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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Michael Jackson's This is It (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Michael Jackson's This is It
Mike Heenan
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1895
From: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 10-29-2009 02:04 AM      Profile for Mike Heenan   Email Mike Heenan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just saw this tonight in Digital Imax, and it was pretty good. I didn't think it was the experience-gasm of a lifetime like the hype promised, but it was pretty awesome to see what could have been.

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Stu Jamieson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 524
From: Buccan, Qld, Australia
Registered: Jan 2008


 - posted 10-29-2009 08:15 AM      Profile for Stu Jamieson   Email Stu Jamieson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wasn't greatly impressed. The film shows that he was certainly a unique dude with a unique talent - nobody ever moved or sounded quite like Jacko - but ultimately this film is just a cash grab. Most of the video and sound quality is so dodgy that this ought not to have received a cinematic release. It's clear the footage is being milked before it hits DVD. This is the kind of stuff that you usually get for free as "extra features". As such they shouldn't even charge full price for the DVD and (*shudder*) the BD but I've got a dollar here that says they do.

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Joe Tommassello
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 547
From: Coatesville, PA, USA
Registered: Jan 2008


 - posted 10-29-2009 04:40 PM      Profile for Joe Tommassello   Email Joe Tommassello       Edit/Delete Post 
Stu - that's just ignorant!

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4017
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-29-2009 05:15 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stu, Since the subject of the film died suddenly, during the making as it were, that completely changes the nature of the content for me. If MJ were still alive and did the concerts, and actual concert footage had been released as a feature film and eventually home video, then yes this footage would qualify as "extra throwaway bonus material for die-hard fans only".

Well the concerts never happened due to MJ's death, thus making this footage the last available recorded history of his work. That, and MJ's fame and notoriety (call it whatever you want) elevates it to feature-level material. End of story. [Razz] I look forward to seeing it.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-29-2009 05:23 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I plan to see this on video because we probably won't play it and I doubt we will get to Billings to see it before the run ends. I get the feeling this is a movie that might actually play just as well on the TV screen, as long as it's run through a decent sound system -- since it's all footage that was shot for an eventual video release anyway.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 797
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 10-29-2009 05:48 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sony just announced the Blu-ray and dvd which i think they should have waited a couple weeks at least because it could affect current box office. [Roll Eyes]

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-29-2009 06:08 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I hope they get 'em out before Christmas otherwise people might forget all about Michael Jackson.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4017
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-29-2009 06:14 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is box office looking strong so far? Seems like it would be premature to announce the silver discs now if the limited theatrical run is doing boffo business. Sony is much smarter than me though so I may not know what I'm talking about. [Wink]

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 797
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 10-29-2009 06:31 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This just in,a worldwide gross of more than 20 million so far!Sony 3d sdds vision [Smile]

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4017
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-30-2009 09:21 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Today 4:20PM at Regal 15 in Eugene, #15, 2K DLP. Looked fine. Major rant about the sound at this show, and movie theater sound in general, and other misc. stuff below...

I enjoyed the movie. MJ still had something, even if it wasn't 100% of what he had 30 years ago. I mean the man was 50 years old for crissake! I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

================================

I knew during the previews it wasn't going to be loud enough. This is a freaking music-concert movie goddam it and it needs to be played loud. Well it wasn't loud enough. I made the trek out to the Guest Relations desk and spoke to the manager, politely too. "I know you get this all the time: It's too loud. It's not loud enough. Well I'm saying this is not loud enough. This is a concert movie, it should be LOUD, but it's not." That's all about that part except to say I didn't notice any change being made based on my pleading nicely for more volume.

The best-sounding music-concert film I've ever seen prior to this is U2 Rattle and Hum. That was 21 years ago for crissake and it was in analog sound! Dolby SR in a THX theater when THX meant something (Edwards Hutton Center 5 I think). They played that movie about as loud as their system could handle without going into distress and it sounded great and was a pretty good simulation of a concert in terms of sound quality.

OK, so now 21 years later and we have lossless digital sound and better everything and so why did This is It not only *not* get played at the correct volume (my opinion), but it also sounded like someone put heavy Bekins moving blankets over the speakers, killing all the mid-highs. No crispness whatsoever. If it was a treble control on a home stereo with a range of -10 to +10, this was set on -7. WTF? Maybe it measures "right" but it sounds WRONG when you play actual real music through it. Oh yeah it might sound fine for Cloverfield but nobody knows what crazed space monsters are supposed to sound like anyway so it's easier fool people. Everyone knows what cymbals sound like and they don't sound like someone coated them with spray-on foam or something before the recording session. There was just no snap whatsoever.

Are Regal managers under some kind of corporate mandate not to mess with the fader under penalty of instant termination? Did nobody spend 10 minutes actually listening to this movie and figure out it needs to be played loud? Can't Regal send out an email saying "You have our permission to play this louder than you are normally instructed to; use your best judgment and keep in mind THIS IS A FREAKING MUSIC CONCERT and not Julie and Julia."

Oh and the bestest part of this show is they played a Regal audio promo for Real-D 3D movies in front of This is It and advised the audience to PUT YOUR 3D GLASSES ON NOW AND PREPARE TO BE AMAZED!. So I guess this really is in 3D after all! [Roll Eyes]

============================

Some recording studio and a group of studio musicians and singers must have been booked solid for the past couple months sweetening the audio for this. I can live with that.

