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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Documentary/music/concert

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
Starring: Michael Jackson
Directed by: Kenny Ortega
Music by: Michael Jackson
Region Code: A/C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 26, 2010







"Discover the man you never knew"



Film Synopsis:


Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts at London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June 2009, this film was produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his planned final London shows.




My Take:


I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. First when he and his brothers were together as the Jackson Five and then later when he went solo. Describing him as a popular music icon wouldn’t be an overstatement. His impact not only on music but pop culture is something that none of us is likely to see again in our life time, if ever. His image suffered in the latter part of his career due to his rather odd/eccentric behavior as well as his questionable involvement with children. Be that as it may there is no denying his brilliance as a captivating performer, song writer, and influential entertainment personality that has inspired fans for decades. His sudden/tragic death was felt the world over. I haven’t followed his music closely for quite some time but was saddened/effected when I heard the news of his passing. His plans for the This is it concert which was to take place in London England sparked renewed interest for fans and true to form Michael was preparing to put on a spectacular display. This is it chronicles the show as seen through rehearsal footage, behind the scenes interviews, and offers an intricate backstage pass to the preparation that goes into such an extravaganza. Director Kenny Ortega allows us to see a side of Jackson that perhaps many haven’t before. I can’t speak for everyone but I had no idea he was so involved in every aspect of his stage performances, short films, choreography, and of course musicianship. He KNEW his music and knew what worked and how to maximize the effect it had on the audience. I thoroughly appreciated the fly on the wall perspective offered here and garnered an increased level of respect for his ability as a showman and musician. The large set pieces planned for Smooth Criminal and Thriller by themselves would have been worth the price of admission. The final 11 dancers chosen out of the thousands that auditioned were remarkable. The band, especially drummer Jonathan Moffet, were equally impressive. Everyone worked in tandem to create what would have been a tremendous effort. It was hard to watch it and not imagine the hurt/disappointment these performers must have felt after Michael’s death. I remember feeling angry when I heard about this film and decided that I wasn‘t going to see it ever. My initial reaction was that this was thrown together strictly for the purposes of trying to recoup lost expenditures. While there is obviously truth to that my position softened after my daughter went to see it and described her reaction to it. After watching it now I feel that it is an important piece in Michael Jackson’s legacy as it portrays him in a worthy and memorable light. He wasn’t perfect but his contribution to music/entertainment/pop culture is something that will endure for years to come. This is it makes for a great keepsake that allows fans the opportunity to see him do what he did best one last time. Thrill us…








Parental Guide:


The rating is for some suggestive choreography and scary images.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 90


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Michael Jackson’s This is it comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.

This documentary was shot using a mix of high definition and standard definition sources that are blended throughout the course of the film. When applicable it switches between them on the fly and the differences are of course obvious. The high definition material has a clearly refined and sharp quality that enhances definition in the objects and people within the frame. Colors are rich, gradational and vibrant. Blacks are inky and noise free which provides the many dark sequences and clothing with excellent contrast to lighter elements within the same shot. White levels are equally strong and balance well with black levels while empowering colors and augmenting the perception of detail in bright and low lit sequences. Fleshtones are beautifully rendered as the various complexional characteristics of those appearing onscreen were lustrous and lifelike. The standard definition segments appeared noticeably softer, with jagged edges, flatter colors and deficient resolution. This is of course inherent and not attributable to the encoding. Seeing as these segments are part of the chronology of the film they had a part to play and their presence shouldn’t be strictly construed or seen as an impediment. I factored them but not as heavily as I would have had the intent been different. Regardless the end result is a very good presentation that looks great.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack delivers an exhilarating surround sound experience which is highlighted by the music pieces. Being a concert style documentary it is important that the music be the focal point. Right from the opening moments it was obvious that wasn’t going to be a problem. This is a well crafted soundtrack that exudes the purity and emotion of the message within the music. The entire surround platform is used to present the instrumental performances. The front three channels and subwoofer carry the bulk of the audio with the surrounds providing ambience to seamlessly bridge the gap between the front and rear sound fields. The result is a entertaining aural experience that is satisfying, involving and room filling. Instrument placement is discernible amidst the spatially wide soundstage. Keyboards sound full bodied with smooth tonality and no signs of brittle or edgy highs. The kick drum and synth bass supply a tight, punchy low end that has quick attack and medium decay that resonates nicely. Spoken dialogue and singing voices are clear but not always supremely intelligible which occasionally required the use of subtitles. This was due to limitations of the original recording and not the encoding. The soundtrack is rich in clarity and detail which allows subtle environmental effects to easily be heard. The mix creates a stable and immersive surround sound experience that achieves excellent balance so that the audible elements inherent in the recording could be realized. It sounded really good.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Thriller vignette with 5.1 channel (lossy) audio - 4 minutes

  • (HD) Smoother criminal vignette with 5.1 channel (lossy) audio - 4 minutes

  • (HD) Making Smooth criminal - 11 minute feauturette

  • (HD) Staging the return (two segments) - The adventure begins (28 min), Beyond the show (13 min)

  • (HD) The gloved one - 15 minute featurette

  • (HD) Memories of Michael - 16 minutes

  • (HD) Auditions: Searching for the world’s best dancers - 10 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) Previews:

