“Stuck In Love” Movie Review

So I had heard this movie was good and thought to myself…

Why the hell not.stuck in love

So I sat down with a cup of green tea, some graham crackers, and my trusty ole pal Netflix and gave it a whirl…

and boy am I glad I did.

It’s basically a must watch if you are a writer.

And a must watch if you are a human.

The story revolves around the ups and downs of life for the Borgens family; a family of writers.

The dad is a well known writer, the daughter is an up and coming writer (and studying to become a better one in college), and the son is realizing writing is closest to his heart while he tries writing about his invisibility to the high school girl he has fallen in love with from a distance. Full Plot Here.

The Movie Stars a few familiar faces…

Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Nat Wolff and Logan Lerman.

The Netflix description reads:

This quirky tale follows a year in the lives of the Borgens clan, which is in a tailspin thanks to the family patriarch’s obsession with his ex-wife.

Ok so I don’t know about you but that synopsis did absolutely nothing for me. It’s very vague and I felt like there wasn’t much of a hook. Instead of the comedy-drama which it actually is. I thought I was going to be faced with a weird obsessed father figure out to redeem his ex wife with creepy intentions. I wasn’t entirely convinced it would be a good watch. But I gave it a chance and was pleasantly surprised.

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“If that was your opening line of a book, your reader would be hooked.”- Bill Borgens

“Stuck in Love” with it’s back talking college daughter afraid to love and it’s somewhat hopeless romantic of a son quietly captures your heart. And in the drama that is a failed marriage and serious issues like infidelity, divorce, the trials and tribulations of navigating high school life, and even death, there is a quiet whisper of smiles, of laughs, of sweet sarcasm. The acting in it is so natural and so realistic, it makes you feel like you know this family. Or even as though you’re a part of it. I swear I’m the girl version of Rusty!

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“You’re cute Lou, but you reek of romance and good intentions”- Samantha (where do I sign up Lou?)

Lily Collins nails her role as “Samantha” and blends nicely with Logan Lerman’s character “Lou.” It’s a dynamic we’ve all seen; girl grows up with a broken home, which turns her off to the idea of looking for love. She stays promiscuous, but shy’s away from the good guys, to shelter herself from getting hurt. With a sarcastic verbal crotch grab to the one decent guy who ever actually wanted to get to know her for her, knocking him down before he even gets a word in. Ya know on the off chance he gets too close. Lerman delivers every girls fantasy; a sweet guy, who was raised with respect and integrity and who values a girl for who she is. Hey Lou, if Sam doesn’t want you…come find me 😉

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Nat Wolff’s character “Rusty” is a closeted romantic. The more you watch the more you realize the similarities between he and his father played by Greg Kinnear (Bill) are uncanning. Both in love with love or the idea of love. Both writers. Both not wanting to let go of the possibility of reaching for the love they shared or could share with the woman in their life. Rusty is a young teen who has little life experience to write about. So in order to write better, he channels more into life, and tries really living it. thumb

Kinnear is the driving force as the father “Bill” to this dramedy. He narrates as the story unfolds. His voice reeling you in, making you want to know what happens next. His “obsession” with his ex-wife; who has since moved on and remarried, consists of him continuously wearing his wedding band, stalking and spying on her and her new husband in their own home, failing to look for new love outside a convenient “friends with benefits” relationship, neglecting to write new material, and setting a plate for her at every thanksgiving stating that “she’s coming back.” It’s been three years. billNow mind you that may sound creepy and it is to the casual onlooker. But when you get to the root of the issue, which is being in love with someone so much that it consumes your life, that it consumes your heart and soul, that you can’t live without them. Or in some strange way you can breathe and live, but you’re not liv-ing. Then how can you blame him. How can you fault him. How can you cast aside a man who loves like that. That’s not a crime. If anything not feeling like that at least once in your life, is the true travesty. That’s what I think true love actually feels like. Because if life is not about love, then what the hell do we have left.  It’s a beautiful story and Kinnear plays it in a way where you not only forgive him for the stalking, but you feel for him and in some sense it leaves you rooting for the once married couple, to get back together.

It was just a beautiful story. Great acting. Great writing. Seamless Directing. There are such beautiful moments in this movie, such beautiful lines, poetic even. I’m telling you this will touch your heart. And for all those writers out there, it will give you new faith, and inspire you. I know it did for me.

It’s a shame, I read that it had limited theatrical release in the United States on July 5, 2013. I honestly don’t remember hearing about it. But I’m glad that Beauty Guru Meghan Rienks recommended it, in a recent Favorites video. So shout out to Meaghan…thanks girl! Glad I watched it! And you should be glad too…get on that.

“Stuck In Love.” Netflix it. Now.

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-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

Shhh…I secretly wanted to be Britney Spears

**CONFESSION TIME**

10 “Shallow” Reasons why I wanted to be Britney Spears when I was younger… (not my brightest moment i admit…) But I’ll always have a soft spot for the Brit Brit.

