Archive for "Michael Jackson"

Ten Best Films of ‘09

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, December 28, 2009 at 12:00 am.

BestOf09_Films_cpIt’s been an amazing year in film with so many diverse movies — you’ve laughed, cried, learned and been entertained.  Whether it was Mo’Nique’s gut-wrenching performance in Precious, Michael Moore’s biting commentary in Capitalism: A Love Story, or the high-octane energy from Star Trek — films may have been the only thing that got you through a year of global economic distress.

I have seen countless movies this year; here are my selections for the 10 most impactful, entertaining and well done films of 2009.   Sound off in the comments!

10. Star Trek (Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto)

startrek_2009movie“Normally, 11 versions equates disaster, but somehow, some way, director J.J. Abrams and the creators of Star Trek managed to pull off the best sci-fi movie since The Matrix.”

9. Tyson (Documentary)
ironmiketyson“Some parts are hilarious, some are heartbreaking and whether or not you think Mike is a rapist or saint — you can’t help but feel his truth.”

8. Capitalism: A Love Story (Documentary)
captialism“Michael Moore is the Obama of documentarians.”

7. More Than a Game (Documentary)
moregame“Deeply inspiring. That said, for every young kid who sees More Than a Game and thinks they are the next LeBron James — it should be mandatory to watch 1994’s Hoop Dreams.”

6. Good Hair (Documentary)
goodhair“Quite brilliantly, Chris Rock skillfully peeled back archaic layers, opening up a dialogue that could’ve been volatile. His natural talent made the doc hilarious and thought-provoking, rising above race and gender.”

5. American Violet (Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard)
american_violet“It’s not enough for a movie to have a Black cast for it to be good, it must have good writing, engaging stories and impassioned actors. This film has all three.”

4. Valentino: the Last Emperor (Documentary)
valentino“In a time where fashion is reduced to tawdry reality shows, Valentino: The Last Emperor reinjects the sophistication and elegance in what some say is a lost art form.”

3. Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen)
bruno-official-movie-poster“Yes, Bruno is in ‘gay face’ if you will, but when going beyond the surface, he is clearly turning the mirror on us and saying, ‘Do you see how stupid these stereotypes are?’”

2. Michael Jackson’s This Is It (Documentary)
MJThisIsIt“Fan or not, in This Is It, you don’t see death, just life. There is no sadness or tears; you walk out with a smile. Forget the controversies, this is truly who Michael Jackson was – his music. It’s a film that you don’t want to end.”

1. Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire (Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe and Mariah Carey)

precious“Clearly, the best film of the year.  Mo’Nique’s performance?  Even if Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Katherine Hepburn all came back from the dead — they could not pull that Oscar out of Mo’Nique’s hands.”

Honorable Mentions: Avatar, Skin, The Princess and the Frog and Life Is Hot In Cracktown.

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‘This Is It’ Tops International and Domestic Box Office

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 12:00 am.

MJThisIsItAs if we are shocked…

This shouldn’t be a shock that Michael Jackson’s This Is It has rocked the box office since its release on Wednesday.  The film brought in over 23 million over the weekend, hitting number one at the box office.  It’s the second best performing concert film opening weekend, next to the Hannah Montana concert. In addition, This Is It is the fourth highest-grossing Halloween debut recorded.

Now, after only a little over five days the movie has made over 106 million worldwide, which is more than the complete total for the Hannah Montana concert.

The concert has been filled with rave reviews and reports across the web are fans are extremely happy.  Furthermore, there is some buzz that the flick might receive some Oscar nominations, especially under best documentary.

If you haven’t seen This Is It, get your ticket now. You only have a little over a week to see it.  The movie is open for two weeks… unless they decide the demand is so high!

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Movie Review: Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 12:55 am.

MJThisIsItSummary: A concert documentary on the late, great Michael Jackson’s  This Is It tour.  The film follows the last two months of MJ’s life through rehearsal footage, his dancers and crew, and music.

Review: There is no doubt that Michael Jackson is a genius, but some have doubted if he is human or at least treated him like he wasn’t.  Michael Jackson’s This Is It flawlessly highlights his talents, but it also humanizes him in a way that the public has never seen. He was humble, kind, intelligent and had a sense of humor. Unfortunately, Jackson was so crucified by the media that he probably didn’t feel comfortable showing this candid side. Thankfully, fans, lovers of music, lovers of dance and those who appreciate humanity, have this documentary.  The tag line for the doc is “Like you’ve never seen him before.” In most cases that would be media hype, but in this case, it’s the absolute truth.

