Thu, October 29, 2009
Entertainment > Movie > Jackson tribute movie opens worldwide

A fan's 'This Is It' adventure

2009-10-29 06:29:30 GMT2009-10-29 14:29:30 (Beijing Time)

In order to get a feel of the whole Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” experience, do not leave the theater once the credits start rolling. There's something in the end that wraps up the movie perfectly. It shows what and whom Michael Jackson cared about. The King of Pop said the "This Is It" tour was for his fans and his children, Reuters reported.

Stunning. Wonderful. Captivating. Mind-blowing. One-of-a-kind. Amazing.

These words were used to describe Michael Jackson when he and his brothers first barged in the music scene as the Jackson 5 in the 1960s. The same can be said about him throughout the span of his celebrated and acclaimed career, including his last recorded work, the "This Is It" (TII) rehearsals.

He still had it—the voice, moves, presence, and magic. In fact, he never lost "It." It was always in him. In a British documentary, Jackson referred to his immense talent as a "gift from above."

He shared his gift to the whole world for almost 40 years. Those who have come across his music are fortunate. Those who have seen him perform live are even luckier.

Ticketholders to his final curtain call tour "This Is It" were supposed to have been the luckiest because what was in store for them was probably the greatest show on earth.

It was a spectacle that the world will never get a chance to witness. But at least, I was able to get a glimpse of the greatness that the concert would have been.

Moviegoers have to remember that TII is just a compilation of rehearsal videos. Michael Jackson was not yet in his performance level but he was already stunning, wonderful, captivating, mind-blowing, one-of-a-kind, and amazing.

3 questions

It was Wednesday afternoon and I was about to go home from work. I received an e-mail about a trivia promo with 2 "This Is It" premiere night tickets as the prize.

I was planning to watch the movie on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and maybe even Sunday. I was ready for TII as the movie poster served as the wallpaper on my cellphone and PC.

Even if I wanted to watch on opening day, I decided to watch on Thursday, the last day of my work week. But when I learned from my boss that our afternoon meeting was canceled, I knew it was a sign of things to come. I checked the schedules of TII and thought that maybe I could rush to the mall right after work.

I changed my mind, though, and decided to watch on Thursday. But I still joined the contest, thinking that if I win, then I am meant to watch TII.

I was home and was ready to rest when I got several calls and text messages. It was meant to be!

The funny thing is that I was only sure about 1 out of 3 of my answers. I got the other 2 answers from the internet. I was even doubtful of their correctness.

The trivia questions:

1. What does "Mama-se, Mama-sa, Ma-ma-coo-sa" mean in the song "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"?

2. Who is Annie in the song "Smooth Criminal"?

3. What is Michael Jackson's favorite Beatles song?

I knew the answer to the third question: "Come Together," which Michael Jackson revived.

I had a difficult time with the 2 other questions. I just used Goodle and Yahoo then copied the most believable answers. I was not dead-set on winning, but I thought it would be such a cool thing if I won.


The problem, however, was that the tickets were at the office and I was already at home. If I went to the office to get the tickets and then proceed to the mall, I would not make it on time.

An officemate, Ms. Peachie, was kind enough to bring the tickets to the mall and meet up with me. Apparently, she is also an MJ fan!

I dashed outside my house and drove to Shangri-La Plaza like a mad jeepney driver. I barely had 30 minutes to make it to the 6:30 p.m. screening. It was a dangerous ride. Incidentally, the CD on my changer was MJ's "Dangerous."

I was lucky there was no traffic along Shaw Boulevard. I was in high spirits because I was the winner. I was even blowing my horn to the beat of MJ’s songs.

While "Jam" was playing, my heart was pounding. I had to get there on time. Even if I knew that premiere nights do not start on time, I wanted to be punctual because I did not want to miss even just a second of TII.

I was panting when I arrived at the mall, just a couple of minutes past 6:30 p.m. At least I made it!

Dance and shout

I knew the fan in me would be depressed because of MJ's untimely death. But for at least 2 hours, I did not delve on his death, but on his vibrancy as a performer and genius as an artist. I was totally entertained.

When the film finally started at around 7 p.m., my officemate and I were nudging each other, saying "This is it, this is it!!!”

When MJ finally appeared, we were making "silent screams." Moments after, we let out sighs, especially when he did his sexy moves.

The first song was "Wanna Be Startin' Something," which was included in the set list of all his tours. It was the perfect song to kick things off.

When Jackson sang "Mama-se, Mama-sa, Ma-ma-coo-sa," I remembered the first trivia question. According to Yahoo Answers, the phrase comes from a Cameroonian Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa." "Makossa" means "I dance" in Duala, an African language.

My officemate and I could not contain ourselves. We cheered, screamed, snapped our fingers, clapped, put our hands in the air, and danced on our seats. If you want to do the same, stay at the back just like what we did.

"I love you Michael," I screamed. I did not care about what the guy, who was 1 seat away, would think of me. I also did not care about what the people in front of me would react. It seemed like they were okay with it.

As the movie progressed, the audience became more active in showing their appreciation. They also clapped and cheered. When the movie was coming to a close, a guy even shouted, "More, More!"

Killer moves

MJ’s “Smooth Criminal” performance has always been my favorite. Well, Billie Jean is the classic favorite. But “Smooth Criminal” is what I always watch over and over in his “Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour” DVD.

Yet I did not know who “Annie” was in the song. A quick online search yielded that Annie is the name of a CPR dummy. I remembered the second trivia question when I heard the killer bassline of the song.

My “Smooth Criminal” experience, however, was not complete because I did not see the anti-gravity lean. I do not think director Kenny Ortega would have cut the footage, given that it is one of MJ's trademark moves. I refuse to believe that the move was not included in TII. Maybe MJ did not practice it in the US.

Anyway, the new set of "Smooth Criminal" and its accompanying short film were awesome. In fact, all the sets and props were amazing. The costumes were great. It would be an injustice to describe them in words. It would be better to see them for yourself.

As for MJ, he was a sight to behold. He was divinity in motion. I had to remind myself that he was already 50.

His vocals were better than ever, and his dancing was silky and kickass as always. He was such a perfectionist—it shows in all his enviable and effortless performances.

I wish there were more snippets showing the genius at work as well as the funny man. I would love to see more of what transpired during the TII rehearsals. But the clips included in TII were okay. It was a good combination of interviews, rehearsal videos and other footage.

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