Sunday, November 1, 2009

Michael Jackson's This Is It review

Just four months after his passing, a movie of rehersals for Michael Jackson’s planned comeback tour has been released. Not only is the movie good but it also gives the audience the closest thing to seeing the King of Pop in concert and behind the scenes.

Since he was a kid, Michael Jackson had been household name. His career as a solo artist made him even bigger and possible, the most famous entertainer of his time. Ever since Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trials, his image wasn’t great. Earlier this year, Jackson annouced he would be playing 50 shows at the London O2 Arena. Suddenly on June 25, Jackson passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest. The movie consists of rehersal footage from the day Jackson annouced the shows to June 23. Critics have complained that the movie is spliced up too much. It isn’t that much but this was done by director Kenny Ortega so that the movie could capture what those shows would’ve been like.

If you go and see the movie, you’re most likely to get a lanyard with a laminated mini picture of the movie poster. It’s almost like having your own backstage pass. The movie starts off with interviews with the dancers and how they’re excited to be with Michael. We are then shown how the show would’ve started: lights out, crowd goes crazy, and there’s Michael singing “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”.As for other performances, audiences get to see the remarkable new videos for“They Don’t Care About Us”, “Earth Song”, “Smooth Criminal”, and “Thriller”. Other personal favorites include “Beat It” and “Black Or White”. Jackson had a great back-up band. Jackson’s female guitarist, Orianthi, shines the most.

Throughout the entire film, Michael is both is good shape and in poor shape. Michael was said to have been in good health before he passed away and showed no signs. Sometimes, Michael isn’t standing up straight and looks gaunt. This doesn’t really affect the enjoyment of the film. In fact, there are parts in the movie that are very amusing. Jackson, as seen in the film, was a perfectionist. He didn’t know how to play an instrument so he’d have to start imitating the instruments. During “Human Nature”, we see Jackson flapping his arms for no particular reason. Jackson is also seen trying to describing to the keyboardist how to play the opening for “The Way You Make Me Feel”. You can see the discomfort of the keyboardist! At the end of “Beat It”, Jackson is rolling on the floor. Another funny scene was when we see the dancers in training, where they are learning how to do Jackson’s trademark crotch grab. It gets funnier when we see a woman is teaching them! The laughs continue when Jackson has to stop the performance of a Jackson 5 medley and explain to everybody about his “inner ear” and how it hurts.

“So you want it turned down, Michael?”

“Yes, that would be nice.”

This Is It is a great movie and a touching tribute to Michael. What is sad about this movie is to see the commitment these people had in the show and in the end, it doesn’t happen. Luckily, their effort didn’t come to waste. The movie will be in theaters for only two weeks so that the movie can be released on DVD and Blu-Ray before the year is over. If you are reading this and the movie is still in theaters, go and see it. It’s the closest thing you’ll get so seeing Michael Jackson in concert.

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