The Daily News Oct 28 - All about the movie!!


`Michael Jackson's This Is It' opening worldwide

LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson fans around the world readied for the singer's last bow Tuesday in a film that captures rehearsals for his aborted concert stand last summer.

From early evening in Los Angeles to late night in New York City, from the pre-dawn hours in Europe to business hours in Asia and elsewhere,

"Michael Jackson: This Is It" arrives simultaneously in the biggest cinematic blowout ever for a music film.
Opening in 99 countries Tuesday and Wednesday, the film expands to 110 territories by this weekend, with distributor Sony putting 15,000 prints of
"This Is It" into circulation.

The simultaneous showings around the globe will be anchored by a star-studded premiere at the Nokia Theatre, a concert venue across the street from Staples Center, where many of Jackson's rehearsals — and his high-profile public memorial — were held.
Longtime Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega, who directed and produced

"This Is It," is expected to attend, as are members of Jackson's band and the executors of his will. Entertainers including Snoop Dogg, Smokey Robinson and Zac Efron are also on the 5,500-member guest list.
The plaza in front of the Nokia Theatre was transformed into an elegant red-carpet arrivals area, with a dozen crystal chandeliers, displays of Jackson's past costumes and "This Is It" spelled out in giant letters.

A few lucky fans won seats along the red carpet, while others filled the surrounding area, cameras in hand. Jackson's hits played on a loudspeaker.

Johnny Kuhn of San Pedro, Calif., won tickets to the premiere and came downtown early with his wife and two sons to take in the scene. He said he expected "This Is It" would be "happy and sad."

"We've lost a legend," Kuhn said.

Many fans waited in line for days to buy tickets for advance screenings of "This Is It" at the new Regal Cinemas on site, whose which will show the film to sold-out audiences for its grand opening Tuesday on all 14 of its screens.

"For that to be our first movie ... the energy and excitement in the auditorium tonight is going to be phenomenal," said Russ Nunley, spokesman for Regal Entertainment Group.

The film, culled from more than 100 hours of rehearsal footage, shows an enthusiastic King of Pop meticulously crafting his moves and performing some of his most beloved hits. No critics have seen it, but Sony — which paid $60 million for the film rights — showed a 12-minute clip to entertainment journalists last week.

Some of Jackson's family members and friends have seen "This Is It" in its entirety. Elizabeth Taylor, a longtime friend of the pop star, posted her thoughts Monday on Twitter.

"It is the single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen," she wrote on the micro-blogging site. "It cements forever Michael's genius in every aspect of creativity."

The 77-year-old actress added that she "wept from pure joy at his God-given gift" and urged her fans to see the film "again and again."
The film has potential all-ages appeal, with the Motion Picture Association of America giving it a family-friendly PG rating for "some suggestive choreography and scary images."

Clocking in at one hour, 51 minutes, "This Is It" plays in a limited run of just over two weeks, lending it some of the exclusivity that had been intended for the concerts Jackson had planned in London.

"We think the 16 days is right. It's sort of a special event that you want to frame in a special way," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.
Jackson died June 25 at age 50. The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled the death a homicide, caused primarily by the powerful anesthetic propofol and another sedative. Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, has not been charged with a crime but is the focus of the police investigation.

Jackson's 50 comeback concerts at London's O2 arena were to have begun in July.
___ Associated Press writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York and Movie Writer David Germain in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Michael Jackson set to rule U.S. pop chart

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Michael Jackson is on track to score his sixth No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart next week with the companion album for his new concert movie "This Is It."

Industry prognosticators suggest the album -- which was released on Monday -- could shift between 300,000 and 350,000 copies by Sunday night. Sales data for the week will be released next Wednesday by tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.

Jackson already owns the year's best-selling album with his 2004 hits package "Number Ones" -- 2 million and counting. Additionally, his 1983 blockbuster "Thriller" is the year's 11th best-seller (1.1 million) and 2005's "The Essential Michael Jackson" is the 15th biggest (986,000).
"Thriller" marked his first No. 1. The follow-ups, "Bad," "Dangerous," "HIStory" and "Invincible," also hit the top.

The "This Is It" album contains 14 studio recordings of Jackson's hits like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" and two versions of the from-the-vaults title track, which plays over the film's end credits. It also includes three demo recordings and a spoken word poem titled "Planet Earth." The film opens worldwide on Wednesday.

Michael Jackson were looking for a house in Bel Air


For more on this info (I can't seem to copy paste from the article in here, so sorry) go to

Today in
Michael Jackson History

1989 - Janet Jackson's album "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814" hit #1 in the U.S. The album stayed at #1 for four weeks.

1999 - It was reported that a thief had stolen home movies of Michael Jackson playing with his children. The thief demanded $100,000 ransom for the return of the videos and had contacted tabloid papers about selling the video tapes.

Guess I'll put this here?

Michael Jackson film 'This Is It' premieres for fans and stars around the world

BY Nancy Dillon In Los Angeles and Leah Chernikoff and Bill Hutchinson In New York

Wednesday, October 28th 2009, 4:00 AM

It was off the wall!

Dueling premieres on both coasts and sold-out theaters around the world marked Tuesday night's debut of Michael Jackson's super-hyped documentary "This Is It."

Fans of the King of Pop turned out in sequins, some doing impromptu moonwalks, as they clamored for theater seats to watch the late icon's swan song.