1. The signature Britney Hair Flip.

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so brit giphy

 

 

 

 

 

2. And how her hair; even when messy, still looked good.

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3. The Britney Strut.

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4. Crossroads (it was kinda bad, but kinda really good too).

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5. Her Outfits…

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The I don’t know why…but i liked it!

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The Leather (post Justin)

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The Lace (during Justin)

 

6. Her “Stronger” Video Outfit…I was was strangely obsessed.

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7. Her pinstripe suit pants from “Me Against the Music” (yes i bought a pair and wore them on new years eve, cuz I’m cool!)

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8. Slave for you video. Enough said.

*Where every guy wanted to be with her, and every girl wanted to BE her.

No just me? ok then (but you’re lying to yourself…) 😉

 

9. This performance…

“Lonely”

 

 

10. Her boyfriend was well…him

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Britney girl, no matter what, I got you. I’m a fan.

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So secrets out! I wanted to be Britney Spears when I was a kid, (and maybe even when I was a teen too) for all the reasons listed above and more, (like those ridiculously high platform sneakers and flip flops she used to wear, but I couldn’t because I was already taller then everyone in my 5th grade class hahaha)

**Spoiler Alert: I grew into my height and eventually everyone else caught up**

Let’s get deep….The point is we all have things we wish we could change about ourselves, I’m sure Britney herself has things she would change about herself. As we grow up we idolize people we think are perfect. But the more we grow the more we understand everyone has flaws and it’s ok to accept them. It’s always nice to look up to people and often times those people tend to be celebrities with money and fame. But I’ve learned that idolizing the version of them that you think is perfect can cause you to have a distorted vision of yourself and others. So I’ve learned to admire instead of idolize. Respect talent but more importantly value good character. This lesson has allowed me to gain suitable inspiration without losing who I am as a person.

So I’m happy to say that this little girl, is my idol 😉

Me circa 1997 ish?

Me circa 1997 ish?

 The moral of this story…

Be Yourself.

-<3-

 

Ask yourself…

question

Ask yourself

If you could fast forward time

and meet the love of your life

go to a place

where he’s tangible

where he’s so close you could almost feel him

instead of  boys who came and went

 you blinked and missed him

a place where instead of a clouded image

instead of a faceless man

he’s crystal clear

and he’s standing there waiting on you

would you walk over and introduce yourself?

or would you be too afraid to?

Ask yourself

If you could get the job you’ve always wanted

the dream your heart has held onto for as long as you could remember

would you go for it

would you send the resume without over thinking

would you polish your best clothes for the interview

would you beam confidence, even if you swore the job was out of reach

or would you be too afraid too?

Ask yourself

If you could wear that trendy outfit you’ve had in your head or your closet

but have been reserved about

because you think it’s not right for you

would you own it

or would you be too afraid to?

Ask yourself

Would you stand up for yourself and your beliefs

when someone puts you down

or would you be too afraid to?

Ask yourself

Would you dream big when you feel like a small fish in a big pond

or would you be too afraid to?

Fear

it’s real

it’s unnerving

But living life beats it every time

Note to self:

Take your own advice

Stop being so scared

-<3-

 

 

 

2014 BBMAs Reaction-Review

I know what you’re thinking…

This is another Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake post, right?

Really?

Well considering what happened this weekend you should have been expecting this…

Quick Advice: WATCH BEFORE READING!

This past weekend on Sunday, May 18th, The Billboard Music Awards aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And I think it’s safe to say that Michael Jackson’s hologram performance of “Slave to the Rhythm” stole the night.

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The performance began with a swat team of dancers dressed in black armor with the King’s initials displayed on their chests, as the rolling drums and helicopter sounds greeted the audience, they anxiously awaited a performance that was said to make history.

The curtains rose and Jackson appeared on stage upon an extravagant  gold and leopard printed thrown, sitting casually with one leg draped over the side.

michael-jackson-hologram-billboardDressed in his signature style; a gold sparkly jacket, white v-neck tee shirt, a sparkly belt, red pants, red socks and gold shoes. The initials MJ displayed in the background of him as well. Details were on point all the way down to his curly locks and the white tape he used to wear on his fingertips so that it would catch your eye with the flick of his hand. Even his walk down the stairs of his thrown to the main stage, was spot on. Michael always had this presence when he walked, like it was a dance or a glide with some kind of swag and spunk to it. It was a walk you took notice of, it was as if he wasn’t asking for your attention he was demanding it.

screen_shot_20140519_at_9.37.29_am.png.CROP.promo-mediumlarge.37.29_amAs his hologram pulled out his iconic moves like the crotch grab, the shoulder roll, the pelvic thrust, the tip toe stand, the side step walk… he glided across that stage flawlessly. And you knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was only a matter of time before he broke out into a dance break and moon walked across the stage. You couldn’t call it a Michael Jackson performance without a dance break. As the song “Slave to the Rhythm” was manipulated to focus on Jackson’s vocal track and cut to allow time for Jackson’s moves to shine once again.

