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REVIEW: Whitney

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to my first written film review for a while and today I’m going to talk about the new documentary released about Whitney Houston entitled Whitney. Now I only heard about this film around a week ago and I just happened to be in a city where the film was being shown, and while I’ve never been the biggest Whitney Houston fan, I’ve liked a lot of her music and wanted to see what light this film could shed on her that I wasn’t aware of, and I believe this film did a good job.

Most people are probably aware of who Whitney Houston is and know of her music unless you’re super young, but for those not aware, the life of Whitney Houston is one of triumph and tragedy, she started out so well, ascended into the stratosphere and then unfortunately fell and never quite recovered. and after all of her success, there was a lot of media coverage about Houston’s life mostly all in a negative light with many accusations, rumours and big reveals, but as we all know there’s a lot more to the lives of celebrities beyond what the media presents. I recall how much she was brought up in the news from the good stuff in the 90’s the all the bad stuff in the 00’s because of the drugs or marital issues with Bobby Brown. And while this film wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, it was emotionally charged, haunting and informative.

I feel like the film did a good job of introducing itself in a positive manner highlighting the best/fun part of Houston’s life but then changed things up immediately with some darker/negative elements, and that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the film as there were plenty of moments where the film changes its tone at several points throughout. The film confidently goes through a lot of her life from childhood to her first tv appearance to her initial explosion onto the music scene to marriage to problems with drugs and her downward spiral towards death. It is fairly comprehensive with great use of audio and video archive footage which shows every side of her whether she’s playful, funny, shy, sassy, aggressive, sad, exhausted and so on. I loved seeing her in her youth being so cute and crazy but also seeing how human she was dealing with some of these insane situations with varying degrees of success. The editing and use of sound are excellent, making you feel immense joy at one point, but then feeling scared or depressed in another. There’s also plenty of interviews from everyone close to her from her mother to her brothers to her ex-husband to family friends to music management, and so on. And they all give very detailed information about Houston’s experiences, the good and the bad and how some of them contributed to the long-term issues that became major hurdles for her later on. And the film isn’t afraid to go to those really dark places and ask questions that were dark or uncomfortable, there was a lot of rumour and speculation in the media about what Houston got up to, and while not every question is answered, there was a fair amount of clarification and certain revelations about Houston that was quite shocking and highlight that her life was anything but simple and that there were many factors that made things turn out the way they did. One moment, in particular, was a pretty major eye-opener that left me in stunned for a little while too.

And of course, the watching this film frigging hurts especially if you’re a fan of Houston, to you see this beautiful lady with such talent rise and then fall so hard that it’s hard to watch at times. I wasn’t alive or old enough to experience the Houston in her prime, but this film really highlights how much of big deal she was, how she changed things and made an impact with America and the world, black people, female singers and so on. When the film ended I really just felt like crying. This documentary did a great job of revealing Houston’s life, showing off outside influence and showing off what she meant to people, how big of a star that she was and highlighting her raw talent.

In conclusion, Whitney is pretty solid documentary that is emotionally engaging and very insightful, and if you are even remotely interested in this documentary I would recommend it, Kevin MacDonald did a fine job at asking the right questions and presenting the life of one of the world’s most interesting, brilliant and tragic celebrities. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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R.I.P. Whitney Houston

I just can’t believe it, this truly is a situation beyond comprehension. Just as I am scanning through the internet in the early hours of the morning I come across a news story which just shocks me beyond believe, the fact that Whitney Houston, R&B, soul and pop singer is actually dead at the age of 48. When I saw this via a link on Facebook I actually kept saying to myself “Oh my god.” Several times in fact, I just couldn’t believe it to be true, so soon.

