Film Reviews

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT

By • Oct 29th, 2009 •

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Awesome. Even if MJ is not singing his songs. What we do see is the state-of-the-art virtuosity of lip synching technology.

“American R&B star Akon says that pop legend Michael Jackson won’t be singing live during his comeback concerts. The news has disappointed his fans who splurged on tickets to attend his shows. Akon, who had earlier collaborated with Jackson, says he won’t be showing off his vocals during his ‘This Is It’ revival tour and will instead rely on a pre-recorded track, reports contactmusic.com.”

“Michael singing I’m not so sure about. He will perform but not sing,” he said.

As everyone knows, Michael Jackson agreed to do 50 concert dates at London’s O2 arena, heralded as having the most advanced, sophisticated lip-syncing technology available in the world. If you don’t want to sing or can’t replicate your records live, you go to O2.

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT begins embarrassingly with dancers crying over the privilege of being in Michael’s company. It scared me.

I think there should be guards over Michael’s tomb – he might resurrect without media coverage.

We are told that the rehearsal footage we see was meant for Michael’s personal archives only. THIS IS IT was culled from over 100 hours of film. Whose brilliant foresight was this? The very first images of Michael are shocking: He’s very thin and can hardly talk (we are given subtitles when he does speak), no less sing. Many times during the film, he says he is “saving his voice”. These brief moments of reality and truth are then washed away by the brilliant technology that creates the illusion that Michael is actually singing his memorable catalog of hit songs.

Walking looks laborious. I’m thinking: Dancing is going to be a problem.

Then something miraculous happens. We see each song from many different rehearsals. These rehearsals were clearly not Sunday strolls through the park. For a man ravaged with scarred needle marks and barely awake from his nightly IV of Propofol, Michael shows an amazing proficiency for recalling complex dance moves. I was impressed. He was engaged and thoroughly involved in the production of each song. Everyone treated his remarks and directions seriously. No one seemed to be humoring a drugged-up has-been on the comeback trail.

The concert would have been amazing. We are shown the entire concert as planned, and it was designed as a visual feast. Nothing was spared to bring about a spectacular event. Michael appears with Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth in a filmed segment, and with10,000 male dancers.

How is a pampered superstar like Michael Jackson treated? Here is the revelation on display. Thankfully, director Kenny Ortega omitted showing Michael healing the sick and walking on water.

Ortega, Michael’s long-time collaborator, certainly knows how to handle him. I doubt the Dalai Lama is treated more respectfully. But I must say that we never see Michael as a diva. In fact, he comes off as a very gentle, sweet man who knows exactly how his music should sound – he tells one musician, it has to “simmer”. He encourages his dancers and wants to give his female guitarist her time in the limelight. Like a revered master, Michael blesses everyone.

You walk away thinking Michael Jackson could never have lived through 50 performances, but the first 10 would have been fantastic.


Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email. You can contact Victoria directly at masauu@aol.com.

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6 Responses »

  1. He was indeed a kind and gentle and good man. It makes me sad we didn’t notice this some years ago.

  2. The greatest talent on Earth.

  3. I just wanted to say that I miss Muchael Jackson dearly and I wish that he never past away! And I love the song he made called This is it! It’s amazing and I can listen to it 1,000,000 times and not get tired of it! miss Michael Jackson and I hope that he R.I.P!!

    R.I.P Michael Jackson!!! America loves and misses you!

  4. Michael Jackson would always be the best popstar ever. i love all his songs and his live concerts.
    *

  5. Michael Jackson is truly the King of Pop. He made a lot of great songs in the area of Pop Music. His death is a great loss to the music industry.

  6. His inadvertent killer, or co-conspirator, is going to jail. I just saw This is It tonight. Don’t know if MJ could have pulled off the whole series, but it would have been something to remember for the first 10 or so times.

    RIP, you were a genius and an artist!

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