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shoulder rollmoonwalk

 

 

 

 

Because of all of these details Jackson appeared almost lifelike.

If not for the illuminating light surrounding him, or the occasional off lip during the vocals, it could have easily been him. It was that good. Technology man…

The entire performance was accompanied by over a dozen dancers (both real and hologram infused,) as well as fire and light beams. After his performance and dance break, Jackson returned to his starting stage with a signature pose and then returned to his thrown.

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To me it was kind of symbolic now that I think about it. As if to say he’s holding his title in life and even in death. Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop; the greatest of all time. I could only imagine what it would have felt like to have been in that audience. As people were seen dancing in their seats and some shared cheers while others shared tears. The performance was met with a standing ovation. If it were me I would have wanted to be off my ass and dancing through his entire performance, but I guess people were just in shock!

As for me I went into watching this performance with an open mind. I expected a hologram, because what else would be history making? They’ve done so many tributes that I was just like nothing is gonna be good enough other than the king himself. And I had heard it was for “Slave to the Rhythm.” But of course I was secretly hoping it would be Justin and hologram Michael Jackson performing “Love Never Felt So Good.” But Justin being on tour wasn’t even there :/. I’m really anxious to hear what Justin thought about the hologram performance. I hope he comments on it soon! Never the less, I went into this just wanting to see what it was all about. I was just excited to see how they would pull this off.

And my reaction was kind of all over the place.

My best friend and I snuck away from her family birthday dinner to watch tv and I was like I GOTTA SEE THIS MJ PERFORMANCE! Half way through I ran upstairs to grab my mom, because she just had to see this! I was freaking out!

At first I was like wait a minute…is that really him…is that a hologram, is that just a really good impersonator? I was…and I repeat ALL OVER THE PLACE. I was entirely confused because I knew that there isn’t any footage of Michael performing that song. “Slave the Rhythm” hadn’t even ever been heard until just recently as Jackson’s 2nd posthumous album Xscape  (which holds the track) was released just a few days ago on May 13th. So I was just like HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW???

I remember I just kept saying things like …

I don’t know what my life is right now….I don’t know how to feel…

And I really didn’t.

I was stuck between freaking out and being in awe of how technology has evolved. And feeling like it was a good depiction of his legendary legacy. I thought it was amazing, I thought I was gonna cry.

According to people involved; this performance has been being planned since December of last year. And the song was chosen before they even had the technology to back it and before his image was yet to be perfected.

However, unfortunately much like everything in his real life, Jackson’s hologram performance received quite the stir of controversy. Some were quick to comment on the image not being perfect…hence the lips were off here and there. But what can you expect… nothing is going to truly live up to the real Michael Jackson live and in person. I may not have ever seen him perform live, but from being exposed to his performances throughout my life, I can safely say he was in a league of his own. So this hologram performance would be the next best thing. Others harped on the fact that the hologram was dated back to Jackson’s “Dangerous” days. Which they felt didn’t make much sense because he died at the age of 50, 5 years ago in 2009.

Michael even had his very own seat that night.... (what a beautiful gesture!)

I can’t even handle this! Michael even had his very own seat that night…. (what a beautiful gesture!)

The set they portrayed in this performance is said to be based on the artwork for the “Dangerous” album. His image was created in the same light. In fact it makes total sense, being that “Slave to the Rhythm” was originally recorded back in the 90’s during the “Dangerous” sessions. If you think about it, it’s better that way. It preserves his memory, if you ask me. I mean it’s no secret that Michael himself wasn’t too happy with his own appearance, hence why he went through so many plastic surgeries. Never the less, his health wasn’t the best when he passed either. So for them to choose an image of him, from a healthier time, and remember him as his iconic self, makes total sense to me. And once you know these facts, it should make accepting it all a bit easier. I for one don’t get tired of watching it, it doesn’t get any short of amazing with every watch. So I think that says something.

There are two ways to look at this performance, either you enjoyed it and aren’t letting it get overly analyzed and blown out of proportion, and just take it as a tribute of some kind. Just take it as it is, without reading too much into it.

Or take it as an offense. To think they are dishonoring him, and not letting him Rest In Peace. Upon doing my research for this reaction review, I kept coming across articles which deemed Michael Jackson had been “resurrected from the dead in hologram form.” That to me is the worst way to put it. A hologram is NOT a resurrection. Saying that just makes it sound creepy and scary.  It also makes people mad.

