Whitney Review - Beautiful, Sentimental and Heartbreakingly Honest

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Whitney, from Miramax and Roadside Attractions, presents a beautiful tribute to the woman, the star, the voice that became the sound of a generation, her life, loves, and the slow decline that ended on February 11, 2012.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, Whitney is a mix of news footage, interviews conducted with her, home videos, interviews with her family, friends, assistants, and those closest to her. Eventually the interviews swelled to more than 70 individuals.

Whitney begins with the slightly smoky, smooth unmistakable voice of the star,herself, explaining a reoccurring dream of being chased by a monster, and how in her dream she has nowhere to hide. The ominous beginning really foretells the foregone conclusion, the monster who ever or what ever it represented finally caught our girl.

The documentary moves chronologically starting with the early days in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, the riots, sleeping on the floor so to not get caught in the crossfire of a city exploding with racial unrest.

Whitney explains life when she was growing up, was a far cry from the celebrity life she had achieved. Her parents, the singer Cissy Houston and her father, John Houston, worked extremely hard to move Whitney and her brothers out of the inner city into the suburbs of East Orange.

With home videos attesting to the early days and Whitney’s love of singing at New Hope Baptist Church, she explained the first song she sang during those days. The anchor of her gospel roots secured her for decades, until of course, the monster showed up.


Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review - A High Powered, Bad Ass, Mercenary Thriller


Cissy Houston talked about her daughter and the effort she put into the process, which went beyond having the ability to sing. What struck me during the time Ms. Houston was on screen was the burden she has been left to bear, the weight of which no mother should have to carry. Her pain, to me, was palpable.

On the edge of Whitney’s stardom, Cissy was singing in Jazz Clubs in Manhattan, and on one evening she feigned a sore throat and called Whitney who was nearly 18, and asked her to stand in for her. The show was more than successful, it was Whitney’s coming out as a solo artist, a life changing event.

From then on the offers began to come in with Arista led by Clive Davis finally winning the bidding war. Whitney was, from then on, his protégé and they formed a lifelong relationship that remained past her death, as he continues to control the rights, along with her family, to her amazing catalogue of work.

On this day, however, Whitney was 19, and with the guiding hand of Clive Davis and Arista records she, at 22, would explode onto the charts with seven consecutive Number 1 hits, win seven Grammy Awards and eventually sell more than 200million albums worldwide.

The documentary moves like her career, going from walking on the ground, to having everyone and everything done for you. From a slow pace to faster than one can imagine. It brings in her family, brothers, and explores the relationships with her long-time assistant, Robyn Crawford, who refused to be interviewed for this documentary

No documentary of Whitney would be complete without details of her marriage to rap/soul artist Bobby Brown. He did participate for this documentary. When it came to the tough questions he remained loyal to the memory of his former wife and refused to throw her under the bus or divulge private matters or blame her. He did, however, seem a bit in denial or possibily evasive as he is completing a project on his life with the late singer.

With her life changing, marriage, a child, her singing career also changed and soon she decided she wanted to pursue an acting career. Whitney highlights the meteoric, dramatic and impressive success of her first film, The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. Her film career was defined in the documentary by the astounding success of this film and didn’t explore other films or interview talent from those films.

By this time, her marriage was on the rocks and the rumors of drug use were exploding. The documentary shifts at this point and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to recoutning the decline.

The infamous Diane Sawyer interview where Whitney finally admits to drug use is used as our other less credible media outlets. The damage of life, the demands of career, the fear of falling, and the lurking shadows prove to take their toll.

Just when the world counts her out, she is asked to sing the Star Spangled Banner in 1991 at the Super Bowl. It became a defining moment for a new generation of fans who had never cared, or listened or even knew of her. She cemented her place in history, again.


Burn Out Review - Gritty, Edgy, A High Octane Thrill Ride


The documentary also shares shocking secrets that no one knew. Whitney was the victim of childhood sexual assault. Few knew, and she would never receive justice. The monster, a female family relative, is named and confrimed.

The journey is incredibly well documented and the demise painful to see. To see her so vibrant, with the music, was reliving moments of my own life, of singing along, with a flood of memories. Her death which is also covered is to experience the loss again.

Whitney had me smiling, singing along, laughing and ultimately crying. It is candid, honest and heartbreaking. Whitney opens July 6, 2018. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Kobe & Cabernet Club Review - Membership Has its Privileges

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When it comes to food-and-wine pairings, American Kobe (Wagyu) beef matched with an intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon is nothing short of impeccable.  The combination of a full bodied Cabernet with deep, concentrated flavor in combination with a fine-cut grade of this succulent, buttery beef is an exquisite epicurean experience like none other.

