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on 11 November 2009
When a friend of mine announced that he had tickets to the O2 shows, I must admit, I poured scorn on the idea, thinking like everyone else - he's past it, he's addled with drugs, he's desperate for cash. I went to see the movie last week with a non-fan - we went for the curiousity value more than anything else - and I have to say, we were blown away.

Michael moved with the grace and ease of someone half his age, and he showed the young dancers selected for the tour how it's done. His voice was still astonishing. I think his skills as a vocalist were always overshadowed by the dancing and the razmatazz of his performances, but he really was a beautiful singer. If Michael's family's opinion on the rehearsals is to be believed, This Is It shows him performing at 40% - all I can say is, if this is 40%; 100% would have been mind-blowing.

This film depicts a true showman at his finest, his dedication to his craft astonishing. I have no hesitation in recommending it to any music fan. The O2 shows would have been the concert of a lifetime.
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on 18 April 2012
Being a ticket holder to the show that never was, I sent for my Blu-ray copy mainly to get a glimpse of what I would've seen and heard at the O2 in London in July 2009 had Michael Jackson not tragically died just three weeks earlier.

Without any doubt whatsoever, this show would have had the best production of all time. The rehearsals in this dvd alone are enough to completely mesmerise. Michael Jackson looking great painstakingly goes through the show song by song like the true professional that he was. Every tiny detail is highlighted and supervised by Michael and all the songs you'd want to hear are rehearsed, including some Jackson 5 hits. The production-in-making videos of Smooth Criminal and Thriller are stunning.

There are moments of exhiliration and frustration for Michael and the people involved as they go through the extensive set list. And there are many many musicians, dancers, technicians, choreographers, designers and directors - all giving their maximum to make the show a success.

Though I felt he was somewhat holding back in his singing and dance routines, Michael Jackson still came across as the overtly talented and hard working artist we all know. This show would've been the best ever staged by anyone. He was setting new standards when he was tragically and prematurely taken away - and the world of music and entertainment is suffering as a result.

This is unmissable. If you're going for the Blu-ray, I can guarantee you're in for a special treat !
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on 23 February 2010
Like all of the ranting and raving pre-release 5-star reviewers, I too loved this movie at the cinema. MJ is electrifying as always, and I was impressed by how much he sang in the show in contrast to his incessant tendency to lip-synch in the 90's and early 2000's. The overall movie is fantastic and the plaudits go just as much to the band, dancers, vocalists and technical crew who really made the show something else entirely. They really rise to the occassion and the main excitement I get from the film is not MJ performing himself but the way he seems to get so much out of everyone who is working with him.

There are flaws to the movie, as with any movie, and I have to say that whilst the collaborative aspect of the work is appealing, it can get rather sickly hearing how someone was influenced by MJ or how he is a 'genius'. Fair enough, MJ probably is a genius but it gets a bit annoying when someone blurts it in the movie every 5 minutes and I laugh when Thomas Organ (rhythm guitar) says "there's some genius stuff going on here" when MJ just tells Orianthi Panagaris to 'shine'. I think he was probably referring to another aspect as some of the 'genius' quotes are placed after relatively insignificant things. So that aspect does irritate after a while. I love MJ but I can only hear people bowing down and kissing his shoes so many times before it becomes irritating. As for MJ himself, his voice is back on form as he sings most of the show with a couple of exceptions (see 'Thriller' and 'They Don't Care About Us' for some hints of lip-synching).

Nonetheless, musically this is brilliant and as a musician myself I am glad that this is the strongest aspect of the movie. I think the music excels the dancing in this production as the professional dancers can occassionally be a little too good and sometimes outdance Jackson (how dare I say such a thing). Then again, they are not 50. Saying this, I want to get straight that despite his passing, he looked in pretty good shape and I get annoyed by people who say "well he is 50 you know" like there are no professional artists still going after 50! 50 is still an age when many artists tour succesfully and still have their voice. MJ performs in accordance with his age. Some people like to think that MJ at 50 is equivalent to an 80 year old disabled man. All his career, perhaps due to his incredible heights of fame, he has always been thought of as 'fragile'. So I say to these people:

1) Lots of other performers can still perform well at 50
2) 50 does not equate to 80 year old disabled man
3) The smoke and mirrors of this massive production helps
4) 50 shows over 8 months is not a very gruelling schedule

You may think I am being critical of MJ. I AM NOT. MJ is superb in this movie and I love it. I am angry at the torrent of fans who cannot expect this from a 50 year old man and those who ignorantly think 50 shows is the most intense tour ever when even MJ himself has done more in the past.

