Saturday, October 31, 2009
This Is It - Mini Review
Wow! Halloween looked like it was going to be a bit of a wash out, till Mrs. K suggested that we go and see "This Is It" to mark the day and to give us something special to do on this most special of nights
We took Little Ted, who rather sweetly said he would like to go because he'd "never been to a concert." I wasn't quite sure what we'd be seeing though, a stunning record of Michael's last performances, a taster of what the concert would have been like, or a bit of a disappointment, like the accompanying CD that I lambasted on these very pages?
In short, the film was brilliant. Mike did not look sick, he did not look like a drug addict, he did not look "odd" and he did not look 50! He looked great! His movements were tight, his voice note and pitch perfect and clearly the vision for the whole show was as much his as it was long time collaborator Kenny Ortega.
What was great was seeing Mike's normality, his personality, his humbleness and his interaction with others. When for years, we have had the most negative press, showing Mike in his masks, on crutches, in wheel chairs etc, it's just great to see him as an iconic entertainer, somehow fused with a normal, likable guy.
The film has captured the very essence of Michael's magic, showing everyone just why he was so celebrated before the negative conspiracy to bring him down began. My favourite parts of the movie were the film sequences, which had been done to enhance (and no doubt pad out) the show.
The film sequence for Smooth Criminal was amazing, with Mike somehow sequenced into a Humphrey Bogart movie, interacting with him and culminating in Mike firing off a Tommy Gun!
The movie for Thriller (cleverly fused with a snippet of 'Ghosts') and intended to be a 3D sequence for the concert, looked amazing. But it must have been either a late part of the concert that Mike didn't get the chance to interact with, or Mike wasn't well when they were doing it. Either way, he didn't seem to be that into it. The film for Earth Song was amazing too, but I'll let you see that for yourselves.
The one part of the film that I didn't get into, was seeing mike doing a Jackson 5 medley. It was interesting to note that Mike didn't do one song from the 'Invincible' album, his only CD release this millennium. Why do 40 year old songs with backing singers standing in for his brothers, when he could have brought us (for the first time) the chance to see his 'newest' material live?
Still, that was a very small gripe, in a film that I would have to give 10/10 as an overall score. Having had to watch recycled material and old videos over and over, to see Michael in this fresh, new, contemporary context was sheer bliss. I can't recommend this film highly enough. Do yourself a favour and go and see it. If you're in any way a fan of Michael or even just a fan of excellent musicianship, you can't fail to enjoy it.