Pop teen idols have been around since pop music burst forth in the forth in the fifties. Every generation seems to have their own idols, and some last longer than others. When I was very young, Leif Garrett was huge. Girls created riots just trying to touch him; by the early eighties, he had fallen out of favor. Now, he’s more known for repeated drug busts. The eighties saw the rise of the boy band. The New Kids On The Block, Boys II Men, The Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, among others, all experienced massive success, only to fade away a couple of years later (with notable exception of N’SYNC member, Justin Timberlake).

Justin Bieber: Never Say NeverWith that in mind, I wonder if in ten or twenty years the fans of teen idol Justin Bieber won’t have forgotten about him, or feel a little embarrassed they became so captivated by him in the first place. A cute kid it’s impossible to tell whether Bieber and his bubble gum pop will eventually make a transition to more adult oriented music or be forgotten.

Never Say Never traces Justin Bieber’s life and singing career from his discovery on You Tube through his 2010 concert tour to his sold-out performance at Madison Square Garden. The film begins with Bieber’s YouTube video, the one that led to his discovery by Atlanta-based manager Scooter Braun. Plenty of pre-teen girls are on hand to proclaim their love for Justin: “I think of him, like, 99% of my life,” says one screeching girl.

Born in 1994 to unwed 17-year-old Ontarian Pattie Mallette, Bieber’s humble beginnings are liberally documented. Given a drum set at an early age, he mastered it quickly. Apparently, he was also quite the vocalist. Home movies show a young Justin growing up, clips of his family, his small-town life, etc. This is interspersed with concert footage, backstage activity, and comments from fans and entertainers Usher Raymond, Jaden Smith, Miley Cyrus, Ludacris, Sean Kingston, Snoop Dogg, and others.

The behind-the-scenes footage captures Bieber being Bieber; shaving, warming up, messing around with his crew and personal friends. Even though the filmmakers have captured Justin in the best light, he still comes across as a bit of a spoiled brat, surrounded by those working hard to keep him happy. ’90s chart-toppers Boyz II Men are reduced to backup harmonizing for Bieber, who with suspiciously little sincerity claims he’s honored by their support.

I understand I’m not necessarily Justin Bieber’s target audience, but I found myself underwhelmed. I don’t think he’s any more talented than a thousand other young singers struggling to make a name for themselves in the entertainment world. I don’t think he has anything that separates him from the legions of teen idols that have come and gone in decades past.

Unless you have a Bieber addict in the house, Never Say Never is little more than an example of how music producers market a product.

The film is brought to Blu-ray via a MPEG-4/AVC encode in its native aspect ratio, 1.85:1. The filmmakers shot most of the concert and backstage footage digitally, and the rest, the home movies, were probably shot digitally. Since we get various pieces of film, we also get various degrees of picture quality, some of it very clean, as many TV shows look, and some of it rather bland, and dull.

We get just a few special features:

• Concert Dance Off (1080p, 2:55): Some of Justin’s dancers show off their moves during a concert.

• Favorite Girl (1080p, 2:00): Justin Bieber performs acoustically from high atop the crowd in a heart-shaped contraption. The scene is an extension of one seen in the film.

• R.I.P. Hair Flip (1080p, 2:55): On February 21, 2010, from an undisclosed location, the superstar got a haircut.

• Giving Back (1080p, 7:50): An extended look at Bieber’s staff handing out free tickets to his shows.

• DVD Copy.

• Digital Copy.