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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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It's All For Love...

  • Oct 30, 2009
Rating:
+5
@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 notice or care.

You get a real sense of Michael in this film, a sense of him that I hadn't seen in a long time. This man, for whatever you may think of him, is full of love and humility. When he gives a note to his musicians, he notes, "It's all for love" and "God bless you". When his dancers and the crew cheer him on enthusiastically, he says "God bless you all, I love you." He's humble and grateful to every lighting designer, sound guy, dancer and musician, doling out hugs and blessings like he's Santa Claus on Christmas.

You get an incredible sense of what it's like to work with Michael and we're all reminded of what a pure talent he was. He would be doing some James Brown footwork, separating out his upper body in his freestyle pops and you could tell he was listening to every beat, tempo, note, conversation and thinking about it from the audience's perspective.

Michael's always cared for his fans. The opening of the film states that it's for the fans and you never doubt it for a second. At one part, when he's giving a note to the musical director, he says, "I'm hearing it as they would hear it, as the audience would see it..." After reading @KevinTRod's review, he has a good point that I had thought about, why wasn't it edited as if it was going to be the show? Well, maybe there was more worth in respecting Michael's memory and remembering him as more than just the "King of Pop". But, I would've loved to have seen it altogether as a finished product. The scenes that were completed for the dress rehearsal parts of the film were phenomenal and you felt like you were right there. It is too bad that this truly is it.

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November 10, 2010
You're absolutely right about his humility; he thought of everyone else while putting his perfection to work to awe the world. About the footage being edited - in my opinion, I think being left unedited was great as we could see everything in the absolute "real sense" - nothing added, changed, nothing, just raw talent. We were really lucky to have seen any of this, as all this was taped just for Michael's personal library; how ironic that is!! I bought the DVD after seeing it in the theater, and the DVD actually meant more to me simply because of the extras on it such as the wardrobe, etc. After watching these great extras, then watching the actual movie, I got a tremendous feel of what he would have looked like had he made it to the tour. Andre - I don't believe he was spoiled; I can see why some people may see it that way, but he was a much respected man, simply because of his perfection, and the musicians, dancers, etc. were all too happy to accommodate a talent such as his; his perfection is what made him the King Of Pop, and also what made him excel in the entertainment business. Too many so-called singers today rely so heavily on sound effects to make them sound good; MJ did not have to do that. I do agree though with you on some point, and also with djevoke's response, that some people did spoil him purely because of who he was and for the money.
November 10, 2010
I do agree that the unedited was more real...I absolutely loved the dancers response to getting picked. In a dream world or parallel universe, I would've been one of them and probably would've reacted the same way! He reminded me of James Brown in a lot of ways- as far as musicianship and performance is concerned. Both of them had such an amazing knowledge of music, their music, and wasn't willing to settle for less...they had that much respect for their fans. And UGH! I HATE Auto-Tune....When will we be done with that obnoxious fad? Thanks so much for your comment!
November 10, 2010
I can only imagine how excited the dancers were to get chosen and then how heartbroken they had to feel at the end. Yes, James Brown can be seen in his dancing; MJ loved James Brown - I also loved the way he incorporated ballet and mime in his dancing. What do you mean by Auto-Tune? I am not sure what that is?
November 10, 2010
JB and MJ are both the godfathers of breakdancing which is amazing that they both could dance so incredibly well for their live shows at 50 (and for James, beyond). Auto-Tune is the harmonizer that producers use to add that robotic tone to "singer's" voices. It's ridiculous and I wish people would just sing with their natural talent. If you're not a good singer, find something else, I did LOL...
November 11, 2010
OK - I know what you mean; yes, too many singers use effects to sound good. I couldn't hold a tune in a bucket, but I swear I have heard many famous singers in live performances on TV and they sounded worse than me! LOL I remember in an interview it was said that MJ studied JB's dancing when he was a child and was absorbed in it so he could learn - he did the same thing with mimes - it sure paid off!!
November 12, 2010
LOL...I know exactly what you mean! I heard the same thing about MJ studying his dancing and you can tell in his footwork, it's the same as JB's. Even in this flick, you can watch his footwork and I swore at one point he was doing the mashed potatoes ;p
 
October 25, 2010
Nice review! I sometimes had the feeling Michael was a little too harsh on the musicians. Perfection, sure, but come on - as he always said, it's all about the love. Leave them space - they will manage. AFter all they were all top class. People - like the tour manager - have been serving him like a God for too long. Although I loved his music, his talent, his humor, his creativity etc. etc. I cannot help but think he too was spoiled by those around him/depending on him.
October 25, 2010
Thanks! I looked at those scenes where he was giving notes to the musicians as a sort of James Brown perfection and knowledge of music. He wanted the songs to be heard exactly how his fans have memorized the music from all his albums. Instead of a "hit me!" he makes a melody....If you've ever put on a show, rehearsals and sound checks are the most important part. If you let people treat it casually, that's how they're likely to treat the performance, so it looks harsh but, is usually necessary. But, I definitely agree with you that the people around him spoiled him, literally to death. They saw him as a huge paycheck and not as a lost man that needed help, not drugs, not placation....actual help.
October 25, 2010
I see your point. I prefer Parliament's "perfection"... Of course rehearsals are the framework to every show ( and any album) and the music should sound the way the star/boss wants it to but the way Michael was hammering the keyboard player about those five notes having to sound like "coming out of bed" was over the top since after the 2nd try the man almost was there. I felt Michael was overdoing things. If you keep your people on too tight a leash every show might sound the way you want it to but you will also kill the creativity and freedom music is about.
The opposite: concerts of Parliament/Funkadelic. Fun and wild. As with Jazz where the solos are up to the musicians - until they come back into the whole, when the leader and/or melody take over again.
October 25, 2010
I never thought about comparing it to Parliament and that's an incredibly good point! Their shows are out of this world as are Earth, Wind and Fire shows which tend to do the same things. Even James Brown let the musicians have their spotlight and so does Michael, with that amazingly talented female guitarist! I believe there should be a certain type of freedom with music but, that's what you get for being a back-up singer/dancer/musician- you have to deal with people that want it their way.
October 25, 2010
True, with the female guitarist/Slash. I think Michael lets her go free because he knows he can't get there. That kind of guitar was never his. You're right with the back up musicians. Do you know Parliament/Funkadelic had a lot of people coming from James Brown's band? The horns, Bootsy etc.etc. They needed their freedom....
November 12, 2010
Yep! Bootsy is just ridiculous, in the best way possible! James Brown paved the way for a lot of people...
 
November 14, 2009
nice write up! I haven't seen this yet but I am guessing that this one is more a tribute flick than a work of art. I'll get this on dvd...
November 12, 2010
Thanks, Woo- sorry for the late reply lol. Have you seen it yet? It's a definite must-see if you're a fan!
 
November 12, 2009
I actually don't understand everyone's complaint about how "It's not a show!" and that sort of thing.  I mean... when they said they were going to put the rehearsal footage in theaters what exactly did people expect?  I imagine we'd get... you know... rehearsal footage.  But it might've been nice to get a concert.

I haven't gotten a chance to see this yet.  I just might do so next week or so since they decided to keep it in theaters until Thanksgiving.  I'd like to see Michael swinging and dancing one last time.
November 13, 2009
You'll love it, Sean. It's a wonderful tribute to him and honestly changed my mind on all the negative press and accusations. Let me know what you think!
 
October 30, 2009
Aw, wonderful review of Michael Jackson, Sam. Almost like a tribute. I've read many fan testimonials of when they met Michael and it sounds like the Michael described by fans is the same Michael portrayed in this film.
 
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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 . 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 …
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        
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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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