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Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009

Michael Jackson's This is It

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This is as close to "it" as anybody is going to get, anyway. The late King of Pop king looks focused and elated, rehearsing for what would have been his final tour in this nearly two-hour documentary. Interview snippets with dancers, band members and others involved make for a servicable framing device, but the real attraction is Jackson, of course.

At 50, and roughly a decade after his last concert, he hadn't lost any of his nigh magical singing voice and body awareness that made his dancing so mesmerizing and fluid. The thrill and respect for his artistry shown by those surrounding him almost make moot points of the eerie physical transformation and numerous controversies that captured the world's attention in his later years.

As the final testament of a man who once seemingly united the world in song, This Is It can't help but indulge in a bit of hagiography but largely (and gladly) lets its subject's talent speak for itself.