The Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It comes out today for a limited two-week run. Without getting into the sticket-wicket of commenting on the singer’s personal life, I will say that I’ve always enjoyed Jackson’s music and obvious talent. But as an “event”, This Is It doesn’t feel like something I need to participate in.
The movie is a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage assembled as Jackson was preparing for a series of sold-out shows in London. That’s great – I mean, who wouldn’t want to see the behind-the-scenes footage of what was meant to be one of the largest concert spectacles of the last 20 years. But from a narrative standpoint, what exactly is going to be the payoff?
I mean, it’s not like we’re going to see the result of all this hard work and preparation. We’re not going to see Jackson on stage in front of tens of thousand screaming fans, pouring his heart and soul into the music and delivering the performance of a lifetime. We’re going to see him on stage at the Staples Center standing in front of a bunch of backup dancers wearing wifebeaters and track pants.
At least, that’s my impression of it.
From an entertainment perspective, I’m not sure what the audience is meant to take away from This Is It. At the end of the day, the man is dead. We’ll never know what could have been. So is the movie meant to memorialize him in some way or are the producers counting on some kind of morbid curiosity on the audience’s part to investegate Jackson’s last recorded performance.
There is a stop-and-look-at-the-car-crash element to this that I am skeptical of.
But to each his own. If you plan on checking out This Is It during its theatrical run, I’d love to hear what you thought about it!
As for the movie’s release, so precariously close to Halloween? I don’t really think anyone would show up at the theater dressed up like Zombie Michael Jackson. But if you’re going to any Halloween parties this year, I bet you’ll see more than one.
To a certain extent, it’s unavoidable. Certainly Jackson himself didn’t help matters any by setting the template for a zombiefied “look” with his video for “Thriller” over 25 years ago. Of course there is the bigger-than-life persona of the man himself. A celebrity of his stature is simply going to attract this kind of weird homage.
But if you take the macro view, it’s kind of weird dressing up as a dead celebrity for a holiday, isn’t it? I mean, how many people are going to go to a Halloween party dressed as Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett? Maybe they’re just not as iconic. Food for thought, I suppose.
What about the rest of you? Any ambition to see This Is It this weekend? What about Halloween? Going to any parties? What about your costumes? Share your comments below!
I have to live vicariously through you this year because we’re staying at home on Beggar’s Night. Immediately afterwords, I will be watching the live 7-hour lockdown of the Ghost Adventures crew on The Travel Channel – because I am a nerd.
With Halloween on Saturday, I think it would just increase the likelihood of people showing up in "Zombie Michael Jackson" costumes.
That's about the most tasteless thing I can imagine!