"He means everything to me," said Jordan Neely, 16, of Washington Heights, wearing a single sequined glove, matching jacket and fedora in honor of the music legend.

"When he died, it was one of the saddest days since 9/11. I just want to see him do it one more time," said Jordan, one of over a 3,000 fans attending the premiere at the Regal Cinema on 42nd St. and Eighth Ave. in Times Square.

Oprah Winfrey's sidekick, Gayle King, was among a roster of stars attending the New York premiere, including Ice-T, Spike Lee, Russell Simmons.

"The main thing you get out of the movie is that the dude was still very much alive," said Ice-T. "It was a cold shot, man. You gotta see it for yourself."

Sherri Sheppard of "The View" agreed.

"It was great. He looked so alive," she said, adding that it's a shame her 4-year-old son will never know who Michael Jackson is.

King said she was compelled to attend "because it's history."

"I loved Michael's music and I can't wait to see the genius that is Michael Jackson," King said.

In Los Angeles, celebrities including "American Idol" winner David Cook, Mickey Rooney, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Paris Hilton strolled the red carpet in front of the Nokia Theatre.

"We've been Michael Jackson fans for a long time," said the 89-year-old Rooney, standing with his wife, Jan. "Everybody who came out tonight came out of respect."

The 111-minute film was culled from 120 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his comeback shows at London's O2 Arena.

Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the right to distribute the movie, which is expected to gross over $250 million in its first week.

Jackson died at age 50 on June 25 from a prescription drug overdose, just days before his first concert.

"This movie is unguarded, it's real, it's raw and honest," insisted the film's director, Kenny Ortega. "You see Michael not always in perfect situations, going through the process of creating a show, and sometimes it's painful."

Famed lawyer Thomas Mesereau, who successfully defended Jackson in 2005 against child molestation charges, was on hand in L.A. to pay homage to "a true genius."

"I'm here to see one of the greatest performers of all time," Mesereau said.

Premieres were simultaneously held in 16 cities around the world, including London, Berlin and Seoul, Korea.
Miko Brando, son of screen legend Marlon Brando and one of Jackson's closest friends, attended the London premiere and said the film showed a resurgent Jackson.

"This was just rehearsing," said Brando, who saw the movie at a special screening over the weekend with Elizabeth Taylor. "You can only imagine what it would've been like if he had performed like this on stage."

Asked how Taylor reacted, he said: "She didn't tell me anything - we just enjoyed the movie together. It's a great performance by my best friend."

Taylor reportedly described "This Is It" as the single best piece of filmmaking she had ever seen, according to Larry King.

"Sure - I guess she took the words out of my mouth. I agree with her 100 percent," said Brando.

Chucky Klapow, 29, one of the dancers in "This is It," fondly recalled his last rehearsal with Jackson and lamented not being able to perform with him in front of a live audience.

"You can only imagine what the real show would have been," said Klapow outside the Nokia. "He was ready and strong."
I'm not surprised about the great reviews. It's Michael Jackson we're talkin about here!
I'm glad about it as well as sad. Bittersweet.
It really is his final curtain call.:cry:

Thanks you guys.
Daily Mail has nice long article with lots of pictures and videos:
I'm just posting the review here:

This Is It - Review by Baz Bamigboye

On nationwide release now on 800 screens (Odeon,Vue and others)
Rating: PG | Running time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

It's an eerie sensation watching Michael Jackson rehearsing for what would have been his last concerts at the O2. Arena.
Watching the 111 minute film assembled by director Kenny Ortega from 120 hours of footage shot during rehearsal sessions it's clear that Jackson was a consummate artist, a perfectionist and that the This Is It Concerts would have been just about the best music show of the year.
We watch Jackson go through arduous dance routines with his dancers and singers. The best moments show Jackson's tetchy side. The desire for perfection drives him.
'I'm not feeling that part enough', he complains to a musician. The musician responds, 'It's coming there'.
Jackson snaps back, 'Well get there'. Another moment he flashes anger about preserving his voice and asks not to be forced to sing so high.
All of his artistry is on display and Ortega just manages to hold back from hailing Jackson as a saint.
Ortega shows Jackson as a hard-working hoofer and singer. At no time is there any footage of the singer looking exhausted, or wiping his brow with exhaustion.
He looks thin and there's not a scene showing him eating or having a drink of water. There's no sense that he's in any pain or that hours after the last rehearsal he would be dead.
Perhaps there should have been some kind of disclaimer saying that the kind of routines Jackson put himself through were dangerous to his health.

Anyway, that's not what This Is It is about. It's a way of giving something back to the fans. How do I know that? Well, it's written up on the screen just after the credit sequence, 'For the fans'.

But I believe that even if you' were never a die-hard Michael Jackson fan you'll get a kick out of watching him dance up a storm. Boy, he knew how to Beat It.

There's a fabulous sequence of Jackson being interpolated, through green screen cinematography, into a footage of Rita Hayworth singing Put The Blame On Mame from the film Gilda.

A lovely moment has Hayworth peeling off a long silk glove and throwing it to Jackson who is magically seen catching it.

This Is It will be in cinema for two weeks and charts the King of Pop in rehearsals for his doomed London comeback gigs which were never to be
Humphrey Bogart and Edward G Robinson show up too and it's a cool segment.

