Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Is It: Michael Jackson's Concert Film Review

I've never seen Michael Jackson in concert personally. Like most, my experiences of his performances have always been through the eyes and lenses of someone else. Yet, even through their prisms, I've felt his energy, his passion, his dedication to his craft. "This Is It" is a testament to those traits and Micheal's "give it your all" spirit we came to know on stage.

On stage is where he transcended, rose above the gossip fodder, the haters, all the mess that comes with celebrity and became an icon. "This Is It" demonstrates what made him such and how he related so personally to his music. Michael Jackson FELT music, became one with it--every instrument and every note. And though musicians are accustomed to playing half notes, there was no room for half stepping in delivering his music. Surprisingly, in the film he literally "called out" a musician for not making a certain sound strong enough so that he could feel it. It was done nicely, of course, but proved his attention to every detail of his music.

How his music makes people feel is a cornerstone of Michael's artistry, and "This Is It" gives audiences a true sense in how the magic happens in live performance. Powerful and affecting vocals, brilliant choreography, and amazing visuals and special effects all work together to pull the emotion right of you. So, if all that is experienced in rehearsal just imagine how astounding the actual concert would have been. As Michael said in the film, "We want to take them places they've never been before." Without a doubt, he would have done that and more.

And just as with any great show, I didn't want it to end. For two musical hours or more, the sad news of his passing was forgotten. Time stood still. He was as present as he had ever been. Michael danced, sang, joked, and uplifted his stage family with his passion and work ethic. Interviews with the dancers start the film and then other performers and designers are heard from throughout the film.

"This Is It" opens in theaters TODAY. Visit the THIS IS IT website for ticket information and more.

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