Well, that was that then, the final performance of Michael Jackson. And now that he’s dead he’s standing on top of the world once again just like he did for the last time in the early 90’s. At that time, we’re talking about the late 80’s, I was a big fan of Michael. As a 10 year old boy I found him to be the coolest guy around. As it would turn out he probably would think the same way about me then. But that was then, and this is now, Michael Jackson is dead and all that is left of his This Is It concerts is a documentary called This Is It showing us the rehearsals.
I’m not sure if you can actually call this a documentary. It’s footage shot for M.J.’s personal vault. Other than some progress over the course of the film there’s not a real line being followed here. The movie starts of with people getting interviewed on how they feel performing for and with M.J. and shows us people auditioning and getting picked. After that it’s rehearsals… lots or rehearsals. So basically calling this a documentary is calling a compilation of an entire season of American Idol a documentary. This Is It is just a home-video Sony decided to release to profit of M.J.’s untimely death.
As interesting as it may be, at least for the first 45 minutes, and it being the closest thing to the concerts we we’ll ever get to see This Is It lacks a lot. It’s just a movie about people practicing dance-moves on stage. There are a couple of short segments in which we get to see some video’s being made for the show but that’s it. The rest is all about rehearsing dance-moves. There’s even a scene in which all the dancers practice the crotch-grabbing move in detail. This “movie” feels like a Making-Off video for a DVD.
The length of the film is around 111 minutes. That is 111 minutes of people rehearsing and at the end of the first hour I began to find it rather repetitious and boring. It’s the same over and over again with every song.
When word came out this was going to be released I had a small hope that they would use the footage they had and add CG-images so that it would look like if the concert was being performed. But such is not the case and looking at the footage that might not even have been possible. But what we get now is just some cut and paste stuff someone could make with Final Cut Pro (or Windows Movie Maker for that matter). They could’ve at least have a narrator try and make somewhat of a story out of it.
To be honest: this would’ve been a cool concert and Michael does indeed look very fit. The Smooth Criminal segment is once again very slick and for M.J. fans this is a must-see movie. For the rest of the world this probably isn’t.