During the scene there's some camera movements where the camera moves from a marquee to a city landscape shot of Chicago.

Jackson and Ortega discuss a cue and Ortega asks him how he will know the shot will change. And Jackson responds, 'I will feel it'.

And it's clue that the beat zings through him from his head to his feet which glide along the stage as if he had the nimble tread of Fred Astaire.

There's a spooky minute or two when Jackson's rehearsing one number and it appears that he's wearing a black arm band on his jacket.That was a little freaky.

But it's the little moments that show Jackson quietly getting a point across that show he was human, and not just a robotic figure.

'You guys, I got to tell you feels like somebody's fist is in my ear,' he tells Ortega as he complains about the decibel level of his ear piece.

I liked him sucking on a lollipop as he watched new choreography for Thriller being shot.

One of the highlights has to be him performing the crutch during Billie Jean. The attention to detail is extraordinary. It was like watching a 100 million dollar Broadway musical being put together.

Towards the end The company and crew gather in a circle and Jackson tells them that the shows at the O2 are going to be great adventure and that it's 'all escapism' where the audience would be taken on a journey to a place they've never been before.

You watch Jackson put his heart and soul into his act, into what he loved to do. But the pain behind the effort had something to do with his passing.
As The rock writer Mick Brown said, Michael Jackson, Death by Showbusiness. That side of his life, the dark side is not explored.
It's as if Jackson lived in a fantasy world and real life didn't touch. The film is a fantastic monument to Jackson but it does us a dis-service by not giving us a sense of what made him die.

As I write this I can see fans waiting outside the Odeon, Leicester Square for the 4am screening of This Is It. The first one open to the general public. They just want to see him sing and dance.
They're not at all interested in how he passed away.
They just want to see him sing and dance.
They're not at all interested in how he passed away.

I really didn't like the last sentence here.
Ive read some really nice reviews........................but some in the media will never apologize...but that is OK..........the energy from the people who enjoyed it show blows those haters away
I am amazed of all the positive reviews. The Toronto Star in Canada gave the movie 4 stars out of 4, which is VERY rare.
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009

Michael Jackson's This Is It Review: He's Still a Thriller

By Richard Corliss

Death and resurrection. That's the scenario not just for gods but for pop stars who earn fans' ardor with an electrifying presence and their sympathy with very public private lives of addiction and misbehavior. The stars' talent makes them unique; their transgressions make them human. Michael Jackson, who died in June at 50, outlived Edith Piaf and Judy Garland by three years, and Elvis by eight. (Forget Madonna — that woman is too smart to self-immolate.) Jackson's bizarre resculpting of his features, his litigious shenanigans with his youngest admirers, his obsession with being an eternal preadolescent, a petrified Peter Pan: all these eccentricities gave him an otherworldly cast. It took death to restore his standing as one-of-a-kind entertainer — to bring him back to life. (Read "Michael Jackson: The Death of Peter Pan.")

Jackson is hot again. His old albums — now sacred relics, for which the faithful did not pay so much as tithe — sold better after his death this summer than they had in this millennium. A poll of visitors to the Fandango web site showed that the No. 1 movie costume for this weekend's Halloween revelers would be Michael Jackson. The singer, whose worldwide success was built on CDs and concerts, not movies, has become his own fictional character. And like the runners-up — Wolverine from the X-Men films and the Twilight series' Edward — Jackson is a hero from the dark side. (See this year's top 10 Halloween costumes.)

But full redemption, not to mention true resurrection, requires a personal appearance. And on the 125th day he rose from the dead, at least on screen, with Michael Jackson's This Is It, a docu-musical record of the star's rehearsals for his comeback London concert series that was to begin in July. Sony, the music and movie conglomerate that has a decades-long stake in Jackson's economic fortunes, shrouded the project in mystery until its premiere, held simultaneously last night and today in 16 cities around the globe. (Sony took over all 13 auditoriums of the Regal E-Walk Theater on New York City's 42nd Street to show the movie to 3,200 invitees.) Many of the venues had a satellite feed from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, where director Kenny Ortega, who had also been in charge of the planned concert, greeted surviving Jackson brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie. (Read a Q&A with director Kenny Ortega.)

The only pre-premiere insights to the film came from two people who had been close to Jackson. His father Joe told the British tabloid the News of the World: "This movie features body doubles, no doubt about it." (Given his wrangles with his family and with AEG, the concert's promoters, he may not be an unimpeachable source.) Michael's stalwart buddy Elizabeth Taylor, who attended an early screening last week, effusively Tweeted that This Is It was "the single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen." And she was in The Sandpiper. (See the top 10 concert movies.)

So what is This Is It? A concert film without the concert. A backstage musical that takes place almost entirely onstage. A no-warts hagiography that still gets the audience closer to the real Michael Jackson — MJ the performer, that is — than anything in the man's avidly documented history. Wisely and decently ignoring the circumstances of his death and the circus that followed it, Ortega focuses on the re-creation of about a dozen Jackson standards for the concert. ("Beat It," "Billie Jean," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Black and White" and "I'll Be There" are all here.) At times several takes of a song are edited into one performance; you know because Jackson is sporting different rehearsal clothes. The footage was shot so the star could study his work and that of his crew, thus it has the artlessness of visual stenography. The art is in what we're privileged to watch: a perfectionist who quietly pushes himself to prove he's still got it.