At this point, we all give any Michael Jackson project the side-eye, wondering if another person is trying to capitalize off the King of Pop’s name. However, in this case, not enough praise can be given to the creators of This Is It, especially the director and MJ’s choreographer, Kenny Ortega. This Is It clearly comes from a pure place and honors Jackson’s legacy like no other project since his death.

This Is It includes most of Jackson’s hit songs like “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” “I’ll Be There” and  “Beat It.” The viewer gets an intimate look at Jackson’s rehearsal style, his quest for perfection and gifted attention to microscopic detail.  Jackson operated from feeling and passion, at one point, when he is standing in one space after a musical number he says, “We’re sizzling,” to the crew that waits for him to move. Or, while arranging the music, he walks the musical director through the tempo and explains, “You gotta let it simmer” versus jumping right in to the beat.  It’s truly fascinating to watch and makes you want to study so you can somehow factor these skills into your own life.  It would be similar to viewing footage of Beethoven composing a musical number or Picasso painting a portrait. This glimpse into MJ’s genius is awe-inspiring.

With all the rumors, there were some doubts if Michael could still perform and sing like his fans would expect. This Is It clearly shows Michael still had it.  The dancing was incredible with his movements like water.  Personally, I was amazed at MJ’s vocals.  At 50 years old his voice was in stellar shape. To hear him hit those nearly 30-year-old notes (no key change!) in “Human Nature,” do improvisations on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” or doing vocal warm-ups was riveting.

Most importantly, in Michael Jackson’s This Is It, you don’t see death, just life.  There is no sadness or tears; you walk out with a smile on your face, feeling loved and more human. Forget the controversies, scandals and drama. This Is It is truly who Michael Jackson was — his music. It’s a film that you don’t want to end.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It opens today and is only in theaters for two weeks.

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MJ Has Still Got It

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 1:23 am.

michaeljackson_thisisitThe documentary of Michael Jackson’s tour, This Is It, is in theaters October 28th.  Tickets went on sale this past Sunday and according to E! the movie is outselling some heavy hitters.

Fandango said the concert movie was its new top-seller, ousting The Twilight Saga: New Moon. MovieTickets.com said it had already recorded more than 550 sellouts. And to put a global point on it, Sony Pictures bragged about big business from Britain to Japan.

This Is It opens Oct. 28, if you don’t count sneaks on Oct. 27. Sony says the movie, culled from rehearsals for the late Jackson’s not-to-be London shows, will play only two weeks.

This is no shocker and the early footage we have seen of the concerts looks like he was more than prepared for the tour.  In addition, it’s an excellent way to honor his musical legacy.

Will you be buying tickets for the documentary?

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Lost MJ Movie…

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 12:00 am.

michael-jackson10While there might be a Michael Jackson movie to hit theaters in the fall, another Michael Jackson movie has recently made its way to the internet.  According to the HollywoodReporter.com:

“He was very excited about making movies and wanted his hands on everything, from working on screenplays to producing, to writing the music,” said B-movie producer, writer and director Bryan Michael Stoller of Jackson, who starred in the 1978 pic “The Wiz.” “However, he never showed any interest in acting,”

Three months before his death, Stoller says Jackson committed to co-directing and financing a movie — a poignant drama about foster children — and planned to get started as soon as he completed his London concerts.

It’s a small indie project that might not have exactly been getting a big studio rollout or a prime spot at Sundance. But like other posthumous revelations, the news sheds light on the wide-ranging, if often quirky, excursions the singer made when he wasn’t cultivating his career as a pop star.

Check out the clip below with Michael Jackson talking to the author of the book who experienced extreme child abuse.

Source

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Michael Jackson movie on Halloween?

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 1:31 am.

michael-jackson-thrillerAccording to Variety.com, MJ might have a movie released this Halloween.

Sony Pictures, which is finalizing a deal to acquire concert rehearsal footage from the singer’s “This Is It” tour from AEG Entertainment, is eyeing an Oct. 30 release date for the film.

The opening bid for the performance footage started at $50 million, and Sony is said to be ponying up close to $60 million for the 80 hours filmed.

Fox, Universal, Paramount and Relativity were also interested in putting in bids.

Sony made more sense, however, considering Sony Music Entertainment owns music publishing rights to Jackson’s songs.

Terms of the deal are still being worked out, but the Jackson family estate is expected to collect 90% of what’s left after AEG recoups its production costs for the tour.

