`Number Ones' the DVD, along with the CD of the same name is a brilliant way to introduce newcomers to the talent of Michael Jackson- the KING of Pop. Here on this single disc we essential get all his trademark songs and their videos (Yes, I know some trademark songs didn't have videos and thus are missing from this collection).
The videos are as follows:
1. Don't Stop `Til You Get Enough - A pretty typical music video for the 70s, featuring Michael singing with interchanging green-screen backdrops. Jackson doesn't really beginning to show his trademark showmanship and dancing until the last few moments of the video. So, good song, but the video certainly doesn't show you how innovative the artist shall become in the future.
2. Rock With Me - More or less the same deal as the previous video, only the backgrounds are even less interesting. Highlight is seeing a bit more full-body shots of Michael in movement than the previous video, and he gets to wear a nice glitter-jumpsuit.
3. Billie Jean - Now we are entering into trademark King of Pop material with the music video that began Michael's task of redefining the genre. Plenty of good sets and props and special effects, including the infamous light-up sidewalk. The film is also the first to tell a story.
4. Beat It - Another great music video, this one being for what could be Michael's best song, and features some of the best dance choreography of any of the icon's videos. The story of this video is of Michael trying to address gang violence and preventing bloodshed as two rival gang-leaders enter into combat with knives drawn. This is the song that would later be used by the Reagan Administration to discourage drunk driving, and earned Michael his first Government issued award.
5. Thriller - Michel Jackson's most infamous music video - the most bought/downloaded music video of all time- is presented in its entirety on this DVD. The 13-minute mini-movie, directed by John Landis, is a landmark in entertainment that completely redefined the potential of music videos, which at one time had simply been footage of bands performing with no real point other than to combine imagery with song. The music tells of a strange boy (Michael) who isn't all right, and proves to his date that the supernatural seems to follow him. This sets the stage for one of the most memorable dances in modern culture as Jackson puts on his moves with a horde of the living dead!
6. Bad - Michael Jackson's follow-up album to Thriller presented this new-image of the pop star- one in which he runs around a New York Subway, in what can only be described as leather bondage gear (only children friendly). The infamous director Martin Scorsese directed an 18-minute short film for Bad, but sadly this DVD only includes the shortened version (just the song and none of the story parts). The dancing and performance by Jackson is still amazing.
7. The Way You Make Me Feel - A good video, though this version omits the first few, introductory minutes. Not really a problem because the dancing and music are what you care most about for this video.
8. Man in the Mirror - One of Michael's first songs to feature mostly video-montage as opposed to an actual performance, this one using imagery of those in need and encouraging you to make a change to help others and the world.
9. Smooth Criminal - I love this song, but could they not have edited the scene from Moonwalker in order for us to see the full-length video? This is the cheap, edited version of the original music video. This montage feels like an advertisement for the Moonwalker movie and not like an independent piece of art at all.
10. Dirty Diana - What mostly seems like a live performance isn't too special, but the song and Jackson's stage-performance is electric.
11. Black or White - This version edits out the controversial Panther scene, but other scenes (That Home Alone kid) are still involved. Jackson is seen dancing with members of various cultures and the song is a cry for racial equality which, with its guitar orchestrated by Slash, is one of Jackson's best songs.
12. You Are Not Alone - Not one of his better videos (features him and his first wife), but the song is one of the best love songs ever performed and Jackson (a man who was often alone) truly brings out every emotion the song is capable of.
13. Earth Song - Another song featuring footage, only this time Jackson is present. This is a very good song and is also a cry for peace and charity around the world, allowing Jackson to once again prove his positive ideals.
14. Blood on the Dance Floor - A good video with a good song. Doesn't stand out much compared to some of his other videos, but it is in no way a bad video.
15. You Rock My World - This is another 10+ minute video from Jackson, this time featuring guest appearances by Chris Tucker and -a rather large- Marlon Brando. Like Smooth Criminal the film is set in a film-noir environment, but never really reaches the greatness if obviously strove for. Still, it does have its moments, and is, like all the others, not bad- just not as good.
Overall this is a good video for new fans, but if you want "Making-Of" features, or ANY special features at all (this DVD has not a single extra feature) than you'd be best looking at the other MJ DVD releases, which, though more costly, will have the features you as a fan desire, as well as uncut versions of some of the above mentioned videos.
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I'm an aspiring filmmaker who loves the crafts of the cinema. I write reviews as a side hobby.
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