Published on February 27th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie5
Michael Jackson’s This Is It Film Review: Jackson’s Last Stand
Michael Jackson’s This Is It Film Review
Director: Kenny Ortega.
Cast: Michael Jackson and Michael Bearden.
Here is Yellow Magpie’s Michael Jackson’s This Is It film review.
This Is It gives a fascinating insight into a man who has in recent times been at the centre of media attention for all the wrong reasons.
The film gives a tantalising glimpse into the on-stage persona of the late, Michael Jackson. The result is Jackson as he has rarely been seen. Strong, remarkably fit and in control, Jackson comes across as a man totally at home on the stage. Michael Jackson is shown as a serious talent who had exacting standards, knew what he wanted and what he had to do to get there.
The entire film centres on the rehearsals for what was to be his comeback concerts. With 50 concerts planned for the 02 Arena in London in July 2009, this would have been one of the most difficult and spectacular shows in the world.
Before his death, there had been rumours that his dancing was not as crisp or as electric as it had been at the height of his fame. It was also believed that he would never have had the endurance, or the fortitude needed, to maintain the pace required for a gruelling two-hour performance on the back of such an ambitious schedule.
‘Michael Jackson comes across as highly effective and extraordinarily agile for a man in his 50s‘
However, any hints that Jackson, or M.J., as those around him referred to him as, had lost some of his earlier verve are firmly dashed in this film.
Michael Jackson comes across as highly effective and extraordinarily agile for a man in his 50s and his all-too apparent charisma seems to infect those around him who are in awe of their hero.
He appears very much at the pinnacle of his game. Jackson has enormous expectations and his director, Kenny Ortega, and Musical Director, Michael Bearden, are only too anxious to oblige by fulfilling his every wish.
The film begins with members of his dance troupe describing what it was like to work with their hero. Some are hardly able to contain their emotion as they tell the viewer how being chosen to dance along with M.J. has changed their lives. This section of the film is quite cringe-worthy and at times the viewer balks at the affectations of people who clearly view Jackson as a totemic, almost god-like, figure.
‘These are stunningly gifted dancers but alongside Jackson they appear almost clunky in comparison’
From the ridiculous to the sublime, the viewer is treated to some world-class dancing as hundreds of extremely talented hopefuls audition before Jackson. However, in the end, only a handful of dancers are chosen to appear behind the man himself.
These are stunningly gifted dancers but alongside Jackson they appear almost clunky in comparison as each of his songs are perfectly and uniquely choreographed. Once the music starts, Jackson undergoes metamorphosis becoming transformed under the spell of the music. In a series of scenes from the show, Jackson appears to be almost made of rhythm and once the tempo begins, he is unable to stand still, with every nerve, muscle and sinew in turn answering the beat.
When he arrives at the venue where the dance rehearsals are taking place, it is as if the Good Lord, himself, has arrived, the viewer can hear voices in excited awe saying ‘Michael is here’, ‘here’s Michael’.
The superb female lead guitarist speaks of Michael Jackson’s presence and how she too has fallen under his spell.
Had it gone on stage, this would have been a truly spectacular show. No expense was being spared, even in the rehearsals, there was a full band along with backing singers and all manner of special effects were fully used.
‘Gone was the weak, frail-looking Jackson, to be replaced with a man that showed stamina, energy and control.’
One can only imagine what the final show would have looked like when it was fully costumed. The audiences would have certainly got their money’s worth and M.J. would have been restored to his position as King of Pop gaining a legion of new fans in the process.
This was not the Jackson we have come to know. Gone was the weak, frail-looking Jackson, to be replaced with a man that showed stamina, energy and control. Even the normal high-pitched voice appeard to have been replaced by a deeper, stronger voice.
Admittedly, he was surrounded by ‘YES’ men who were willing to pander to his every need. Yes, he could resort back to his little-boy-lost persona especially when thing were not going his way. A case in point, was when the backing music been broadcast through his earphones was too loud. Instead of asking to turn down the volume, he went on a bit of a rant about his inner ear, when a simple ‘turn down the music’ would have sufficed.
‘The discipline and perfection he brought to his dancing routines resulted in a highly intricate artform which he masterfully choreographed.’
But Jackson did not come across as a prima-donna. His instructions to the musicians and singers were issued with respect and as he said himself, with ‘L-O-V-E’.
There is no doubt that no matter how we feel about Jackson and the accusations against him, it is hard to deny he was an incredible talent. The discipline and perfection he brought to his dancing routines resulted in a highly intricate artform which he masterfully choreographed.
It is hard to imagine that Michael Jackson is dead. Looking at him in this film he seemed so alive and able. Little did he, or those around him, realise at the time the rehearsals were being recorded, he would be dead within weeks of opening night.
One would have to feel sorry for the rest of the cast, because to be part of such a sensational show would have been truly amazing for them.
This film is a must for Michael Jackson fans and those who love dancing will also be ecstatic. But for those who only ever saw one side of him or believed that he was as mad as they come, this film will give a new perspective on the man who became known as ‘Wacko Jacko’.
This Is It has recast Michael Jackson as not only a great dancer and choreographer but a legendary entertainer. An entertainer, who through TV, revolutionised music by making it thrilling through great dancing.
For another take on Michael Jackson’s world check out Yellow Magpie’s Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood TV Review: The Sordid Reality Of Jackson’s Life.
Michael Jackson’s This Is It is a wonderful film and you can get it here from Amazon.
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