The movie is worlds removed from another making-of concert doc, Madonna's calculatedly scandalous Truth or Dare, and closer to old let's-put-on-a-show musicals like the Busby Berkeley 42nd Street, the Garland-Mickey Rooney Babes in Arms and the Broadway standard A Chorus Line. It has all the elements: the big star (Jackson), the guiding impresario (Ortega) and, supporting them, the whole retinue of gifted, ambitious singers and dancers. The movie opens with the prospective dancers' declarations of the inspiration impact Jackson has had on them. (Okay, they really need this job, but the effusions sound genuine.) Later, the men have to rehearse one of Jackson's more notorious dance figures. Apparently, grabbing your crotch while gliding across the stage is more difficult than it looks.

There are only two differences between This and the old musicals. Instead of the star breaking a leg, he dies after we see the fruit of his labors. And in This Is It the emphasis is not on love affairs — though Jackson proclaims a tender "I love you" to everyone in sight — but on the energizing, exhausting business of making a spectacle spectacular. (See TIME's full coverage of Michael Jackson.)

Ortega and Jackson had some Berkeley-size production numbers in mind. A version of "Smooth Criminal" interpolates Michael into antique movie clips with Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson. "They Don't Care About Us" sends 1,100 CGI soldiers marching down a kind of Champs Elysees whose Arc de Triomphe is bent into an M for Michael. "Thriller" was to boast 3-D effects. And "Earth Song," the rainforest message number, has a dewy child (a girl, if you're wondering) facing down a bulldozer, which was then to motor toward the front of the stage, ready to devour the star. 'Save Michael, he seemed to be saying, and save the planet.

But the coolest moments show Jackson unadorned and unplugged. He sings "Human Nature" nearly a capella, blending vocal virtuosity and a choirboy's clarity; there's nothing false about his falsetto. His terpsichore leads viewers through how-the-hell-does-he-do-that? astonishment into a mute appreciation of Jackson's ability to channel Fred Astaire's nonchalant elegance and fit it to the percussive drive of R&B. He gives dancing class and sex.

Jackson also plays well with others. There's a splendid duet with Judith Hill on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" that's both a call-response act of communion and a little contest over who can show more soul. He urges his lead guitarist, the petite blond Orianthi Panagaris, to release all the wildness her fingers can express. He's determined to get the best from everyone, and to think the best of them. Near the end, just before a powerful rendition of "Man in the Mirror," he thanks members of his family: "Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito, Randy..." Then, remembering his mother, he adds, "I should also say Katherine. I love you." He's got a lot of love he needs to express. (Read "Marketing This Is It: How Sony Created a Global Event.")

No question that Jackson, deeply in debt to Sony and other creditors, also needed the money the concerts would generate. But his heroic effort and attention to detail suggest that this was no take-the-money-and-run greatest-hits scam. He saw This Is It as a career retrospective that would reestablish the value of his music and prove he still had the strength and the moves of 20, 30, 40 years ago. At times he tries to husband his resources: stinting on the vocalizing of one song, he apologizes: "I'm just trying to save my voice." Then the beat or the melody gets to him, and he helplessly transforms into the full-throttle kid.

For a modern entertainer who dies before his time, immortality is measured in residuals — the money from commemorative projects like this. Michael Jackson will have no resurrection — in the end, that was that — but the movie does earn him a redemptive legacy. It proves that, at the end, he was still a thriller. Fans and doubters alike can look at the gentle, driven singer-dancer at the center of this up-close document and say, admiringly: This was him.,8599,1932860,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
Jackson's film farewell is worth 'It'