Don’t get me wrong the idea of a hologram is very weird in itself. But I think what truly bugs people most about this performance is the thought that it looks so real. That they wish it was. And for that I understand. But I think that being that this performance was put together by choreographers who Michael had worked with himself and being that this performance  was fully supported and produced by the Jackson Family Estate… How can you really be mad? It’s easy to think that it’s all a game, to make money off of him, but I choose to look at it as a way to honor him. Same thing with the posthumous album. It’s all a way to give fans just a slight version of what they’ve been missing. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact music that good isn’t doing anyone any good unreleased.

“Slave to the Rhythm” is off Michael Jackson’s 2nd posthumous album entitled Xscape

Xscape debuted last week at #1 in 50 countries and is in it’s fight for no. 1 in the U.S.

Come On people let’s get it there!

Watch Access Hollywood talk to some of those involved in creating this show stopping performance.

(In a fellow clip within the Access Hollywood link under the “RELATED” Tab under the above video)

L.A. Reid promises there’s more to come for this album.

Jackie Jackson reacts to seeing his brother perform in hologram form.

Saying and I quote…

“It’s beautiful…unbelievable…I thought he was there for real, I got teary eyed watching my brother….I think he would have given it a thumbs up, he would have loved it…”

So if his own brother gave it praise…I think it’s ok for fans to feel ok loving it!

[http://www.accesshollywood.com/michael-jackson-hologram-howd-they-do-that-exclusive_video_2168937]

(same link as above)

******************

 

In other exciting news… shout out to Mr. Justin Timberlake as he rocked the awards in his own way by taking home 7 out of the 11 awards he was nominated for…including…

2014 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Justin accepts several times via satellite…

Top Artist

Best Male Artist

Top Billboard 200 Artist: “The 20/20 Experience”

Top Radio Artist

Top R&B Artist

Top Billboard 200 Album: “The 20/20 Experience”

Top R&B Album

Hell yea boy!

Congrats…very well deserved…that album deserves every single award it receives.

 

So basically two people who weren’t even there, dominated the night, haha. MJ & JT owned the 2014 BillBoard Music Awards. Hats off sirs. Nothing but love. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

*I do not take any credit for any gifs or images used*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Oprah’s Master Class with Justin Timberlake

**Pardon the abundance of Justin Timberlake/Michael Jackson posts as of late…this is quite the week for them…and I feel it is only natural I share my excitement. #fangirllife**

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Master Class Highlights…

Justin Timberlake’s advice on hard work, dedication and

becoming a “master” at your craft…

*Just say “Amen”

*Defeat isn’t failure

*It won’t be easy

*Give it a shot

*Remember this moment

*Step out on your own

*It’s about the song

*Sexyback

*Make ’em laugh

*Finish what you start

*Love

*Always be a beginner

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Key Quotes that stuck with me

“I learned what success and defeat meant and that they really didn’t matter.”

[on his experience on losing “Star Search” as a child.]

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“The most valuable piece of advice I ever got was from my mother, she said to me, I want you to know that you have a gift. None of us know where it came from, but you have a gift. And that gift is going to make your life more challenging in a way, because it’s going to test your character. She said, you know just because you have this thing that you do really well, that’s instinctive and natural to you, it doesn’t mean that you are better than anyone else. And to the point your gonna have to work harder to realize that.”

“We didn’t know anything about anything, but we knew we could sing together.”

[on the formation and great success of *NSYNC at such a young age.]

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“I remember looking at JC and saying “Remember this moment, because there’s a very good chance that nothing like this will ever happen again.””

[on shutting down Times Square while appearing on TRL for the release of

*NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached.”]

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“I was 19 going on 20, and I really felt like it was time for me to figure out who I was as an artist…to find my own voice. I would wake up every morning feeling more and more of an urge to step out on my own, to try my own hand as a musician.”

“It’s one of the best/worst things that I have ever done…it was bittersweet…it was hard to say goodbye to that era. But I felt it changing. I felt music changing and I felt myself changing.”

[on his decision to go solo.]

***I’m really happy that there was a decent segment on *NSYNC, I feel like I’ve been uncertain on the details of his departure for so many years, I’m glad we finally got some answers.***

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“I like being a beginner. I like looking at everyone and saying, I have no idea how to do this…let’s figure it out.”

“To be a master at something it takes a long time, at a high level and for me the way to do that is to always be a beginner.”

“Continue to do the thing maybe you think you cannot do, because you find out what you’re made of, you find out what material you’re made of.”

“Just because you get married, doesn’t mean you stop dating…that’s what keeps it exciting for me, I think.”

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“I had to convince people that it was my song, people didn’t even think it was me, they thought it was a joke.” [On Sexyback’s release.]

