Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Michael Jackson - "This is it!"
I went to see it at 1:00 today with my sons. Tinker says he'll wait to see it on DVD. I wanted the big screen experience. I never had the privilege of a live Michael concert, and I hoped this would give me a taste of what had missed while he was living. I knew this was rehearsal footage, but didn't know what to expect.
First of all, Michael was very much in charge, vibrant, not at all sickly. The movie merged multiple rehearsal sessions of individual songs (you could tell by the change of clothing), and he was dancing, singing (at the same time)...how many of you 50-somethings can sing while you walk upstairs? He was directing singers, dancers, and musicians, singing the instrument parts, getting the perfectionist's sound and tempo.
There was new movie footage for the Thriller sequence as well as new black-and-white footage of Michael with Bogart and Edward G. Robinson for Smooth Criminal. Just a wonderful small morsel of the concert that might have been.
Michael was demanding, but gentle. He treated the whole team of singers, dancers, musicians, technicians, directors as family. He thanked them with "I love you," when they responded to his changing demands for perfection.
I lost count of the songs. There was a taste of the Jackson Five, and he went through the decades of hits, every one you would want to request. I was dancing in my seat. There were times when he held back on the voice, said he was saving his voice. But other times he got really into it and gave it his top performance.
I guess you can tell I'm a fan.
Attendance was light at 1:00. There were fewer than 20 people in the theater. Many of us had bought tickets in advance, expecting a crowd. Most of us stayed through the credits at the end.
Some critics have given this documentary 1/2 star. I give it four.