The moment we’ve all been waiting for: This Is It features the beloved sovereign of sound who sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released thirteen no. 1 singles, and scored a double induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. The film’s earnings are aimed to generate proceeds that will benefit The Michael Jackson Family Trust (for his family and children in need).
Check out the film’s review below…
- Director: Kenny Ortega
- Cast: Michael Jackson, Kenny Ortega, Mr. Jackson’s dancers, band, etc
Kenny Ortega presents an anthology of backstage footage, rehearsals, and interviews featuring Mr. Jackson’s preparation for his sold-out London tour. In short, one last look at the legendary King of Pop shredding the stage with his unparalleled vivacity and musical genius.
- NOT a biopic: I applaud Kenny Ortega for concentrating his film around a very specific period of time and not every shred of Jackson knowledge ever documented. This Is It acutely exhibits Mr. Jackson as what the world deemed him: the greatest entertainer on the planet. While the film obviously isn’t a full career retrospective, it features Mr. Jackson at his most endowed. Every particle of the massive organism that is a Michael Jackson production received it’s due diligence from the King himself. This small six week window captures Mr. Jackson in such creative involvement (staging, choreography, production design, lighting, story-concepts) while still demonstrating grace, patience, and the essential ability to collaborate. It’s effortless to accept Mr. Jackson as the phenomenon he became when the audience can witness what he demanded from his creative collaborators/environment.
- Concert-feel: We really receive the gift of Mr. Jackson’s final performances in the film and the audience is entranced from start to finish. There’s footage of every hit song with impeccable image and sound – it’s easy to forget that you are not, in fact, front row at one of his concerts.
- Intimacy: Regardless of the fact that Mr. Jackson is not always communicating with the camera, there’s a very immediate intimacy established with the audience. Perhaps because we’re not JUST seeing him in an interview or performing – but in the wings as well. The audience begins to understand Michael Jackson as a complete portrait of success, yes, but also as a human being with subtle quirks and idiosyncrasies.
- No Real Arc: While Ortega’s objective was ultimately to create a tribute rather than to tell a story, the film could have used a little more shape. There was no solid arc to the movie other than the progression of rehearsals leading up to the concert dates. Also, the finale was lacking – It would’ve been nice to see the film close with something particularly sentimental to send the audience home with.
Even if you aren’t a die-hard fan, you will appreciate this pulsating portrayal of Michael Jackson’s epic presence and artistic mastermind. If you’re expecting a record of his life, or a tear-jerking series of sob-stories, don’t waste your time. This movie is seeping with vitality, excitement, and obviously, great music – much like Mr. Jackson himself. Expect nothing more and you’ve got a lovely night out!