To start with , here are my favourite vegetarian or vegan related clips from the No Agenda Podcast with John C Dvorak and Adam Curry.
Dvorak made a few mistakes with my message, I do NOT own NZ Vegan Podcast, I just asked for it to be mentioned, and Im not the only vegan who listens to No Agenda, I've met a few now.
Welcome to Episode 49 of Jay Wont dart's podcast. This Is It, both the Michael Jackson movie, and my final episode.
Thank you to everyone who has ever listened to my podcast. I'm no longer going to update this, Im focusing on my Animal Rights show, Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals. You can find that at coexisting with nonhuman animals . blogspot.com. I'd love to hear from anyone who has listened to this podcast, my email is jaywontdart @gmail.com.
If you would like to remove this podcast from your iTunes podcast section, you can just select it and hit delete. Or, if you'd like to keep the episodes for some reason, to make fun of me when I run for Prime Minister of New Zealand, you can select all the episodes, and "convert ID3 tags". That removes the bit that says "this is a podcast, keep it separate from normal music files". Right click on all the selected episodes and you will see "convert ID3 tags". Select "1.0" ok that. When you do that, you will lose the artwork for the episodes, you could always copy the picture from one of the episodes and then paste it back for all tracks after deleting the tags. You can then drag the tracks out of iTunes to your desktop, and then back to iTunes, they should just show up as usual music, not in the podcast section any more. This way, you dont have a dead podcast in your podcast section, looking for updates that will never come. I have little space left on screen, even with a 23 inch screen, because I have so many podcast subscriptions, so I remove any that are not updated and save the files the way I just described.
A few weeks back, I went to the movies. It was the first time in years, Probably the last movie I had went to would have been Lord Of The Rings, Return Of The King. I didnt think much of the movie theatre, in fact, it SUCKED! I had to wait for the ticketing clerk to get off the telephone, while another one sat there doing NOTHING at a closed till. After a minute or two of awkward standing and looking around at movie posters, I finally got to pay. The manager was further along, on another telephone, yakking it up about how great his theatre is. Something about digital projection equipment. Yet, our local theatre cannot afford to get 3D projectors. 3D movies are cited to be the new breakthrough in reversing movie theatre losses, because at home, you just cant get 3D, its going to be THE reason to go to a theatre. And, we just wont have it, because it costs so much. So, Invercargills local movie theatre is pretty much screwed. Like I said, it had been YEARS since I had last gone, and I really dont see myself EVER going to a movie theatre again. I normally just wait until things are out on DVD, and buy them, although I have friends who download movies from bit torrent, and its pretty impressive what you can get for FREE, BEFORE the movie is even OUT in THEATRES, let alone waiting months for the dvd version. I dont like stealing movies though, so I dont do it, although I think Digital Distribution is the way to go. I buy all my music through iTunes, and hope one day I'll be able to get movies the same way. I imagine someday you will be able to just get new movies on your computer, by download, at the same time they are released in theatres, because all the theatres will be long gone.
Before I tell you about what I thought of This Is It, I'd also like to mention, I wanted to own it on DVD straight after the movie ended, I wanted to be able to rewind certain bits and watch them again and again. Turns out, Sony was willing to have the DVD and Blu Ray versions out BEFORE christmas, makes sense right? So then everyone would be buying copies for christmas, thats the best time of year for sales, "for christs sake". But, oh, the movie theatres bitched and moaned, "oooh, you cant do that to us", and so Sony had to postpone the home release until almost FEBRUARY. Ok, so I could have this dvd in my hands in a few weeks, OR, I could wait MONTHS. Guess what I have to do! All because I want to legally buy the damn thing, I could have just grabbed a pirated copy of the movie from online, probably before it was even showing in theatres. The people who play by the rules always get screwed over.
So, it seems to be a long wait until I can own This Is It. Im not happy about it.
So, what did I think about This Is It? Heres the trailer.
As you probably know, This Is It were a series of concerts that were cancelled after Michael Jackson died, a very short time before the concerts were to begin. This Is It, the movie thats been released, is from footage filmed privately for Michael himself, it was never meant to be seen by the public. Some fans have thought it shouldnt be released, since its practice footage, and not finished. Im personally glad I got to see it.
Lots of interesting set designs were used, and actual computer graphics for the concerts are shown during the movie. One has a spider scurrying about, and then an actual giant spider comes out on stage, with its legs stomping about, and it opens up to reveal Michael inside.
Theres been all kinds of rumours about the movie too, some of them bizarre. I mean, the whole thing is a cash grab by the producers, trying to get as much money as possible of course, and they've succeeded doing that. The rumoured price for the raw concert footage was 60 million us dollars, and to date, the movie has taken in over 200 million dollars. It will probably do something similar to that again in merchandise and sales of the home media versions.