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So what can be said about Whitney Houston? Well for one she was a brilliant singer, she had a powerful voice, capable of such range and distance and had a unique sound to it that could never be replicated in any way shape or form, Whitney was Whitney and regardless of whatever genre of music she was singing in she rocked it and sounded amazing. From the time her debut album “Whitney Houston” dropped in 1985 she had an incredible presence in the music industry and that only continued with her follow-up album “Whitney” that came out in 1987. While she had a rocky time in her career through the 90s, her albums “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990) & “My Love Is Your Love” (1998) sold incredibly well and her work on the soundtracks of the films “The Bodyguard” & “The Preacher’s Wife” were highly regarded also. She was on fire and through the 1980s into the 1990s she created songs that are unforgettable and now cemented in music history. She inspired a new generation of singers currently in the in music industry. However as with many music artists there was a dark side to her career. She had many personal issues including weight loss, being late to music reversals and there was also all of the conflict that came out of her marriage with Bobby Brown. All of that did take its toll on Houston and then there was also her use of drugs which did play a major part the destruction of her music career. Unfortunately in the years that followed after 2000 she started to fall off of the radar and only showed up in the news for all the wrong reasons and slowly her career in music was disappearing from the world and while she did make an admirable attempt to come back to the world of music in 2009 with the release of her album “I Look to You” which was pretty decent, it wasn’t nearly as incredible as her previous work, that coupled in with her live performances that have been less stellar and quite a shadow of the former awesome talent that we knew before, it is was safe to say the Whitney’s career was still in an unstable place.

But never in a million years did I think her life would end so soon.

Here’s where I read the news story: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/whitney-houston-superstar-records-films-dies-15565063#.Tzc-Mfmt0TB

And here’s the BBC News take on the news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17001548

Now while I can’t say I was the biggest Whitney Houston fan ever, I knew her music, everyone did. And I enjoyed her music immensely. While I wasn’t a child of the 80s, I did grow up in the 90s and heard several of Whitney’s songs throughout my childhood on the radio, TV and on the CDs that my mum had, so Whitney’s brilliant songs were with me from a young age and do hold quite a level of nostalgia for me as I person. I also really enjoyed her contributions to the Walt Disney Television live-action version of Cinderella which I loved as a child and still have on VHS to this day and still enjoy it very much. She was an incredibly beautiful woman with an incredible history with music from platinum albums to number one songs to Grammy Award-winning material she was great music artist indeed. Whitney Houston to me was an amazing singer, who had talent far beyond that of many women in the world of music, she was legendary in my books and a credit to the music industry. And its funny while a lot of her songs I’m not overly keen on, there were a few that stood out for me. Firstly “I’m Every Woman“, this was probably my favourite song by Whitney, even though it was a cover of the song done by the brilliant Chaka Khan, I think Whitney took the song and jazzed it up a little and made it more reflective of the time period. It perfectly reminds me of my youth, listening to this song on the radio was great when I was young and I think it’s a really energetic dance/pop cover. Love it. Then there was the song “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay“, this song I swear I used to hear so often it was unreal, to the point where I knew all the lyrics by the age of 10 (that is probably no exaggeration). It was a good song and was very addictive and I remember me and my sister singing to this song when we were younger I think.

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Now this next song is probably the oldest in my list of notable songs but its by no means less important, the song “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” it’s a song that I have heard so much it is unreal, I’ve been to many parties or nights out in different nightclubs and have heard this song play many times. It’s everywhere, on the radio, on TV, in the clubs, everywhere. And while I was never overly keen on it back in my teenage years probably due to the fact that it was played everywhere to the point where I would get extremely annoyed, I think now at the age of 21 I’ve started to see the appeal of the song. It’s a great pop song that really does have a lovely 80s vibe to it and it does have an epicly happy feeling to it which I really like and appreciate. And lastly, the final song I want to talk about is her last song “Million Dollar Bill“, while I thought it was okay at first, the song over time really did grow one me. It really is a feel-good song that has instant appeal and has a great presence in this modern age of music. While not quite the massive hit like her previous singles, considering the way music is these days (terrible and broken in a lot of ways with very few good points in between) it should be noted as a pretty decent success.

Obviously there are many great songs that she made that aren’t in my list, but again those were just the songs that stood out for me.

It’s a really a great shame that such a talent should be taken away from us so soon. I mean she wasn’t even 50 years old yet. I thought she would live into old age at least. She’s one of those great talents you never expected to disappear off of the face of the earth like Michael Jackson. Now for me Jackson’s death rocked my world in a way I will never forget and his impact of the music industry was so huge that it makes me sad just remembering how he is gone too and I think this same rule applies to Whitney Houston as there will never be another her in his world and I believe with the right encouragement she could have gotten her life in order. And the really strange thing is that I was actually looking up Whitney Houston on the internet on Wikipedia and YouTube one day prior to all of this happening and I find that incredibly eerie.

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Anyway to summarize Whitney Houston you were brilliant, you were beautiful, you were amazing and just like Michael Jackson you were taken from the world before your time. Rest in peace.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Life, Media, Music

 

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