Tuesday 29 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · This Is It

This Is It

None November 5th, 2009

is stitched together from footage shot during rehearsals for Jackson's hoped-for comeback tour. The performer seems to be giving out with his best about one-third of the time. The other two-thirds, he's partly there but he seems to be holding back. No one can blame him for this "” these aren't even dress rehearsals, and most headliners keep a little something on the shelf in rehearsal so they can bring it on opening night.

Less charitable viewers are saying that he seems restrained and apologizes for saving his voice, because the person we see isn't Jackson at all, but a stand-in. I doubt this is true, but the Jackson characteristics I know are the obvious things a stand-in would be able to duplicate: the whispery way of speaking, the constant sunglasses, the smile that appears tentative until those around him smile or laugh first.

The documentary itself is as odd critter. It does contain actual film footage that was going to be used in the show. There are forest scenes and a pair of special-effects extravaganzas, one to accompany the song "They Don't Care About Us," and one to update "Thriller." The rest of the picture is essentially Jackson performing with varying degrees of conviction, and singers, dancers, musicians and tech folks genuflecting whenever they make eye contact with Him. It's not much of a movie, but it's one hell of a worship service.

I felt uncomfortable with Jackson on-screen when he wasn't performing. His pickiness over every detail has been described as some kind of genius, but it comes across to a viewer not in the man's thrall as micromanagement of the most annoying sort.

At one point. he tells guitarist Orianthi Panagaris to take center stage. "This is your time to shine," he whispers. Fine, except then he adds, "We'll be right here with you," and he tells her what to play for her solo and how to play it. There's a word for that, and it ain't "genius."

So here's the bottom line: Die-hard idolaters will love this movie; those who like Jackson's music but don't laud the man may be disappointed with his performances; those who don't care will continue not caring.

As for those who think of Jackson as a faded memory from the early '80s, well, when the vamp for "Beat It" began booming out, I thought of "Weird Al" Yankovic and smiled.

"”Doug Bentin

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5