Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Michael Jackson's This is It - Pure Entertainment

This Is It
I noticed something while watching the new Michael Jackson documentary chronicling the King of Pop's preparations for his new tour. It is that Michael Jackson dominates the screen, or the whole room for that matter, every time he appears on camera. His presence is stronger than any character I have encountered in cinema, fiction or non-fiction. My eyes were glued on the man the whole time watching the film. I am glad that the late entertainer was given a worthy documentary to be remembered by.

The film was originally made as a straight-to-DVD release. But after Jackson's death before the start of his new tour, the theatrical distribution rights were sold for about $60 million, and the film was released about two months later. Some call it an injustice that such a talented man like Michael Jackson get a film thrown together in less than two months. But thankfully, this film was nicely executed, with nice editing, sound, and most importantly, great entertainment.

Everyy flaw this film has can be easily erased in a critical analysis of the film, as the film makers planned and made the movie before Jackson's death. They expected to make an entertaining documentary chronicling his rehearsals, and that is what they got. If they knew about Jackson's death, and consequentially made this film, one could tear it apart in a review. Maybe "tear it apart" is a bit harsh, because the film was a fun one, but did not add any new insight to the Jackson legacy. It did not take many missteps, but did not take any risks either.

Almost all of Jackson's famous songs are performed, all done to the instantly iconic dance moves of the entertainer. Thank to this, those who know and love Jackson will be about salivating during the film. But for those who are just average fans may find the film repetitive. It is basically nonstop with Michael Jackson performing. I was fine with it, but I can see some people not enjoying it.

If I could make a biopic (a movie about someone's life) about one man, it would be Jackson. He was obviously such a complex and misunderstood man, the stories about his life could go on and on. But just watching him on screen, being himself, was a pleasure. The film is pure entertainment, and if that is what you are looking for, go have a blast.

4 / 5 stars

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