Monday, November 2, 2009

"This Is It" great for anyone of any age

"This Is It" would have been the best concert of all time.

But for the one million or so people who attended, they probably never would have realized what a genius Michael Jackson was. The movie version of the concert development/rehearsals never would have been released, and only insiders would have known how meticulous Jackson was in making it the perfect experience.

If a drum beat started half a second too soon, he stopped and explained why it needed pause. If a riff didn't have enough soul behind it (and I don't even know what that means), he'd beat box/sing/hum exactly how it needed to sound. I couldn't hear a difference, but the musicians could. Everything from the way the vignette actors looked into the camera to the placement of the crystals on what would have been the Billie Jean jacket was deliberate.

For those who are expecting a "River Dance"-type stage production on film, it's not really like that. There is a plot and there are behind-the-scenes explanations of what's going on, which make the story move at a very intriguing pace.

One thing I loved about the concert was that Jackson planned to give the audience exactly what they wanted. The huge stage production was an adaptation of each famous music video. He didn't try to change his original records into something new, or take a different visual stance. "Thriller" was Thriller on steroids. "Smooth Criminal" was smooth criminal on steroids. "Human Nature" was a more raw, acoustic version, but was 100% recognizable.

I think artists try too hard to think outside the box for their shows and end up presenting something wildly different. Jackson and his people thought outside the box and ended up with what would have been a masterpiece.

If you're wondering, there aren't any moments of "freaky Jackson." He's not playing anything up for the cameras pretending to hide his face or anything like that. Aside from the occasional "yes Michael, whatever you want Michael" stuff, it's all about the music and performance.

I would recommend this movie for anyone of any age. The audience at Century 12 Abilene laughed out loud several times, cheered a little bit, and stayed all the way through the credits.

The movie gets a B and Jackson gets an A.

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