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The West Wing
A compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.
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There's a mandate whenever I or someone else writes reviews for the new films at the cinema on this website. We must write from a journalistic perspective. We watch and we write (creatively we hope) what we see. Emotions, personal feelings, favorites or dislikes of an actor, director or subject can't be brought up and must leave your inner self before you see a movie. If someone doesn't like say Horror films for example, then they aren't the ones who are writing those reviews. I feel this is the best way to go about doing reviews of any kind as many newspaper reviewers (some are still around but for how long?) seem to always write from their own personal tastes. They will give a Coen Brothers film that was 2 hours of a dark screen a positive review and call it a brilliant take on cinema today, but a film like Saw will be panned no matter how creative and innovative the filmmaking could be even before they enter the cinema. There are in paragraph 4 of the review even before they find their seat.
As a friend of mine used to say: the obvious is just plain obvious. And many reviewers who are heading into retirement as their newspaper jobs die up are just obvious because they put their personal feelings into their reviews. And that's not how it should be because they aren't writing an editorial column but are assigned to give the people the facts from their professional point of view of a new film at the local cinema. It really isn't a black and white thing such as the old trademark of thumbs up/thumbs down. There are just too many factors on who's going to like something and who's not. And even that sentence is too simple. I like to think if you felt any emotional connection at all during the movie then they've done their job. Then the question of how much you felt or can feel is when the writing of a review occurs.
In the case of THIS IS IT, it makes you feel but those feelings can be argued as a tad artificial. It's the fall of 2009 and this film was made in a mad hurry to capture the tail end of the Michael Jackson summer death that news organizations talked about for weeks on end while any other news might as well not of happened. Many a person still feels some sadness over Jackson's death because he reminds many of us of our childhood. Anytime we hear his music or see him do his moonwalk we feel a nostalgic and remember how we felt back in his heyday. He's a brilliant guy, there's no question about it. But what if say Jackson didn't die and they put this film out? This film wouldn't of been a blip on the radar of pop-culture. I saw this film at a midnight showing of over 500 interested fans in various ages and THIS IS IT is a certainty to dominate the box office for weeks to come. They say timing is everything and this is a perfect example.
Whenever I watch a film the first question I ask myself is how will this film hold up in 50 years? Is the story and the theme universal so it will relate to my kid's kids? Will people want to see the movie with the last video recordings of the great Michael Jackson? Or will they be more cynical/evolved and say to themselves that this film seems like it was made just to manipulate the wounded emotions of the culture of Michael Jackson lovers?
THIS IS IT is a movie that defines this decade in many ways. A decade where those in the power positions used people in their weakest hour to obtain what they desire. And those are just the plain hard facts. This is the decade of the rich earning more financial gain while selling useless possessions to the lower and middle-class people who were vulnerable and not thinking clearly. They were too emotionally involved to really understand that they are being tricked into doing something. In the early years of this decade an event occurred in North America that shook people up and many still haven't recovered from it. A revelation then happened where many people realized they could benefit from a population in moments of weakness. And at the end of the decade we have this film.
I'm not saying this is a bad film. This is a film that is really interesting because Michael Jackson is such an talented person. And how he goes about creating is highly fascinating. He's meticulous in nature and everything must be planned out to a tee. This is a man who obviously saw the world differently than most of us and there are many glimpses of his unique mind and soul in the movie.
But of course there is always the other side to his mad brilliance. A side they of course didn't talk about or show. So THIS IS IT really is a movie that you ask yourself at the end: THIS IS IT? Where is that other side? If you don't show it then you have to clasify it as a propoganda piece.
OR.....THIS IS IT is just a healing movie for all of his fans who are still in mourning. Kind of like how the funeral people set up a way to milk the deaths of our loved ones. A few viewings leading up to the funeral itself. Those close to the deceased (or the priest who usually didn't even know the person) talk at the funeral and then we all head to the burial where we finally come to the realization that this person is gone forever. Michael Jackson is gone forever but of course he'll always be with us. THIS IS IT gives us the viewing, the funeral and the burial and now it's time to say good-bye. Of course in hindsight we paid way too much money to go through with it while the makers of his mourning film laugh all the way to the bank.
I think there's an easier way for us to do this. If you only want to remember the good of Jackson as most people seem to do (as no one seems to want to talk about his sleep overs with little boys and the giant payouts he gave out to parents who has a very strong lawsuit against him for him touching the boys in certain places), then all you need to do is listen to the Thriller album over and over again until there are no more tears left. You don't need to give people your hard earned money to see THIS IS IT. There's really nothing to see that you haven't seen before. Don't let them manipulate you to see it.
And apologies in advance for all the THIS IS IT advertising on our site. That's a google thing and we really have no control over the power of Michael Jackson.