Jackson Fans Rip VH1 Movie from Stem to Stern – MJEOL Bullet #175 Biopic ridiculous and wildly inaccurate After media reviews tearing the VH1 movie “Man in the Mirror” apart, Jackson’s fans are also ripping the movie apart from stem to stern; questioning everything from the accuracy to the choice of actors. In a mad rush to be one of the entities to financially benefit from Jackson’s fame and legal troubles, VH1 created what some have characterized as a “dramatization” of media articles, cliché’s and inaccurate info staring a ‘cartoon character’ version of Michael Jackson. This version is often seen through the lens of misinterpretations, half-truths, or outright lies.

The movie, as expected, portrayed Jackson to be an immature, selfish nutcase who doesn’t know how to live in the world, according to many fans at the powerhouse fan site MJJForum and even the vh1 messageboard. The sentiment is also shared by members of this site, MJEOL, where the majority of fans who posted their reviews feel that the movie lacked both depth and enough truthfulness to be even remotely accurate. While this asinine interpretation of Jackson’s behavior makes the media happy, it is far from an accurate portrayal of the talented artist and shrewd businessman who has been a superstar since before he was teenager. Jackson’s sheer survival skills should have been a tip-off to the writer of the script that he should have quadruple-checked his sources and background info before he turned in the final draft of this daft parody. Nothing is depicted concerning Jackson’s obvious business acumen and shrewdness; nothing showing his profound knowledge of artistry—including everything from music to architecture. What is child-like behavior from the real Jackson is turned into brainless, childish behavior, which is indicative of shallow research and “taken-as-is”, unquestioned media reports. Instead of sensitive but strong, fragile and immature is depicted in the movie. Instead of idealistic and respectful, he’s portrayed as flaky and selfish. Everything from the ridiculous makeup, to the ridiculous voice was roundly panned by a great number of fans who have posted their opinions. While there were a few who wanted to give the creators the benefit of the doubt—and some found humor in the “biopic”—most were not as generous. One fan simply says “This gotta be one of the worse movies I’ve ever seen” (Requiem, MJJF). And the reviews get even worse. One has to wonder if the media is interested in doing an “actual” biography of Jackson. Those “wacko jacko” sensibilities etched in the public’s psyche by years of inaccurate and misleading information—not to mention the outright lies—doesn’t dupe those fans who, unlike Flex Alexander (plays “Jackson”), follow more than just his music. One fan writes: “Rarely does the public demand an authentic portrayal of Michael. Therefore, there is rarely the effort to give it rather than the myths and media/tabloid one-dimensional version of Michael Jackson…” (classic, MJJF). Another fan offers what those involved in the film should most definitely be feeling “What an embarrassing ass movie” (MoOnWaLk4MeBaBy, MJJF). And boy did the inaccuracies and nonsensical story-telling come rolling in, according to other fans. Those who have knowledge of Jackson’s history pointed to a number of things that were flat-out incorrect. For example, there is a scene in the alleged “biopic” concerning Jackson’s Dangerous album. According to those who’ve seen the “biopic”, a person tells the Jackson character that his Dangerous CD isn’t selling well and the Jackson-like character fired him because he didn’t “believe.” Yeah right….sure. They seem to conveniently leave out the fact that Jackson’s Dangerous CD is pushing 30 million copies worldwide, if it hasn’t surpassed that mark already by this time. It was also Jackson’s fastest selling CD before the HIStory album some years later. So the notion that someone would get fired or even reamed out by Jackson for that reason seems to come straight from a tabloid story. During the OJ Simpson trial the Jackson character is portrayed as more selfish and more concerned with the media attention given to the trial than to him. Where are they getting that from? They seem to be pulling it out of thin air. By all accounts, the media attention given to the OJ Simpson trial is exactly what Jackson didn’t want at that time. Another nonsensical moment is concerning the Jackson character’s reaction when he hears about the 1993 allegation. Fans report that they portrayed “Jackson” as caring more about a Peter Pan movie than anything else. Any person with any sense could probably tell you that a movie was last thing on his mind during that time. While they accurately make reference to Jackson’s vitiligo, another inaccuracy concerns the stages and times of his disorder. Fans report at certain points, Jackson’s skin is much darker than it was in real life; an error that should have been easily caught:

“…the makeup was terrible. They had Mike with dark skin during the Dangerous era and when he was with Lisa, then they had him lookin’ all dead and gray during the Bashir part, and then at the end he looked dark again!” (Thrillergirl at MJEOL)

Any video from the Dangerous era–from Black or White to Remember the Time—and you can clearly see that Jackson’s vitiligo has progressed to a more-than-obvious level by that time. Any idiot could have double checked to make sure. More fans complain about the overly used “Neverland” references. What’s a fact is that while Neverland obviously holds a special place in Jackson’s life, he’s probably spent more time away from it in the past few years than he’s spent at the overly used ‘Neverland’ of the movie. For example, Jackson was in Vegas while police were ransacking his home on Nov 18 2003. The ridiculous and gratuitous scene where the Jackson character is watching the World Trace Center towers being attacked was another source of ridicule. According to those who watched, the Jackson character tells a bodyguard to “cancel the surrogate, I can’t bring another child into this world”. As if there is absolutely any basis at all that this conversation took place or that Jackson is booking and canceling surrogates like he’s ordering and canceling room service. And as if Jackson, who is giving—sometimes to a fault, by all accounts—would be so selfish as to be thinking about himself at a time like that. The movie also treats Jackson like he’s never had an adult heterosexual relationship. Both marriages are viewed by the writer as either a ploy to prove his manhood (L Presley) or a simple surrogacy arrangement (D Rowe) even though both women say there was clearly a relationship between them and Jackson. On that subject, one fan points out correctly that Jackson didn’t propose to his first wife, Presley, in his bedroom but rather, over the telephone. Minor fact, but a fact nonetheless. The alleged “movie” also claims that Jackson was only using Presley for his image during the 93 allegations. In fact, he had been wanting to hook up with her since she turned 18, YEARS before the 93 allegations, as evidenced by the Prime Time Live interview. On another vein of their marriage, If anything, he was more hated by media and some in the public after the marriage because he was seen as the “freak” that was “screwing ‘the King’s’ daughter”. Fans who have seen the movie also report that the ‘grab the baby and run’ dramatization was far from what really happened between Jackson and Debbie Rowe, after the birth of his children. Of that, one Jackson fan writes:

“I don’t like how they portrayed Michael with Debbie—they made it seem like Michael thought of her (and women in general) as baby-making machines…the people involved in this movie don’t know Michael so a lot of these scenes in this movie are straight up fictional…” (floetic_justice, MJEOL)

If Rowe was a simple surrogate, he certainly wouldn’t have married her. Besides not being true, there doesn’t seem to be one iota of factual information to back up the ‘baby-making machine’ theory. It reeks of flawed, stale pseudo-psychoanalysis based on speculation pulled out of thin air (or your local tabloid). This segues into another fact about the actors hired to play the roles. None of them actually look like the people that they’re portraying in the movie. For example, the children in the movie hired to play Jackson’s kids appear to be too big to be Jackson’s children at the ages they would have been during some of these make-believe scenes. No one with the exception of Martin Bashir (ironically)–not the actor playing Liz Taylor, Janet Jackson, not even the actor playing Michael Jackson–look a thing at all like the real people. In the movie, Jackson’s daughter Paris is depicted as having blonde hair when she in fact has long dark brown hair. As one fan puts it at the VH1.com message board: “…this movie looks like they threw it together in a week without taking the time to study dates, details, or anything” (CadetABC at vh1.com board). Another small point is that to most fan’s knowledge, Jackson doesn’t call his little sister “Tink” as portrayed in the movie. Her nickname is “dunk” (or “donk”) which is short for ‘donkey’. It’s a family joke. The creators of this…this…. “movie” claim that Jackson would like it because it was positive. Some fans say that if creators thought for a minute Jackson would approve of this hatchet-job, they should have thought again. Just because you aren’t making a movie declaring his guilt, doesn’t mean that the movie is “positive”. Most fans who posted their reviews would have preferred truth and accuracy. Of Jackson’s reaction to this “biopic”, one fan writes:

This movie was HIGHLY insulting to Michael Jackson’s character. This was absolute character assassination. Michael Jackson in this movie, was made into a cartoonish buffoon…. made into a retard. There is nothing funny about this character assassination and if anyone here think that Michael is pleased with this portrayal…. THINK AGAIN! This movie didn’t show any of MJ’s charity works, his business acquisitions – NOTHING. This movie was a slap in MJ’s face. (MsTenda, MJJF)

In the many interviews done by Flex Alexander, he does say that he is a Michael Jackson fan. But it’s clear he’s a fan of the music only, and doesn’t have that encyclopedic knowledge of events and information that a number of other fans do. If he did, he would have been able to point out those blaring discrepancies, inaccuracies and inconsistencies as most of the fans, who follow both Jackson’s career and life, have done. In an interview with TV Guide, Alexander says he wasn’t spooked by Jackson’s legal situation and wants the process to work itself out in court. Of the voice and “mannerisms”, he claims that he worked on it and did “a good job”. Well, not all fans agree with that assessment: “Another thing that irked me, is Flex’s voice, how he kept it all high even in the last scenes. Michael doesn’t use that falsetto anymore” (m1958j at MJJF). One has to wonder if either Alexander or the producer of this movie has recently heard Jackson speak. True, he’s no ‘Barry White’, but he’s certainly no ‘Mickey Mouse’ either. When asked by the TV Guide interviewer if the film is a “hatchet-job”, Alexander says that the movie is “very positive” and claims that he “learned more about Michael Jackson” than he ever knew. If he learned about Jackson through this film, then it’s no wonder he sees Jackson the way he does. This attitude is an illustration of the different tiers of Jackson fans. Had he delved a bit deeper—or simply knew more about Jackson going into this “movie”—he probably wouldn’t be claiming “knowledge” now. All in all, this is one “movie” the world seriously could have done without. With even some Jackson-hating media entities trashing it, one has to wonder what it accomplished. And no amount of good intentions on the part of the creators or the actors is going to change that. Remember the phrase made famous by ‘Judge Judy’: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” In that same vein, don’t create/participate in a “movie” like this and tell me it’s “positive” and that Jackson will like it. Alexander’s next role should be playing an apologetic actor who just screwed over a musician of which he claims to be a fan. -MJEOL

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