Jeff Simon
Updated: October 28, 2009, 9:17 AM

The title, at least, doesn't lie. This IS It. "The final curtain call" as Michael Jackson presciently put it when his comeback tour was announced. All those drugs saw to that.
It's not as if years of Michael Jackson "product" -- as they call it in the Entertainment Industrial Complex -- aren't still possible. They'll be squeezing juice from his orange for as long as possible, down to the last drop. We could be seeing every last scrap of film footage, hearing every burp that took place in a recording studio.
But they won't be, as is "This Is It," an act of commerce that is also, quite visibly, an act of love.
And that's what's so good about it. Everybody knows we're not seeing full on Michael Jackson performance of his big hits here. There is no "Bad," or "Off the Wall," but, yes -- "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Thriller," "Human Nature," "Smooth Criminal," and some old Jackson Five lullabies and adrenaline pumpers for good measure.
He even says, flat out, a few times, that he's got to conserve his voice, even though the performer's instincts inside that rail-thin, chemically ravaged body are visibly telling him to pour on the fuel.
Cameras are on. People are digging him. The pilot light is lit. Yes, these are rehearsal films for what was intended to be his big "comeback" from public scandal and disgrace, but when a performer like Michael Jackson is rehearsing, something, somewhere within clearly wants to go for broke.
But that's not the point. This is just end-stage rehearsing for a mammoth concert tour, getting the details right, making sure the bass player phrases with the snap Michael wants, clarifying just how much he's going to need a stage hand's flashlight to get him quickly through the big, gaudy, "open grave" apparatus at the end of "Thriller." This isn' t Michael Jackson, performing genius, giving optimal effort. This is a very rough final sketch of what he and his director, Kenny Ortega, hoped they'd be giving audiences on a couple continents.
What ARE they doing in the film, besides rather brilliantly exploiting a dead maharajah of pop? Who can't help but ask?
The estate -- that is, the Jackson family -- will profit by a figure that may amount to as much as $100 million. But then in the part of the show where Michael was going to pay tribute to the music he made with his four brothers, he names them all personally, as well as his mother Katherine.
If he thanked father Joe, I didn't hear it. (Maybe he just swallowed it.) Joe Jackson being Joe Jackson -- among the more graceless patriarchs in the history of showbiz, the Hulk Hogan of Gary, Ind., R&B -- he's already told London papers that a body double was clearly used.
SONY pictures has denied it -- foolishly, I think. In the film that was meant to accompany Jackson's rendition of "Smooth Criminal" (full of Rita Hayworth and Humphrey Bogart), there's a moment where he supposedly jumps through breakaway glass. No Hollywood director anywhere would let a megamillion dollar star of notably frail physique perform a stunt like that in a mid-range shot. OF COURSE, a body double was used. There's also clearly a multiple image shot using one (one of the body types simply isn't Jackson's).
None of that matters. It is Jackson and only Jackson you see when it matters. And a couple of times, he looks terrible -- just too darn thin to be completely healthy with the sweat of performance exertion so plastering his hair that you can see just how cadaverous his face was.
At the same time, you might, in seeing this performance genius at half speed, begin to understand his drug problem a little. The film makes it off-handedly clear just how massive an undertaking a pop tour like this is. Everything depends on the star. Every detail and every nuance has to be to his liking, no matter how gifted the director Ortega is.
Nothing excuses drug abuse. But if you look at this skeletally thin star around whom a nine-figure juggernaut is being fashioned while we watch, you begin to understand a little how, say, sleep might elude him night after night after night.
Who could jangle a body this way and fill a head with so much stuff and then turn it all off at night in a flash?
What's good about "This Is It," is the modesty of it, even in IMAX. They could have stuffed the film with crowd shots -- adulating throngs from around the world. They didn't. It's all Michael interacting with his singers, his musicians and dancers. That's where the love comes from.
It's wonderful to watch THEM react to their employer's performing genius. And just as wonderful to hear how he instructs them what he wants. At one point, he tells his keyboardist: "You just bathe in the light." H e wants him to sound like he's just dragging himself out of bed in the morning. Until, asks the keyboardist, he wants "more booty?"
That makes Michael laugh. Yeah, at that point, he wants "more booty."
That's why watching rehearsals is irresistible.
And then, on stage alone for "Billie Jean," you watch his DANCERS watch HIM -- in ecstasy at what the boss is doing in front of them. At that point, the pilot light within ignites a blaze. He's got the best and most understanding of audiences and he's almost his full performing self.
The dancers watch him from the apron of the stage and go nuts.
When it's over, Kenny Ortega walks on stage and says. "Church." (Pause.) "Rock and Roll church."
It's a moment that justifies the whole film.
Here's another from this ending to such a stunted and often foul life (too often of his own doing): After "Smooth Criminal," the director tells everyone how he wants them to freeze and hold their pose. Michael is spent, plastered with sweat in front of his troupe. He looks like death barely warmed over from the effort. He looks like a 50-year-old man, for the only time in the film.
But as the director counts off the beats in that dramatic freeze, you see a sudden big, beaming smile light up that exhausted face.
The audience at the screening spontaneously applauded at that split second of hard-earned joy in the life of such a magnificently talented, deeply tragic and horrifically wayward meal ticket.
There won't be any more of them.
THIS IS IT three and a half stars out of four Documentary of Michael Jackson's rehearsals for the final "comeback" tour that was ended before it began by his death from drug overdose. Directed by Kenny Ortega. Rated PG-13, now playing at area theaters.
Michael Jackson's This Is It Review: He's Still a Thriller

This article moved me to tears. I can't wait to see the film tomorrow.

I wish Michael was here to enjoy to positive attention...
Michael Jackson movie "This Is It" delivers

