This Really May Be It

So I took in “This Is It” last week. I’ve been mulling over my thoughts concerning the film, and whether or not to share them. To be honest, I wasn’t all that hype about seeing it. I think there’s something eerie about watching the rehearsals of a show that never happened.

And they’re rehearsals. Nothing more.

Then again, it’s Michael, and I was extremely curious back in March to see what Michael had in store for this sold-out tour. Remember, I was hoping they’d find some way to broadcast one of the concert shows in America (See, the P.S.). So I went with no real expectations and sat through the strewn together rehearsal concert set, searching for more understanding, like many others.

thisisit

Michael announcing the tour that never happened.

To me, there wasn’t that much I’d consider to be grand about much of what I saw. Nothing all that innovative or unique.

The new interpretations of different songs and videos, such as Thriller, were pretty cool. I got a kick out of the dancers goaded Mike into singing at full strength and vibing with one of his background vocalists, and Mike’s competitive nature giving into the peer pressure. That was the best moment of it the film, with the dancers’ kind tributes/words concerning Mike that open the film coming in a close second.

Beyond that, there wasn’t anything too thrilling. I’m not say that it wasn’t intriguing. Seeing Michael kindly tell people off was a riot. Hell, just seeing him move and knowing these were his last moments on a stage ever made it worth the price of admission. Still, there was no grand Motown 25-type moment.

What got me, though, was the power and purpose of Michael’s music, even with him halfway singing. It’s not like I haven’t sat and listened to the music for hours in recent months. But there was something different about watching him practice this set of songs, and realizing that this was the final impression he wanted to leave of himself on a stage.

He and the people he worked with told stories, tales that had meaning and forced you to open your mind and maybe even your heart to a different, worthwhile perspective. And as you watch him practice, you realize that so much of it is timeless. You get the feeling that decades from now people are still going to be listening to Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad, searching out and finding some of life’s answers (same can be said for albums like What’s Goin On? and Songs In The Key of Life).

It got me thinking about the music that’s out today, and whether or not the only purpose is making money through a quick fix of a beat and meaningless lyrics. Not much of it is worth the time it takes to pirate it anything. I don’t know. Maybe we should just call it fast food music. It’s a quick fix for some, but has no good/real purpose over time.

But it’s what so much of our society is hooked on, music that hits for a moment but doesn’t stand a chance at standing the test of time. And the artists/musicians who have the talent to produce the worthwhile messages we should hear, don’t seem to be heard by the masses all that often.

Thinking about all of this, It left me to wonder last week if we buried the last voice capable of moving the masses? This really may be it. And if so, it’s interesting that he left us with this last glimpse of him at his core: Michael giving stern and pointed instructions to his musicians, but wanting them to know that his desire for perfection came from and with L-O-V-E.

Interesting.

If you’ve seen it, share your thoughts. If you haven’t, will you see it? If so, what are you expecting. If not, why not?

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23 responses to “This Really May Be It

  1. I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’ll probably wait until it comes to DVD and then buy it. To me it seemed more like something I’d rather watch at home than in the movie theater.

    “Thinking about all of this, It left me to wonder last week if we buried the last voice capable of moving the masses? ”
    -Sometimes I think we have. It has been a long time since a new artist has really moved me. I actually can’t think of the last time. I’m sure there are some good artists out there, I just don’t think they are getting the attention from the masses.

  2. Morning, y’all.

    My husband & I went to see This Is It on Saturday. We enjoyed it. We gained a deeper respect for all of the hard work that goes into big production concerts. We loved that the audience, like MJ’s fan base, was so diverse. There were people of all races & from every age group represented.

  3. I had no intentions of seeing it before it came out on DVD. I’m teetering on that, now, though.

    Everyone I’ve known who’s seen it has had something good enough to say about it to make me reconsider waiting on the DVD.

  4. We went to see it opening night and both of us were in awe. Like you said, it wasn’t all that ground breaking with new material or ‘wow’ factors. But it let you see the human side of Michael. There was a scene where he came in to a rehearsal set and he looked like a regular ol’ guy. Don’t get me wrong, you could definitely tell it was Michael Jackson, but he looked like he had just rolled out of bed, his makeup wasn’t ‘together’, his hair was slightly dry and he was chewing gum like yo’ cousin sittin’ on the front porch joanin’ on folks walking by. He looked and acted ‘normal’. The ‘razzle dazzle’ as he liked to put it, wasn’t there and it was refreshing to see Michael Jackson as just ‘Mike’. I can say that it left me wanting to actually see the finished show. I feel like we were cheated as his fans and will never get to see the final product that everyone was working so hard to deliver. He is the King and he will forever be missed….I love you Mike…

    • I agree, it was very nice to see a non-MJ filtered view of his work. A blogger on CNN wrote, “imperfection suits him better than he could have imagined.”

      • “imperfection suits him better than he could have imagined.”

        It did. I just wonder what he’ll really would think of this footage being made into a documentary. I know the question has been asked, but I really am curious.

    • I saw the movie on friday . You and Damon summed up exactly how I feel. I walked away still in a little sad and in disbelief that MJ is actually dead.

      I loved watching him smack that gum especially since people always said he didn’t eat sweets or drink soda.

