Michael Jackson was undoubtedly the biggest star in the planet, a performer who was able to move masses wherever he went. Michael left us his music as his legacy such unforgettable tracks like “Billy Jean”, “Smooth Criminal”, and who can forget the “Thriller”? This Is It shows Michael like we’ve never seen before, so let’s get to the review shall we?
In 2009, the world was stunned; one of the biggest entertainers in the music industry was lost. June 25th, 2009, will forever remain in the minds of every fan as the day we lost “The King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was at the culmination of his rehearsal for his ambitious stage comeback, “This Is It” tour, he was only a few weeks from the start of his first performance. Since his Michael’s passing, we knew something was being put together as a farewell, obviously it came through, “This Is It” came to theaters and showed a different side of Michael that possibly many have never seen. This is a raw view of Michael Jackson; there is no controversies here, no recollection of his life, just Michael Jackson doing what he did best.
This Is It is a compilation of his rehearsal videos put together to make the film. Now keep in mind most rehearsal videos were for the most part only for Michael’s private collection. The documentary follows through as Michael goes through the rehearsals of his playlist for the upcoming “This Is It” tour, the songs include “Human Nature”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Thriller”, “Billy Jean”, “I’ll Be There”, and more. The show would have consisted of the different stages in the long musical career of Michael. The film also focuses on Michael’s perfectionism on stage, the way he commands his ensemble of artist, his passion for the music, and his love for the fans. There’s a brief look at the dancers as well as other artist that are on the group, we also go behind the scenes of the making of the vignettes used for the performance of certain songs. Overall this is a fascinating look at the King of Pop.
The film is well put together by director Kenny Ortega, just simply an overall great job. Ortega’s vision helped craft and piece this together to show another side to the legend. The ability to put together something were there was really nothing is impressive. Piecing everything together and being able to show and display the proper videos on the screen is what really makes this film stand out. The film gives us a glimpse into the vocal abilities, the stage, the music, and the passion of a man looking to give everything out there for the fans. Certainly, once you have seen the film there’s a thought of what could have been and what will never be, and those who know the music will be captivated by the energy in every performance done by Michael. The film manages to capture his energy and enthusiasm that seemed to be pouring in every scene. After a decade of being hiatus from the stage, one can argue if he even left after seeing the way he was performing. Without a doubt, Michael Jackson’s legacy will live on through his music and hopefully “This Is It” helps close the last chapter of this great artists’ career.
Michael Jackson’s This Is It arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 1.78:1. Now keep in mind that this documentary was filmed with both high definition and standard definition cameras, so my take is on the overall look of the film and in no way does the use of the standard definition shall take away from a perfect score. So let’s start with the high definition potion of the film. It’s gorgeous, simple as that, the image is very clean, crisp, and incredibly detailed. From the marks on the stage floor to the little things in the stage, everything is very well reproduced. The colors are vibrant throughout. The blacks are also reproduced very well throughout the film, keep in mind there most of the film is set inside the Staples Center with many dark scenes. The standard definition scenes are intermittently being shown and inserted as the film moves along. Yes, visually it is inferior. The colors are not as vibrant, there is some artifacts on screen, and the sharpness is not the same. This is a very good looking Blu-ray regardless of the equipment usage.
Michael Jackson’s This Is It arrives on Blu-ray with a stunning 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless audio track. The small parts of dialogue are clearly reproduced, very clean without any complaints. The best part of the track is the music, which I am sure many of you realize, this is by far one of the best concerts Blu-ray out there. The sound just complete takes over the sound stage cleanly reproducing every guitar riff, every drum hit, background piano note, etc. It’s just a pleasure to relive the music. Any fan should instantly fall in love with this track and even those curious onlookers will tell that this is the best sound “Thriller”, “Smooth Criminal”, and “Billy Jean” they have heard in a long time. Again, this is easily one great sounding audio track, hats off to Sony for a great job.
While I think that there could have probably been more supplements included the amount inside the box seems sufficient for this release. I think that a small montage on the life of the King of Pop could have been fitting, but hey I rather get something than nothing at all. So let’s check out the extras.
Staging the Return – This is a two piece documentary that takes a look at the “This Is It” Tour. This is over 40 minutes long. Includes “The Adventure Begins” and “Beyond the Show”.
Thriller Vignette With 5.1 Audio – A sequence created to make an appearance on the screen before the start of the song “Thriller”.
Smooth Criminal Vignette With 5.1 Audio – A sequence created to make an appearance on the screen before the start of the song “Smooth Criminal”.
Making Smooth Criminal – A behind-the-scene look at the making of the vignette.
The Gloved One – This is a look at Michael Jackson’s attire. Zaldy, the designer, shows off some of his creations that Michael would use during the tour. Some very impressive outfits that are a shame the King of Pop did not use to perform.
Memories of Michael – Features people that were around Michael sharing some anecdotes.
Auditions: Searching For The World’s Best Dancers – This features a look into the audition process and selection of the dancers that were to share the stage with Michael Jackson.
Theatrical Trailer – This is just the film’s trailer
MovieIQ – Look at facts among other information via the web while watching the film.
BD-Live – Access the web for more trailers from Sony.
Trailers – Featuring Grown Ups, It Might Get Loud, Soul Power, Ghostbusters, A River Runs Through It, Salt, Ice Castles, and Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.
Sony has done it once again, delivering the highest possible video quality and equally impressive audio track. This is not just another documentary; it’s a fitting tribute to one of entertainments biggest star, Michael Jackson, the film takes a look at the man behind the stage, his vision, his energy, his motivation to give everything he has to please the fans. Fans of Jackson should find “This Is It” an amazing one of a kind film and those looking for the music should find themselves with a treat. A good amount of supplements round up this excellent release. Sony did an amazing job with the film. This comes as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!