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Case Number 17238: Small Claims Court

Buy Michael Jackson: Devotion - An Unauthorized Tribute at Amazon

Michael Jackson: Devotion - An Unauthorized Tribute

Infinity Entertainment // 2009 // 70 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 11th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum still can't quite bring himself to put on another glove. Tito, bring me a tissue!

The Charge

You've been struck by a smooth criminal.

The Case

With all the endless coverage, public outcries, and exploitation surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, is it any wonder we get a DVD designed to cash in on the singer's legacy? Michael Jackson: Devotion—An Unauthorized Tribute is simply a collage of public domain news clips edited to tell the story of the singer's life to cash in on his untimely passing. There are no revelations, no in-depth interviews, nothing new, and not even a single note of Jackson's music. It's less intriguing than watching a CNN report. A dry narrator simply takes us through a string of news clips that spell out Michael's life in a quick sketch version.

The package looks good with diamonds all over it, and an iconic shot of Michael singing with his clothes blowing up. It appears solid as you slip it out of the slipcase. You can chose the chapter you'd like, and they go through his life chronologically. The transfer is widescreen, and the image varies in quality depending on age and the source of the footage. It goes in and out looking like video, home movies, and then digital broadcast. Sound is a simple stereo. The box promises extras such as footage from the memorial service. Really all that is are extra beats which shows us part of the eulogies from people like Queen Latifah, Berry Gordy, Brooke Shields, and Magic Johnson. Again, no music was cleared so you don't get to hear that. There is the most famous moment with Paris tearfully saying goodbye clutching a microphone with Janet hugging her. I could see some people being happy with all these news conferences and press appearances, but there is a dark side.

What's sad about this tribute to Michael is that because the source are news clips, they have to go in to the lurid details concerning the child molestation charges. We get to see Jackson's tearful plea that he was innocent, and then there is Latoya Jackson's verbal accusation that he's lying. Much of the footage doesn't put Michael in the best light, and for a product called Devotion that could be an issue. Seems this one should be targeted to those who loved the singer, and for them some of the bumps along the way are best not brought back out into the light. Do we really need to see him dangling Blanket again over a hotel balcony, or strolling into a court room in California wearing pajamas?

Can I blame a distributor for trying to cash in on such a huge event in pop culture history? Whatever you think about Michael Jackson personally, there is no denying the man changed the face of music and music videos forever. I can't imagine there will ever be another one like him. I'd say the best way to pay your respects to the King of Pop would be to purchase his greatest hits DVD of number one singles where you simply get the music and the stunning videos that captured the world's imagination. Michael deserves a better tribute and frankly so do his fans. Hopefully one day we'll see that happen, but this DVD isn't quite it. Michael Jackson: Devotion—An Unauthorized Tribute is obviously just a trinket for the fans to buy mistakenly while they are grabbing up everything with their favorite singer's face on the front cover.

The Verdict

Guilty of being a quick cash grab on the faithful and devoted.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 68

Perp Profile

Studio: Infinity Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 70 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Concerts and Musicals
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• Memorial Footage


• Michael Jackson: Number Ones

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