  5. I have seen This Is It (twice already, in different cities). I wanted to see it because:

    a) I was very curious about the concert. About a year or so ago I told myself that the next time MJ did a concert in the USA, I would go to it, no matter the cost. Even if it were a thousand dollars, seeing that level of legend live, was priceless. So when the London gig was announced and I saw how quickly 50 dates sold out, I was like “yup, when he comes back to America, I’m going to see him, NO MATTER WHAT.” I was very interested to see what could have been.

    b) When MJ died, people immediately wrote it off as another celebrity drug overdose. There were reports of how he was missing rehearsals, forgetting lyrics, telling fans he didn’t want to do the concerts, drug-junkie thin and generally acting like someone on drugs. Then, in August, the coroner changed the cause of death to homicide. That, and the clips AEG released which showed him functioning fine, indicated “wait, there’s more to this story.” So I wanted to see and judge for myself how he was functioning in the final days of his life. I realized of course the footage is edited to show MJ positively, but the person that comes across is by no means a strung out junkie (and the autopsy report leaked to the AP found no drugs in his system other than what search warrants indicated Dr. Death gave him to help sleep). It just magnifies this tragedy even more.

    Other thoughts:
    -MJ quietly CHECKING the musicians is great. Especially the part where he is like, “Um, I want it to sound like how I wrote it.” PRICELESS.

    -Since I’ve never seen him live, I loved hearing acapella/stripped down versions of his songs, i.e. Human Nature (my fav song), and also the I Just Can’t Stop Loving You duet. He still had his pipes!

    -I haven’t been to many concerts but I thought all the extras were great—the Rita Hayworth and Humprey Bogart additions to Smooth Criminal, the aerial/pole dancers in cages during Who Is It, of course the additions to Thriller, the fire sequence, etc. It would have been a concert/play/ movie experience all rolled into one. Other than say, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Madonna, who does such elaborate concerts? I think what was planned for TII would have far exceeded anything they’ve done.

    • lmao! he was checking them ever so nicely: “I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING, IT FEELS LIKE A FIST IS IN MY EAR! With love….L-O-V-E… love…” I almost died when he said that! And then, “This needs to be different, God Bless you!” It was like he was trying to not offend them but wanted his point to be heard!

      • “lmao! he was checking them ever so nicely: “I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING, IT FEELS LIKE A FIST IS IN MY EAR! With love….L-O-V-E… love…” I almost died when he said that! And then, “This needs to be different, God Bless you!” It was like he was trying to not offend them but wanted his point to be heard!”

        @jlbd: I agree! These were some of the best parts. Everyone giggled when he said these things.

      • hearing him tell people off so gently was the absolute best thing ever…

        • i’d like to think he was SO gracious in his requesting what he wanted. most artists would be rudely demanding…acting like you need to do it THIS way or else…but i loved how MJ would just be like…”we’ll get there…this is why he have rehearsal.”

          • I liked it when they asked him how he would know when the cue hit and he said “I’ll feel it…” That was truly magical, he was a genuis…

      • The parts where he was speaking and not just performing were my favorite parts. You really got to see his process and a different side of him…

  6. My favorite quote was “let it simmer… it should be bathed in moonlight.” I loved it. I really did. It felt like a sneak peek at something you wish you could see more of. As you said, it so clearly reinforced the fact that there is NO one out there at this level right now.

  7. I loved it as a 30+ year fan it gave me some peace. I really wanted to connect what and who I thought Mike was with what the media was saying.

    I didn’t see Leroy the Drug Pusher in the wings
    I didn’t see folks ‘running over’ Mike
    I didn’t see Mike not lucid

    I saw alot of smiling and joy – this was his element. As we go about our day to day drudgery – I would only hope one day I hit my stride where I am smiling and exhibitng joy doing something I love.

    My two best parts:

    Mike and the young lady singing “I just can’t stop loving you” She got so caught up in the moment – he had to motion to her turn around/look at the audience.

    His entire wardrobe. I’m like Oh Mike – please stop wearing Prince Michaels jackets, lol Loved it! I see Paris even Bedazzled a lapel for her daddy, lol lol lol

    I am waiting for the DVD because I want to spend some ‘private’ time with him whenever I feel like it, lol

  8. i’m not a big theater person, being i reside in NYC where folks seem to think that ’cause the theater’s lights are off, that’s their cue to holla & talk back at the screen (not ‘to’ the screen, at) as if they’re in the comfort of their own homes. so i’m def waiting ’til this flick comes out on DVD to view it. but i, too, haven’t heard any negative feedback…just that it’s a glimps of a side of a musical genius few were priveledged to experience up close. one of my friends said it would be as if prince or stevie wonder(ful) let him sit in on a studio recording while they & their team compose a new song.
    damon, glad you’re back.
    jlbd, i def had to do a double-chk to your new gravitar, avitar, superstar (or whatever they’re called) mini pic icon 😀

    • Oh how cool, you’re from NYC. I saw it at the Regal Times Square on Halloween and the crowd was very polite, a lot of kids, but not much distraction or noise. People politely clapped after each scene/song.

    • @nn

      Girl you know that man is like my love drug. I start singing that song by Raheim DeVaughn every time I look at him….*sigh, with hearts in my eyes…*

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