Anyway, the movie alone gets 5 stars but the DVD production is poor. First of all, I thought than in the months between the cinematic release and this, they would aim to re-master some of the more grainy bits of footage and made it fill the screen. Also the menu screen is diabolical. It is like when you get a cheap and nasty DVD off the market and it has these do-it-yourself menu screen with a picture and tabs indicating the sub-menus at the bottom. No imagination in the menu screen whatsoever - it is like buying a DVD from 10 years ago. The extras are also disappointing. 120 hours shot (the movie clocks in around 1hr46mins) so there is about 118 hours of footage to go on bonus features and we get a pitiful 2 hours. Most of that is featurettes and interviews which are not even part of that footage. None of the bonus features have MJ performing anything more. All of the MJ stuff is on the movie. The features tend to focus on the crew (which is interesting nonetheless). The meet the band/dancers/crew etc. is very interesting but that is the entire bonus disc which is, frankly, very poor. For all the time waiting for this DVD I expected much more thought into the bonus features and the menu screens which I have to say again are really shoddy.
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on 12 November 2009
Being a Michael Jackson Fan from my teenage years, some people may be surprised to learn that I opted not to purchase tickets for his 'This Is It' Tour. The reason being that having seen him live in concert on his 'Dangerous' Tour and still rating it as the best concert that I have ever seen ( and I have attended many concerts ) I did not think that MJ could possibly top what was for me one of the best experiences of my life. How wrong I was!! Having seen the film 'This Is It' at the cinema recently, I could not believe the amazing stage show that Michael and Kenny were planning, beyond belief!! Absolutely stunning and considering that this is only a rehearsal video, albeit, excellently edited by Kenny Ortaga, all I can say is those who did have tickets were in for a real treat. To me, MJ looked fresh, full of energy and enthusiasm and quite ready to give his fans a show beyond their wildest dreams. He did look a little thin, but apart from that, certainly no signs of illness or tiredness as have been suggested. Michaels attention to detail, his love and care, all show through in this unique look behind the scenes. I love the way the film portrays his wonderful sense of humour too, not often shown to us. Any michael Jackson fan would be pleased to recieve this as a Christmas present, I will certainly be adding it to my list!! I think that many people will be pleasantly surprised at just how good this is and, fan or not, no-one can deny that this film shows Michael as a true enertainer and definately worthy of his crown as 'King Of Pop'.
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on 5 November 2009
I went to the cinema to see "This is It" last week and knew at once that I would have to own it on DVD. I did my growing up with Michael Jacksons music over the years and this movie proved to me that he still had it at 50. At times when watching it you almost feel that you are looking at a concert and I found myself smiling at some of the things that were been said on stage as if he was really still here.

I left the cinema with mixed emotions but the one question in my mind was "What happened to him" he was so ready for the O2 concerts.

