The Michael Jackson “This Is It” documentary concert DVD was released this past Tuesday. I am going to review the movie portion and also the DVD portion. First, this was my review that I typed up for the Wrap Up back in October when I saw it in the theatres. “I went to the movies today to see the new Michael Jackson documentary, “This Is It”. Wow is really all that can be said after seeing this. When the rehearsal footage was released back in June, I hoped that the producers would do something with it and release it. I said that whatever it was, I was in to watch it. So, I was thrilled to hear about this movie. “This Is It” features the rehearsal footage of Michael Jackson’s upcoming tour that was recorded in Los Angeles just before he passed away. This was going to be one incredible concert. Just seeing the rehearsal footage showed that and how great it was going to be. Several classic songs were getting some updated look to them. Footage was shot to be included on the video screen for Thriller and Smooth Criminal. Smooth Criminal went to a black and white style gangster looking type movie which was mixed in with the performance. It looked incredible and brought back many memories of the original video stuff for the song. I’ll tell you that Earth Song blew me away. They shot some incredible footage to tie in with that performance. I applauded after that song concluded. That was always one of my favorite songs of his that doesn’t get talked about as much as some of his other hits. The movie does a great job of mixing the performance footage with the behind the scenes stuff. The dancers and musicians are featured as well quite a bit with us hearing interviews with them of how excited that they are with working with Michael. You’ll see many times with how they are having fun just watching him perform on stage as they watch from the floor. One of these was when he performed Billie Jean. WOW!! Incredible is all that can be said. He looks so strong on stage and just has that incredible stage presence that he has always had. We also see him interacting with Kenny Ortega and giving input on things. Lots of funny moments in it as well including him going up on the lift with Kenny putting out a plea to Michael to hold on to the rail for safety reasons. Michael is very playful at times throughout this movie and just seems to really be enjoying the preparation for the tour. You also see him making changes to things along with the way and giving input on what he wants to have happen at various points. Just observing him doing that is amazing. I wondered what the movie would conclude with music wise and the last performance shown was of Man In The Mirror. Fittingly enough was what I think and that was also the song that concluded his memorial service back several months ago at the Staples Center. The new single, This Is It, is played and does a great job of piecing together the tribute. I tend to think that we’re going to see some new stuff on the DVD when it gets released. Heal The World was played during the credits in what sounded like a live version so I wonder if it may be an extra. I’m just speculating of course and don’t know anything. What I loved watching was how the people in the theatre with me were staying and watching the credits with MJ’s music along with it. It really was this feeling of that we were staying until the very end. I know that was what I was thinking. This was my last stuff of Michael that I was going to see and I was not getting up until the lights came up and it was over. I did some crowd watching too just to see what everyone was reacting to whether it was being able to tell what the favorite songs were of people watching and also just the range of ages. I noticed people of all ages there to watch the movie. It just goes to show how Michael ranged to all ages. If you are a Michael fan, I can’t recommend this movie enough."
Now on to the DVD portion. The DVD has a bunch of extras on it with one being a documentary on the behind the scenes of the tour. This is really well put together and the time flies while you are watching it. You really get an even better feel of how things were going to go with the concert and how the ideas come about. There is also footage included of them just setting a camera up and talking with Michael in brainstorming sessions. The featurette has interviews with many involved in the behind the scenes of the tour. This tour was being produced to be the biggest in history and they all wanted it to be. The 3D screen production was just incredible with how they were going to bring the audience closer to the show. The concert was going to close big with Man In The Mirror and a MJ airplane arriving on the stage via that 3D screen. They had designed the screen to open up like a door which would line up perfectly with the airplane door on the screen. The dancers followed by Michael would walk up the staircase into the plane and then the plane would take off and seemingly fly off over the crowd’s head. Just incredible with how this was all going to look. Other featurettes include a behind the scenes of the production of the new Smooth Criminal movie seen in the concert. Just hearing them talk about all the work that went into getting Michael and those classic movie shots to line up stressed me out. They did incredible work on it and also with the 3D version of Thriller. The DVD presentation of it looks really good.