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Originally published July 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Page modified July 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

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Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' less than the sum

"Katy Perry: Part of Me," a documentary directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, is mostly career hype, writes Seattle Times music freelancer Andrew Matson, but some of the concert scenes are fun to watch, partly because they are in 3-D. The movie is playing at several Seattle-area theaters.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 2 stars

'Katy Perry: Part of Me' a documentary directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz. 97 minutes. Rated PG for some suggestive content, language, thematic elements and brief smoking. Several theaters.

Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' trailer

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If you were not one of the tens of thousands of people who jammed into KeyArena to see crass/humorous pop star Katy Perry perform last year, you can live that experience in 3-D watching her movie "Katy Perry: Part of Me," another segment of her epic promotional push for her 2010 album "Teenage Dream."

Watching the concert documentary about that 2011 tour is like being on stage during the show. When Perry slides underneath her guitarist's legs on the anthem "I Kissed A Girl," the camera goes with her, and it's pretty exciting — especially in 3-D. The movie counts the days of Perry's tour in bold type on the screen. By the time the ticker hits "356," you realize the main drama of the movie — and Perry's career — is not that she has any special artistic talent, but rather the drive to take on an insane workload and see it through to the bitter end.

"Teenage Dream" spawned five smash singles, which were still coming out during her 2011 tour that hit practically every major arena in the world. "Part of Me" is her victory lap, a vanity movie that's not especially good, but it doesn't matter. Everybody in Seattle who wanted to attend the Key show but couldn't — and lots of people who went, too — will probably pay to see it. The next step is surely the DVD.

The film goes all the way back to a videotape of Perry's dad preaching Pentecostal Christianity when she was child, his easy crowd control possibly the source of her hamminess.

Perry cries hard when her marriage to actor Russell Brand falls apart because of their hectic schedules — or so the movie leads us to believe. She sobs without her wig on, and it's a bit raw — but she eventually steels herself to entertain hordes of fans in Portugal.

Seeing her moments before the show standing underneath the stage on a mechanical platform, you understand the coldness of true professionalism. Her forced smile as the platform goes up is uncomfortable to look at.

Andrew Matson blogs about music at Reach him at

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