Friday, 25 June 2010

Film Review: THIS IS IT (2009)

Director: Kenny Ortega
Running time: 111 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

UK release date: 28th October 2009

Watched on Sky+ Friday 25th June 2010.


First of all, for the record, I am not an avid Michael Jackson fan. I admired him as a performer and he also wrote a few tunes I have enjoyed over the years. Having said that, I thought it was a great loss to music when he died suddenly a year ago today. So I thought it would be apt to have a look at his final work on this anniversary to see just what his fans have been talking about all these years.

Michael had planned to do a series of shows at the O2 arena in London starting July 2009. This documentary shows footage of him rehearsing for these shows in Los Angeles. There is no commentary, just Michael, the dancers and musicians going through various numbers and routines in preparation for the show. This footage is interspersed by interviews with various band members and dancers. The interviews were all recorded before his death so we get a sense of great anticipation from all the performers. There is also footage of special set pieces that were to be projected throughout the show. For instance, we are shown the making of a special piece of footage shot in 3D for the song ‘Thriller’. All the hits are here, too many to mention, but the list even includes the Michael Jackson songs I like! I guess all the ardent Michael Jackson fans will have already seen this one.

First of all I must say that from what I could see on the screen it looks like it would have been a spectacular show. All the set pieces looked really great and Michael, although his singing voice was a little subdued in places, put in a great performance every time. I guess because it was not the finished article, and never will be, it does suffer a little for that. Over all, a must-see for all those ardent Michael Jackson fans out there. For those, like me, who have a passing interest, it’s still recommended because if you love music it’s worth seeing as an insight into the way Michael Jackson went about his work. Is it a fitting tribute? I’m really not the man to judge, but if you pressed me, I’d have to say yes.

My score: 7.4/10

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