I wanna take a look back on exactly five years ago, when news about the passing of this legendary-yet-controversial musician made waves. Yes, even beyond the trends of the modern world.
Michael Jackson's death instantly abrupt plans of making a huge comeback to the music scene via his worldwide tour This is It. And supposedly, it will have their kickstart on the O2 Arena in London on July 13 2009, just few weeks before his untimely demise on June 25.
It was August of 2009 when Sony released heir official trailer for this one, a documentary-like musical picture where the organizers AEG, together with The Michael Jackson Company and Columbia Pictures documented Michael Jackson's rehearsals for the supposedly upcoming series.
Despite the frenzy-like reception by the public, AEG faced criticisms regarding the documentation: even the Jackson family did not support the project citing the former wanting to make money out of it.
In spite of feedback though, the film went on screens October 28, 2009, or two days earlier than the scheduled airing (Oct. 30). They went for two weeks.
And I remember seeing the film right before my semestral break formally concluded then. I was incoming third year student then, right before my Film Appreciation subject took over.
The 111-minuter tackled 20 tracks, both produced in either live or dubbed vocals, together with some accompaniment scenes from several pictures such as Gilda, and Great Gate of Kiev. Also, featured in This is It were samples of different songs produced in other tracks, the Jackson 5 medley, and other musicians such as Orianthi Pangaris, Tommy Organ, Judith Hill, and even the epic Vincent Price (the guy who rapped and unleashed that evil laugh on the 1982 album title track Thriller).
Honestly speaking, as I saw Michaels performing his rehearsals out there, you can see his energy level still up there despite his deteriorate-looking physique. I don't even think he was a really sick when he was doing this thing. Maybe fatigue cost his death even more than the controversial drug which served like a culprit.
Out of 20 tracks, I think the most usual thing I can say was about the Billie Jean sequence. Or maybe, because it was then my all-time MJ favorite track, so I found the portion nothing really much new. As well as Human Nature.
But anyway, I have a lot of good points for This is It. Even if Smooth Criminal looked like “so mainstream,” the fact that they insert Glenda via its old greyscale setting turned out quite different. And I admire the way they execute them from those mini-action scenes to those dance sequences.
They Don't Care About Us, albeit looking a bit typical, was also a fun stuff.
But what struck me the most too, aside from Smooth Criminal, was The Earth Song. It was timely as shit considering a lot of areas around the world were facing climate change, and typhoons really occur and causing wreak havoc, like Ketsana (Ondoy) in the Philippines.
Seriously, seeing him doing both lip syncing and live vocals, plus the video of a little girl and a bulldozer inside the forest raised my consciousness. I had goosebumps.
Overall, I'll recommend This is It to a lot of Michael Jackson fans, especially the youngsters (or 90s babies like me) who appreciated the King of Pop's sounds via their elder generations surrounding them. Seriously, it's way too better.