Movie Details

MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

"Michael Jackson`s This Is It" offers Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning summer 2009 in London`s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June 2009, the film is drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, and genius as he creates and perfects his final show.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 29 Oct 2009
Genre: Musical / Documentary
Running Time: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
Distributor: SONY PICTURES RELEASING INTERNATIONAL
Cast: Michael Jackson
Director: Kenny Ortega
Format: NA

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Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Cast: NA
Plot: NA
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Watch this if you liked: Concert movies

Is this it? Seems like it is. Supported by his estate and a few technically accomplished industry players, The Concert That Never Was gets the big screen treatment in a rush job project that squeezes the dying dimes out of Michael Jackson's stuttering legend. Sincere or not, we're more interested in whether this was an entertaining experience. To that the answer is a resounding yes.

"Michael Jackson's This Is It" went through the careful process of sensitive marketing, to ensure fans will see it as a definitive must-watch. A press release which quoted movie and tour director Kenny Ortega as saying "This film is Michael's gift to his fans" was recalled and replaced with "This film is a gift to Michael's fans." Sony will hit big returns for the US$ 60 million paid to concert promoter AEG Entertainment for the 100 hours of rehearsal footage and distribution rights. We've all seen concerts but "This Is It" contains some very interesting stuff that were meant only for MJ's reference library, such as an apparently unstaged exchange with keyboardist Michael Bearden over a timing aspect while rehearsing "The Way You Make Me Feel", one that only musicians could probably appreciate. We get to see Kenny Ortega teaching the backup dancers how to use the fancy moving stage apparatus and what is the difference between throwing them up in the air "toaster speed" or "elevator speed". We also get to see the demised star engage in some confrontational exchanges with his colleagues but the cut leads us to believe it's a master genius at work, a sort of perfectionist ace showman trying to get everyone on the same page as him, instead of diva-like tantrums thrown by MJ. For this, some measure of belief can be accorded to the notion that this movie is really for his fans.

However, there is a nagging thought that this movie was never meant to be. The title card reads that MJ passed on just eight days before heading out to the original concert location with his entourage. This assembled movie is almost two hours long but it feels like we haven't seen enough of Michael, like the many unanswered questions we are left with about the star. We leave the cinema hall thinking we were merely snatching at Michael's shadow.

Variety has noted that "rather than a bittersweet farewell, the film will merely serve as the opening salvo to a flood of posthumous releases and merchandising that will make Tupac Shakur's estate seem a paragon of restraint." Michael Jackson is commonly referred to as the most recognised person in the world - yet this concert movie comes off as carefully executed but inescapably inadequate attempt to freeze-capture the star one last time for the watching world. Yet, sometimes this is the best anyone could do. The King is dead. Long live the king.

Cinema Online, 29 October 2009
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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