Hold on, I'm still catching my breath. Let me put the Kleenex down too. Uh-oh, I almost sprained something trying to do my Smooth Criminal move on the hardwoods. [ALERT: Bougie down, Annie is not okay. OXYGEN needed!] Sitting my old ass down. Alright, I've collected myself. A few bullet points on This Is It:
- Elvis fans – shoot yourself now. There is only one King and his name was Michael Joseph Jackson. He ETHERS all competition, there has been nor ever will be anyone like him. What This Is It shows you is pure artistic genius. This is an artist who knows what he wants and how to do it from lyrical intonation, to choreography, to film, to stage design. This man looked at a stage full of dancers and was able to say "She's the one." When a musician moved a nano-second too quickly from chord to chord, Michael stopped him and said, "Not so fast, you have to let it simmer. It needs to be bathed in moonlight." My creative heart just fluttered. Bathed in moonlight (stealing it).
I embarrassed BougieMom… just a little bit. From after the opening segment through the end credits, I (and most of the audience) sang, danced, clapped, and cheered. At one point I attempted to get up to do the Thriller dance and she cut me an indulgent but definite side-eye. I eased back into the seat. To compound issues, we were in a theater that served food and drinks and yes, I ordered the gigantic Long Island Iced Tea. Since I hadn't eaten since breakfast by four sips in, I was feeling every bit of the groove. More than once I let, "Get it Michael, you go boy!" fall right out of my mouth.
- I won't spoil which songs he sings or what the overall show feels like except to say that it's an extravaganza for the senses. From start to close, it showcases amazing talent, dedication and attention to detail. Honestly, his rehearsal footage was better than most live performances I've been to. As we are all sadly aware, most of today's "marquee" singers can't hold a note without production help and autotune. This dude not only breaks off acapella riffs, he mimics instruments with his voice to let the musician know how it's supposed to sound.
- His doctor deserves to be shot. It comes to you about midway through the movie that this is a guy FULL of life and focused on the future. If he was some sort of doped-up druggie, he hid it amazingly well. Hell, I was tired just watching him move around. I really had to make a conscious decision to enjoy the feeling and the music and not dwell on the grief. But it was very hard to reconcile this vibrant live wire of an entertainer with someone who is no longer with us. You look at him up there larger than life and cannot comprehend how he ended up dead. If the jury for Dr. Caribbean Kevorkian's trial sees this movie, he's going under the jail.
- My favorite quote that I will be stealing and using immediately: Michael is gently yet sharply correcting the crew on something and after he makes his point he says, "This is said with all love. L-O-V-E." I immediately said, "I'm stealing that." BougieMom sighed, "I know baby, it sounded like you."
- Final note: No one wanted to leave the theater. Literally, the credits were nearing the end and everyone was still lingering. It was like leaving the theater was severing our last connection with him.
What else can I tell you except go see this film? Seriously. Now. Stop what you are doing and go see it this instant. Even if you weren't a Michael Jackson fan (what's WRONG with you), this is a film worth seeing. I'm in humbled awe after witnessing greatness. Really, just go see it. Even if you don't get all emotionally giddy like I did, it's a great entertainment. I give it five purple boots.