MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT
Michael Jackson’s Last Show
Release Date: October 28, 2009
Starring: Michael Jackson, Michael
Bearden, Kenny Ortega, and
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 112 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Director: Kenny Ortega
Executive Producer: None listed
Producer: Kenny Ortega, Paul Gongaware,
Randy Phillips, and Robb
Writer: None listed
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
Using video playback with special effects to supplement the onstage dancing, the tour would have indeed been lavish, complete with fireworks.
The “Thriller” music video is recreated on screen and on stage as well as the now pop iconic “Beat It” song. A highlight is a filmed segment where Michael Jackson appears as a gangster in a 1940s type movie and is intercut with actual vintage movies so that Jackson is chased and shot at by the likes of Humphrey Bogart.
Fans of Michael Jackson will enjoy this movie, but the less faithful will probably find it a bit tedious at times. The footage is just of rehearsals so one never quite gets the finished product, and there are interruptions and staging issues. However, the filmmakers have done a great job of salvaging what they had to create a movie that is essentially just a compilation of backstage footage.
The movie offers some rare insights as Michael confers with musicians and the director, though the filmmakers often have to put subtitles under Michael to completely understand what he’s saying.
The centerpiece of the tour show was to be a long sequence that discusses the need to take care of the planet. In the show in voice over, Jackson says that we’re destroying the planet, and that it is sick. It’s like it has a fever, and we need to help heal it.
Later, as the stage crew get together for a “final huddle,” Jackson tells them that he wants everyone to feel love and know that we need to save the planet and that have we a window “of four years” do so. This may have been a reference to the Obama administration.
As to be expected, the dancing comes with much crotch grabbing on the part of Jackson and even among the male dancers in the show. In one segment, at dance rehearsal, a female instructor trains the male dancers on how to do this.
Jackson himself says “God bless you” often and at one point says that you “have to have faith.” However, he does not say faith in whom or what.
As a snapshot of the show that will never be, THIS IS IT offers an insider’s look into the rehearsal and staging of Michael Jackson’s ill-fated tour. For a collection of up close footage of Michael singing and dancing, this movie will be a fan’s delight. However, the suggestive elements require caution and the “we are killing the planet” comments and visuals need much discernment.
Fans of Michael Jackson will enjoy this movie, but the less faithful probably will find it a bit tedious at times. As to be expected, the dancing comes with much crotch grabbing on the part of Jackson. A centerpiece of the movie is an environmental theme, saying that we are killing the planet. For a collection of up close footage of Michael singing and dancing, this movie will be a fan’s delight. However, the movie’s suggestive elements require caution and the environmentalist message requires much discernment.