By Bob Strauss, Staff Writer

Best thing about "It"? It's not a rip-off.
"Michael Jackson's This Is It" offers a good, heaping helping of what anyone who goes to the movie is going for: the late superstar's fantastic dancing and spine-tingling vocals, both incredibly strong for a 50-year-old whom many of us were convinced had weirded himself out of his youthful vigor.
It's also a finely crafted concert film, made up though it is from hi-def rehearsal video for the blowout show Jackson died before ever actually staging.
"It" even boasts some very nice movies-within-the-movie, productions Jackson commissioned to accompany the live performances. They're quality stuff - MJ inserted into classic black & white film noir footage for a "Smooth Criminal" fantasy, a whole new "Thriller" monster mash, sappy rainforest-and-butterflies "Earth Song" business that grows nicely apocalyptic - and they add welcome variety and pizzazz to what could have become a string of song-and-dance practices that, despite their uniform quality, could have become monotonous.
"It" didn't need to have any of these good things, of course.
Pre-sold to a grieving mass market, it could have been two hours of Michael standing still while roadies moved amps behind him and still have made a fortune.
So let's give props to Kenny Ortega, who was directing the mega-concert, for putting a lot of concentration and effort into turning what was left behind into something approximating what that show would have been. "It" effectively builds in intensity and accomplishment from early songs to Jackson's best performance on the penultimate "Billie Jean" - his every step an emotional IED, all muscles working and flowing in electric harmony. Ortega also does a masterful job of intercutting several different rehearsals of the same songs without losing a beat; you wouldn't know they were separate takes if Michael's pants weren't constantly hopping from vivid orange to sparkly gold and back.
All the cinematic craft in the world wouldn't carry the show, however, if the main subject wasn't up to the job. As mentioned earlier, Jackson certainly is impressive at all he used to do best, even if the younger backup dancers sometimes, inevitably, appear more energetic and athletic.
What turned out to be just as crucial a factor for this movie he never intended to make, though, was how watchable Jackson is when he's not singing and dancing. And he mostly succeeds in that department, too. MJ does look pretty thin, but not unhealthy, thank God. There was only one sequence, shot in blue light, where that overworked face of his creeped me out. And while we hardly get a rounded or deep view of either the very complicated man or the painstaking artist (don't believe the hype that this is a thorough examination of the creative process), he does come across as likable, accessible and dedicated both to his craft and the simplistic but heartfelt messages he wanted to impart.
So, good show, Michael, may you rest in peace.
But Ortega and company could have made a better, more complete movie by acknowledging the profound troubles that dogged Jackson's life (and couldn't have helped but fuel his art). But, um, have we acknowledged that "It" is the state-of-the-industry definition of a commercial project, and therefore could not have been expected to make a single honest move that would potentially bum a paying customer out?
Perhaps we should all just be grateful that "It" is a good movie with, often, great music and choreography. It would be safe to bet that that's what Michael would have wanted.
But I liked what I felt from the main film's last musical sequence (like a good hagiography should, "It" has maybe four extra endings after the closing credits roll, in case pretty much every dancer, musician and key grip in the movie telling us how wonderful Michael was didn't make the point). It's an incomplete "Man in the Mirror," a song that never seemed as profound to me as it did to the singer. But the fact that we don't hear the whole thing and Jackson sounds a bit unsure made me wonder how much he ever took his own call for self-examination to heart.
It's not the most sentimental or melancholy way to remember Michael Jackson. But it seems kind of necessary to keep in mind.
We are having a World of "Great reviews" for this is it... finally.... a dream long overdue... why is it that People have to wait till someone dies to recognize them?
We are having a World of "Great reviews" for this is it... finally.... a dream long overdue... why is it that People have to wait till someone dies to recognize them?
That is a good question and...... I don´t really have an answer to it. It is something I have often been wondering myself.
Reading such positive reviews brings tears to my eyes. It makes me wonder if Michael would've received the same positivity for the shows themselves had they gone ahead. Id give anything to have him back right now, but in some way I wonder if this is the way it had to be, for Michael to be truly recognised and valued.

It doesnt seem to be in our nature to value what we have, when we have it. Will we ever learn.
I feel like I am in the 1980's. Michael Mania is back in full swing and I feel blessed to be alive to witness something like this. MJ is all over the radio again, it's hard to get in the car and drive into down without hearing an MJ song. His name is mentioned in the news everyday. People love him like I have never seen. His albums are dominating sales, opinions are positively changing. This is such great news but it's so sad that it took Michael's death for this to happen.
Reading such positive reviews brings tears to my eyes. It makes me wonder if Michael would've received the same positivity for the shows themselves had they gone ahead. Id give anything to have him back right now, but in some way I wonder if this is the way it had to be, for Michael to be truly recognised and valued.
i dunno but i think deep down we all know the answer
As The rock writer Mick Brown said, Michael Jackson, Death by Showbusiness. That side of his life, the dark side is not explored.
It's as if Jackson lived in a fantasy world and real life didn't touch. The film is a fantastic monument to Jackson but it does us a dis-service by not giving us a sense of what made him die.

I always get the impression journalists are always talking about what they want when they have to put in stupid negative comments, about wanting some of the dark side of Michael's life. There is no dis-service by not giving the public a sense of what made Michael die, that is another documentary all together. The dark side of Michael's was the media spreading lies about Michael, something they don't accept because they are the ones who are weridos and freaks.
I feel emotional reading all of these great reviews. I never thought I would see the day that the media would print "He's still a thriller", ever. I'm so happy but so upset because he should have been alive to witness this.
theyd prob be talking crap about him if he were still here. no doubt some will still be talking crap now
I like to think that, had the concerts proceeded as planned, the world would have truly seen his genius... Yes there would have still been nay-say-ers but I think there would have been another fans up-surge...
Review: 'This Is It' a Jackson triumph

CNN) -- Yes, you probably want to see this.
Kenny Ortega's record of Michael Jackson in rehearsal in the days and weeks before his untimely death in June has been a red-hot advance ticket all over the world, even while fans worried about what the film would reveal about the singer's fitness on the verge of the planned 50-date engagement at London's O2 arena.

He's as thin as a rail, so thin that his trilby looks a size too big for him. But any cynical speculation that the King of Pop headed for the exit to save himself the embarrassment of a flop -- that he wasn't just past his prime but incapable of living up to his own legend -- just won't fly.
From the evidence Ortega shows us, "This Is It: the concert" would have been as thrilling and spectacular as his audience hoped it would be. Jackson may have been broke, but this would have been a no-expense-spared extravaganza. More important, creatively, it's obvious he was far from a spent force.

