Michael Jackson in Michael Jackson's This Is It
Michael Jackson, Gone Too Soon
How much of "
Was Jackson, 50 at the time of his death on
"This Is It" is best taken as a bittersweet celebration of Jackson the dancer, the greatest popular dancer since
He was a man both confined and liberated by movement, and "This Is It" constitutes a farewell to, and from, that man. He was the only entertainer who, within four bars, could do the mashed potato followed by the moonwalk followed by seven other moves that never really had a name.
The self-made and then self-remade performer surrounded himself with a great group of backup dancers for this concert. Ortega's film showcases their efforts. There's a "Chorus Line" bit at the beginning where we see the cattle call, then the principals selected for the top slots, plus lots of testimonials from dancers addressing the camera on the subject of what Jacko means to them. You forgive the cliches because the dance footage makes this movie. (Though even Ortega might agree: A sharper-minded concert film might've weeded out the blather a little.)
The way Jackson interacts with Ortega ("yeah, I totally agree, Michael!" he says at one point in rehearsal, trying not to sound like a sycophant), or any of the army of collaborators, the audience can piece bits of Jackson's personality together. He is coy, nonchalant, controlling, a trouper, a sweetheart, a poseur -- sometimes all at once. We rarely see the performer in close-up, and the choice seems deliberate; that face was not his greatest piece of self-reinvention, only his most apparent. But in the film's longest extended take, when Jackson duets on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" with
"Michael Jackson's This Is It" Movie Trailer
Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in Londons O2 Arena.
Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show.
Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at Michael Jackson up close and personal. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jacksons THIS IS IT captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show.
MPAA rating: PG (for some suggestive choreography and scary images).
Running time: 1:51.
Credits: Directed by
Who was Michael Jackson
Victor Davis Hanson
When Michael Jackson tragically died two weeks ago, millions were shocked. The wonder, though, is not that the troubled pop-music megastar died at the relatively young age of 50 under regrettable circumstances, but that he was able to live as long as he did
Michael Jackson, Gone Too Soon
Remembering My Michael Jackson
Here's how I want to remember Michael -- not as the mega-star, not as Wacko Jacko, but as a lovely boy whom I got to know a bit during the filming of "The Wiz" when he was 16. He was shy -- surprisingly so, for somebody who was already a show biz veteran, and a star.
His solo "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" albums were just around the corner. He was still the brilliant lead singer of the Jackson Five -- a group that never would have gotten off the ground had it not been for Michael's unique talents.
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