List Film

Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story (2 stars)

(PG) 87min (Scanbox DVD retail/rental)

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BIOPIC

On the subject of once highly-regarded artists fallen on hard times, this made-for-TV biopic isn’t the finest hour in director Allan Moyle’s career. His first film was the New York-set cult punk classic Times Square, and he went on to direct a couple of other agreeable-enough youth flicks in Pump Up the Volume, Empire Records and the forthcoming Weirdsville.

Sadly, this made-for-TV feature is a cut-and-shut rehash of Jackson-inspired tabloid stories from the last two-and-a-half decades, with Jackson only sketchily drawn as an adolescence-deprived man-child torn this way and that by the influence of his domineering father, his guru Liz Taylor, and so on.

Visually, however, the film looks quite good, with Moyle plumping for a bleached-out, hand-held approximation of Michael Mann’s style, but the content is little more than a flimsy join-the-dots affair, and the fact Jackson didn’t give permission for any of his music to be used only serves to accentuate the tenuous nature of the whole affair.

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