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This Is It Was Worth Doing

Published October 28, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
This Is ItMichael Jackson's This Is It
Yes, this was worth doing. This is It is not a hodgepodge of scrap footage. It is the concert. It feels like Michael Jackson is still alive. This is It will exist forever, not to mention his music.

Review: Michael Jackson's This Is It

Jackson’s presence is palpable, even when he’s just standing there. But man, that guy could move. His backup dancers are pretty awesome to watch too, and those aerialists, my god! The rehearsal is the show. I mean, his practice is our awesome. Who cares if the backup dancers are wearing street clothes? It’s the moves and the songs.

The footage looks great. The main stuff is totally clear. Even the stage lighting holds up, which is a stretch for HD footage. Some lower grade footage is cut in for effect or when it’s all they had, but that keeps things spontaneous. You don’t quite know what you’ll see next.

Animatics show the virtual potential of on stage effects, but those are only used a few times. They actually have footage of most of the things they were doing. The video effect segments are awesome. It’s not just visual effects. It’s storytelling.

Even just watching the behind the scenes of what it takes to put a show on is awesome. That stage toaster that hurls dancers into the air is cool, and it looks like Kenny Ortega is the master diplomat, handling fragile talent and egos with care.

It’s all of Jackson’s big hits. I don’t recall hearing “Bad” but I might have forgotten. I would have liked to hear his song from Free Willy too, but I don’t even know the name of it. I don’t even know the words, I just sing “Free Willy, free free free Willy…”

Hearing him do Jackson 5 songs seems unprecedented to me. I don’t know, did he ever perform those as an adult before? The slow doo wop intro to “The Way You Make Me Feel” sounds really good, and he still goes into the original version.

This is It is a high energy celebration of Michael Jackson. It is compelling. He is so engaging, the energy is contagious. I’m left feeling like he should have done movie musicals. He would have been awesome.

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Fred Topel
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