Admittedly, there is no way to tell from the movie whether "MJ," as his collaborators call him, would have mustered the stamina for the demanding schedule he had signed up for.

Ortega, the choreographer-turned-director who worked with Jackson on the Dangerous World and HIStory tours, categorically has not made a cinéma vérité documentary portrait of Jackson on his last legs. This is no death-watch expose. Quite the opposite: It's a slick, "professional" celebration of a great entertainer at work and much more of a concert film than might have been expected.

Ortega dates the first scenes as April 2009 but leaves it at that. The rehearsal footage, we're told, was shot for Jackson's private library -- and there's a lot of it (the entire show, probably), a dozen of the greatest hits filmed on two or more cameras, and often across at least two rehearsals.
This is augmented by relatively brief clips from filmed segments intended for use in the concert, including a new 3-D "Thriller" video and a film noir number that puts a monochrome Michael on the run from trigger-happy Humphrey Bogart ("Smooth Criminal").

There are also sensibly brief interviews with the show's dancers and musicians, none of whom sheds any insight on Jackson the man or the artist but all of whom attest to his incredible charisma.

Happily, we can see that for ourselves. At 50, Jackson wasn't a pretty young thing any longer; close-ups confirm what a terrible travesty he'd made of his face, with his cleft Kirk Douglas chin and a nose that looks like a cartoonist's impression of a skate ramp. But this inspired dancer still had the moves, and even when he's singing well within himself (which is most of the time, here) we can appreciate his fine phrasing, his superb sense of rhythm.
Maybe the movie's greatest pleasure is witnessing how he gently, firmly coaxes out the sound he's hearing in his head from his musical collaborators: insisting on a longer pause or a funkier bass or more dramatic punctuation.

"Rapport" would be too intimate a word -- royalty remains untouchable, and not even Ortega seems comfortable putting his arm around Michael's shoulders -- but Jackson could communicate musical ideas with a joy and exuberance that anyone can understand.
His cast and crew, who were also his last live audience, invariably light up whenever Jackson is performing.

And always the sound and the staging seem indivisible in his mind. It shouldn't come as any surprise, but after decades of idle tabloid gossip, lies and innuendo, it's a relief to be reminded of Jackson's prodigious talent, the consummate care and craftsmanship underneath all the razzmatazz.

The performances here are not the finished article. He wasn't, evidently, a man to show up at rehearsals in jeans and T-shirt, but for one rehearsal he sports bright orange trousers and a silver lamé jacket; at another, a red shirttail hangs half in, half out of his trousers. There are mistakes, modifications, mild disgruntlement -- though we're never shown anything resembling a temper tantrum.
"That's why we rehearse," Jackson murmurs more than once, sanguine that everything will be all right on the night.

It wasn't to be. We'll never experience Jackson's "final curtain call" as he envisaged it for himself. But "This Is It" gives us a glimpse of a more human Michael Jackson than the King of Pop ever presented in his lifetime. Imperfection suits him better than he knew.
"This Is It" runs 112 minutes and is rated PG. For Entertainment Weekly's review, click here.

MovieMantz Review: "This Is It"

"Michael Jackson Lives!"
"This Is It"
Directed by Kenny Ortega'This Is It' Premieres Around The World
Regardless of whether or not it was too soon to release a feature film based on Michael Jackson's highly-touted concert series that, sadly, never came to be, the fact remains that "This Is It" is a fascinating and
surprisingly intimate look behind the scenes of the King of Pop at the top of his game. There were some reports that Jackson wasn't up to the task of performing 50 concerts at the O2 Arena in London, but you would never know it here. Up until the end, Jackson was in full control, he knew what he wanted and he could still move like a thriller.

But the real master here is director Kenny Ortega, Jackson's choreographer who went through more than 120 hours of material to assemble a revealing, powerful and tastefully done 111-minute "concert" movie about the phenomenal comeback that might have been. And after non-stop coverage about Jackson's death (on June 25), legal tussles over his estate (and his kids) and infighting among the Jackson family, it's absolutely refreshing, delightful and exhilarating to see Jackson doing what made him the King of Pop in the first place.

There's no question that this would have been some stage production, complete with complex pyrotechnics, giant 3-D images and incredible dance numbers. But in the end, it was all about the music, and Jackson was determined to put on a helluva show that spanned his illustrious career. At 50 years old, Jackson still sounded fantastic, even on rehearsals for "Wanna Be Starting Something," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Human Nature" and "Man in the Mirror." And, boy, could he move, especially when it came to re-creating the choreography of his classic music videos, like "Thriller," "Beat It" and "Billie Jean."

And in between the music, "This Is It" gets really interesting, deeply engaging and totally disarming. That's especially true when Jackson and Ortega pick out the best backup dancers during the audition process. There are also times when Jackson sternly corrects a musician, criticizes a dancer or adjusts the sound level in his earpiece. But in every case, he's always polite, reminding everyone that his criticism comes from love.

It's a shame that the world will never get to see Jackson's full-blown return to form as a trend-setting musician after years of being known as "***** *****," but it's just as heartbreaking for the backup dancers, who were obviously so excited to share the stage with their hero. It's the hindsight of knowing what happened to Jackson that helps make "This Is It" such a powerful and ever-lasting experience. The King may be dead, but long live the King of Pop.

