Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Michael Jackson’s This is It Review

Michael Jackson’s This is It Review


Michael Jackson's This Is It

Michael Jackson’s This is It is one of the best documentaries of the decade.

My rating 4.5 Stars

If you have not heard of Michael Jackson odds are you are not from this planet. Because of that, I am not going to go into detail about his musical genius, the impact he has had on the music industry, pop culture and on the human race for that matter, the allegations that were raised against him or the lack of childhood and neither does the film This is It. I will talk about the film as it was meant and as it was produced. There has already been plenty of coverage on Michael Jackson’s life in the past 4 months and frankly I have been tired of it for more than 3 months. You should already be familiar with his background.

I am not a big Michael Jackson fan. In my opinion he stood for practically everything I don’t like about the music industry. Of course it is not so much Michael Jackson that I don’t like. He was an extremely gifted artist. I don’t think that we will ever see the level of commitment and entertainment from anyone ever, in our lifetime.

My real problem is with how people used him to make money. To the music industry, Michael was not a person, he was a product, a brand to sell. Jackson has been used and abused practically since birth by the music industry and even his own family. So when it came time to watch This is It, I didn’t want to be a part of that abuse. However, because I have this goal, I needed to see it. I am glad I did.

Lucky for me, this film isn’t about Michael Jackson. It is not story about him or his work or even how he died. The movie was about something else. The film is a small peek at his last job. Michael Jackson was getting ready to do a series of concerts in London. If I remember correctly, Michael would tape all of his rehearsal sessions for his own viewing. For the This is It Tour he hired Kenny Ortega to direct this filming. In case you haven’t heard, Michael died unexpectedly a few weeks before his scheduled sold out concert series. Ortega then took the footage he shot and released it as a documentary for the public. Michael Jackson’s This is It was the result of that footage.

Ortega may have been the director of the film, but Michael had total power and whatever he said went. We get to see a side of Michael that only people who have worked closely with him have seen. We get a glimpse of the artist in many scenes, but we also witness a manager and a critic, however, his critiques were always followed by a word of love. It appears that his abusive father has made him aware of how he treats his employees.

So was it any good? Yes, it really was. Some have described it as a string of concert footage. This is somewhat inaccurate. While it is true that there is hardly any real dialog, very few interviews or explanations of any sort, this wasn’t just a string of concert footage, because there was no concert. If I am going to compare this documentary to anything, it would have to be compared to a really well organized home movie, just not boring at all. The footage was extremely well edited, because it always maintained the audience’s attention, it kept itself interesting even when all you were watching was just a bunch of men talking about how they were going to accomplish some tedious task. I would not be surprised to see this movie get nominated for an Academy Award for editing.

There also aren’t any elaborate costumes in this documentary. They were mentioned, you get to see the material and the designs, but no dress rehearsals. Perhaps the costumes weren’t made yet when they shot the footage. There were no deep conversations, nobody pouring their hearts out, the film was just practice, practice, practice. What you do see is really good dancing, you hear really good music, you get to see the mind of a real artist at work and once in a while you get to see some of the people who worked for him express how thrilling it was for them to work for the King of Pop. You get to see how an artist directs people to put on a show and that was really cool for me.

I am not a huge fan of Michael Jackson, but after seeing This is It I have gained a new found respect and admiration for him. He truly was a legend. This is It is a well done documentary of that rehearsal, it was a real treat to be taken to a world that very few people know about. Even if you’re not a Jackson fan there are elements in this film that you will like. All you need is the slightest interest in the man and/or an appreciation of music and musical productions.

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  1. November 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    It would have been nice to see this type of movie released while he was still with us.

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