Why is it that in concert footage when the singer touches their mic, moving it around and making adjustments, you NEVER hear that? Are they using special Bose microphones that cancel out only the sound of the mic being touched while passing everything else through?

Anyway I liked it, will buy the Blu-ray, and I will play it loud enough on my home system to satisfy ME. [Big Grin]

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-30-2009 09:30 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think Regal has automated faders anywhere. You are asking a multiplex to be there at the start of each feature to adjust the fader between the trailer volume (which should be about 4) and the feature volume (which should be 7, or in the case of this movie 8).

Remember, if they forget to turn it back down, when the next show starts with those trailers being recorded so hot, the manager will get the crap beaten out of him by all of the old ladies swinging their purses at him and damning him to hell. Most managers (and when I say that I am NOT picking on Regal, I mean "most managers" literally at ANY theater) have just given up and leave the fader on a setting that is halfway acceptable to both trailer and feature levels.

That trailer level committee thing did exactly what I knew it would accomplish...NOTHING. [Frown]

Oh yes, and now on to my review.

Its MJ. I couldn't care less and won't waste my time with this movie, so ? out of 5 stars are awarded. If MJ is your thing, more power to you.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4017
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-30-2009 09:44 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
MJ was not and is not my thing, but I confess to having a new appreciation for his art and music since his death. Kind of like gawking at a car wreck involving a Maserati.

Just to be clear (and fair) I am not picking on the local Regal manager.

I'm just saying they could maybe do better sometimes and bend whatever their sacred rules are on fader settings to provide a better audience experience. [Wink]

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-30-2009 11:59 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
You are asking a multiplex to be there at the start of each feature to adjust the fader between the trailer volume (which should be about 4) and the feature volume (which should be 7, or in the case of this movie 8).
Why does this seem like it wouldn't be all that hard? If there's a dude in the booth, how difficult would it be to just walk from setup to setup, take a peek at the platter or out the window, and if the feature is playing, gradually adjust the fader to where it's supposed to be?

I mean, if the guy is smart enough to go around and push the Start button on schedule, why not make the same route 10 minutes later and adjust for the feature films if necessary? This is not rocket fucking science.

As for starting the next show "properly," that's easy too -- setup the automation to start the show on "trailer" volume.

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Jim Bedford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 597
From: Telluride, CO, USA (733 mi. WNW of Rockwall, TX but it seems much, much longer)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-31-2009 12:16 PM      Profile for Jim Bedford   Author's Homepage   Email Jim Bedford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Joe Redifer
Well I hope they get 'em out before Christmas otherwise people might forget all about Michael Jackson.
I'm sure Joe is as accurate as he usually is. It's just like my generation who completely forgot about that "Elvis" guy.

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Stu Jamieson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 524
From: Buccan, Qld, Australia
Registered: Jan 2008


 - posted 10-31-2009 08:07 PM      Profile for Stu Jamieson   Email Stu Jamieson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Like you've never seen him before." "Discover the man you never knew." These taglines must have been lifted from some marketing textbook somewhere because they bear no relation to the content of this film. What is presented is exactly the man we knew, exactly as we've seen him before. The film does nothing to vanquish the image of the unpersonable yet undeniably talented automaton with a firm detachment from reality, it merely confirms it.

With no clear input into the film aside from allowing the cameras to be pointed at him, This Is It is a behind-the-scenes expose of the concert but, unfortunately, not of the man. We don't see Jackson relating to anyone on a personal level. What we want to see is that there is something beyond the man we see in the tabloids; an actual human. But he never let's his guard down; never lets his mask slip. We don't see the man, we only see the performer. Maybe the performer is the man? Given that Jackson has been performing since he could recite his ABC's, this may well be the case. What we get, however, is a slightly loathsome "Church Of Michael" feel about the production and if that doesn't make you feel nauseous then the cloying sentimentality of the post credits sequence certainly will.

The film is loosely structured into the form of the intended concert and from what we see here, had the shows gone ahead this would no doubt have made a spectacular concert movie. Certain scenes betray the original intention to release the concert film in 3D, and there was brief talk of this film receiving the same treatment, but ultimately the available 3D sequences were too few to justify it. It's a pity because this at least may have made the film a worthwhile cinematic experience. As it is, this roughly cobbled together montage of HD and SD rehearsal footage struggles (and ultimately fails) to meet the minimum requirements expected of a cinematic presentation, being more at home as "extra features" on a DVD.

The King Of Pop is dead but the merchandise juggernaut rolls on. It's difficult not to be cynical of the true purpose of this cash-in, it's clear intention being to milk the rehearsal footage of the lost concert tour prior to it's inevitable DVD and BD release. The footage is not without worth, however; far from it, in fact. The film confirms what a unique creature Michael Jackson was. Nobody moved quite like Jackson. Nobody sounded quite like him either. That his infectious brand of pop inspired two generations of budding performers is undeniable and the footage presented confirms why. It's just that the material will be put to much better use in future films about the man than it is here. Had the producers not been in such a rush to push this content into the (paying) public realm; in such a dash to redeem the cash lost on the subsequent concert series; to catch the current wave of Jackson mania before it dissipates, this could have been that film; this could indeed have been "It". Ironically, the determination by others to build their fortunes on his popularity probably is the story of the man. I guess there's some unintended subtext to the movie in that regard.

6 out of 10.

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