Location: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
I am the first to admit that I get bored easily and I can be pretty fickle. One of the few things this logic doesn’t apply to is my eternal love for Michael Jackson’s unmatched legacy of music!
I was beyond stoked when I heard through the grapevine, that a new MJ documentary exploring the cultivation of and stories behind the production of the Bad album and its iconic music videos was making its way to Los Angeles for a one week limited theatrical release at the Chinese 6 Theater at Hollywood and Highland. The theater’s Chinese inspired decor has a modern flair and was designed as a newer counterpart to the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater downstairs. I don’t make the rounds to this theater very often. I’ve seen a handful of films here this year – usually in the morning or afternoon – so I was surprised at the $16.00 per ticket peak weekend price tag! Really? That’s more than the Arclight!
Boy, was I glad we overlooked the ticket prices (thanks Darlin’ :)). Director Spike Lee uses his accomplished narrative skills and industry connections to examine track by track the enigma and timelessness of MJ’s “Bad” LP as it turns 25 years old. I spent an awesome Friday night in Theater 1 reliving my childhood anthems, reinforcing my love affair with his music, smiling, laughing, and mini dancing in my seat. I had 2 hours of the most consecutive fun in the movie theater that I’ve had in quite awhile.
While the 400 seat theater was not at all crowded for a weekend screening, it was packed with some of his die hard fans. You could tell from the audience’s loud cheering, clapping, singing, and later sobbing as we learned more about MJ’s world circa 1987.
What a treat to see archival behind the scenes footage of the late November film shoot for the “Bad“ video with current commentary from director Martin Scorsese himself; to catch up with Tatiana, the extension wearing beauty every girl wanted to be in “The Way You Make Me Feel” video; and to learn how “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was written as a possible duet with Whitney Houston that was eventually recorded with Siedah Garrett. Garrett, who is drenched throughout the film, shares her accounts of working alongside MJ intimately and how “Man in The Mirror” came from writing pad to recording studio. Even better, the film is chocked full of interviews from MJ’s sound engineers, producing team, instrumentalists, and fellow musical peers singing his praises from Mariah Carey to Kanye West.
This is the most entertaining documentary I think I’ve ever seen! If you can’t make it out to the Chinese 6 by the end of the week, there will be a special presentation airing on network television on Thanksgiving night. Get together with your loved ones, have some turkey, some laughs, share what you’re thankful for, and crowd in front of the TV. You won’t be sorry.