Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Michael Jackson’s This Is It" - A Review and My Own Little Tribute

I debated about writing this post, but in the end, decided to go with what I felt. If you are not a Michael Jackson fan, and have ambivalent feelings about him, you can just pass this one by. If you are a fan, I hope you’ll read on:-)

When I was in high school, I hated Michael Jackson! I actually hated him, Madonna, and Prince. Funny how things change… I really like some Madonna music now, and Prince has actually become my favorite music artist. With Michael Jackson, I’ve gone from hate, to love, to disbelief, and back to love and appreciation.

I hated all three artists mostly because they were popular, and I was just being a contrary teenager. Well, I still hate “Like a Virgin”, lol! The first time I heard Michael Jackson on the radio, I thought it was a woman singing – my mom actually had to convince me it was a man. Fast forward into the early 90’s, and we came across MJ on TV. It was a performance of “Will You Be There”, and both my mom and I were spellbound. After that, my opinion of MJ changed completely, and I became a bit obsessed.

The obsession lasted quite a while, though I’m not really the “crazy fan” type. I just really loved his music, his dance, and how he seemed to really be doing good things with his fame.

The letdown came with the first lawsuit. I’m not going to go there, though. I will say that in my heart, I never could believe that he had done the things he was accused of, but my support still wavered.

Over all these years, I’ve still admired his music/talent. I didn’t really follow him anymore, but, as with so much of the world, was completely shocked and saddened when he died. Funny thing is that I never could envision him as an old man. So, in a way I’m not surprised, but at the same time, I still can’t believe he’s gone.

Both my mom and I watched the memorial, and yes, we cried. When I learned about the “This Is It” movie, I knew I wanted to see it. I had to wait for it to come out on DVD, and it was at the top of our Netflix list for this week. It arrived on Tuesday, and we broke it up into two nights of viewing.

It is awesome!!! It brought back all of the old Michael Jackson magic:-) It gives the opportunity to see how driven, talented, and kind (yes, kind!) MJ was. It’s also amazing to see all of the work that was going into the tour – it would have been an incredible show! We couldn’t believe the drive and dedication that went into each song performance. We also couldn’t believe that MJ was dancing as well as men half his age.

MJ seemed energetic, in sync, and joyful. When I say he was kind, I mean that even though others in the film treated him like a superstar, he didn’t act like one. He gave just as much as he asked from all of the performers (who are amazing in their own right!). He was nice. I’m sure that the film is edited to show the best of all of it, but the kindness and positive energy really just seem to flow out of MJ. It didn’t seem artificial – we felt it.

If you haven’t already seen “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”, I highly recommend it. Even though it was almost two hours, it wasn’t long enough. There are some performances I wish had been included, like “Will You Be There”. What is included, though, is often jaw-dropping in its magnitude. It would have been the show to beat all shows, I think.

As for Michael himself, I was left with these thoughts – I wished that when MJ looked at the man in the mirror, that he had liked and accepted what he saw. I wish he hadn’t felt the need to constantly mess with how he looked, but instead, recognized the beautiful person within and honored him. We all saw it, but I think our adulation was too much for any one person to handle. In the end, I’m glad he gave us the gifts that he did, but wish, for him, that his life had been more normal. Maybe next time…

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