Halloween is right on time to celebrate Thriller, which is always a staple on the radio during that day.  However, as of now Sony has not commented on the deal.

Would you go see the footage of MJ “This Is It” tour in theaters?

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Michael Jackson never went Hollywood

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 12:00 am.

michaeljacksonNowadays, if you have multi-platinum success or a minor hit record, you are running to Hollywood to become a box office superstar. Beyonce, 50 Cent, Usher – the list is endless. But, the late-great King of Pop never ventured into Hollywood. The icon was strictly focused on the music and in retrospect it’s refreshing to think he didn’t need “movie star” under his belt. Take Prince for example, his Purple Badness did well with Purple Rain but Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge are movies that even Prince’s greatest fans dislike. Who can forget Madonna’s string of film disasters from the ’80s to the ’90s?

Michael did one movie in his over 40-year career in the entertainment industry. In 1978, he starred in The Wiz, along with Diana Ross, as the Scarecrow. While the film failed at the box office, Michael’s performance was praised and his duet with Miss Ross, “Ease On Down the Road,” hit #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. One can only imagine the doors of Hollywood were open to MJ. He was supposed to play in a remake of Peter Pan, which never happened. Despite some small movie cameos — the King of Pop didn’t want to become the King of Hollywood, which he probably could’ve done if he wanted to.

Nonetheless, Mike did work with the Hollywood A-list in his videos that were like mini-movies. Martin Scorsese directed “Bad,” John Landis was on “Thriller” and “Black or White,” and Spike Lee directed “They Don’t Care About Us.”

Check out the clip of Michael in The Wiz.


Michael Jackson in THE WIZ – Watch more Funny Videos

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The Michael Jackson Movie

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:00 am.

A biopic about Michael Jackson is a Hollywood must.  The potential film has A-list and Oscar written all over it.  The story of the pop icon is full of highs, lows, success, drama and a climatic ending.  Well, of course we need a cast and here is what I propose for the MJ story — I am sure the movie is already in the works and Steven Spielberg is trying to buy the rights!

Young Michael Jackson: Tristan Wilds
tristanmichaelTristan has made a name for himself in movies like The Secret Life of Bees and his role on 90210. Wilds could capture the essence of an ethnic Michael on the rise, battling insecurities and achieving incredible success.

Older Michael Jackson: Evan RossrossjacksonWho else? Ross can act and he has personal experience with the King of Pop. Plus, there is an uncanny resemblance to Michael post the Bad era. Fans could trust Ross to not sensationalize Michael’s memory, but still be authentic.

Lisa Marie Presley: Megan Fox

lisamariemeganfox

The current Hollywood “it” girl, Fox has the look and sass to play the rock ‘n roll princess, Lisa Marie Presley. Presley was Jackson’s ex-wife and often talked about how she wanted to save Michael.

Janet Jackson: Zoe Saldana
janetzoeSaldana is an excellent actress; give her a script and she can make it work. I’d love to see her as another iconic figure, Janet Jackson, who has made a name for herself outside of her brother’s name.  She has the look, sex appeal and compassion to play the youngest Jackson.

La Toya Jackson: Mariah Carey
marialatoyaCarey has proven herself as a good actress with the upcoming Precious and she is even doing drag in her new video. I could easily see Carey as the controversial La Toya, who always wanted to be a star but fell short of the glory.

Katherine Jackson: Oprah Winfrey

oprahkatherine

You might’ve forgot this but Oprah is an Oscar nominee and she can act. If you don’t believe me add The Color Purple or Women of Brewster Place to your Nextflix ASAP. Winfrey could wrap herself in the compassion that makes up Mother Jackson — although the Grand O would have to tone down that slave accent. You know she loves to do that in all her films!

Jermaine Jackson: Jamie Foxx
jermainejamieJamie would need to be in this movie in some capacity and I see him as Jermaine, who has always stepped up in controversy. He has been the family spokesman in the hardest times and has battled the media when they have torn his family to pieces.

Joe Jackson: Ving Rhames
vingjoeLike many people, Michael had a complex relationship with his father. The King of Pop revealed there was child abuse, but he would later resolve his relationship with his father and often talked about how much he loved him.  Rhames would give a respectable performance as Joe Jackson.

Debbie Rowe: Rosie O’Donnell
rosieroweMichael’s baby mama should be played by none other than Rosie O’Donnell.  Slap a wig on Ro and you got Debbie Rowe!

Who would you like to see in a movie about Michael Jackson?

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