11 25 2014
  12:44 pm  
     •     
The Wake of Vanport oral history
McMenamins

Winning the race to produce the first posthumous Michael Jackson DVD is this unauthorized biography which spends as much time trashing the recently-departed King of Pop as it does praising him. I heartily recommend the film only to two groups of people: those who believe Michael was a self-hating, child-molesting freak and those who might simply enjoy laughing non-stop at a hastily-edited, low budget flick featuring none of his music and almost no recent interviews with any of his relatives, colleagues or friends other than Motown Records founder Berry Gordy who must have had no idea about the tenor of the documentary he was being filmed for.
The movie does, however, include footage of Jackson's estranged sister LaToya making her since-recanted statement that "I cannot and I will not be a silent collaborator in his crimes against small innocent children." In addition we see a clip of his longtime spokesperson Bob Jones, a disgruntled former employee who wrote a damning tell-all book claiming that for years he had to cover up evidence of his boss' sleeping with little boys.
Particularly hilarious is the backhanded compliment served up by Walter Williams who says "Sammy Davis, Jr. was the greatest entertainer of all time," before grudgingly adding "I put Michael up there with him." Others quoted here include: music editor Nekesa Moody, publicist Susan Blond, and photographer Harrison Funk who praises himself by only talking about how much Michael loved his work. It takes a lot of nerve to put out a DVD, when those are the best celebs you could get on tape.
There are also plenty of testimonials by grieving fans mixed in with info explaining why Michael was referred to as Wacko Jacko, rehashed tabloid stories about his baby dangling incident, plastic surgeries, sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber and pet chimp Bubbles. Meanwhile, the movie omits the man in the mirror's songs, since they obviously never got permission to include any.
Who wants to watch a Michael Jackson bio-pic where the most memorable tune is "Amazing Grace?"

Fair (1 star)
Unrated
Running time: 70 minutes
Studio: Infinity Entertainment Group

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