Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"This is it."

For once, I am not going to leave a movie review. But rather, scattered thoughts, and "This Is It" conjures many.

If it's a review you want, Roger Ebert will give it to you as only he can:

I really don't have much to say. Perhaps I never did, yet I felt some responsibility to defend Michael against talk that will never cease. His work speaks for itself, his humanitarian efforts stand alone, and this film says the rest. I pondered many of the questions Ebert did, yet I know how sensational the media has always been, and I know the results of the autopsy which confirm that most of the talk is just that. The film raises questions about how someone can be heavily drugged and do even a fraction of any of that. It's safe to say the media embellished quite a bit, as usual, though Michael did have a documented history of painkiller addiction in his past. The intense concentration and ability to focus on every little detail is a Michael Jackson trademark, and only possible with him at the helm, where he remained during his rehearsals.

I had the great fortune of sitting next to a woman who had nothing but backhanded comments throughout the entire film. The irony is that she paid money to see it. That says a lot. Sometimes people don't get it or "claim" not to. Instead of "This Is It", they ask "What Is It?" In a way, I think the title is brilliant, it is what it is. Not everything in this world can be explained or needs to be dissected into oblivion. If you don't get what the big deal is with Michael Jackson by now - who he was, why people cared, what he accomplished... you never will, and no explaining will suffice. Genius on that level comes around once in a lifetime, and is always misunderstood and undervalued until it's gone, and even then it flies so high above the radar most people miss everything. I'm proud to be one of the legions of folks touched by this man and his work, and I get it. I can truly say with complete honesty that without Michael Jackson, I would not be the person or artist I am today. He inspired something in me that continues to burn, much like millions of creative people around the world.

There was so much love and positivity, hope and inspiration in this film that if you failed to receive that, you are officially "Not It". The more light a person has inside with which to shine, the more others feel dimmed and have to charge up their destructive tendencies, yet it isn't enough to quell their appetite or turn them into better people. We all have choices to make and it is our responsibility to chose wisely, and I chose to be a positive force in the world and an artist that makes a difference, partially thanks to a person who needs no introduction.

I must say, in all of my movie-going experiences, I've never seen people spontaneously whip out lighters and wave their hands in the air. There were random fedora-wearing viewers and sparkled out audience members, and an audience sprinkled with every age group and color. One could expect nothing less. If a small conservative town can even get it, there is hope for us all to just get along, by golly.

I don't think Michael would have wanted this film released as he was too much of a perfectionist to want an audience to see an incomplete product, yet it's all we have for his last show and it's enough. I'm grateful this film was made, it answers a lot of questions and gives the fans one last peek at a man so hard to say goodbye to.

Michael was truly It, and It will be sorely missed.

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