Released yesterday, This Is It is a behind the scenes look at rehearsals for the tour that never happened. It might be interesting, writes Mike D’Virgilio.

I must admit that Michael Jackson creeped me out. I’m sure I’m not alone in that visceral assessment. When I heard about this movie the last thing I knew I would ever do is watch it, let alone pay money to see it. But Dana Stevens’ review in Slate may have changed my mind. And here is the reason why:

The most surprising thing about This Is It may be its purity of intent. The film, directed by the "billion-dollar maestro" Kenny Ortega (he was also the director of Jackson’s stage show, as well as a long list of mega-spectacles including the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics) makes no attempt to explore Jackson’s offstage life, past or present—a brief montage of Jackson 5 clips during the song "I’ll Be There" is the only nod toward biography. Instead, Ortega is interested in—obsessed by—showing us Jackson as a working artist.

As an artist, Michael Jackson was talented, ambitious, creative and a worldwide cultural force. As a person he was a mess. Yes, creepy. It might be interesting to see Jackson the artist at work.


–Mike D’Virgilio