     
  • Beginner’s Guide to Botox: What To Know, Ask

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Data from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed in 2015 over 6.7 million Botox procedures were performed. That number continues to increase as young women "Baby Botox'ers," are opting for the minimally invasive procedure as a preventive measure.

     
  • Barely Lethal Review – Entertaining, Family Fun for All

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Barely Lethal, from RatPac Entertainment and RKO Pictures, brings to the screen a fun, over the top, teen angst dramedy of life and the cataclysmic atomic clash as under the radar super spy lives her dream with Middle America normal family.

     
  • LOGAN Review - A High Octane, Hard Charging, Tough and Tender, Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOGAN, from Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, and TSG Entertainment, presents the last installment of the X-Men series bringing to the screen a hard charging, hard living, uncompromising, take no prisoners, fight to the death finale.

     
  • HL London: 15 Fun Facts as The Coco Cola London Eye Celebrates 15 Years

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Coca Cola London Eye is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year! Since first opening 15 years ago in 2000, the London Eye has become one of the world's most iconic landmarks, offering unrivaled 360 degree views over London.

     
  • Myleene Klass Reveals Newest Intimates Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Myleene Klass, mother of two, revealing her love affair with animal print shows off her wild side in a leopard print Basque with sheer panels and sexy lace up-lingerie from her new collection.

     
  • The New MM 30G From Sennheiser: Superior Audio Quality From Your Samsung With ‘Hands Free’ Call and Track Control

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Las Vegas, NV, January 7, 2014 – Sennheiser unveils its new MM 30G in-ear headset, a ‘perfect fit’ for the latest generation of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets from the Galaxy S2 upwards. Sleek and discreet, it’s a headset with a mobile device remote control, modeled in elegant black or white. It offers you a top of the range Sennheiser music listening experience on your Samsung Galaxy device while giving you complete control for all your conversations on the go.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Tweets Anger Brits; UK Terror Update; UN GA Meets; Paris Accord; Irma Death Toll Rises

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump is making his first appearance this week at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly where 193 Heads of State will convene in New York City to hear the agenda of the newly elected former business leader.

     
  • Beauty, Style: Guide to Finding Your Best Look

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When you're looking to develop a personal fashion style you can be known for, it’s very important to research and make sure you know what kind of look you want to show off to the world.  

  • North Pole Experience and Little America Hotel Partner to Usher in the Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the holiday season marches upon us - I had the opportunity to speak with Santa's Ambassador, Scott Pace, who is hard at work in Flagstaff, AZ where he, along with his team of Elf University graduates are preparing a one of a kind gathering that includes a special appearances from Santa as he prepares for his annual round the world blast.

     
  • Among Them Review – Indie Film Surprises with Heightened Suspense and Intrigue

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Among Them, from Cinema Epoch, presents an eerie, unnerving, dark thriller filled with intense scenes as two bank robbers, hiding in a deserted beach town become hostage to a mind game that leaves them unable to recognize reality.

     
  • UPDATED:Iranian Nuclear Deal Secures Votes to Uphold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Senate Democrats blocked the GOP disapproval resolution of the Iran nuclear deal from going to a final vote today. The vote hands the President a hard won victory at the expense of the long relationship with Israel.

     
  • Shadow Dancer Review - An Explosive Political Thriller That Grabs Your Attention and Holds On

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Shadow Dancer,” from Magnolia Pictures BFI and BBC Films, presents a riveting psychological spy thriller, with unexpected plot twists and turns, pitting the determined against the skilled, all leading to an unbelievable conclusion.

     
  • Anker Innovations Expands Support For Alexa With EUFY, SOUNDCORE, ROAV

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Anker Innovations, a global leader in charging technology and smart, connected consumer devices, across home, entertainment and car, announced at IFA 2018, a suite of new devices that work with or feature Alexa built-in.

     
  • From Cannes: Academy Award® Nominees Annette Bening and Michelle Pfeiffer to Star In Gideon Raff’s "Turn Of Mind"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Academy Award® nominees Annette Bening (American Beauty) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Ant Man and The Wasp) have signed on to star in director Gideon Raff's ("Homeland" and the upcoming The Red Sea Diving Resort and "The Spy") thriller Turn of Mind