Then, rumours that body doubles were used, that not all of the dancing is done by the actual Michael Jackson, its someone who looks just like him doing it, because Michael was too sick to dance. Who knows if thats true or not. Even Joe Jackson, Michaels Father has said that its "mostly body doubles". I dont know, Joe Jackson says all kinds of things. Sony released a statement denying rumors that the film had rehearsal footage of Jackson body doubles. "This story is pure garbage and there are no body doubles. [...] Audiences will begin to see the film tomorrow [October 28, 2009] and every time they see The King of Pop they will know that every frame is unquestionably Michael [Jackson] as he rehearses and prepares for the London concerts that were to have begun this past summer." I dont know, thats a bit mean, to say "oh, the true fans will recognise its Michael", its a bit like the story of the Emperors New Clothes, we all want to believe its Michael Jackson, and so will just assume it is him. From what I saw, it seemed like him, sure.
Then, there are rumours of the actual singing too. For most of the movie, you dont hear Michael singing at full strength, he doesnt sing properly, apparently to save his voice for the concerts, this was just practise remember. So, he skips huge portions of songs, and what he does sing tends to be rather quietly, and he sounds out of breath, like hes forgotten parts, or is generally stressed. There were rumours that Michael was close to death as he performed, and that he could never have actually fulfilled all the concert dates. These rumours say they people around him were giving him drugs to keep him going, never caring about his health, and that they just needed him to perform. At least parts of the sound have been confirmed as being the original master recordings, with Sony confirming that some of the practise recordings were just not strong enough. Again, I dont know, maybe we will never know the truth.
From what I saw from the movie, Michael looked rather freaky, every time you see him, he looks like a different person, his whole face again looks different from just a few years ago. Now he looked "smaller" and even thinner, with large cheeks but nothing else to his face. He wears sunglasses for most of the movie, and some rather crazy looking suits. I didnt like the costumes very much, they are just bizarre.
I'll read from some reviews of This Is It.
"More important, however, is that we rarely witness Jackson giving 100%: He frequently comments that he is saving his voice and body for the actual performances. Jackson certainly can’t be faulted for this, but it’s questionable whether he would really want his fans to see him thus. Don’t get me wrong: 60% of Michael Jackson is still a pretty good thing [...] [Jackson] the noted perfectionist, at work, correcting others’ dance moves without missing a beat himself and giving notes, sometimes revelatory and other times inscrutable, to his music director and others"
—Marjorie Baumgarten of Austin Chronicle[
"We see Jackson as a perfectionist, a generous boss, a tough taskmaster and a playful child. Off guard and probably unaware that it would ever be seen by the public, we find Jackson pushing his band and production team to the limit with demands to "let it sizzle" and "make the music simmer". Obsessive Jacko fans may be shocked by his Diva-ish behaviour as he complains about ear-pieces, but it's heartening to finally view the late singer as a rounded human with regular failings and imperfections. Similarly a scene featuring Jackson screaming "weeeee!" with childish glee as he moves around the stage on a giant cherry-picker, will surely bring a smile to even the most cynical viewer"
—Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy[
I guess you just have to go and see the movie for yourself, if its still available where you are, if not, we have to wait until its released for home media. Im not enjoying this wait, theres so many scenes I want to watch again, to see if I can spot any signs of body doubles, or other unusual things.
Overall, Im really glad I saw This Is It, although it is rather weird to watch. You know Michael is dead, it briefly mentions that at the very start, before going through the process of auditions for the supporting cast. Who knows if Michael Jackson had the strength left to do all those live performances. Honestly, the majority of the movie has him "practise singing", not singing properly at full strength. It comes across as if hes forgetful or tired, although it could really be that he was just doing that because it is a practise, and he needed his strength for the real performances.
I really liked a lot of things about the movie, I hope you can see it.
Im going to end with the main song of the movie, that was released with the movie. This Is It was recorded many years ago, and just recently worked into a full song. Its always exciting to find "unreleased" songs of your favourite artist, especially after they have died, although the studios ALWAYS let them trickle out, to maximise their profits. Its going to be years before all Michaels best songs have been released, if they ever are.
Thank you for listening. Its been fun doing these podcasts. Im going to continue doing my animal rights podcast, Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals. You can find that a coexisting with nonhuman animals . blogspot.com I'd love it if you would listen to that.
You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Jay Wont darts podcast at jaywontdart.blogspot.com
If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, j a y w o n t d a r t @ gmail.com, I'd appreciate it. I really, really would.
For the last time ever on this podcast,
Have a super happy day, bye.