Preview: Jacko Tour Doc in L.A.

 

This Is It Michael
Jackson documentary marks final goodbye.

 

By
Jose Martinez

 

So
I managed to catch the new Michael Jackson tour documentary This
Is It
last night, in grand IMAX no less, amidst a theater full of
suburbia fans in Burbank, California.

 

Whereas
I was expecting all the loonies to be out in full force, even dressed like the
self-proclaimed King of Pop, what I found was a very respectful and subdued
crowd, and more surprising, me enjoying Jackson’s final goodbye.

 

I
wouldn’t say I was MJ’s biggest fan, I own Off
The Wall
and Thriller, and the
most recent compilations that came my way as record company promos, but seeing
Jackson in this dress rehearsal footage, prior to his 50 sold out concert run
in London, was very impressive watching the man behind the scenes hard at work.

 

With
the foul stench still in the air from Sunday’s lackluster and thoroughly
disappointing U2 Rose Bowl concert, I enjoyed seeing Jackson doing his thing.
I’m not a fan of dance-oriented, pop performances as I often find them too
controlled and robotic. I prefer spontaneity in my rock & roll shows but
that went out the window viewing This Is
It
(Sony Pictures). At 50-years-old Jackson still had it. Unlike Bono, who
easily phoned in his performance Sunday night in front of a worldwide audience,
Jackson, even in a series of rehearsals, pulled it off.

 

“That’s
why we rehearse,” he’d say every time someone made a mistake. Working with his
band, his backup singers and his bevy of young, star-struck dancers, Jackson
was having the time of his life getting ready for his “comeback” concerts.

 

Viewing
the film in IMAX proved impressive not only because I was able to view the 35MM
print in its entirety, but because watching on that grand scale of a screen you
really get to see Jackson
up close and personal, which sometimes can be difficult looking at all his many
cosmetic imperfections. Sure, he looked skinny, almost frail, onscreen, but
never weak. There wasn’t talk of him not sleeping and he doesn’t come across as
someone heavily medicated. This is just a series of impressive rehearsals
performing monster hit after monster hit.

 

Now,
sadly after his death in June, perspective is starting to set in and I can appreciate
his talent and catalog, which I always new was stellar. This Is It isn’t just for the crazy, obsessive fans, it’s for all
of us that at one time or another marveled watching Michael Jackson dance or
enjoyed one of his songs. Seeming his last performances, and getting to hear
the new title track song during the closing credits, provides a sense of
closure to Jackson’s bizarre story.

 

 

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