I bought the I'm Going To Tell You A Secret CD/DVD yesterday at Best Buy despite the fact that I wasn't sure I really wanted it. I mean, I have several bootlegs of the entire Re-Invention Tour (audio) and while it would be nice to get high-quality recordings of the Re-Invention Tour, it wasn't essential to my existence. Plus, I wasn't sure that the documentary would appeal to me very much as most of the reviews I've read describe Madonna as being pretty insufferable with her Kabballah beliefs and "look-at-me, I'm-so-serious" attitude. So I wasn't sure that I wanted to spend the money on that, and, quite honestly, Re-Invention is so 2 years ago and I'm all about the Confessions Tour now, so there.
But I bought it anyway because it was on sale for 18 bucks + I had $10 worth of Best Buy coupons to use so I got it for around 8 dollars. And honestly, I'm glad I bought it. The CD has recordings of "selections from the Re-Invention Tour" which sound great and beat the shit out of the best bootleg I have of the tour (Atlanta, for those that are curious.) Some of the songs they selected were fantastic (i.e. "Vogue," "Like A Prayer," "Into The Groove") but some left me scratching my head (i.e. "The Beast Within" (lip synched and Madonna's not even on the stage), "Hollywood" (again, Madonna's not even on stage on this one either.)) It made me wish they'd have released the whole tour on CD, because the songs they left out were some of the best ones and the tour just seems truncated and you don't get a good idea of what the tour was actually like from the songs they did release.
As far as the documentary goes, I'm only about half way through it, but I'm so glad I bought it -- if for no other reason than the concert footage. Even though the songs are edited (bad! bad!) it just made me want a professional DVD of the Re-Invention Tour that much more. Sadly, it may never see the light of day, so I'll have to make due with my bootleg DVD that I picked up while I was in Chicago last April.
However, the behind the scenes stuff was just as interesting as the concert footage. What we have here, for lack of a better term, is a kinder and gentler Madonna. Not that she can't still swear like a sailor or bitch people out like diva she is, but she seems so much more centered. And it was almost shocking to see her children on the screen. I found myself thinking "Oh my God, Madonna's a mother!" as if we didn't already know that. But there's something about her interacting with the kids and Guy that make it all real -- as real as it can be on a documentary like that. She does go on a lot about her spirituality, but it's not offensive to me, actually, it made me wish I was as spiritual as her. As an organized religion alumnus (for now) I have a hard time with religious beliefs in general, mostly because the extreme right wing in this country has co-opted belief in God and has perverted Jesus into something that doesn't even exist in the Bible. But she's found comfort in what she has, which is good. I sometimes wish I had that comfort.
Perhaps the funniest moment in the whole doc (so far) is opening night in L.A. when Madonna announces to the camera "I can't stop shitting! I have a nervous stomach!" And when she goes on about the businessmen playing with their Blackberrys at the Vegas show.
All in all, after what I've seen, I'd spend an evening with the Kaballah Madonna over the Truth or Dare Madonna in a second. She's matured so much (as one would expect) and while there are parts of Truth or Dare that are painful to watch, even as a Madonna fan, I haven't come across one in this one yet.