At a glance:
Is this it? Seems like it is. Supported by his estate and a few technically accomplished industry players, The Concert That Never Was gets the big screen treatment in a rush job project that squeezes the dying dimes out of Michael Jackson's stutterin legend. Sincere or not, we're more interested in whether this was an entertainin experience. Michael Jackson's This Is It went through the careful process of sensitive marketin, to ensure fans will see it as a definitive must-watch. A press release which quoted movie and tour director Kenny Ortega as sayin "This film is Michael's gift to his fans" was recalled and replaced with "This film is a gift to Michael's fans." Sony will hit big returns for the US$ 60 million paid to concert promoter AEG Entertainment for the 100 hours of rehearsal footage and distribution rights.
Bad news on the doorstep:
We all know this movie was not meant to be a movie anyway. The title card reads that MJ passed on just eight days before heading out to the original concert location with his entourage. This assembled movie is almost two hours long but it feels like we haven't seen enough of Michael, like the many unanswered questions we are left with about the star. We leave the cinema hall thinking we were merely snatchin at Michael's shadow. Do you think he'd have wanted us to see this?
How the man really died. Some suggested readin here.
I can't remember if I cried:
When I saw the Earth Song sequence - thank goodness this will be the last time. Always hated that shyte. Bollocks.
Watch out for:
We've all seen concerts but This Is It contains some very interestin stuff that were meant only for MJ's reference library, such as an apparently unstaged exchange with keyboardist Michael Bearden over a timin aspect while rehearsin The Way You Make Me Feel, one that only musicians could probably appreciate. We also get to see Kenny Ortega teachin the backup dancers how to use the fancy moving stage apparatus and what's the difference between throwin them up in the air "toaster speed" or "elevator speed". See the demised star engage in some confrontational exchanges with his colleagues, but the cut leads us to believe it's a master genius at work, a sort of perfectionist ace showman tryin to get everyone on the same page as him, instead of diva-like tantrums thrown by MJ. For this, some measure of belief can be accorded to the notion that this movie is really for his fans.
Most memorable line:
Michael Jackson: "Play it like you're dragging yourself out of bed."
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Variety has noted that "rather than a bittersweet farewell, the film will merely serve as the opening salvo to a flood of posthumous releases and merchandising that will make Tupac Shakur's estate seem a paragon of restraint." Michael Jackson is commonly referred to as the most recognised person in the world - yet this concert movie comes off as carefully executed but inescapably inadequate attempt to freeze-capture the star one last time for the watchin world. Yet, sometimes this is the best anyone could do. ★★ 1/2
The day the music died:
|Michael Joseph Jackson|
(29 August 1958 – 25 June 2009)