Friday, July 10, 2009

For You Judgemental Types...

Everyone I have talked to over the years has said how appalled they were at Michael Jackson's ever evolving appearance. Understandable. What really bothered me was how critical and judgemental they were over the changing color of his skin. I suppose the repulsed thoughts had crossed my mind a few times, however, I still held out hope that there was an explanation greater than "he wanted to be white."

Based on yesterday's article posted on Michael Jackson's Glove, I can now sleep better knowing I was right to withhold judgment all of those years! As a result of postmortem interviews with Jackson's former doctors and dermatologists, as well as statements from friends and close associates, it has been confirmed that Michael Jackson did suffer from the melanin-destroying (skin-lightening) disease "Vitiligo."

In the 1980s, actress friend of Michael, Cicely Tyson, was told by their mutual fashion designer that he was designing a glove for Jackson to cover up the beginning stages of the disease which attacks the hands and face first. Michael's dermatologist later said he began administering skin-lightening treatments to blend the white patches of skin from the Vitiligo with the rest of Michael's body. He said the procedure was in no way an attempt for Michael to "become white" and he was a "proud black man."

The CNN article has all of the information in detail and I will let you refer back to it for the rest of the story. Either way, even for the type of lifestyle that Michael Jackson lived, it is a far-fetched claim that he wanted to be "white" badly enough that he bleached his skin. He was many things but wanting to be white certainly does not seem like one of them. This just adds even more to the amount of pressure he was under and the number of unusual circumstances he had to deal with.

I can't even imagine.

- Mitch G

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Twilight Review... Revisited

Alright, it seems as if I've made a few people a bit upset with my harsh review of the teen Vampire melodrama "Twilight" so I wanted to make a few more points here.

First, my initial review still stands. Period. The reason it stands is because I am basing my review on the movie, not the books, which I have not read. I can, and will, take a leap of faith and believe the book was far better than the movie.

Second, and what I deem most is important, I now know the movie was based only on the first book, and not the entire series. Unfortunately this doesn't improve my impression of the movie, it worsens it. I can be a bit more understanding if a screenplay writer and director need to compress a series of books into a two hour spot, it is difficult to do, but when they are dealing with only the first book in a series, come on, lets see a bit more effort. They (the screenwriter and director) assumed I knew everything about the characters, their background, their feelings and the reasoning behind their actions. I didn't, and unless I had read the entire book, could not have had a clue. The movie jumped right into the action with no caution for development and understanding. I was never able to get attached to the characters and understand their motives. There wasn't enough meat to make me believe those things could actually be happening in a Forks, Washington high school. Speaking of, what is with the high school stereotypes? Don't movie makers know that those stereotypes are outdated and far too obvious?

Third, I've been made vividly aware that this was a low budget film. Now, I understand a low budget film means you generally end up with cheesy visual effects and scenery but this film did reasonably well in that regard. While spending $37 million, a low figure but not debilitatingly low, they should have thrown a little more towards the screenwriter and received a better adaptation from the book--that would have made things infinitely better. I believe the actors have talent and that their talent is limited by the supporting writing and directing in a movie so I can't fault them too much, yet. Since there were basically two filming locations (Arizona and Forks) with minimal special effects I would say that $37 million should have bought me a lot more entertainment and satisfaction. None of this is really surprising considering their marketing budget was at least as much as the film budget, if not more.

Finally, sometimes bold statements need to be made when jaded people make unreasonable claims about something. I am not knocking on the books because I know vampire stories tend to tread on the campy side as a part of their basic nature. I am simply stating that from a non-devout Twilight book fan the movie was really awful. Hopefully, with a bigger budget, a better adaptive screenwriter, and possibly a new director, the second movie will be far better. I will keep and open mind since I now have a minimal understanding of the characters.

- Mitch G

Friday, July 03, 2009

Twilight, the movie

This was a terrible movie. No real plot, no character building, cheesy cinematography and a poor timeline. Why do all recent Vampire movies and television shows have to be this way? They are all so campy I figured Old Navy must have mashed a bunch of their old commercials together for the silver screen.

I realize that Twilight the movie was intended for the followers of the Twilight book series, but attempting to wrap them all into a single movie was a joke; thinking it would come off as artistic was a fantasy made in... hell.

What a waste of over two hours of my life. I'll stick to books when it comes to this type of thing.

- Mitch G

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

The greatest summer for Michael Jackson fans in nearly two decades has been cut abruptly short. Michael Jackson, as everyone in the world now knows, was pronounced dead late last week at the age of 50. I won't go into the details of his death because that is common knowledge but I will say that I am sad and mourning.

Jackson was my pop idol since I can remember--I learned how to dance based on his style and I still jam to his music a couple days a week. When his music comes on while I am out I'll be the first on the dance floor to break it down. It hard to imagine him being gone.

This summer was going to be the best for Jackson in a long time; he had 50 concerts planned for the O2 arena in London starting early this month and stretching until spring 2010. It was my intent to fly to London and see one of those concerts, knowing it could be the only chance I'd have to see him dance and sing in person--that goal of mine is no longer.

I know that I am better off than most of his concert going fans in that I had yet to purchase a ticket. I can't imagine the feeling of waiting days in line for a floor seat, front row and now knowing I wouldn't be able to use it... ever. It is just tragic.

The amazing part about MJ's death is the out pour of sympathy for Jackson and his family. I am one of those who will forever remember him as the "king of pop." It is true that we all make mistakes in life and if anyone knows Michael's story, they know he isn't completely to blame. I wish him peace and I wish his family peaceful mourning in their time of grief.

Rest in peace Michael. You are an idol and inspiration to millions.

- Mitch G