere of their documentary, Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of in Los Angeles. They offered up tickets to their fans for $40 presumably because they were going to be there and they said that there would be “lots of other surprises.” The second part of this review is going to talk about my disappointment with that statement, but first the documentary itself.
I have been a huge Backstreet Boy fan for years. As an American fan I was still getting their European releases shipped to me, so I could enjoy all the music we were not getting here in the state. I had my room wallpapered with their faces and bought every magazine I could find with them in it. I have seen them multiples times in concert and have even had the opportunity to meet them a few times. So needless to say, I was excited for this documentary.
The film started off great with introducing who each Backstreet Boy was and how the group first started out. I really enjoyed how they discussed the drama with their former manager, Lou Pearlman. It was cool to see each of their perspectives on the matter and it looked like it was almost therapeutic for them. The best part was how they each did a hometown visit and we got to see where they came from and someone who influenced them. Even after all this time there is still new things a Backstreet fan can learn.
They then showed the guys rehearsing for their In A World Like This Tour as well as the process they went through to work on the next album. For the most part it was standard: dance rehearsals, recording songs, etc. What I did not care for was the sudden clip of the guys sitting down with management and having a dramatic and really private moment. Nick was yelling at Brian about not contributing to the band since he began to lose his voice. I get that they wanted to add some drama. After all it is a documentary. But it was so sudden and misplaced with nothing leading up to that moment. Watching this in the Dome at Arclight Cinemas Hollywood gave the illusion that you were there in that scene with them and it was awkward. I was cringing in my seat and knowing that the guys were also watching in the same room was almost painful. If they had approached it differently it may have worked, but this approach left you wondering what the hell just happened.
I was expecting more footage from their tour, more insight on working on the album and interviews with fans; you know the ones that got them to this point. The ending could have been more fulfilling. I was surprised that it ended the way it did because it seemed abrupt.
Overall, it had a lot of good moments, but the way it was put together did not create a lasting effect. For major fans, they will be happy with anything that has the Backstreet Boys in it. For objective fans or the average moviegoer, they won’t feel like the Backstreet Boys showed them what they’re made of.
The second part of my review is based on the premiere itself and not the film. So skip it unless you want to know the details of what happened at the premiere.
I have been to a few movie premiers and none of them required purchase of a ticket. Rather, they usually give out free popcorn and a small drink. At this premiere, The Backstreet Boys were indeed there and that was pretty much it. They went up to the front of the screen to say thanks for coming and did the same thing at the end of the film. No quick Q & A or performance, just a quick hi and goodbye. I don’t know what other surprises they actually meant because I didn’t see any. Six hundred (600) tickets were sold and I saw about 50 posters (and that’s a generous number) given out at random. I think for the price of the ticket they could have given everyone a small poster upon entrance. If you got a picture with a Backstreet Boy it was only because you were lucky enough to be along the rails of the red carpet as they exited. Not all of the boys stopped for pictures and the ones that did maybe took at most 10 pictures.
Then there was the talk of an after-party. There was an email sent out to all ticket holders that there would be an after-party at a nearby hotel bar and that fans were welcome. Of course there would be limited space and so it would be first come, first serve. Word had gotten around the theater the day of the premiere that the after party was cancelled. Apparently a text message was sent to all ticket holders, yet many of them did not receive this message. Turns out the actual after-party was not canceled it just became closed off to fans. Nice surprise. The disorganization and lack of appreciation for their fans is a huge disappointment. Maybe some of these fans were not upset about what happened, but it does not change the fact that they were taken advantage of. If this was a management issue then the guys really need to work on finding a company that can deliver what it promises and if it was not, then I hope the guys can take a note from Taylor Swift. Meaning your fans should not always have to pay to get something exciting from you. Show us what you’re really made of.