Saturday, November 7, 2009


Here's the N.Y. Times movie trailer

I'm wondering if those who die young, before their time -- before we have a chance to see them age, say "he's aged" -- live on more vividly than perhaps they should.

Elvis, Garland, Piaf, as well as Heath Ledger -- JFK and RFK and MLK -- we cherish the last visions of them. Will this vision of Michael Jackson just before he died be cherished by his fans? Will it be lauded by the critics?

In my family we don't read our own reviews. Why? Because the negative remarks echo, and haunt you for years. When we read reviews of new shows (plays, musicals, TV), based on what we know about the reviewer, we decide whether or not to see it.

(Not a very grown up, wise, way of choosing entertainment -- but that's what we do. And we see very few shows.)

The early reviews for "This is It" are interesting, quite good -- sympathetic, admiring, but not raves.

[R. Corliss, Time]
"It proves that at the end, onstage, he was still a thriller. Fans and doubters alike can look at the gentle, driven singer-dancer in the movie and say " This is the Michael we want to remember."

[O. Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly]
“"This Is It' is not in any way ghoulish. It has now been established that when Jackson died, he was, physically speaking, a relatively healthy man. And so we’re spared the macabre spectacle of combing the movie for any literal signs that he was knocking at death’s door. It should also be said, though, that in 'This Is It,' Jackson shows no telltale signs of a broken spirit, either. From the moment he takes the stage, he’s loose, robust, and in control.”

[L. Loumenick, New York Post]
“Neither a concert film nor a documentary but a ghoulish 'event' offered just in time for Halloween, 'This is It' is sadly — and reprehensively, if you ask me — the movie equivalent to the National Enquirer’s infamous post-mortem shot of Elvis Presley.”

[E. Gardner, USA Today]
“Let’s be honest, though: That’s not what most of us expected from 'This Is It,' which opens wide today. The Jackson who shook off his mortal coil on June 25 wasn’t the vibrant young performer who regularly electrified stadiums, and hadn’t been for many years.”

[L. Rozen, People]
"Ardent fans will be happy to gaze at their idol in action; moviegoers hoping to understand more fully who Jackson was and what made him tick, besides performing, won’t find answers here.”

[A. Pulver, Guardian]
“The big fear, though, was that fulsome homages to the man and his talent would smother 'This Is It' in a coating of treacle; thankfully, Ortega limits it to the occasional sobbing outburst from the dancers or choreographers. We are instead offered genuinely interesting tidbits of Jackson’s stagecraft, in the shape of intense discussion of cues, cherry-pickers and trapdoors – presumably to demonstrate how hands-on he was.”

[WSJ staff, Wall Street Journal ]
"The five-day total already makes 'This Is It' the highest-grossing concert film of all time, far outpacing 'Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour,' which grossed more than $70 million world-wide when it was released it last year."

Okay, so will you see it? Will I? Do the quotes (there are many more) tell you, tell me this movie documentary is something to see?

I'm not a fan, but I've blogged about him -- see: "Michael Jackson" 6/26; "Hypnotizing Media Funeral, "7/8; "Echoes on the Echoes" 8/8 -- gee -- wow -- I hadn't realized there are already three post on M.J in Em's Talkery.

Hmm -- that's a lot of finger-work, brain-work on a subject that isn't major, isn't involved in my life ...

And writing this, I put in a few hours reading the reviews that strangers wrote ... a job I do only for my two actor guys ...

Furthermore, I do not want to see a tape of him that manufactures a sense of what he was in rehearsals a few days before he died.

I guess, maybe, I'm realizing as I write this, that this talented, weird boy/man/guy IS -- whether I like it or not -- a part of my life -- it's ridiculous, being affected by what he created -- but I am.

Am I really ?

Yes. I really am.
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