Thursday, October 29, 2009

If you have become apoplectic over my continuous genuflection towards Michael Jackson, then you may want to turn the channel, because I plan to go deeper into it (that's what he said) right about now. I will now write about my journey yesterday to see Michael Jackson's, "This Is It". I will bring it down minute-by-minute..

5:30pm: I left work, put my headphones on, went to "artists" on my ipod and scrolled down to Michael Jackson. I figured if I was going to see a movie with this man in it, I might as well get my game face on by playing his music. The first song I turned to, "Another Part of Me".

5:45pm: I'm on the train, and I know my headphones are loud as hell, this time blaring MJ's, "I Can't Help It", and I can feel the eyes of the other passengers all on me. Usually I turn the volume down a bit on crowded trains, as to not offend anyone, but on this particular evening I was on my way to see Michael F**king Jackson..they'd get over it.

6:00pm: I pick up my movie tickets, peek around the corner, and I see a line of about 30 people, who have arrived early just so they can get a good seat in the theater. The movie is scheduled to start at 7, but there is another group in the theater from the 4:15 show, so we had to wait. At this point, I was a little annoyed, but I kept it together, because this type of crowd on opening night was to be expected.

6:05pm: I get in line, and I attempt to call about 90 people in my phone to help distract me from the foolishness all around me, but no one picked up the phone. So if you're reading this, and you ignored my call, I put a spell on you.

6:06pm: This dumbass lady and her 8 family members behind me, have the novel idea to start singing MJ songs in line, and the other 30 people in line blindly follow along. So we have everyone in line singing "Wanna Be Starting Something" and I'm sitting there furiously dialing any and everyone to talk to me, but nothing is happening. Where do these people come from? And why do they think its cool to sing songs in a f**king movie theater? seriously. I was beyond angry, not only at the singing, but mainly at the 8 or 9 seemingly straight guys in line who were singing at the the top of their lungs. They needed the Saw treatment.

6:10pm: At this point I start looking around for things to distract me and I noticed not one, two or three, but FOUR women holding babies that looked to be 3 months old or less. The babies were crying and they just had looks of absolute bewilderment on their faces as the volume of the voices singing MJ songs got higher. If you can't get a babysitter on a Wednesday night so you can spend 2 hours to see MJ, then perhaps you need to wait for a little thing we like to call the DVD. I know the movie is rated PG but 3 month old babies don't belong in the theater.

6:15: The previous movie crowd starts to filter out of the theater, and who do I see coming out? Mr. Dick Gregory He had a hat on and a rather large coat, but his beard was a dead giveaway. I politely asked the singing MJ crazies to hold my spot, and I went up to Mr. Gregory and introduced myself:

Me: Hey Mr Gregory, how are you?
Him: Damn, how did you know it was me?
Me: I mean your beard gave you away
Him: But how are you even old enough to know who I am?
Me: I'm 34 sir, and I've seen you on tv, in books and all that, I know who you are, and I respect your body of work
Him: I'm still mad you recognized me despite my disguise, but thank you very much young man, I appreciate that
Me: How was the movie?
Him: Dynamite, just dynamite
Me: Ok I'll let you go, nice meeting you
Him (giving me a firm shake and looking me in the eye): You too..uh what's your name?
Me: Rashad
Him: You too Rashad

6:30: The cleaning crew finally lets us in the theater, and these ass clowns start running into the theater like MJ himself is on stage already. I calmly walked in, got my seat, and saved the one next to me for my lady, who was running a bit late

6:45: These three teenagers down in front of me sit down, and immediately put their feet on the back of the seats in front of them. That's just rude I'm sorry. You have your feet dangling over an area where someone has to sit, and you think its ok..where does that sense of entitlement come from? I wanted to relocate my seat in front of them just to see what they'd do. But I stayed put.

7:00pm: The first of what seemed like 679 rounds of applause started, when a "commercial" for MJ's "This Is It" soundtrack ran. These fools clapped for 30 seconds straight as this commercial played. Again I stayed calm.

7:15pm: The movie started, MJ appeared for the first time, and there was more yelling, clapping, etc. This time I said loudly, "Are you f**king kidding me?" On cue, right after I said "you", the applause stopped, and the "f**king kidding me" part of my sentence was heard throughout the theater, and a good 40 or 50 people looked back and had the nerve to shush me. I looked at all of them and said, "where was this need for quiet 2 seconds ago when you all were clapping?" Then MJ came back on the screen, so the applause restarted and all eyes were on him, and I was just angry.

7:15-9pm: I'll stop bitching for a second to talk about the movie. Yes MJ's face was scary. And yes during the some of the performances, you could tell he was holding back because these were only rehearsals. But damn if MJ wasn't in rare form. He directed the band, he danced, he instructed the background dancers, he looked at film, and he just blew my mind. This is an MJ I didn't see enough of..the on-the-stage, behind-the-scenes MJ is way more appealing than the creepy-interview-in-my-Neverland-ranch MJ that was shoved down my throat during his last few years. He's a musician/entertainer, and I want to see him entertain. This movie gave me that opportunity, and I was left sad because he's gone, but satisfied that he left this footage behind. BUT...

There was constant talking in the theater, there was cheering, there were numerous "I know that's rights" yelled out, and I was just totally blown. At times, the audience was so loud that I missed some of MJ's lines--and MJ doesn't exactly have a talking voice that carries. Plus there were a lot of people younger than 20 in the theater, and they have the attention span of some of the 3 month babies being held, so any lull in the movie had them talking, giggling and texting. So there are parts of the movie that I flat out didn't hear, so I will be buying the DVD when it comes out. I know I got dirty looks when I left the theater, because of my foul mouth, but I don't give a good goddamn. MJ is the star, and we are all witnesses, not participants. But I'm happy though, because I saw the movie.

Michael Jackson (featuring Shaquille O'Neal) - 2 Bad
From my useless Michael Jackson knowledge file. For this song, MJ wanted to channel his inner Sly Stone, so the beat and background vocals are remisicent of vintage Sly Stone. And so his voice would be a little grainy and raspy, MJ stayed up all night, then recorded his lead and background vocals at 5am. So listen for that...


soft and subtle said...

Rashad, you rarely disappoint with your entries.... Out of the 90 people you called, I wasn't one of them. lol Anyway, your entry was funny as hell. It’s unfortunate you were annoyed throughout the movie but I guess the point got to see it. Well, thanks for the huge laugh this morning...what a night.

Jazzbrew said...

Bruh... you had me in stitches with this. I'm sorry your movie experience was ruined by nut job fans but damn if it wasn't entertaining to read.

....: blue :.... said...

I'm sorry to hear about the audience and how obnoxious they were. But again, you win the award for most entertaining. I think I want to go see it with the theater to myself. (And yes, I realize this is a lofty dream.)

DB said...

Saw it today around 6pm. nearly empty theater. You gotta go to these kind of movies on the off times so you can hear everything.

I thought the movie was Phenomenal.

I was a bit angry when they first mentioned releasing the footage. I thought it was yet another exploitation. But this movie, I want in my collection right now. It is definitely a side that we've not seen. His vision comes alive and it perfectly portrays the musical genius we know he is.

The Details!

While watching, all I kept thinking was how I wish this show would have made it to the concert stage. Because I would have paid mad loot to see it live in London, Dubai, Tokyo or wherever.

By the end I wanted to write someone a letter and tell them what an amazing job they did and what a great service this movie does for his legacy.