This Is It

Movies
4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Michael Jackson was obviously shooting for the moon right before his death, as you can tell from these stunning bits of concert spectacle: phalanxes of computer-generated dancers, tempo changes on a dime, a bombshell of a blond guitarist who plays Eddie Van Halen’s “Beat It” solo flawlessly. But the true value of this raw rehearsal footage is its emphasis, less known, on MJ’s laserlike attention to detail, as he works his band and troupe up to speed. A firm floor manager himself, he’s often exposed—and probably wouldn’t have approved of this film. (One on one, High School Musical’s Kenny Ortega, meanwhile, treats him with kid gloves: “I agree, Michael.”) But to see him sweetly lose himself in “Human Nature” (“I like living this way...”) is to feel a creature of the stage finally returned home, and possibly on the cusp of redemption. A must-see danceumentary.—Joshua Rothkopf

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