NEW ON DVD: Michael Jackson: "This Is It"


It's a moment that illuminates not just the way Michael danced or sang, but how he thought -- viewing the world in terms of movement, human semaphore. "This Is It" offers only a few such insights into Michael’s artistic process, though enough surface to make this a useful document, as well as a beautiful one. Mostly it's a tribute to the power of Jackson's body and voice, which the film presents as surprisingly intact despite his age, 50 at the time of his death, and the various ailments that reportedly had plagued him in the preceding decades.

As a tragic teaser for the shows that might have been, "This Is It" hurts. If Michael had been able to perform as he frequently does during these scenes, he would have accomplished the comeback for which he was so hungry. It's tough to believe he was 50, he seems so feather-light and vigorous.

The special effects and short films made for the O2 shows also delight. "Thriller" gets an update that takes the legendary video's graveyard scene into the Tim Burton era. "Smooth Criminal" inserts Michael into the classic Hollywood films he loved -- from "Gilda" to "In a Lonely Place." There are aerialists, "pole dancing specialists," arcs of fire and one adorable little girl.

Chronicling the months from April through June 2009, is drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson's This Is It captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show.

The film's prologue states that this raw footage was meant for Michael personal library, yet it's hardly raw. It's lighted and edited like a real concert film, and the sound is almost too good to believe. I truly enjoyed everything that the film offered who would have known when Michael announced that “This is it” that it truly would have been his last. If you are a true Michael Jackson fan you should pop in the dvd, turn the surround sound up and get ready to experience the best 111 minutes you have had in a long time. I know I did!!


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