***I have to admit I was one of those people. When I first heard it, I thought there was something wrong with the track. I kind of hated it, and I remember being so upset because I was such a fan and I was so in love with Justified. “Sexyback” was like nothing I had ever heard, and I didn’t get it, but then it just grows on you. And I guess that was kind of the point. Hence, why it became (and still is) one of the most iconic Pop songs. No matter how many years go by, when that song starts playing at his concerts, people just lose their minds. It just gets in your veins, and I think he knew that. Trust your instincts people, trust them.***

“People kept telling me, “This will never work,” but I just kept saying “Just put the song out.””

[On choosing Sexyback as his first single off his sophomore album.]

“I knew that I was going to make a living off of the one thing everyone told me not to do.”

[On becoming a musician.]

“Loving what you do is extremely valuable.”

“If you’re not moving forward within it, your doing yourself a disservice.”

“You’re not meant to do what’s easy, you’re meant to challenge yourself.”

2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

The Michael Jackson Stor(ies)

“I think I pulled every “Thriller” move out that I could.”

[on auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club.]

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Justin Timberlake drops a major song bomb on us *NSYNC fans as he admits the mega *NSYNC hit “Gone” was originally written for Michael.

Justin had thought the song had not been heard. But then got a call from the King himself asking for a duet, instead.

At that point *NSYNC had already cut the record as a part of their third studio album. Justin inquired about doing an *NSYNC ft. Michael Jackson, or Michael Jackson ft. *NSYNC track.

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“He was very absolute about the fact that he wanted it to be a duet between him and I.”

“I can’t…and… I’m literally punching myself…”

*****HaHaHaHa damn that must have been rough, it’s the freakin’ KING calling you asking for a duet on a track YOU wrote for HIM…damn I gotta say after all the shit I give him for always snubbing *NSYNC, I have to say that I was very proud of him for honoring them and keeping “Gone” an *NSYNC track…although if there is a MJ/JT “Gone” duet out there that can possibly resurface in the near future, I will need to be picked up off the floor. HOWEVER, I honestly can’t imagine that song being sung any other way. *NSYNC fan at heart, always.*****

Fast Forward to the year 2014…

“Love Never Felt So Good”– Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake…guess you both got your duet! (and so did the rest of the world…we’ve been waiting on such magic!)

“I think it’s the first idea that I ever got about doing something on my own. Because it was the first time I ever really felt the confidence to do it. I knew that the music that I was interested in and writing at the time was different than what we and previously done, and it felt like a real departure. I never told anybody that Michael Story.”

***I was kind of slapped in the face by this story, it was kind of bizarre to me. I was just like hold up wait, is this real, did you just make that up? It made me all kinds of happy, yet sad. In a nutshell I guess we can all blame Michael Jackson for the demise of *NSYNC. hahahhahahaha lmaoooo ;)***

***P.S. Cool side-note***

*Justified’s hit “Rocky Your Body” was originally written for Michael Jackson by The Neptunes, but when he passed on the track, it later became Timberlake’s 2003 hit single.*

Justin explains that growing up in Memphis, Tennessee they didn’t have concerts make their way to them often, and if they did he didn’t get to go because his family was on a budget.

“I never saw Michael Jackson perform live until I was on stage with him. I only saw videos of it…it wasn’t Michael Jackson, it was Michael Jackson’s songs. We had the radio. [I grew up admiring] the movies, tv shows, songs…the thing that was being made.”

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His relationship with his mom is so beautiful, I can’t even tell you how many times he mentioned her throughout that interview.

Justin first got his courage to sing in Church and the relaxed pressure free platform it created. Singing helped him to learn more about who he was as a person. Justin also goes on to explain how he never really felt like he ever fit one mold; with various interests in all walks of music, movies, and comedy Justin gives 115% to everything he does. And makes it look easy. Something he says is even harder to do, “to make it look easy is the hardest part.” In this documentary Justin gives key advice to becoming your own driving motivation and how to follow your dreams. Justin also explains how we should always be beginners, continue to learn our craft, try new things within our craft, and be thankful. That no matter what it is you do, things are going to be received in different ways, it shouldn’t change your ambitions or why you’re there, or why you were apart of the project in the first place. You’re not responsible for how other people receive whatever art you put out. Between the baby Justin flashbacks on Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club , and all the old *NSYNC footage, and his savvy yet adorable story telling of his experiences with his musical heroes, I swear your heart is bound to melt. It was a joy to watch Justin in such a candid interview. There’s a good story about his performing with the Stones, that you really should tune in for!

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Justin Timberlake is slowly becoming a master at his craft, but has a lot more in him. And we will be singing his songs and watching his success for years to come. I swear the way my parents recall Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, and Elvis to me, I can safely say I cannot wait to school my future kids on the greatest of “my time;” Justin Timberlake.

Catch Oprah’s Master Class On Demand

or HERE

**I do not take any credit for any images.**

-<3-

“Love Never Felt So Good” Comes to Life

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So the Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake duet has been gaining a lot of attention. SO much that it’s hard to keep up with it on this blog…but never the less…you know I can’t help but try….

