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Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of (Movie Review)


The “1-4-0″: Pure catharsis. That’s the best way I can describe the #BSBTheMovie documentary. It is a visceral journey unlike any celebrity would dare share. 

The Gist: This documentary takes us on an expedition into the childhoods of each of the five members of the Backstreet Boys as they explore parts about each others lives that they did not know about interweaved with the pressures and challenges of a new album and a new world tour for their 20th anniversary celebration together.

What Works: When I first heard the Backstreet Boys had a film documentary in the works, I cringed slightly because of the infomercial nature of these so called “rockumentaries”. The worst example of it is the Katy Perry: Part of Me doc. It seemed staged, edited of controversy and uninhibitedly promotional. But because I was an engaged fan of BSB back in the 90’s, and still occasionally keep up with them, I saw this as a chance to catch up with some ol’ “friends”.

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of is alarmingly real. Compared to most modern day rockumentaries, the glitzy luster of their career highlights plays second fiddle to each of the members confronting their own personal demons that shaped who they are today and the obstacles they had to and have to overcome to continue performing at a high level today. This documentary is rooted in pain, joy, fear, awe and thankfulness rarely captured on camera and rarely ever permitted to see the light of day from celebrities such as themselves. There is no phoniness here and the results are unabashedly affecting, highly revealing and empathically absorbing.

What Doesn’t Work: The only way this documentary doesn’t work for you is that pop music isn’t your cup of tea at all.

Pay or Nay? Pay. Perhaps the two biggest revelations worth the price of admission is Howie Dorough’s surprising admission of how hurt he has felt to be relegated to exclusively a supporting role, especially when he began as the group’s lead singer, plus, Brian Littrell’s vocal health problems that were evident during the NKOTBSB tour and the band’s new album. Tears, fights, memories and friendship are all showcased here in an uncensored narrative that will make you see and appreciate the Backstreet Boys in a whole new light.

Release Date: January 30, 2015
Director(s): Stephen Kijak
Starring: Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, Kevin Richardson
Distributor: Gravitas Pictures

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