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A behind-the-scenes film that shows Michael Jackson getting ready for his would-be London O2 shows released on October 28, 2009.

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Truely This Was It

  • Oct 29, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-1
This Is It

Title: This Is It
Director: Kenny Ortega
Staring: Michael Jackson
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: Sony Pictures
Genre(s): Concert/Documentary
Rated:

 

PG-13

 

 

(For some suggestive choreography and scary images)  

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CONSUMER ADVICE

Parents, except for Michael's crotch grabbing there's not much to object to here. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

He hadn’t been on stage in years and he felt it was time. Some said he was crazy, that he didn’t have it anymore. They told him to not bother. Never-the-less he went forward. It was to be his final curtain call. Sadly, that curtain call came too soon, when Michael Jackson suddenly died and his “This Is It” concert series was never to be seen. Or was it? Like most performers with big egos Michael taped everything he did. Therefor we had hundreds of hours worth of rehearsal footage of which an editor could splice together and give us an idea of what those concerts would have been like. After watching “This Is It” I’m under the impression that the concert would have been one hell of a show, but that the stuff could have been edited better.

Rarely has a movie failed so heavily because of terrible editing. To listen to Sony Pictures talk it sounded like hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage was filmed. This I can believe. So why is it so many of the flubs, goof ups, and technical difficulties make it into the film? I’m not expecting perfection, but there should be enough here for a little bit of consistency. Take the opening performance as an example: Michael is performing “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” This is to be his opening. In this performance alone Michael changes costumes during the song, the background goes from decently lit to extremely dark, and the quality jumps from high definition to blurry home video quality.

Many of the performances are like this. On the IMAX where I saw it this was particularly distracting. With all the hundreds of hours they got are they telling me they couldn’t get the performance to be in full HD with the same costume? I think they could have. The only thing is they likely would have had to view the performance from just a couple of angles. But with an average of eight different angles there are many moments where the picture will shrink and the film will be practically unwatchable. It feels like a shame because I’m questioning whether this jump in quality was necessary. I personally don’t think it is. It’s also very distracting to have so many interruptions during the songs. There has to have been enough footage for them to be able to make these performances feel seamless.

In fact, that’s what I was hoping this movie would be: As close as a recreation of what the “This Is It” concert would have been like. With computer graphics and careful editing I think this could have been a reality, and it would have made for a far more interesting movie. Instead we have a weird hybrid of a concert and documentary. Does the documentary have any deep insights to Michael? Not really. The biggest surprise is to see him energetic and full of life. If he was on drugs it wasn’t apparent here. He does, however, seem to have difficulty in letting the sound man know that the sound in his earpiece is too loud. Oh, and his dancers and musicians love him. Really love him. When they say working with Michael is the greatest thing in the world I didn’t doubt them for one minute.

It’s hard to figure out exactly what everyone’s reaction to this movie is going to be. Will they be frustrated by it’s complete lack of focus and purpose? Will they soak up every minute of it because it’s Michael’s last footage? Personally the film did nothing for me because it felt like a gimmick. With a couple more months to think up a way to edit and sell this it likely could have been an event movie. Right now the only thing that’s truly good about this movie are the songs, and those are readily available on CD and iTunes. If they do make a sequel out of this somehow I’d like them to take my idea from paragraph four and title is “This Is It: The Real Concert Experience.” Or they could just remaster one of his popular concerts for IMAX next time. Even that would have been more interesting and fun then this was.


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November 09, 2009
Hey Kevin - nice review. It's cool to read someone's perspective and I thought that some people would view the film negatively. Sony *did* advertise it as if it was going to be like the concert that never was. It definitely was not a concert movie and I'm sure that you're not alone in being disappointed in that. I liked the film more as an uneditorialized documentary. The cutting of footage from different days with different costumes didn't bother me at all...it showed me various stages of the process. I didn't see it in IMAX, but the quality variance wasn't a big deal to me. I think when you say that everyone loved working with him that you found the point of the film. To me, it was a testimony to his creative process and genius. We had never seen him "working" before; we had only seen the final polished product. We had never seem in "interacting" and "collaborating" before and that was was interested me the most. Anyway, I wanted to express my appreciation for your review and if I see the film again, I am definitely going to remember your points!
November 13, 2009
Believe it or not I did rewatch the film and thus had a chance to re-evaluate it. I still think most of the points I made still stand but I would have probably given it two stars the second time around now that I can grasp better what was going on. No, I won't be regraded my review because that would be cheating, but if I ever write about it again the grade will reflect my new views. This is what's great about movies: You can gain or lose something with each additional viewing.
 
October 29, 2009
Awesome review! can't wait to check this movie out.
November 02, 2009
Um...you do release the review was BAD right?! Or, at least, it was trying to point out the movie itself is bad.
November 02, 2009
Yes, of course! I'm still excited to see it for myself...bad or not. Glad to hear others' opinions.
November 02, 2009
Yes, of course! I'm still excited to see it for myself...bad or not. Glad to hear others' opinions.
 