Verdict: SEE IT!
Copyright 2009 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Related Content from
but I think there would have been another fans up-surge..
defo agree. but haters would have always been haters imo.the slightest thing will have been jumped on unless every single show was completed with no hickups.look how they and some fans reacted when the dates got changed. the haters wished to hard. they wanted so badly for shows to be cancelled planted the seeds in many minds that he would bottle it. they wished to hard.
Joe Jackson Talks 'This Is It': 'It's Great Because It's Michael

Joe Jackson saw his son's "This Is It" for the first time at a premiere event at The Palms in Las Vegas on Tuesday night and the Jackson family patriarch said he enjoyed the film.
"The performance - it's great because it's Michael performing," Joe said. "He's always going to give a good show."

Joe didn't want to talk much after seeing the movie at the Vegas premiere, which attracted the likes of recent "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Chuck Liddell, actor Todd Bridges and boxing manager Don King, but before the event, the Jackson family patriarch said he was hoping the press would be kind to the film.

"I don't know what the media are going to say, but after they see the movie, I hope [what they say] is good," Joe said. "The media - you know what they can do. If the media talks good in favor of the movie, that's fantastic."

Joe also offered an update on how the family is doing.
"The family is [doing] the best they can right now because of all this stuff that is going down and the investigation," he said. "It ain't over with yet, so we are still taking it hard because I can't believe my son is gone."
But Joe said Michael's children - Prince Michael I, Paris and Blanket -- are doing well.
Jackson may have been broke,
and this is why i dont bother reading reviews. their pathetic blantently false B.S that has nothing to do with the film and shows their jelously and true feeling about mike. F*** them.
Review: 'This Is It' a homage to Jackson greatness (AP)

- Watching "Michael Jackson's This Is It" will have fans grieving once again, but this time, it won't only be for the fallen King of Pop, but for what we lost — a brilliant entertainer who gave every inch of his body and soul for what might have been one of the most spectacular comebacks of all time.

Jackson never got to complete that comeback, dying days before his London concerts were to begin in July, but "This Is It," culled from hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage for those shows, does it for him. Even though it's been well edited, the amazing performances Jackson delivers in this film are not a result of camera magic, but Jackson's own.

When Jackson announced his "This Is It" concerts earlier this year, many wondered whether Jackson had any magic left at all. Besides his tattered reputation, he was rumored to be in frail health and hadn't performed a major concert in almost a decade. There were well-deserved skepticism about whether Jackson had the vocal and physical agility to stage the kind of concerts that wowed fans in his prime two decades earlier.

"This is It" gives both answers an emphatic yes. Even though Jackson's looks — with his weirdly delicate face and his stick-thin frame — still makes one squirm with discomfort, once he starts to perform, that discomfort gives way to amazement. At 50, Jackson was still an amazingly gifted dancer with moves that leave your mouth agape. Though we only see him do the moonwalk once, and just fleetingly, his stop-on-a-dime spins, deft footwork and body jerks recall the Jackson the world fell in love with 25 years earlier with "Thriller." And Jackson's voice still dazzles — even when he's trying to play it down.

"I'm trying to conserve my voice," Jackson says at one point — then delivers a vocal that is spine-tingling — and these are just run-throughs, not the actual show.

Fans never get to see what would have been the "This Is It" concert — full dress rehearsals weren't due to happen until the show went overseas for final rehearsals. Instead, the movie takes from segments of taped rehearsals, and also weaves in film segments Jackson planned for the concert to give at the very least an idea of how the concert might have looked.

A graveyard scene meant to be in 3D was planned for Jackson's performance of "Thriller," and a computer-animated dancing army would have accompanied Jackson on screen for a militaristic version "They Don't Care About Us." Jackson kept much of the same moves from his classic "They Way You Make Me Feel" video — including the floor humping — as well as the
groundbreaking choreography from his "Beat It" clip.

But whether it was through new visuals and different musical arrangements, he appeared to be breathing new life into his well-worn catalog, promising fans a show that would have taken Jackson and his fans to new heights. Jackson is gentle but authoritative as he demands perfection from his crew, whether it's gently taking the audio crew to task for making his earpiece too loud or attempting to elicit a grand performance from his young star guitarist.

"This is your time to shine," he says in that famously soft soprano voice before delivering a high wail and challenging her to do the same on her guitar.
The film doesn't give viewers much insight into Jackson outside of performance mode — we only see him rehearsing or hear him talking about music, or the meaning of his songs. Yet the film does give a glimpses into Jackson's personality — alternatively playful and shy, firm yet understanding, often saying phrases like "with love" after giving a command.

The film also splices together different performances of the same song at times, leaving one to wonder why. Is it for a visual effect? Or did he not complete enough in one take?

Thankfully, there appears to be enough full takes so one's mind does not play into conspiracy theories. There were certainly critics of "This Is It" before its release — those who wondered whether it would be an exploitative flick, a quick attempt to cash in on his newfound popularity, and those who felt the preparations for the concert contributed to his death.

But "This Is It" is a beautifully made, loving tribute that gives Michael Jackson what he so desperately wanted — affirmation that he indeed was the greatest entertainer of our time.
"Michael Jackson's This Is It," released by Columbia Pictures, is rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images. Running time: 111 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.