Ever since Michael Jackson died, companies all over have been trying to find ways to make money off of him, whether it’s re-releasing his albums, bootleg t-shirts, new toys, or Halloween costumes, they will find any excuse to plaster his name on merchandise. That being said, there are a ton of DVDs out there that were released right after Michael died in 2009. In fact, some new ones are still being released today. I have nothing against these DVDs, some can even be interesting, but which ones are worth spending money on? Here is a list ranked from best to worst of unofficial MJ DVDs.
Note: there are ton more out there than the ones I list here. These are either ones that I already owned or were easiest to locate online.
Michael Jackson: Life of a Icon
This one is currently available on Netflix instant streaming, so of course I added it and watched it one night not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s actually one of the best documentaries about him since his death. It contains new interviews with people who actually worked with him over the years. There’s not much new footage, but it’s still enjoyable and there are some great pictures. For me, I learned a lot from this documentary. I didn’t really know much about the 2003 trial and it had some great information on it. I don’t know if this info is new for anyone else, but it’s enjoyable all around. Also, it’s well put together and well produced. I would definitely buy this.
This documentary aired on cable TV a few years ago and it really impressed me. It’s nicely complied together and actually looks at Jackson’s career in chronological order (unlike some DVDs). It does have a lot of the same footage that most of these DVDs have, but sometimes it’s extended footage or there are some new clips found here. It also has interviews from people who worked or knew Michael. It’s a really touching tribute and is definitely worth getting. If not you can always watch it on youtube.
The Interviews Vol 1 and 2
This is a pretty nice collection of interviews featuring Michael Jackson. To be fair, there’s probably no new material here, but it’s nice to see if you haven’t seen these interviews before. The footage isn’t the greatest quality, but the interviews are entertaining. You can probably find all these interviews online at this point, but if you want to have them in one place, this is one to get. It also has interviews that were not shown in the US, which is a nice touch.
Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar/Unmasked
If you see this one for a few bucks I would say get it. It’s definitely not the best, but it’s not the worst either. It doesn’t have any information that we don’t already know and most of the footage has already been seen. It also runs through Michael’s history with the Jackson 5 pretty quickly. So, if you’re looking for a DVD where you can learn something about MJ’s life, this one isn’t for you. And from what I can tell Unmasked is exactly the same as Life of a Superstar. The same footage, the same narration, same everything. The only difference beside the title? The narrators sound different.
Michael Jackson History: The King of Pop 1958-2009
This one is okay. Honestly, it’s more of a compilation of news clips from England, rather than a documentary. While the clips are interesting because they were not shown in America, they are shown out of order. One minute you could be looking at Michael arriving in England for the History tour then suddenly he’s meeting Princess Diana during the Bad era. Aside from the news footage, the rest of the video is filled with the same footage as the previous DVD. Only get this if it’s a dollar.
What Killed the King of Pop?
This DVD has a bunch of doctors and people who supposedly worked for Michael discussing his drug problem and whether or not he looked healthy the day before he died. It’s boring and runs on assumptions and rumors. The whole death part last for about 45 minutes. It then launches into a very quick history of his life. Again, it uses the same footage as the other DVDs above. If you really want to see it just check it out on Netflix.
Moonwalking-The True Story of Michael Jackson
This is just horrible. Terrible. It’s nothing but a bunch of so called psychologists and doctors sitting around and trying to examine Michael Jackson. They basically make assumptions about why he got hooked on drugs and why he was such a tortured artist. They even analyze footage of Michael meeting Princess Diana. They actually say things like “He looks very happy. There he is shaking her hand.” They have nothing interesting to say! The footage is the same as the others DVD and the interviews with his friends that it boast on the cover, are old interviews that are not only featured in the other DVDs, but can easily be found on youtube. If you’re really curious look for it online.
Alive! Is Michael Jackson Really Dead?
This is probably the most ridiculous DVD ever. Just look at the reviews on Amazon and Netflix to get an idea of how terrible it is. First, it looks like something a 7th grader made in powerpoint and got an F on. This women whose some sort of doctor and has supposedly done her research, sits there for an hour telling us why Michael isn’t dead. She constantly takes things out of context to make them work for her argument. At one point, she claims that the photo of Michael in the ambulance is fake and that his attorney confirmed it. It then quickly pans to footage of him saying “photoshopped it is a fake,” but he never specifically states that he’s talking about that photo. My favorite part is when she supposedly goes to the Forest Lawn website where Michael is buried and says there’s no data found. Well, duh! Then everyone will go there! You know what, just watch it to get a good laugh.