Monday, November 2, 2009

Recovering DJ Review: Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”

I don’t go to the movies much. And I don’t watch videos or concert films, like ever. But I really wanted to see “This Is It”, for reasons that seem morbid and silly. I never got a chance to see MJ live, so I thought this might be the next best thing. He still is one of the greatest and talented entertainers of my decade and I was curious to see what made him tick.

If you think about it, the flick’s title is chilling, although “This Is It” that was the name of the 40 or so London shows he would have put on. Unless you have been under a huge rock since June, the untimely death of Michael Jackson spurred the release of this rehearsal footage, which turned out to be his final days.

Lovingly put together by long time collaborator Kenny Ortega, it's a voyeuristic glimpse into MJ and his hardworking cavalcade of dancers, singers, musicians and technicians creating a colossal concert. It’s an inside view of what went on in the dance sessions, in some of the additional videos that were cut for the big screen behind the stage, and all the other nuts and bolts that made up this huge endeavor. And then some of MJ’s best tunes- finished dress rehearsal clips are shown. I could not keep back the tears over how wonderful it all was.

What you’d think would be a big showy spectacle is more like a documentary that is at times very personal and touching. A glimpse into a man overshadowed by myth and legend. A perfectionist, he wanted to put on the best show ever for his loyal fans. And all the members of his staff wanted to be a part of that too. Many of the people were happy for the chance, honored to be working with someone with actual skills.

And oh those skills! At 50 his voice was still strong and vibrant. His moves were still fluid and he really seemed to be…Happy!

That’s what gets you, the realization that he seemed ok…even working the long endless hours with relative ease, you wonder “what if " tragedy had not happened.

It’s a movie for MJ fans, or students of stardom. It’s a last look at how one of the few truly talented entertainers did it, before the American Idol’s, Brit Brit’s and super processed “stars” take over it all.

I can’t wait for the DVD to come out.

1 comment:

Lena said...

I'm sure it will be a movie in the cinema takings. My son, as with me, were never really fans but we're thinking of going to see it - providing he pays of course!