1
More Michael Jackson's "This Is It" reviews
review by . March 03, 2010
posted in MJJCommunity
I was finally able to see this "highly anticipated" film once it came out on DVD.  Overall I would recommend this film to anyone that has any interest in Michael Jackson and his music.      Experience Overall my experience with This Is It was great! To me it was unreal when Michael Jackson passed away. I can’t say I was a diehard fan, but I definitely can say I was big fan. His music always made me want to get up and dance. When I heard his songs, they …
review by . June 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Tomorrow, June 25, marks the 1 year anniversary of Michael Jackson's tragic and untimely death.
With Michael Jackson's children in mind, they lost a wonderful father, and I, along with other fans, have lost a true musical genius, a man whose generosity is unsurpassed, and a gentle soul who loved everyone.      I saw This Is It when it first came out in the theater; I was so excited to see this masterpiece that Kenny Ortega had put together so quickly.  When the DVD came out, I bought that too and have watched it several times since.      I admit, …
review by . October 30, 2009
posted in MJJCommunity
@Nando1 and I went to go see "This Is It" yesterday. I LOVED IT! I do wish that it was more like how the show would've been since they had the footage but, I also really liked that you get to see Michael as he was. Now, my disclaimer that I thought of after reading @KevinTRod's review, I am not a professional reviewer nor, even though I studied film, do I ever pay extra attention to the technical aspects of a film. It has to be a pretty obvious error for me to even …
review by . November 07, 2009
Too bad
Love him or hate him or even just not understand him, Michael Jackson might have been the most popular name in the world.  The man behind the name, his own 'Man In The Mirror', embodied great talent and equal amounts of flawed struggle.  This documentary showcases preparations for what was shaping up to be a game-changing concert tour.  In that regard, the film focuses solely on the creative force of Michael Jackson.      Ladies and gentlemen, the trailer   …
review by . August 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Surprisingly Interesting Movie
Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. Like a lot of other people I grew up with the sights and sounds of Michael Jackson, with that I mean that I was born in the same year as him. His music always intrigued me and I have enjoyed hearing the music from thriller and all of the albums that he put out. But, with the death of MJ he was just as big as Elvis Presley. Why are all of the really talented artist taken from us early, and why is it that more times …
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
reminded me what a talent we've lost, despite the oddities; gives a glimpse into a troubled and complex mind
review by . June 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
THIS IS IT is now all there is. Watching this film in the DVD format in the home strikes many chords for almost every viewer. Michael Jackson's life was made far too public and this brief recording of the preparations for his final tour sets much straight about why he was such a remarkable talent. It allows us to forget all the raucous press that hounded him during his life and simply watch Michael Jackson doing what he did best - perform. Some of his gifts can be listed. Creative body language …
review by . May 14, 2010
Real-life thriller
The rehearsals for Michael Jackson's last tour were filmed and provide a stunning look at a superstar entertainer and consummate professional at work. We see him sing and dance many songs along with the special effects that contributed so much to the dynamic show. The film itself is more home movie than documentary; comments from the show staff come later in the extras.       I hadn't followed Jackson's life for years and assumed he was past his prime, but this film completely …
Quick Tip by . March 29, 2010
posted in MJJCommunity
Admittedly not the biggest MJ fan but found this to be tedious to get thru. Mostly just liked the stage affects.
review by . October 12, 2009
This Is It
So good to hear MJ!  WOW his tour would have been amazing!  This Is It  is an MJ musical nosegay. His voice is mature, clear with a classic vibe. The tune is jazzy yet ethereal. Best of all you can feel MJ as you hear his finger snapping. Smooth yes. MJ has a lot of living to do thru his music.      http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/b...1&bctid=44135350001        
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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Wiki


Michael Jackson's This Is It is a 2009 American concert film documenting Michael Jackson's rehearsals of the concert series of the same name (scheduled to start on July 13, 2009, but cancelled because of his death on June 25, 2009), both on stage and behind the scenes. The film shows Jackson mentoring his team for the 50 shows, as well as him creating, developing, and ultimately staging the high-tech performances. The film's director Ortega confirmed that when Jackson had filmed footage of himself rehearsing that he never had the intention of releasing it to the public, but after Jackson's death, it was agreed that the film be made and released for Jackson's fans. The footage was filmed at The Forum and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Despite originally being set for an October 30, 2009, release date, the film's release date was rescheduled for October 28, 2009; due to a strong demand by Jackson's fans. The film was given a wide worldwide release and a limited two-week theatrical run from October 28, to November 12, 2009. Tickets went on sale a month early on September 27, 2009, to satisfy a high anticipated demand.

Since the confirmation of the film, AEG Live had faced criticism mostly consisting of theories that they'd only made the film solely for them to be able to make a profit off Jackson. Multiple members of Jackson's family had confirmed that they didn't support the film and some family members went as far...

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Details

Director: Kenny Ortega
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: 10/28/2009
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
Runtime: 111 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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