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Michael Jackson’s This Is It: Review

Last night I was able to catch an Advance Screening of the new Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It. The film chronicles the dress rehearsals and sound checks of what was to be Jackson’s come back, as well as his final curtain call. Running almost completed performances of hits like Billie Jean, They Don’t Really Care About Us, Beat It and Man In The Mirror, Jackson and his crew of producers, directors, dancers and musicians brought together what could possibly have been one of the best and most successful career comebacks of all time.

Jackson was in his element, his singing was dead on and all of his vocals were done live with no backing tracks which prove that he possesed a level of professionalism and pure ability that is almost unheard of today in the Pop world. At some points he did look a little rusty as far as dance moves are concerned, but taking into account the fact that the man was 50 years old at the time and hadn’t performed live in almost 10 years makes sense. But all of the skepticism about his dancing abilities were put to rest during his dance sequence for Billie Jean.

The Thriller portion of the film saw the addition of new footage in the style of the original music video filmed in 3DĀ  for use on the digital backdrop during the concerts. This was also done for other songs including a scene with Jackson and Humphrey Bogart for Smooth Criminal and a digital army for They Don’t Really Care About Us among others, but most elaborately for Thriller. The new visualĀ  technology that was used made for some great looking effects and surreal backdrops.

Aside from the music, the film showed some rare behind the scenes footage of just how a production of that magnitude comes together. Along side the show (and film) director Kenny Ortega, Jackson crafted a great work and was hands on in every aspect of the concert from musical direction and filming to set and costume design. His work with the musicians and his vast and complete knowledge of his entire catalog was striking and showed that he was not just a talented performer but also an amazing songwriter and arranger.

The only problem that I have with this film is that I will never get to see the finished product live and in person. This Is It is a great look at the interworkings and passions of a man who still had it, could still do what everyone remembered him and would no doubt have been back on top of the Pop world, the tragedy being that he would never able to bring it to his fans in person.

Kanye West is an American Hip Hop Artist from Chicago, Illinois. This video is the first single for his upcoming fourth album “808’s and Heartbreaks.”

Thoughts?