Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009) Review

A documentary putting together the rehearsals, interviews and backstage footage taken of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his sold out London shows, only weeks before his death.


I have just returned from a 9am showing of “This Is It” which is the earliest I have ever seen anything on at the cinema. So it opened today for only 2 weeks, which I think is a fantastic idea. Mainly because it gives it more of the concert/show feel that after 2 weeks you cannot see it on the big screen again. I really could not help but thinking what an incredible show this would have been, it really would have been the greatest concert in the history of music. Some of the stuff they had set up and ready for the songs were just totally out of this world.

The film shows Michael rehearsing, completing sound checks and figuring out dance routines and how he wanted everything to go together and flow. We see this in-depth for quite a few songs, I thought “Smooth Criminal” looked fantastic with MJ being put into the movie. Had to wait til the very end to see my two favorite songs, “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror”.

I am quite geeky in the fact that I really like seeing behind the scenes footage of how things are put together and done. So this film is no exception which is really just great seeing how much time and effort went into ensuring the show was going to be pretty much perfect and go to plan every night it was due to be on. I really enjoyed the brief auditioning clips for the dancers and showing how many people from all over the world wanted to be apart of this show. Then showing which dancers made it to be the main dancers on the show, and how they got into it with Michael becoming part of the show. One of the quotes about that was to dance in a Michael Jackson show you become an extenstion of Michael, which really meant that they had to be able to really dance, as damn Michael could move.

From the point of view watching Michael Jackson at work, it really showed how much of a perfectionist he was and how much he really cared about performing and more importantly his music. The way he wanted to have control while he was singing and be able to use handjesters to signal a light change, or to stop the music as a build up to the end of the song. I thought it was rather cute when he asked to change the ear piece as it was hurting him as he was not used to wearing them and he was adjusting. Yes, that may seem rather random but I did actually feel sorry for him in that moment.

I found it interesting when watching him on stage without the dancers, and they acted more as the audience. You really wanted to actually applaud after some of the songs as it does give you a feel of being there and watching the rehearsal process. I guess this just shows the presence Michael Jackson had when he was on a stage, totally fantastic. He wanted everything to be perfect and sound exactly the same as when he originally recorded the songs. Which I thought was great as often in live shows artist/bands slightly change songs to sing them live, Michael had no interest in that. He kept saying he wanted to keep it really for the fans and I am sure he would have done with this show.

The most heartbreaking realisation about watching this is knowing that what would have been the most fantastic pop concert ever did not even get completely finished let alone performed for the amazing 50 shows. This really was it for Michael, but he will live on forever in his music.

“This Is It” song was played over the credits, it is such an amazing song and I am sure when it is released it will rightly go straight into number one. As I am sure this film will go straight to number one at the cinema box office all over the world. Michael Jackson was the King of Pop.

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