While watching this documentary your emotions will swing from sadness to awe. Michael Jackson died during the summer of 2009 and the world mourned. When he died he was in the middle of rehearsals for his 50 shows at London's O2 stadium. Director Kenny Ortega's (High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Hocus Pocus) has used the hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage to make this incredible behind-the-scenes film. Using backstage footage, rehearsal footage and interviews, Ortega has reconstructed the last days professionally of this music legend.
The rehearsals for all his most popular songs like "Smooth Criminal", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Bad", "Wanna Be Startin' Something" and others show the legend and his singular vision and his unique ability to translate that visually on stage. Jackson is meticulous during the rehearsals, changing the smallest things in order to get things just right.
The man was a hard worker. Things are done over and over and talks occur between Ortega, the dancers and musicians and Michael Jackson. He was putting an incredible amount of energy into making this a hype-worthy show.
The huge show uses puppets, green screens, 3D technology, giant screens, and many other technologies. It was going to be a huge show worthy of the 50 dates. The dancers are all talented, but who stood out for me was the female guitarist. Her ability is jaw dropping.
The hundreds of hours of footage that Ortega whittled down to make this film where originally meant to simply be a part of Jackson's own personal library. It was also supposed to help him and his creative team analyze the show and improve on aspects that Jackson was not happy with. This alone shows us what a perfectionist Jackson was and how much he cared about his craft. It also gives you an intimate look at the man behind the legend. At many points I felt like I was at a performance meant just for me. You see/hear how he interacts with people.
Jackson's voice and dance moves were both top notch. The film shows the man to be in good form and not the walking skeleton that some claimed. Obviously, he spent a multitude of hours in rehearsal for his sold out shows and that was obviously tiring, but nothing in the film would lead you to believe that he was ill or depressed.
Right at the beginning of the film the words "for the fans" are written across the screen. It is not a film that will give you any insight into his personal life or any dirty laundry about the megastar; it will just give fans what they want – a look at the creative genius that was Michael Jackson. It will make even the most doubtful of people gain a new appreciation for Jackson. For fans it will also give you one last look at the man and the music you loved.
-Staging the Return
-The Adventure Begins
-Beyond the Show
-"Smooth Criminal" Vignette
-Making "Smooth Criminal"
-The Gloved One
-Memories of Michael
-Auditions: Searching for the World's Best Dancers
-This is It Playlist
-Trailers for It Might Get Loud, Grown Ups, Soul Power, Ghostbusters, A River Runs Through It, Salt, Ice Castles, and Hachi: A Dog's Tale