I have never done a review on here yet, so here goes. My friend, Lynette Czirr Jones, came to visit me yesterday. Her husband, Gary, had to pass through Riverton yesterday on business and dropped her off for the day. We had a great time catching up. We still finish each others sentences and laugh a lot and really enjoyed being together. Anyway, she called me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I was going to be around on the 29th and told me about the possibility of her coming up. She said, " ...and guess WHAT?!...The new Michael Jackson movie is coming out on the 28th, so wouldn't it just be right if we saw it together?" We talked about how fitting and perfect it would be because of our long history with Michael. I'll fill you in a bit. Michael's career was at the pinnacle during our Senior year of High School. Thriller came out and he was on top. We LOVED him and spent a lot of time trying our best, but really quite unsuccessfully, to copy some of his moves. Our favorite song was "Wanna Be Startin' Something". Maybe five years ago she came up to visit one summer with her kids and we got on the Michael Jackson subject with our children. Possible because Kyle had been recently in his "phase" which you guys probably remember. My kids preceded telling her kids how much they liked MJ and the Jackson 5 (probably our favorite trip CD for the car ever!) We watched the collection of Michael's music videos with her kids and they were fascinated and quickly were converted to the MJ fan club. By the way, this was probably during the worst time for Michael as his personal life was being dragged through the mud with his trial and everything. Needless to say, it wasn't very popular being a fan as a middle schooler/high schooler, but our children were proud to claim their love for him and they have defended him against ridicule of close-minded classmates for a long time. We have mailed videos back and forth so our kids could see them.
Anyway, those are some of the reasons we felt that it would be so great to see it together. We knew all the stars would have to align for this to work out. The movie had to be in our little Riverton theater (yay, it was!), the weather had to cooperate (weather was super lame on their way up, but they made it), and other things which could come up. But, we were lucky and found ourselves in the theater excited for the movie, but not knowing that much about it, nor what to expect. (Didn't do too much research and hadn't seen too much promotion).
We were not disappointed! It was really good. It is basically a documentary type movie of footage from the This Is It Tour rehearsals. The footage was intended to be for Michael's personal library and archives. It shows a very much alive Michael in good health and in good shape physically. It was rehearsal footage, so it showed him holding back a little, but sometimes he just couldn't resist being him. Some amazing moves! It showed his sweet, cute, funny side, but most of all it showed how much of a perfectionist he was and a true genius. He knows what he wanted, how he wanted it, and he wanted it the best it could be. It showed the respect that all who worked on the show had for him. He was in charge! He hired professionals to direct, etc., but they all knew that ultimately it was Michael who was the boss and they respected that. But, he was gentle and kind and loves everyone. The backup dancers were AMAZING. But we noticed that even though they were awesome and performing all out, you still couldn't help watching Michael do his thing, at about 1/2 capacity. My very favorite segment was the military type dancing sequence with "Bad". It's so cool. The musicians were great, too. Especially his lead guitarist. She is from Australia and only 24. She's adorable and incredible! So sad that he had to die, especially just 8 days before leaving for London to put on this incredible concert tour! So many heartbroken and disappointed people. The amount of people, time and work involved in this tour, not to mention the money, is too much to comprehend. The sets and special effects were incredible. Matt, I think you would really like to see some of the behind the scenes production stuff. I'm glad we went and I think you guys would all enjoy it. It's definitely worth seeing. I think it might even change some people's opinions about him. I hope so!