Monday, July 20, 2009


Been away visiting the fatherland, hence no recent updates but whilst wallowing in the nectar-like taste of Banks' Bitter and dodging fried pork rinds I found this classic bio-pic on sale in the Aladdin's cave that is the Dudley branch of Cash Converters.

Under the circumstances it was a given that I had to purchase it...

And yes, it was complete shite from start to finish but I thought I'd better post something in case you all thought I'd died.

Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story (2004).
Dir: Allan Moyle.
Cast: Flex Alexander, Frederic Tucker, Krista Rae, William S. Taylor, Barbara Mamabolo, Samantha Kaine, Gerrick Winston, Eugene Clark, Lynne Cormack, Brennan Gademans, April Telek but surprisingly not Billy Dee Williams.

"Why can't you share your bed with someone?
The most loving thing you can
do is share your bed with someone".

God bless VH1, for their first foray into movie making what else could they choose but the fantastically freaky and lusciously lurid tale of the self proclaimed King of Pop Michael Jackson?

Well, if I'd have been them I'd have picked a subject better suited to the poverty row budget this production obviously had.

Welcome to Gary, Indiana (which is in America, near Canada for our European readers) where fuzz haired wonderboy Michael (Gademans, from the - believe it or not - unofficial Diff'rent Strokes bio-pic) lives with his freakish family and overbearing dad Joe - not the guy who sang Is She Really Going Out With Him- (Tucker so memorable in Vampire Cop).

Lenny Henry, up the casino
and covered in flour yesterday.

Luckily these 'poor but happy' shenanigans are glossed over fairly quickly, just giving us enough time to see Joe being strict, MJ's mum looking concerned and the production team to get their money's worth out of the pound shop afro's they've bought before jumping Back To The Future like to various points during the grown up Michael's (now played by Alexander, star of Snakes on a Plane and The Hills Have Eyes 2) life.

But obviously only the bits that can be filmed cheaply.

Cue ninety minutes of money, the price of fame (which by the budget of this movie is about eight quid) and sharing a bed with the wee boy from Home Alone.

Hang it out a window, wipe it's arse or shag it...
what's a guy to do?

Yup, the movie (quite rightly) spends very little time on MJ's most musically productive period, not even trying to restage the Thriller video (I'm sure John Landis would have turned up - via a helicopter obviously - to play himself) so as to spend more time on the important stuff like his slumping record sales, getting married to Lisa Marie Presley (the man-chinned Rae from a load of Sci-Fi channel stuff like Andromeda, dragged up like your dad dressed as Madonna) and Debbie Rowe (Telek, another Sci-Fi channel veteran, all frightening breasts and bleached blonde hair completely unlike the bulldog browed real Rowe) and those aforementioned pesky accusations of buggering wee boys.

Obviously there aren't any such sexual shennanigans on show but you can imagine them if you're so inclined.

She's all smiles now,
but just wait till the fucking starts.

Racing (well, hobbling) towards it's exciting climax we can all experience the pain of Michael's descent into freak-dom, culminating in his interview with Martin Bashir (not played by Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine but a guy from the new Stargate series) and his decision to face the music (as it were) and go to court to defend himself against the beasting charges.

And it's scenes like this that magically transform what could be a trite and cheap bio-pic designed to cash in on some poor sods troubles into a work of Pinter-esque genius and all thanks to such stunning dialogue as in the scene where his family are helping choose a good lawyer:

"Michael, Johnny Cochran is the best criminal defense atourney in the country"
"But I'm not a criminal!"
"That's just what they call it Michael"
"Well change it! It sounds ugly!"

"I'm shagging your weans!"

Yes indeedy readers, it's dialogue like this that raises The Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story above such lesser films like A Beautiful Mind and Walk The Line and although it's easy to slag off the producers for refusing to spend any cash on it (as I did earlier) you have to admire their gall.

Or blatant disrespect for the viewing public.

The casting is so random and out there that I'm surprised that they didn't bump into the Jupiter 2 at some point, Flex Alexanders portrayal of Jackson, decked out in a sailor suit and white face paint is either comedy gold or really offensive, I just can't decide whilst Frederic Tucker spends most of the film polishing an Uzi whilst shouting "This is mah house Michael!" at every given opportunity.

Of the other 'stars' Mamabolo as Janet Jackson and Cormack as Elizabeth Taylor appear to have been cast because they just happened to be passing by the studio on the day of shooting seeing as neither of them look or act anything like their real life counterparts, tho' to be fair, Krista Rae has Lisa Marie Presley's doe eyed look to a tee.

It's a pity then that it's staring out from such a big face.

Can I stop now?


Unknown said...

Genius. I have to see this shite.

I thought nothing would make me laugh as hard as those fucking priceless screengrabs, but you're witticisms proved me wrong.

lol, rofl, pmsl, etc.

Quagmire of the Antler People said...

It's all too perfect. You found this rot in a cash converters which I have only 2 days left in before I am retrieved from hell. Then, my lollercopoter crashed, after reading your review. I knight you with a Woolworths lightsabre sir. Hey wait a minute, the bulbs gone, I want a refund! Hey! Ah shit, it's shut! Whit's goin on?