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Michael Jackson's This Is It
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

So, what do I think of this film?...
It's hard to criticize a film like this as it's a quite raw documentary and also about a great being that was Michael Jackson.
But let's put it like this: There isn't a proper Moonwalk to be seen.
This film is meant to give you an idea of what Jackson's supposed last show would have been like and how it was made.
Of course also to show what Michael himself was like in his last days.

And let me tell you, it sure does its job.
There's little imagination needed to see this was going to be Michael's absolute most magical show ever.
While they go through the rehearsals you could already "see" the crowd going crazy for Michael.
Even though it's all pretty rough, as it's all during rehearsals, most things are there, if not coming together in front of your eyes.
There would be some new twists on old tricks from previous shows, but much more expanded with bigger more modern special-effects.
For example, the screen in the background of the stage is used a lot more, but it looks amazingly sharp.
The whole show would have been a lot more colorful than his previous ones.
Not with the more neon colors and all, but a lot deeper and fancier colors.
The stage was also huge, not only in width, but it was very deep and also very high.
A lot more areas for performers to go, more moving things and more structures,
all that loaded with special-effects all around it.

As for Michael himself, you can really see he was getting back into it.
He was a bit rusty with dancing and singing, but it was there, he got the feel back while rehearsing.
And he was his energetic, excited, kind, playful and silly, but hard-working self as ever.
You can see him directing the stage closely with the rest of the crew, which they all had fun with.
Most of his singing was live, while I think there were sóme songs/parts he used a track for.
But he really tried so hard and it sounded pretty good most of the time, keeping in mind you see rehearsals.
He still had his distinct voice, still hit pretty high notes and his raw grinding style was there too, while his normal voice was little warmer.
His moves were there too, while he was not floating across the stage as much anymore,
he still did his thing in his typical style, also rehearsing some of the choreography with the show's dancers.
As said, he was a little rusty, but he still did some amazing things and improvised well too.
Besides his singing and dancing, he just seemed a little less shy than he used to be.

The video and filming itself has some ups and downs.
First of all, there seem to have been used different types of cameras, as most of it is HD but some recordings are blurry video.
I also noticed cases of interlacing, but it's not a huge issue for a documentary, only a shame that it has to be in there.
You'll also see times when some recordings don't fill the whole screen, because the difference in format probably.
And the filming itself could sometimes have been better, but it was shot for archiving to begin with, so...
However, they did put some effort into editing everything together.
Like you see mixes of different days of rehearsals, pretty creatively done.
And sometimes you even see a post-created view of something that Michael pretty much had in mind, but wasn't fully done yet.
I should mention, there aren't only shots of the on-stage rehearsals, even if mostly.
But also moments of the rest of the crew working on something, some interviews with individual people, or the auditions before rehearsals and such things are there too.
However, not as much as the main show's creation.

The audio sounded pretty great for something that wasn't really meant to be released.
While occasionally the talking and negotiating on-stage is a little hard to hear as it was probably recorded on-camera,
everything that went in and out of instruments was recorded directly and beautifully.
So the music sounds really nice, apart from some issues you get with rehearsals.
Speaking of the music, you can see and hear most of the songs completely.
While some songs would get going slowly or some songs only rehearsed partly.

Overall, this is quite a good film, at least a nice documentary on creating Michael's show.
And, especially when seen on a big screen, it definitely qualifies as Michael Jackson's last performance or concert if you ask me.
However, I was a little disappointed on not seeing much more than the pure creating of the show.
Because I was curious what happened more around that process too, like what happened after June 25th for example.
It's always interesting to me to see how such things go.
I guess I can hope there will be a lot of extra footage on the home-video as they did with MetallicA's documentary for example.
But I have my doubts as at least the drama and such things was something the creators deliberately steered clear of.
Which I think is a good thing too, as you can see Michael Jackson in a good light for a change.

While I'm personally quite affected with the situation, I found it wasn't too hard to watch this film.
Still I had to realize that this great person actually doesn't exist anymore, which is just heart-breaking.
But we can always listen to his messages, as he once again put out there.
That we have to take care of each other and our planet.
Because that's what he did it for, for the world as a whole.
He came back in the picture for the fans, the people, the world... and This Is It...

(Watched 31-10-09 / Reviewed 01-11-09)