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Director Spike Lee assembles a wealth of archival footage, interviews with contemporary talents and family members, and Michael’s own words and image to create this insightful chronicle of the star’s early rise to fame. An in-depth look at a chapter of his career that is rarely examined, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall allows audiences to travel with Michael as he gets his start at Motown, strikes a new path with CBS records, and forges a relationship with legendary producer Quincy Jones. An illuminated portrait emerges of how an earnest, passionate, hard-working boy would become the “King of Pop.”
Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall movie full length review - A must see, thank you Spike Lee!
Once again, Spike Lee brings us a wonderful introspective into the life of our beloved Michael. This is a must-see for those of us who literally grew up with the music and presence of the Jackson 5, Jacksons, and "MJ".
Not that we need a reminder of the magic of Michael Jackson, but the rare footage and interview snippets definitely will bring smile to one's soul.
I especially loved the portion of the film where they discussed The Wiz, which is my favorite film to this day. So many parallels exist between Michael and the scarecrow. It's rare to find behind the scene footage of this movie, so the feedback from the screenwriter, producer, musical director and others talking about working on this cult classic is amazing.
And obviously, the mesh of Quincy Jones with Michael to create the masterpiece that is Off the Wall...is the stuff of legends. To this day, this album still sounds new. It simply grooves and is a dancer's dream. From the pulsing bass line and explosive percussion on "Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough" to the softer, jazzier Stevie Wonder-flavored Quiet-storm favorite, "I Can't Help It". The iconic "Rock With You" had the gorgeous video of Michael in the silver/black suite and matching boots.
The instrumentation and songwriting on OTW was just as incredible as the lyrical performance. Top-notch musicians, writers were used and it was LIVE. Not Memorex. Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson showcased his signature bass slapping on "On the Floor". Then you had former Heatwave member, Rod Temperton bringing hits "Off the Wall" and "Burn this Disco Out" to the table. This album showcased so many talents from writers to musicians. Even "Girlfriend" was written by Beatle great, Paul McCartney. And who can forget a choked up Michael singing the last cracking notes of "She's Out of My Life". He was a master at emoting. Hands down. "It's the Falling in Love" was a smooth duet with Patti Austin, who also sang great duets with James Ingram. Yet, with all the music masters behind this project, the album only won 1 Grammy for the song "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". It was all good though because the seed was planted from OTW and the next album Thriller would absolutely break the Grammys and the world on so many levels.
We were pretty much introduced to the Michael the solo star from this album. It was truly the catalyst to his rocket-launched career.