Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of
In this revealing film, as well as looking back at their inception, the band visit the areas in which they each grew up, to share their personal stories. Director Stephen Kijak is successful in allowing the audience to empathise with the band members; the way this documentary is filmed and edited brings a friendly, home-video type of approach, engaging the audience from the off.
The movie incorporates old video recordings of shows and rehearsals, as the band reminisce. Whether you’re a Backstreet Boys fan or not, it’s undeniably affecting to see how the band grew up together, and how close they remain. It’s good fun to compare the recordings from earlier years with those for their latest album and 20th anniversary tour.
The band’s eighth and most recent album In a World Like This (2013) is their first independent one, and it’s great to see how they relish it. The movie illustrates the boys’ sense of freedom and excitement in finally being able to make their own decisions about their music. Having established themselves in the world of pop, we are shown how they can now let their passion direct the new album. They did not always have that luxury: one of the most interesting elements of this film is that it’s an eye-opener to the industry as a whole. The band discuss their early relationship with Lou Pearlman, founding manager, in an endearing way, making it clear that in their young age he was considered a father figure. But the band soon came to understand that he was taking advantage of them, while earning millions doing so. With Pearlman currently imprisoned, the band have conflicting feelings: hurt by his betrayal, they still feel sorry for him and the sentence he is now paying. This brings stark attention to how many artists are manipulated in this way.
Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of is an honest, intimate and playful documentary and an interesting watch, even if you’re not an fanatical fan.
Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of was released nationwide on 26th February 2015.
Watch the trailer for Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of here: