THIS IS IT, MY REVIEW

I just got finished watching Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT on blu ray and even though I’m left with a deep sadness, I can’t help feeling inspired.

To me, this was it. This was going to be the greatest live concert ever. A culmination of Michael’s fifty years of life and live show experience, poured into fifty shows.

Every song in this documentary, that you’ve heard thousands of times feels fresh and reinvented. Every visual is larger than life. Even Beat It, which was beaten to death on terrestrial radio feels re-energized!

Keep in mind, this is Michael Jackson REHEARSING. He’s not operating at full throttle. He’s, what we used to call in theater, “saving it for the day.” Saving his body and his voice for that grueling marathon of shows he was to perform at London’s O2 arena.

I didn’t see THIS IS IT in theaters. Do I regret it? Yes, but at the time, I couldn’t. It was too soon after his death. I would have openly wept in the theater and viewing it on my 32″ flat screen at home was just as emotionally draining.

The film opens with testimonials from some of the dancers who’s life long dream was to work with Michael. He was their soul inspiration. Their life long dream. That dream ended on June 25th with his passing.

I kept thinking, as I was watching the film, what if he were still alive? What if he directed film? What if THIS IS IT were turned into a Broadway Musical? Endless possibilities, now gone.

Special features include 2 making of documentaries, 3 featurettes with the testimonials of people who worked on the show, gushing over Michael’s genius. They’re all good, but to me, It just feels like someone describing the Mona Lisa.

Everyone knows MJ was a genius. The real magic here is being given that special ‘fly on the wall,’ back stage pass. (One of three collectable lenticulars. included in my two disc limited edition) 😉

BD exclusives include Thriller and Smooth Criminal vignettes, a making of Smooth Criminal featurette and an interactive trivia game. Stocking stuffers for the fans. Nice, but quickly forgettable once you’ve opened the main present.

Given the number of hours of footage and the amount of time director Kenny Ortega was given to complete the film, I’d say it’s nothing short of a miracle. Great Job! Excellent picture quality and dts-HD master audio.

I won’t write any spoilers. MJ looks great. Better than ever! Which makes his death seem more tragic and unnecessary. Watching The Gloved one at work is amazing. Every direction or critique he gives to his fellow players is with love and respect. The level of knowledge he has about music and timing is unequaled.

The void left by this man will never be filled. Not by a hundred Ushers or a thousand Chris Browns. This is it folks! The best it’s going to get. Now go out and get it!

Apple’s iPad, DO I NEED THIS THING?

Yesterday, Steve Jobs introduced his latest and greatest innovation to the world. The iPad. Yeah! Christmas is finally here!

After watching the keynote speech I was left wondering, do I need this thing? Maybe the recession has brought out my frugal side. Hey, wait a minute, I don’t have a frugal side! My wife and I have seven iPods, Four Mac computers and an iPhone between us. We need a Mac Museum.

I need to talk myself down off the ledge. This is what the conversation in my head sounded like yesterday.

FRUGAL SELF
What do you need that for?

ME
Look at it.

FURGAL SELF
It just looks like a big iPod Touch to me.

ME
It’s beautiful!

FRUGAL SELF
It’s 500 BUCKS!

ME
It’s $499. and I can put all my books on there.
I can display them on a virtual bookshelf like the trophies they are.

FRUGAL SELF
You haven’t even read all the books you have now.
For $500. you could almost buy two Kindles.

ME
Kindle? That thing looks like an Atari 1000 next to this thing.
With the iPad,I could surf the internet,
write email, listen to music, write notes, play games…

FRUGAL SELF
Your MacBook does all of those things.

ME
I could feel like one of the ship’s officers
on the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise.

FRUGAL SELF
You might feel like an ass
after spending that much money
on an oversized iPod Touch.

ME
It does look like an iPod Touch doesn’t it?

FRUGAL SELF
Or half an MacBook Air.

ME
But, I’ve been waiting for this thing for a whole year!

FRUGAL SELF
Wait another year and Jobs will come out
with another one that has twice as much memory
for half the price.

ME
I can’t wait that long.
I need an e-book reader.
It’s part of my plan to de-clutter.

FRUGAL SELF
De-clutter, what, your wallet?

ME
Shut up! I’m not listening. LA LA LA LA LA!
I want this. I want it. I want to live in the future.

FRUGAL SELF
What if you sent that money to Haiti?

ME

FRUGAL SELF

ME


I don’t need an iPad.

BILL BROWNSTEIN OF THE MONTREAL GAZETTE WRITES…

Greg Morton: mimics Barack Obama to the tune of Candyman

Greg Morton: mimics Barack Obama to the tune of Candyman

Photograph by: Debra Robb,



MONTREAL – To his surprise, Greg Morton has become the darling of the hip-hop Republicans. The Democrats, on the other hand, don’t know what to make of him. Morton is amused and just a little bit bewildered – particularly to learn there is such a breed as hip-hop Republicans.

Morton is a comedian, specializing in parody impressions. This reaction is the result of his tune Obama Man, which has gone viral on the Internet, with nearly four million hits. Morton, who plays the Comedy Nest tonight through Saturday, perfectly mimics Barack Obama to the tune of Candyman, but with these biting lyrics: “Alright everybody: AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, First National, Lone Star! What do you want, One … Two … Three … Hundred Billion? Come on over! “Who can fix the mortgage? General Motors too? A bailout check for me. And a bailout check for you. Obama Man. …Yes, Obama Man Can. Who can give ya health care? Who can save the poor? Who can pick the teams that are in the final four?” You get the picture. But what makes the picture a little murkier is that Democrats are somewhat befuddled by someone they believe to be an African-American taking shots at Obama.

“I leave them all scratching their heads when they ask if I’m a Democrat or a Republican,” Morton muses. “When I tell them I’m a Canadian, then they’re really puzzled.” Yup, Morton is a Canuck. Born and bred in Woodstock, Ont., he is now based in Toronto, although he is a big attraction on the club circuit throughout the U.S. as well as Canada.

Now that the president’s approval ratings have plummeted in recent weeks, comics are becoming less reluctant to make Obama the butt of their gags. But Morton was one of the first wits out of the gate to make mirth of Obama.

“I realized early on that comedians were very leery about offending Obama. I also realized that I’d probably get a lot of attention if I did go after him. But I’m certainly an equal-opportunity insulter.” “A lot of comics are scared to do this, for fear of being branded racist. But that’s our job. If the president is king, then we’re court jester, and we should be able to make jokes about Obama when it’s warranted.” Morton followed up Obama Man with another tune, Obama in Mom Jeans, set to the music of Neil Diamond’s Forever in Blue Jeans. This tune emanated from the president’s garb at last summer’s major-league baseball all-star game. Obama tossed out the first pitch, but folks weren’t focused on whether it was a slider or a change-up. Rather many were struck by his garb – “mom jeans,” as pundits went on to describe his loose-fitting denims.

“Fact is that I really do admire Obama. I think he’s extremely intelligent. I just don’t agree with everything he does. And I can’t agree with those jeans at all,” Morton cracks.

Morton has received no official response from the White House about his compositions. “Not yet anyway, but my (U.S. work) visa comes up for renewal this year, and we’ll see how that goes.” It might go a little better now. To the delight of Democrats, Morton has also had his way with Sarah Palin. His most recent song, Obama Wants to Pull the Plug on Grandma – based on Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – is inspired by the ex-Alaska governor’s rant about Obama wanting to create death-panels on the fate of seniors.

Sing along: “Here’s the way I understand it. The way it was explained to me. To save the healthcare system, they will shoot grandma. Like Old Yeller on TV.” Just for Laughs fest patrons may recall Morton doing his dazzling two-minute re-cap of the Star Wars trilogy – with dead-on impressions of Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca the Wookie Monster et al in 2001. He’s still got that in his repertoire, along with newer material featuring Batman and the Joker – performing Deck the Halls as a duo.

Ever the joker, Morton also has Tiger Woods on his phone-answering machine: “Can you do me a favour? Can you take your name off my phone?” Sounds just like Tiger. “It should. It is him. Not me. Scares the hell out of people, too.” Morton feels the level of hysteria has reached epic proportions in the U.S. “It’s not the Excited States of America for nothing: A place where strangers can sneak into the White House to have dinner with the president, but where you can’t take your shampoo on an airplane.”

Greg Morton performs Jan. 22 and 23, Friday and Saturday, at Ernie Butler’s Comedy Nest, in the Pepsi Forum, 2313 Ste. Catherine St. W. Call 514-932-6378.