Whitney

Whitney (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

An in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston.

There’s not a lot to say by way of a narrative here. Most of us have a rough idea of the life story of one of the most famous stars of all time – and it’s a tragic one, obviously.

What Whitney does is fill in a few blanks and gives us an impressive collection of early documentation to pour over – as well as a lot of private video footage. Spliced with current day interviews with Whitney’s mother, brothers and various loved ones, it has the tendency to slip into dullness – during the lower key parts, one of my movie buds started to fall asleep! That said, it isn’t bad at all – and is a must see for anyone who grew up on the sounds of this phenomenal woman.

My personal favourite Whitney period, apart from 80’s Whit is The Bodyguard Whit, and it’s really sad to think about what else she could have achieved if things had been different. She lights up the screen whenever she’s on it – and has so much charisma, it’s almost supernatural.

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Whitney isn’t a fluffy watch by any means and it goes in hard on addiction by showing Whitney’s painful public interviews at the height of her sickness, as well as behind-the-scenes clips of her acting strangely while under the influence of drugs.

Her relationship with Bobby Brown is examined closely and echoes in some ways the journey of Amy Winehouse in Amy. Both were troubled women let down by, and heavily influenced negatively, by the men in their lives. We also learn that Whitney, along with at least one of her brothers suffered abuse as a child, which serves to explain at least a part of her later issues.

This is also cited as one of the reasons Whitney wouldn’t let her daughter out of her sights, even on tour. Some of the footage of poor Bobbi Kristina over the years is hard to stomach – and the later knowledge that she met her own tragic end just a few years after her mother is truly heartbreaking.

All in all a good documentary with a few details most of us might not have known. It does leave you feeling very bummed out though – all three of us left the theater feeling pretty low. But the music – OBVS – is wonderful.

My Rating

3.5/5.

Ps. I rewatched The Bodyguard the day after and it is perfect.

Amanda Knox (Film) Review 

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I’m free-styling this mother because frankly I haven’t the time to wrap it up like a Christmas present and leave it under the tree like I normally would (e.g. review it properly).

Hey, I’m doing Blogtober, and although I hope and pray all my posts are of a consistently decent quality, ain’t nobody got time for bells and whistles on every one of them. You get me?

I had to put some thoughts down on this documentary though, which I feel will feature in a future All Out of Bubblegum episode, because I’ve been obsessed with the case ever since I first read about it and this one gives us interviews with the two accused (convicted, aquitted, aquitted, free) central ‘characters’. What’s better than that?

Amanda Knox (2016)

IMDB Synopsis: American exchange student Amanda Knox is convicted and eventually acquitted for the 2007 death of another student in Italy.

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“Just look directly into the camera, Aman… oh.”
By now there probably isn’t a man or dog who doesn’t know the story of Amanda Knox.

Accused of the 2007 killing of her then room-mate Meredith Kercher, Knox has always protested her innocence. As the story undulated and unfurled, Knox,or self-named ‘Foxy Knoxy’, found her every move scrutinised by the world.

In this Netflix Original feature-length documentary we not only hear from Knox herself and her boyfriend at the time of the murder (and fellow accused) Raffaele Sollecito but from Perugian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who’s forever convinced she dunnit. More on him in a bit.

We also spend time with pantomime villain Nick Pisa, former Daily Mail journalist and all round douche-bag. He helps us to understand the media hubbub surrounding the case from the inside and describes the ‘scoop’ in such excitable terms that if he were before you, you would be hard pressed not to want to shove a Biro into his eyeball.

He never once acknowledges Kercher as a human being, nor shows any sort of sympathy for her family. That he comes across as the central villain of the piece is no surprise. He’s not the only media type stirring up a storm with tales of hot romps and uncovering pictures of Knox acting like a loon, he’s merely the spokesperson for a certain type of reporting but he is a disgusting excuse for a human being.

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Who’s got two open palms and is a total dickhead?
As the case wraps up years down the line and there is talk of everyone getting carried away with this ‘trial by media’, he washes his hands of all responsibility. The gist of his argument for adding fuel to an already frenzied fire is this: when you need to hit a deadline before anyone else, who has time to fact check, eh? Cheeky isn’t it? You’ll despise every fiber of his being with any luck.

Back to Knox though, who proves that Pisa isn’t the only person who failed to show any empathy for the victim. I may have blinked and missed it but there’s no point I remember her saying she was sorry to have lost her friend, albeit for just a short time. Even a neighbour or someone you once stood next to at the bus stop would elicit something more than she delivers. Off camera perhaps the story was different but who the fuck acts like that?

I think what I wanted to take away from this documentary was a clearer idea of whether the pair are guilty or not. It’s not cemented my view by any means but I do feel as though this time spent with Knox gives me a better understanding of why she acted the way she did, just hours after a horrible murder in her own fucking home.

I can totally imagine her committing such a crime. Whether or not she happened to do this one, who even knows? My heart says you can’t trust her. Superficially it’s that cold hard stare and that’s probably not fair. 

But she didn’t act normally afterwards, her behaviour has never been okay and she lied throughout the case, whether she really was pressured by the po-po or not.

I really hate that she accused her boss, a black man who had no involvement whatsoever in her private life. How dare she allow him to be caught up in this? I hate that Meredith Kercher’s family may never get enough justice for their daughter’s death.

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What? Put his shoes away?
This isn’t my best work review wise because my thoughts on Knox are all over the place. But I feel like that is the order of the day here. The case blew up because it involved hot young women who may or may not have been sexually empowered, a central figure who acted up in the face of tragedy, some shady secondary characters and a media explosion.

Mignini was like a dog with a bone but his crime scene was a fucking mess and that ultimately is what let them all down. Of course the story ended with Raffaele and Amanda being fully acquitted after a second trial, and petty local criminal Rudy Guede being imprisoned for the crime.

The official line is that Knox is innocent. She probably is. But I kind of want to believe she is a psychopath in sheep’s clothing because that’s the most compelling story, right? Maybe I’m as bad at Pisa?

Notice I’ve hardly said a word about Sollecito? I don’t think there’s much to say. He just seems like a nerd who got lucky and then very unlucky. I felt kind of sorry for him.

I recommend the documentary and I’m sorry if I haven’t really sold it. It opens quite graphically and pulls no punches about what the crime scene looked like. It’s incredibly sad. I feel for the Kercher family. I feel for all the families actually.

Watch it and let me know what you think, will you? I need to discuss it!

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Guilty of never driving herself anywhere