For your viewing pleasure…

The video directed by Rich Lee and Timberlake himself, is very well done. I am a very proud fan girl to learn that Justin had a hand in directing something like this. If this doesn’t get him more directing jobs I don’t know what will, haha. Excuse me while I dust off my film critique skills…(thanks professor Jackson). The concept was well handled; a collective tribute to and of Jackson’s most memorable moments, accompanied by the newest single to make it current. I mean how do you shoot a video for a posthumous album, and still keep true to the artist? There’s a certain weird factor to the idea of releasing a video like this…because the artist himself isn’t here with us. But I honestly think the fans wanted to see it, and I think it was done respectfully. The footage was nicely edited and infused old footage of Michael Jackson’s greatest moments into the shots of the dancers and Justin Timberlake’s performance.

The idea to include dancers is always a good idea. After all Michael was well known for his signature dance moves. It’s only natural to include the newer generation and show how Michael’s music is timeless. I love how they are all dancing on pool tables and in train turn-styles. Much like the King himself did in videos like “Beat It,” and “Bad.” And we see dance sequences from “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean,” and a movie theater scene much like the one we see in Jackson’s epic hit “Thriller.” Throughout the video itself is a homage to Jackson’s hit “Black or White,” as people of different backgrounds and looks are pictured lip-syncing and dancing, as they do interchangeable closeups of each person’s face. It was beautiful to see Justin amongst the kids singing and laughing as the kids of all ages wore Xscape t-shirts. (um hey can I get one of those!) This too is a very Michael tactic, in performances like “We are the World” and “Heal the World,” Jackson often included choirs of children to sing along with him.

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There are beautiful aspects to the cinematography featured in this video. The idea of mirroring Michael and Justin is beautiful. As they try their best to accommodate the duet aspect, whilst not having Michael there to sing and dance himself. The visual they created however, is beautiful. With Jackson pictured on screen behind an off centered Timberlake. The two interchangeably in and out of focus.

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I loved how simple Justin kept his performance. He didn’t try to over do it, and respectfully didn’t try and out shine the true star of the video, Michael himself. He just swayed and grooved to the beat in his typical Justin fashion, nailing his falsetto and proving why he deserves to be on the track. The video is kept happy and light hearted. Justin threw a couple of slight Michael gestures in here and there; the pop of a collar, the flick of his jacket, the shoulder bop from side to side, the head roll and flick of the wrist finger snaps, most of which were portrayed in a Timberlake silhouette (which I adore, I have a soft spot for the cinematic view of silhouettes) with Jackson’s original portrayal on a screen behind him. But Timberlake didn’t try to imitate any of the major dance numbers, (much to my disappointment, I would have loved to see him as part of the smooth criminal number). Because news flash contrary to what the haters are saying, Justin Timberlake CAN dance. But he left it all up to the new generation of Michael Jackson fans. But I get it, I get why Justin did what he did. He was being respectful. Never the less people are gonna say what they’re gonna say. They are gonna claim he is trying to act like Michael, but that’s just ignorance. If anything the only thing he did to, is help to create a work of art that honors Michael and shows how much of an impact he’s had on Justin’s career as well as the world.

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I have to say I teared up while watching this. It was a mixture of missing Michael Jackson and seeing Justin Timberlake in the same light as the greatest of all time. It was amazing, and beautiful and I had a moment there.

I grew up listening to old Michael Jackson music, a lot of Motown was heard in my house. My mom is a Michael fan, so naturally I gravitated toward his music. I got it from my momma.  Although MJ holds a specific spot in my musical heart, Justin Timberlake consumes the rest. I literally grew up with him, listening to him, and becoming the mega fan I am today. I grew up with *NSYNC as they owned the 90’s. I’ve been to many concerts and have really witnessed first hand the rise of his success, which is something I was never able to experience with Michael Jackson. I guess in a funny way you can say Justin Timberlake is my Michael Jackson. But take that with a grain of salt, please.

I don’t neglect that Michael can never be replaced. But I do think Justin Timberlake holds the highest rank for Prince of Pop.  I guess you can say that I’m a good example of how Michael’s music bridges the gaps of generations. As I mentioned before I grew up listening to old Michael tracks, because my mom loved his music. And continued to follow his newer albums as I got older. So sure being a 90’s kid, I may not have been on the planet, when albums like “Off the wall” or “Thriller” dropped. But it doesn’t matter if you were physically around…because you know all the words and can dance along, imitating a move or two, for sure. Because no matter the decade, kids know Michael. People know Michael. And they know he is the great King of Pop.

