Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal straight off the recently released Moonwalker - 'Bluray' Edition - which boasts a crystal-clear, full 1080p picture complete with rich, theater-quality sound. This is as good as it gets!
A sensation upon its original cinema release in 1988, Moonwalker features live performances and music videos for some of Jackson's biggest hits.
The outstanding centerpiece is the music video fantasy feature for Smooth Criminal set at a seedy underworld nightclub whose influence can be seen in the work of a whole new generation of performers like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. It's a mini-movie, also featuring Joe Pesci (Lethal Weapon, GoodFellas, Home Alone) as an evil drug lord intent on pushing drugs to kids.
With amazing special effects, this segment features Michael morphing into a car as well as a spaceship in the climactic finale.
# Michael Jackson, Sean Lennon, Joe Pesci, Brandon Adams & Kelly Parker
# Colin Chilvers & Jerry Kramer
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Jeffrey Daniel of the soul music group Shalamar co-choreographed the "Smooth Criminal" video. It was directed by special effects coordinator Colin Chilvers. The dance sequence of the video in the 1930s style lounge (and Michael's white suit and fedora) pays tribute to the Fred Astaire musical comedy film The Band Wagon. Currently there are four different versions of the video for "Smooth Criminal," as well as an additional vignette created for the 2009 This Is It concert series:
It is generally the most complete version of the video and includes the unedited middle section of interpretive dance with the dancers but does not include the last six seconds where a flapper fans herself after the door is shut behind Michael. In comparison to the original song this version has two lines in the second stanza added: "Everytime I try to find him he's leaving no clues left behind him. And they have no way of knowing of the suspect, or what to expect".
* Moonwalker Edit - This version is included on History on Film, Volume II and it is basically an edited version of the ten minute song section from the "Smooth Criminal" segment in the film Moonwalker.
It is essentially the same, however it has some minor changes including: different opening music and no dialogue, the middle section with the dancers chanting has been truncated (some of the chanting has been shortened) and ends similarly to the original where Michael exits the club but with the addition of the lead flapper fanning herself.
Being a PAL to NTSC transfer (the Moonwalker DVD has only been released in PAL regions), this version suffers from blurred colors and other artifacts.
Also, despite having almost a minute cut out from the middle section, this version is approximately the same length as the original video, due to the PAL speed-up phenomenon.
* Album Version - This is the version of the video that is on Michael Jackson's official website, as well as his YouTube channel. It also appears during the end credits for Moonwalker and was included on the "Visionary" single.
It is essentially a lot of clips from the Original Moonwalker Version of the "Smooth Criminal" video, that have either been sped up, or slowed down, with an added blur effect, and some alternate angles. The video is four minutes and seventeen seconds long.
Throughout the video, the regular version of the song is played. This version is also the version sold in the iTunes Music Store.
* Single Version - This unreleased version is edited to be in sync with the Single Mix taken from the "Smooth Criminal" single released October 24, 1988. It excludes the added lyric & interlude. This video is four minutes and three seconds long. It is considered an MTV Base video.
* This Is It Vignette - 2009 video, shot in black and white and intended to be shown during the London O2 concert series.
It runs three minutes and forty-two seconds and features Jackson in a reprisal of his Moonwalker character, digitally inserted into the sets of various film noirs, including Gilda.
The video won Best Music Video at the 1989 Brit Awards.