Jackson biopic receives mixed reviews

“This Is It” (not to be confused with The Strokes’ album “Is This It”), which apparently chronicles the storied career of late pop legend Michael Jackson, was released today.

When I first saw the trailers and posters pasted about on billboards and in shopping malls, I was fairly disgusted.

michael-jackson-this-is-it-movie-poster“Here we go again,” I thought, “Any way to make a buck.”

But perhaps the filmmakers’ goal was an admirable one— to recognize and honor the legacy of one of the great 20th-century entertainers.

I suppose we’ll never know for sure, but what we do know is that the film has received mixed reviews— perhaps appropriately, as the man himself had a polarizing effect on people, especially as his appearance changed and he was accused of child molestation.

One reviewer said the film “doesn’t have enough revelatory, caught-on-the-fly footage of Jackson to raise it above the level of a well-produced DVD extra.”

Another reviewer commented, “As an exercise in wringing every last penny from Jackson’s legacy, the movie may be a success. But if you’re looking for a tribute to the man who once took pop to its absolute zenith, this most certainly isn’t it.”

On the other hand, Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers gave “This Is It” 3.5/4, writing, “… the film still feels vital and thrillingly alive. In this transcendent tribute to a performing artist flying without a safety net, death holds no sway over Michael Jackson. His soul is still dancing.”

One thing is certain: the film is more a tribute than a true documentary, as critics agree that it leaves out some of the more unsavory points in Jackson’s saga. They differ on whether that’s a good thing.

The film currently has an 80/100 on criticism aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and a 67/100 on Metacritic.

Don’t expect me to review it, though. I’m not sure I’d be able to listen to Jackson’s music while sitting still.


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