Prepare yourself for a Michael Jackson love festival, that will please the fans, but is just a touch too long.
The documentary This Is It is a collection of footage filmed as Jackson was preparing for a series of sold out London concerts that never happened. The footage was supposed to be kept in his personal library.
After hearing the length of the film, I predicted a run time of 1h52 might be a bit too long. Most documentaries need to keep under 90 minutes or they run the risk of repeating themselves. That is also true for This Is It.
On a purely technical level, I can’t say this documentary is anything great. The focus is mostly on Jackson, but it also drifts to the other, less interesting performers in his entourage. They’re just a googly eyed as the fans that scream their heads off at the mere sight of MJ.
What was interesting is something you don't see. Jackson is not sickly and drugged out. If anything, he's drunk on his passion for his music.
There is a certain grandiose sort of tragedy to this film. You get to see some excellent behind the scene footage showing Jackson’s persistently striving for perfection. You get to see being a shot caller. You get to see the reason why he’s known to the world as the King of Pop. You also get the feeling that this is the last you ever get to see of him.
I took particular note of some things I consider to be trademarks of a professional performer. 1. Do they keep going even after making a mistake? 2. After stopping in the middle of a song, how quickly can you pick up exactly where you left off. Jackson nails them both.
I feel for the filmmaker in this case. He obviously spent a ton of time prepping the video sequences that were to be used in the concerts. If I were him, I would have demanded that this film be made just so somebody could watch them.
I can’t say I felt any more for Jackson after watching This Is It. I knew he was a great musician. I knew he was a professional. I knew the guy had moves.
I guess the film achieved its goal, because I still wish I’d be able to see more of him. That’s a true professional. Always leave them wanting more.
I was exhausted watching the dancing. I could watch MJ dance all day, the precision and use of every muscle in his body...PHENOMONAL!!! It was amazing to see his creativity in every aspect of the production, not only the music, but the dancing, video, everything. When he yanked the earphones out of his ear to hear the "raw" sound, again establishes his true natural ability. The sounds they were pumping into his earphones was distorted to him, he was used to hearing with his inner ear. I also left with this incredible emptiness. He was truly an astronomical artist and what a tremendous loss with his death!!
I hear ya Kathy. That was a big downer that lingered throughout the film. Still, I'm glad I watched it.