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Michael Jackson's

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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Too bad "This Is It' was all that was for Michael Jacksons final concert tour

  • Nov 7, 2009
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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

Last Tuesday morning, I went to the movies by myself to see this film at the 11:20 showing.  There had been so much hype surrounding the movie that I wanted to see it at a low key time with as sparse a crowd as possible.  The $6, pre-noon ticket was just a bonus!

The film opens with a great testimonial collage of tribute by dancers.  These weren't just his hired dancers, but people who had been invited to audition.  If you ever doubted that MJ influenced other artists, you won't have to sit long to dispel that belief.  If you thought you were going to watch a concert movie you quickly find out that this is not true.  If you're like me, you also find out that what you get is better than what you expected.

After the dancers are selected you get into the rehearsal process.  I now call it Michael's lair of genius.  In this space, you could see him as the passionate, perfectionist artist.  You didn't see the legendary image of Michael Jackson, you saw the artist personified.


I wasn't wearing 3D glasses, but I swear that I saw passion fly off the screen.  At times MJ was like a kid playing with his best friends.  Other times, he was teaching and sharing his vision.  At no time was he going through the motions.  There were times when he was supposed to be saving his voice, but he either just wanted to perform or he felt as though he should be giving his all for the betterment of the process.  The musicians, dancers, singers and crew all seemed to feed off of it.  People that weren't working were drawn to watch the performance.


This we all have come to know about Michael, but he did it so effortlessly, that we often overlooked the work that went into it.  You will get a sense of that in this movie.


"That's why we rehearse".  "We'll get there".  These are guiding words of an artist that you can see pulling mere mortals to his level of excellence.  He coached with a soft touch never yelling, but always wanting better.  Any criticism's he had were followed by "This is said with love" or "God bless".  Don't be fooled though, he wasn't afraid to say "let's do it again" either and his passion (see above) served as a infectious, forward moving force for everyone involved.


One of the things that struck me was how involved Michael was in every creative aspect.  He could speak the nomenclature and had a competency level that was in impressive.  To watch him work with the dancers and singers was to be expected, but his interaction with the musical and technical directors was on another level.  He saw the big picture *and* the details.  When he would work with the lighting personnel and the filmmakers...AMAZING to see!


To watch a man so maligned, who justs want to give, give, give is inspiration in and of itself.  To see him make the process not about him at all, but about every individual there is heartwarming.  To see him adopt a theme as way to change the world and to keep HIM inspired and motivated is nothing short of awe inspiring.  

I walked out of the theater feeling how I imagine sales people do when they leave a Tony Robbins seminar!  I was motivated and excited and felt like anything was possible.


It is a shame that this concert never happened because it was going to be an abundance of creative energy released to anyone who experienced it.  It is with the feeling that it will never be that caused me to have a feeling of...

this is it.
Too bad Too bad Too bad Too bad

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November 09, 2009
I love reading all the "This is It" review on Lunch, and this is no exception ;) Thanks for another phenomenal review, Jeff!!
November 09, 2009
I agree with you...It is a shame that he couldn't perform those final concerts. This is a great review!
November 09, 2009
Good for you for seeing a movie by yourself, and bonus points for the matinee! Thanks for breaking down this film for us. Reading all these great things about MJ makes his death all the more tragic, but this film sounds like it'd be worth seeing. By the way, f you haven't already read it, I think that you'd appreciate @djevoke's review of this film, too.
November 09, 2009
great review, thanks! I wasn't sure if this would be a sincere look at his artistry or a gimmick to make $ off of the last sliver of footage they had left. I'm really interested in seeing it now, thx!
November 09, 2009
They *are* trying to make $$$ off of it and it did creep me out a bit knowing that some of the footage was a day or two before he died. After I put that aside, I was ready to take a peek into that creative world. Can't wait to hear what you think.
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 . 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 …
review by . October 29, 2009
Title: This Is It   Director: Kenny Ortega    Staring: Michael Jackson    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1    Studio: Sony Pictures   Genre(s): Concert/Documentary    Rated:       (For some suggestive choreography and scary images)   Buy From Amazon.com: DVD / BluRay / UMD / Soundtrack / Soundtrack (MP3) / Poster CONSUMER ADVICE Parents, except for Michael's crotch grabbing there's not much to object to here. Recommended …
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
Jeff Daly ()
Member Since: Jul 13, 2009
Last Login: Mar 4, 2013 03:52 PM UTC
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About this movie


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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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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