MMT Minute Thoughts and Giveaway for WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY on Blu-Ray and Digital

I intentionally did not post a review for WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY after the December 2022 press screening. I was filled with emotions and knew that my judgement was slightly clouded because of what her artistry meant to me as a teen, young adult and even older adult, which I related in a post a day after the legendary singer’s transition.

If you are watching the film to hear and appreciate her music, which mostly uses the late singer’s vocals, then you will certainly get that. What you might miss, especially as someone who followed and/or studied her career, is the genius she brought to her craft. An example of that being how many who worked with her highlighted she was a one-take wonder during studio sessions and recordings – “How Will I Know,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” and most notably her highly coveted, and since standardly covered, version of the national anthem to name a few.

If you’re a viewer looking mostly looking for the aforementioned, you probably won’t mind that the film is mostly a jukebox journey, typical of what you may witness in a theater production, that focuses on the icon’s musical rise – with some questionable timelines or (in)actions (thinking of you Clive Davis) – without truly highlighting the lessons borne from Houston’s life and struggles.

I may not think Naomi Ackie was the best choice to portray Houston, but I definitely appreciated her commitment to the role, which she nails as far as speaking style and mannerisms. However, unlike Jamie Fox’s metamorphosis into Ray Charles or Rami Malek’s transformation into Freddie Mercury, I didn’t think she captured Houston’s essence and I wasn’t fully transported during the film.

I had an easier, and more satisfactory, time watching 2021’s “Respect” and if you click the hyperlink you’ll see that there were a few things I took issue but at least I had the motivation to share and discuss. I truly had no desire to do so with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” mostly out of respect and my desire for a great Houston biopic, not a story that could easily have been a Lifetime project – no disrespect to The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel which was an excellent Lifetime film and one to add to the queue if you haven’t seen.

I did love the production and costume designs, courtesy of Gerald Sullivan and Charlese Antoinette Jones respectively. I just wish I enjoyed the story as much, which I believed failed Ackie’s performance.

I rate the film 2.5 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY has been available on Digital since February 7 and was released last Tuesday, February 28 on Blu-Ray and DVD.

To try your luck at winning the film on Blu-Ray/Digital, you must be an active subscriber of the site and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line Wanna Dance and your email and address included in the body. One will winner will be selected and notified by March 12.

Good Luck. Until next thought, Thomasena

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