NEVER FELT SO GOOD

With that being said I’m seeing some hate comments about this video, although the true fans have many positive things to say, there’s always going to be haters. So I had to defend…

Ok I have to say this…to anyone thinking Justin is trying to be Michael Jackson, you are completely wrong. If you watched closely you’d notice Justin barely does any signature Michael Jackson moves, out of respect for Michael. Anything else is just small insinuations to pay honor to the greatest of all time. (To be honest I would have loved if Justin would have busted out a moonwalk! Michael is his idol, we all try to mirror our idols.) In fact Justin didn’t even originally want to record this track because he respects Michael so much. Michael loved JT and they have a lot of similarities musically. It’s inevitable that artists today would be influenced by Michael’s talent, there isn’t an artist out there who isn’t. Never the less Justin is his own artist, paying homage to the king doesn’t mean he’s trying to become him. Justin will have a legacy of his own…that’s why he is the prince/president of pop. Hell Michael was invested enough to want to work with him himself [see: wait for my upcoming review of Justin’s candid Michael encounters during Oprah’s “Masterclass”]. So I’m sorry haters, I just don’t agree with you. Sorry but it needed to be said. But to each their own. Just enjoy good music for good music. 🙂
And Justin, Hats off sir.
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The ending gave me chills.

*I do not take any credit for the images/edits used…although most are just video stills*

-<3-

Michael Jackson’s Legacy Lives On

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You know it’s funny just last night I was watching Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” film on tv…and I was like “Oh I know why they’re showing this, the album drops tomorrow.” I remember going to see the movie the fall after he died and just expecting to ball my eyes out. But I didn’t. Instead I rocked my “off the wall” t-shirt, sitting aside my best friend and my mom,  and just enjoying the music. And enjoying what would have been an incredible concert. “This Is It” consisted of all the rehearsal footage of Michael planning his London shows, just days before he died. And watching it last night I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at his personality. Some may say he’s strange and many will talk about the horrible things that were said about him in the media. But I only know him for his music, for his talent. And someone who comes across so genuine, so loving, so childlike, it doesn’t make sense for me to believe the rumors. So I choose not to. Michael was a true artist, working with everyone  and giving direction fairly. Saying things to guitarists like “I want you to hit your highest note, now’s your time to shine, and we’ll be right there with you.” Uttering God Bless You’s and giving thumbs up to all those involved. You could tell he was a perfectionist with a clear vision, but he knows his music and he was always right. But he also appeared shy and in a way unaware of his greatness. In an incredible “Billie Jean” rehearsal, he finishes with “Well at least we get a feel of it.” Like… are you kidding me, that song is epic and even in rehearsal, you performing it… is always going to be epic. As his dancers and crew members cheered loudly off stage for him, Michael bashfully shrugs his shoulders. I think that kind of level of pure fame, is enough to get to anyone. I only hope that he is at true peace now, and that he sees what a master of his craft he truly was and still is. RIP Michael. ❤

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 Listen to MJ’s XScape HERE

Read the lyrics HERE

 *1. Love Never Felt So Good

Read song description Here

… (we already know how I feel about this song)

Click here to explore my in-depth love

Moving on…

*2. Chicago

The audio is on fire.

Michael’s voice has that typical Jackson rasp accompanied by the heavy breaths he so typically adds in for effect, the song has a funky r&b feel good vibe to it. Very smooth. Definitely a favorite for me on the album so far…(it’s up there with “Dirty Diana” I could easily here this on the radio as a 2014 single, it’d fit fight in.)

Basically a song about a girl who did a guy wrong. lol

*3. Loving You

FUN! Jackson 5 vibes. Smooth Young Michael voice. The composition of this song is just flawless, each instrument, each sound just adds to it’s spunk. I love that funky drum and piano collaboration at the beginning and throughout. Seems to me like could have been up there with “Rock With You.” Would have made for a cool duet with Janet Jackson, vocally it would have been beautiful.

*Three songs in and I’m already loving it*

*I’m over here groovin’ and swayin’*

4. A Place With No Name

Read song description Here

Funky Guitar (due to the use of synthesizers) and Michael’s voice…love the intro…makes for another instant favorite.

Hand claps, and Finger snaps…signature Michael.

“I been through the desert on a “Horse With No Name” “… that was my initial thought, haha (and I was totally right [see: song description!])

The chorus is a fun sing along.

The vocals overall has this raw sound, sounds like this could be the demo, but that’s what makes it so good; makes it more organic.

5. Slave To The Rhythm (recorded during the “Dangerous” sessions)

Read Song Description Here

There’s a build up in the beginning of a assortment of sounds; chains, drums, violin= slave symbolism.

A metaphorical dancer, being forced to obey a man’s needs and ignore her own.

Funky- (timbaland written all over it.)

Britney spears should duet this gem *cough cough* “Slave For You.”

I really enjoy his vocals in this song, he’s got this screech that blends with the rasp and it gives the song a sense of urgency which matches well with the urgency of the beat and of the dancer who is a slave to the rhythm

6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are

“he he” ‘s all up in this one! Wouldn’t be an MJ album without them!

