Friday, November 6, 2009

like you've never seen him before.

I was somewhat hesitant about seeing Michael Jackson's This Is It (Ortega, 2009), but after reading some great reviews about it, I decided to check it out.  And I am very glad that I did.  The film is comprised of interviews, rehearsals, and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.

It is somewhat sad to see how awesome the tour was going to be, but, at the same time, the film does seem to package its own magic - magic that would not otherwise have been released.  Michael Jackson appears as a sincerely humble, modest, kind man who just happened to be a musical genius.  The performance sequences were amazing... even at the age of fifty, Michael Jackson could still dance like no one else and just rock it out.  And I don't think anyone can ever get tired of seeing him dance... especially his signature hip thrust and moon walk.  Gotta love it!  Seeing him interacting with his crew, dancers, and director was also wonderful.  He had a true gift for choreography and crafting a performance.  But even as an popstar and icon, he still treated all of his crew with nothing but respect and love.

As A.O. Scott from At the Movies stated, "The Michael Jackson we see here is not a self-styled Messiah or a tabloid oddity.  He is, instead, what he always was underneath it all: a talented musician, a brilliant dancer, and one of the most gifted entertainers of his time."  And Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal commented that "It's an expertly packaged - brilliantly packaged, considering how quickly the job was done - phantasmagoria that emphasizes, quite convincingly, the energy that Michael could still draw from whatever was fueling his wraith-thin body."

If you are an MJ fan, you will certainly love this documentary.  And even if you aren't a "huge" fan, it is still a great film.  After all, who doesn't enjoy the King of Pop?  I'm not surprised this is the #1 movie at the box office (as well as the #1 film in the world right now!!) and has an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Definitely put this one on your list!

Overall, a very fitting final performance.  

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