Friday, November 23, 2012

Bad 25




Directed by Spike Lee, Bad 25 is the story about the making of Michael Jackson’s 1987 album and its impact on the world of pop music where many artists past and present discuss Jackson’s legacy and the album that dared to follow-up his mega-selling 1982 album Thriller. The result is a fascinating and enjoyable documentary from Spike Lee.

The film is essentially the story of Michael Jackson’s goals for Bad and the making of the album and music videos that went along for the album. Through many associates of Michael Jackson including bodyguard/confidant Miko Brando and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, the people discuss about what Jackson wanted to do as well as the fact that he wanted to reach new standards for himself as an artist and performer. While a few songs from the album don’t get profiled like Speed Demon and Just Good Friends, the rest of the album does get talked about. Along with commentaries from other artists like Mariah Carey and Kanye West and journalist Nelson George, they all discuss the brilliance of each song as well as some of the music videos.

The film also features rare footage of the making of those videos including the title track that was directed by Martin Scorsese. Scorese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker discuss the video as they’re remastering it for the upcoming Bad 25 DVD release. The footage also includes some rare making of footage that includes Wesley Snipes who was making his acting debut at the time. Other stories include the fact that the song I Just Can’t Stop Loving You was originally supposed to be a duet between Jackson and Whitney Houston. Yet, Houston’s label didn’t want her to do it in fear of overexposure where Siedah Garrett ended up co-singing it with Jackson based on the demo she was singing on.

Spike Lee brings a lot of moments where many of the people who are interviewed are relaxed and provide a few funny commentaries. Also included are voice-overs from Quincy Jones and rare interviews from Jackson during the promotional period for the album. Lee also reveals how many of the dances from those videos were made through the help of choreographer Jeffrey Daniel whom Jackson had known in the 70s as Daniel was a dancer for Soul Train. With some wonderful editing by Barry Alexander Brown who helps fuses a lot of the rare footage with the commentaries made by the people in the interview. It helps tell the story as Lee manages to keep things in tact. The only few flaws in the film do come late when Jackson’s death is discussed along with the appearance of Chris Brown whose immature and thuggish presence was just unnecessary for the film.

Bad 25 is an excellent TV documentary from Spike Lee about Michael Jackson’s Bad. It’s a documentary that not only captures the brilliance of the album but also indicate many of the reasons into why Jackson is so missed. Despite a few flaws in the documentary, it is still engaging for the way it reveal why people love Jackson and this album as well as the fact that it is still a timeless record 25 years since it was release. In the end, Bad 25 is a wonderful tribute to Michael Jackson from Spike Lee.

Spike Lee Films: (She’s Gotta Have It) - (School Daze) - Do the Right Thing - Mo' Better Blues - Jungle Fever - (Malcolm X) - Crooklyn - (Clockers) - (Girl 6) - (Get On the Bus) - 4 Little Girls - (He Got Game) - Freak - Summer of Sam - (The Original Kings of Comedy) - (Bamboozled) - (A Huey P. Newton Story) - 25th Hour - (Jim Brown: All-American) - (She Hate Me) - (Inside Man) - (When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts) - (Miracle at St. Anna) - (Kobe Doin’ Work) - (Passing Strange) - (If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise) - (Red Hook Summer) - Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth - (Oldboy (2013 film))

© thevoid99 2012

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