    1. Grownups
    2. Ice castles
    3. Hachi: A dog’s tale
    4. It might get loud
    5. Soul power
    6. Ghostbusters
    7. A river runs through it
    8. Salt
  • Sony‘s MovieIQ feature

  • BD-Live enabled: 2 clips featuring “This is it“ dancers performing at the 2010 CES





Final Thoughts:


This is it is a fitting tribute to the music legend that is Michael Jackson. Its meaning as a looking glass into the final days of his life will have intrinsic value to his endearing fans. Additionally it presents an incredible perspective into his imaginative and brilliant approach to his music and knack for thematic presentation. Lastly if nothing else it give us one final moment to enjoy watching him perform the songs that many of us grew up listening to over the years. It is obvious that plenty of attention went into its release on Blu-ray Disc from Sony. The audio/video presentation does it justice and I found the bonus features to be pertinent and fun to watch. A must have if you’re a fan.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Thanks for this awesome review! As a late 70's baby, you know I will have this day one!
 

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Superb review.


I know I can't wait to get a copy this week for home viewing with the expectations to be lower viewing it on a much smaller screen than at a cinema. I am eager to view the bonus features.


Probably what I didn't like about this movie is at times the picture would be 4:3 and then switch to 16:9 which I suppose they had to do since the movie is composed of rehersals.


I am really hoping to see more of what they had planned with the women doing the aerial act. They only showed a glimpse of that in the movie.


It has been announced that the Grammy's on 01/31 they will be doing the 3D version of the Earth Song offering shown in the movie.
 

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Thanks for the timely review Ralph, my copy is on its way! Michael will be definitely missed.
 

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Didn't get a chance to see this in the theatre but seeing some of the previews it looked pretty good. Needless to say if you're a fan of MJ's music this is a must have!

Collect!


Cheers
 

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I will add this to my collection... I enjoyed his work ever since I was a Kid...

my first "45" from Mom and Dad was " Enjoy Yourself" an song from the late 70's ...if Im

not mistaken.


An artist that truely put quality into his music...sure he had a few bombs...but his music will be enjoyed for another 100 yrs.


Nice review as usual ...thanks ~
 

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Will pick it up. Would like to see his music video collection show up on Blu-ray.
 

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I wanna start off saying im a huge MJ fan. I seen this day one and tears rolled down my face before the opening even started. He was my inspiration for my love of dance and music my whole life.


I still to this day tear up when watching videos and listening to music. Its just hard knowing I lost someone so dear to me. Funny how people can feel this way when we never even knew the person. BUT it happens.


NOW onto the movie. I loved it, why? Cause im a MJ fan. Was it something totally new to me? NO, as I have seen plenty of rehearsal footage before and knew exactly what to expect. BUT this was different in the sense that it was my last time to see him do his thing that he does so well...ENTERTAIN.


He is not only the KING OF POP, but the KING OF ENTERTAINMENT as we know it. He has influenced everyone over the years...everyone. His voice has touched so many people and his kindness and wealth have helped out people all over the world. Not to many people that have that title.


Thanks for your timely review and I have been waiting patiently for this release....r.i.p.MJ
 

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Great review Ralph! The audio is excellent... PQ is very good, but since they have some scenes in SD then it is a mixed bag..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3 /forum/post/18014746


Great review Ralph! The audio is excellent... PQ is very good, but since they have some scenes in SD then it is a mixed bag..

Greetings,


Glad you enjoyed it Chris..




Regards,
 

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Watched this last night and loved it! I am not a big MJ fan these days (loved him when I was a kid), but it is hard not to get caught up in this one. Would have loved to have seen the final product after watching this........what a mind blowing show this would have been!


AQ was absolutely incredible I thought and one of the best as far a concert/music BRs are concerned IMO. Amazing low end and just fantastic clarity. The sound stage is just huge as I had sounds coming from places where I did not have speakers.........just awesome!


Great review Ralph and needless to say I agree
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe /forum/post/18015059


Watched this last night and loved it! I am not a big MJ fan these days (loved him when I was a kid), but it is hard not to get caught up in this one. Would have loved to have seen the final product after watching this........what a mind blowing show this would have been!


AQ was absolutely incredible I thought and one of the best as far a concert/music BRs are concerned IMO. Amazing low end and just fantastic clarity. The sound stage is just huge as I had sounds coming from places where I did not have speakers.........just awesome!


Great review Ralph and needless to say I agree

Greetings,


Thanks for your impressions Todd.



Regards,
 

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One other thing I forgot to mention, I think I am in love with his guitarist.......that girl is not only hot, but can shred on the guitar!
I would love to get some "lessons" from her
 

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After watching this... how could you say MJ was not on drugs?? the dood was clearly on buffet of drugs. People around him just ignored it because he was their cash cow.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe /forum/post/18015320


One other thing I forgot to mention, I think I am in love with his guitarist.......that girl is not only hot, but can shred on the guitar!
I would love to get some "lessons" from her

Her name is Orianthi Panagaris from Adelaide, Australia.

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guita...rianthi-211781


check her out on youtube, eg

Get to know Orianthi!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoxXp...eature=channel


Orianthi shreds Michael Jackson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKHth...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQKvy...layer_embedded
 

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