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Movie Reviews by Marcy K - Naples Florida

Rated PG
2hr. 1min.
Movie Review by Film Critic Marcy Kruchten This beautifully done, behind the scenes tribute, starts with interviews of dancers that came from all over the world to try out for 'This Is It', Michael Jackson's final world tour. Many of the dancers, so inspired by Michael Jackson while growing up, spoke of how he had given them a reason to live. As we watch behind the scenes of MJ's final rehearsals for his sold out 50 concert tour in London, we are struck by Michael's soft voice that belies his fierce intensity while performing. His visions seem to be channeled from above, as he leads his dancers in military like precision movements.

In announcing his final tour, Michael said he will perform his fan's favorites. These include, to name a few, 'It's Human Nature', 'Smooth Criminal', 'Black or White', 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It', 'The Man in the Mirror' and of course 'Thriller', the all time best selling album ever.

The rehearsals are interspersed with background screens and techno special effects that are breathtaking in scope. These are all combined with MJ's glowing gloved hand on every beat and tempo, his vision and sensibility in letting even the silences simmer, as he explains to his choreographers.

The timing and choreography by Kenny Ortega and Travis Payne, along with Michael Jackson, of course, are impeccable. As Michael does his mesmerizing magic, you can see the awe and respect that his producers have for his creative genius.

Of course, 'Thriller' thrilled with the spectacle of white gowned floating skeletal brides and grooms, cemetery scenes with gorgeous ghouls from graves, ghosts in wrapped gauze, falling sparkling bodies thru space, pyrotechnics, and giant hanging props for aerialists.

Pushing boundaries and over the top is what Michael Jackson is all about. He shows no fear in being who he truly is, a true dream maker. His talent, no matter what you think of his personal life and problems, is simply drawn from deep emotion. You cannot take your eyes off him, he is simply thrilling to watch.

It is unfortunate that we didn't get to see the final costumes for the tour. We got a preview of the four million Swarovski crystals, including an encrusted outfit with thousand of crystals and the LED technology created especially for Michael Jackson's glowing glove. The costumes created for "THIS IS IT' are currently on display in London.

Michael's outfits for rehearsals from his private wardrobe, including a black leather pagoda shouldered suit, gold sparkling pants with matching shoes, gold lame jacket, red silk jacket, to name a few, were interesting in that they gave us a glimpse into the private world that was Michael Jackson. These famous designer rehearsal outfits would rival any costumes in any pop, rock or glam concert.

It is ironic that Michael's last live concert performance was for the dancers in his own show. It is obvious Michael enjoyed putting on a show for them singing and dancing to 'Billie Jean' and 'The Man in the Mirror'. They were in awe watching their iconic idol perform the robotic, quick, precise no wasted movements including his crouch grabbing and moon walking they grew up imitating.

As the production company of about 50 held hands in a wide circle, Michael encouraged his dancers and musicians to be all they can be and not be afraid to give their all including all of their love.

We certainly felt the love from Michael and the theater audience, who all stayed till the end of the final credits, returned their love with an ovation. It was sad to think "THIS WAS IT'.

9 out of 10 stars




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