Sunday, November 8, 2009

This is (Definitely) It

MJ has done it again, even after his untimely death.

I watched "This Is It" last week. I am not sure if I should call it a movie, a concert or a documentary. I guess it is all of them, even though officially it is known as a 'concert film'.

The 111-minute film was given a worldwide release and a limited two-week theatrical run (28 Oct to 12 Nov) and it has broken numerous records via tickets both for pre-sale and sales worldwide.

This spectacular movie gives a rare 'behind-the-scene' glimpse of MJ's last concert tour. The world was so close to watching his last master piece when he died 18 days before the opening of the "This Is It" concert.

The film was made from footage during the rehearsals of the concert and it was meant for MJ's archives. The clips were sensitively stitched together, showcasing MJ's artistry and professionalism in his caring manner.

His pursuit for 'the best' is admirable. Nothing less than the best is ever good enough for MJ. Being ever so gentle, he demonstrates how one can be assertive without the use of aggression.

MJ plays his greatest hits such as "Thriller", "They Don't Care About Us" and "Billy Jean" in this concert. These familiar pieces are far from sounding stale. They are cleverly improvised and remastered to give them a more contemporary taste. There are 27 songs in all. My favorite footage is the "Earth Song". Each time I hear this song, it never fails to sadden me. I feel that I can relate to what he is trying to say.

If you intend to catch the show, look out for the concert's female lead guitarist, Orianthi Panagaris. She is simply great. It was heart-warming to see MJ egging her to push herself to give her best.

Watching how MJ constantly pushes himself beyond known boundaries is just so awesome. With the help of technology, the creative visualization is mind-blowing. I can only imagine that if all those special effects get a chance to meet his fans in the planned concert, the treat would have been undoubtedly a spectacular one.

The film reveals the sensitive and caring side of MJ as well as him being a perfectionist. He knows his music and he knows exactly what he would like to present to his fans. Each time he pauses the rehearsal to fine-tune, I get this 'isn't that good enough yet?' idea in my head.

No, nothing is good enough for MJ unless until it is at its best.
This is one of the reasons why many are opposing to the making of this film. Opposers feel that MJ would not have wanted the footage to be shown because it is not showing him at his best.

Days before the release of the film, MJ fans launched a protest entitled "This Is NOT It" as they were upset that the concert promoter was trying to milk the last of MJ.

I am in no position to pass judgment on what went on behind the making of this film. I can only say that I have been presented with yet another MJ's best. I enjoyed every single minute of the film.

Kudos to Kenny Ortega who direction the movie. He has shown so much sensitivity in his choice of footage, showing enough to reveal the lesser known MJ but short of being exploitative. Besides this concert, Ortega created the "Dangerous World Tour (1992-1993) and the "HIStory World Tour" (1996-1997) with MJ. He is also the director for all the three "High School Musical" movies, among others.

The film pulled in US$101 million worldwide in its first five days and Sony (distributor) is extending the farewell performance film beyond its planned two-week run. Convincingly, MJ's music is enjoyed in every continent. Good music knows no geographical, cultural and language barriers. Indeed.

The film is dedicated to Jackson's three children, Paris, Prince and Blanket. It was reported that 90% of the profit will go to MJ's estate from which his most beloved children would be the main beneficiary.

Overall, "This Is It" is a great film. The numbers don't lie.

Verdict: MJ is an ordinary, beautiful human being with divine musical talent.

Official Trailer

This Is It Movie Official Site

"The greatest education in the world
is watching the masters at work"
~Michael Jackson~

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