Hip Hop, meets Rock and Roll, meets old school vibes all in one.

Sending a message. (It’s 10 pm, do you know where your children are?)

That’s the thing about Michael’s music, it has two genres…pop, feel good dance songs, then songs with a strong message. I think quite frankly in his heart he wanted to change the world, he wanted to make it a better place.

Well Michael you may be gone physically but your legacy lives on through your music, which continues to touch the lives of previous generations, this generation, and generations to come.

7. Blue Gangsta

Kind of eerie.

Clear cut vocals.

Ballad meets smooth R&B dance track.

Fueled by heart break.

The title is kinda badass!

This song wasn’t an instant favorite for me (although its seriously creepin’ up on me), but I can definitely see this as a single. I can see the chorus catching on and having people belt it out. It screams “Cry Me River” vibes; even though it was recorded before Timberlake’s break up anthem, haha 😀

Also there is a part in the break where he hits a note and holds it, that makes me think of  the ending to “Earth Song.”

*8. Xscape

“Scream” vibe.

Like the concept…trying to escape the media.

Love the horn section!

Is it weird that I could see Britney Spears on this track too?

 

This album is contemporary Michael. It’s still MJ and his raw talent with a bit of a 2014 spin to it. I think the producers set out to make something  that Michael would approve of. I’m interested to know what the Jackson family thinks and if they are proud. I do think that the Jackson family should have been involved with the production.

But I still think the album came out great! It’s a mixture of contemporary versions and original versions. It’s an amazing thing to hear the original versions. The songs range from feel good beats and meaningful lyrics that strive to send messages. There’s a lot of influence that could be chalked up to heart break. There’s a gentle darkness that gets masked by the upbeats beats and rhythms. But “Love Never Felt So Good” and “Loving You” breeze in and save us with their light. However, there is a variety of songs from all walks of Michael’s albums from 1983 to 1999, so it may seem like there is a slight continuity issue, in sound, in quality, or in vocals. But L.A. Reid tweeted that the producers who worked on this album sorted through 22 previously recorded songs and narrowed it down to 8.  I realize that many people have concerns about releasing music that is raw and fear that a perfectionist like Michael would frown upon it. But as L.A. Reid kindly put it, the demos were released solely for his fans who requested it. I know I was on youtube the minute Ryan Seacrest played a snippet of the “Love Never Felt So Good” demo, I was dying to just play it over and over again.  There’s just something so special about hearing the un-tampered with versions. It’s just Michael, and it’s a honor to listen to. To feel like you’re sitting across from him in the recording studio. Close your eyes, and you’ll feel it. It’s bitter sweet for Michael fans who have followed him through his career, because he isn’t here to deliver this album himself. And we have no way of knowing for sure if he would approve of it. But I think that given the simple fact that Michael even just put his voice on these tracks means something, and they should be heard, and honored. So I definitely think it’s worth a listen!

So as always, Michael Jackson, hats off sir.

And to all those involved, I think you did him proud.

“For the ultimate fan experience, XSCAPE is available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings as they existed in his archives as well as a DVD documentary featuring the producers discussing the making of XSCAPE. The duet version of “Love Never Felt So Good”, co-produced by Justin Timberlake, is also available on the Deluxe Edition.” [via michaeljackson.com]

“Love Never Felt So Good” is my top favorite, followed by “Chicago,” “Loving You” and “XScape.”

As I mentioned in my “Love Never Felt so Good” Review post, I am eager to see this thing play out and how they will work the duet. Will there be a music video? Will it ever be performed? I hear there’s this big Michael Jackson extravaganza happening at The Bill Board Awards this weekend and I am holding my breathe until I see for myself. Like I said I’m still waiting on greatness. And that greatness would include Justin Timberlake and Hologram Michael Jackson performing “Love Never Felt So Good” at the awards. But with Justin being on tour overseas…I don’t know if that will happen. However, he is on tour in Russia the 17th but his next show after isn’t until the 23rd, so it’s possible… AHHHHHHH….ok  ok let me not get my hopes up too high. I’ve learned my lesson with that bogus 30 second *NSYNC reunion. 😉 We’ll just have to wait and see on Sunday.

But there’s this.

SC20140513-192558Tune into Ellen May 14! ❤

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accompanied by this photo…um ahhhhh

 

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Um Justin, I think the cat’s out of the back…hold on wait a minute…let me go pick my jaw up off the floor ❤

Michael Jackson is set to unleash World Premiere Experience and “make history” at The 2014 Bill Board Music Awards…which airs LIVE from Vegas this Sunday May 18th on ABC at 8 pm. Yahoo will be streaming the red carpet. 🙂 Tune in!

 For more information on Xscape

visit MichaelJackson.com

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Shout out to this being my 200th post here on wordpress!

 

 -<3-