If you are into Michael Jacksons music, dancing, professionalism etc., then you dont want to miss this chance to own the last footage of a great star in action.
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on 11 November 2009
I will be the first to admit that i'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but i like some of his music and even those who did not rate him much have admited that musically, he was one of the best singer/songwriter/performers around. Having stdied him as part of my course, i was intersted to see what he had in stre for all those who would have seen his comeback concert. To say it could have been one of the best concerts ever is not an understatement- it truely would have shown us just how much of a performer he was.
First thing to remember- this is a working progress. Michael admitted himself that the first people to see his concert all the way through (without any breaks) would have been the audience. Here we see a selection of songs which would have been played- and boy he doesn't do things quietly! Every song had a production and was amazing to watch. Second point to note is that he is not performing 100% as he wanted to conserve his voice and hmself. I liked how the screen split and showed different rehersals of each song. Even the rehersals he wasn't putting that much into still looked great- it just goes to show how easy it was for him. I also enjoyed how involved he was- during some songs a screen would be used. The most effective uses (for me) were thriller (this would have been fantastic as he backing dancers got made up as ceatures of the night, but beware of the huge spider!), they don't really care about us (like the last one, he used his backing dancers in the video and multiplied them for a great effect) and smooth criminal. Some have mentioned his health- if he really was that ill, he would never have done the stunt where he jumps through a window! This to me was one of the best uses of the screen. However, Michael also wanted his fans to listen to his message. He cared about the environmentalot and eatrh song only emphasised ths. What he planned to do for this was amazing and i actually got a chill at the end of the song- he wanted his message to be loud and clear, and believe me, it would have been.
It was fascinating to watch him analyse his songs. There were times he'd tell the musicians what he wanted but he was never forceful and only showed how much he cared about the work he crafted. Although nothing but (near)perfecion was what he wanted, Michael was always polite and even had a laugh and a joke with everyone. When he got annoyed, he'd take a couple of breaths and carry on. To me, he was never a diva and just wanted a concert everyone would love and be proud of. Maybe certain singers should see this to show them how rude they are and teach them a lesson!
I left the cinema in disbelief- to me, he looked thin but never ill. He would have completed the 50 dates and given his fans a show to be proud. To think he never performed his finest hour is a sad one. Could this have been the greatest show on earth? Possibly yes. I imagine the dvd will be amazing too and will be pre-ordering it. This is a definate must for Michael's fans, those who wanted to see the show and for those who inspire to be not only great musicians, but great performers too.
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on 23 November 2009
As a lifelong Michael Jackson fan, I knew I would have to see this film, having read all of the lurid reports of MJ's final weeks, I really wanted to see for myself if he was going to be some shambling skeletal figure, not knowing what day it was..How wrong can the press be? This was a man in total control of every aspect of his forthcoming shows in London, he knew every note, every sound, he knew when someone did not play a note correctly, and would stop to correct it himself, not in a starry way, but just politely and quietly.
If you have any misgivings on seeing this film, just give it a go.
I loved every minute, and having seen it on opening day, came back a few days later and watched again, now cant wait for the DVD.
I'm not some oddball, just a true fan, and know when we are watching a musical genius, MJ was that and more.
For all of the people, quick to judge him because of his looks, and phoney court cases, just remember this man was on stage, then writing and performing his amazing songs from a very young age, and thankfully, we the public have this legacy to listen to forever.
I dont usually return for 2nds when I've been to the cinema, but I just enjoyed the whole experience of seeing and hearing many of MJ's most memorable songs and seeing him dance again.
What a show "This is it" would have been at the O2..we were robbed of a truly fantastic experience !
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on 20 February 2010
Kenny Ortega you need a medal for this one. I couldn't wait to see it at the cinema and went on the 2nd night, talk about being rivited, the time went in a flash, just had to own it on DVD so ordered it at the first available opportunity, lovely to have the behind the scenes bonus bits too. It has probably got mixed reviews because the uninitiated would have been expecting a performance or would have expected the rehearsals to be the same as a performance, of course they are not but to see the 'master' putting it all together with the dancers, band, vocalists and technicians involved, is an artwork in itself. It is just so sad to see what would have been and to know that his vision never happened. Everything I have read about MJ's professionalism and consideration for the people working with him is very apparent in this film, the voice was still pristine and the dance moves just as magical. One thing that took me a little while to realise when I first saw the film and left me open mouthed when I did was that the different sessions were only apparent due to fact that Michael was wearing a different outfit, to seemlessly splice together different takes so that it appears to have been shot at the same time is brilliant, once again Kenny Ortega, you've done Michael huge justice with this massive 'tribute', thanks for taking up the challenge to create it.
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on 12 November 2009
I went to watch the This is It movie at the cinema with my 16 year old son & my sister. We were totally blown away at how beautiful Michael's voice still was and his performance's in the rehersal's were truly outstanding.
We were so overwhelmed by the movie, we were speechless. These were the last performances by the King of Pop, that we never got to see live @ the O2.

I have the CD already & i will buy the DVD, they will be something that i will treasure always.

There will be never be another singer, entertainer & human being ever again on this earth, that will come close to him. RIP Michael. We will always love you .....
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on 11 December 2009
I wasn't going to attend the concert although many of my friends were but I couldn't wait to see the film. I was mesmerised as the movie unfolded with Michael's singing and dancing as perfect as ever and with his exacting standards, all the dancers and sound technicians and scenery experts were brilliant and accomodating to Michael's every want. Michael was so enthusiastic, the concert would have been truly amazing like the man.

RIP, darling Michael.

from Shirley, Edgware, Middlesex
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