‘This Is It’ opens in ToledoWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | email@example.com
“Thriller” played in the lobby of the Franklin Park Cinema as a crowd began to gather. Toledo School for the Arts students dressed as zombies wandered the theater and movie-goers young and old lined up more than an hour before the scheduled premiere of “This Is It,” the Michael Jackson movie released for a sneak peak Oct. 27 and in theaters across America at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 28.
Fans wore shirts with the movie logo or Jackson concert T-shirts, they chattered with friends as they took their seats. With a half hour to go, the theater filled quickly.
But the movie started with silence. There was no fanfare, no soundtrack, as yellow script scrolled up the screen. There was no need; the audience was still in anticipation.
The two hours of the movie chronicle the final rehearsals of Jackson, his crew, dancers and musicians. There are laughter and tears among the cast members as they worked to give the world what Jackson called “talent [it] had never seen before.”
There are also laughter and tears among audience members as the King of Pop performs some of his most memorable hits.
But most of all, there is applause. And singing. Some people even mimic the motions of the performers to the hit “Billie Jean” and other songs.
Jackson’s energy is amazing as he seemingly effortlessly sings and dances his way through song after song, even though some backup dancers half his age look forced.
And song after song, the audience applauds. Some even yell, “You get ‘em Michael.”
The tribute utilizes footage from interviews, videos and practices leading up to the planned final Michael Jackson tour, “This Is It.”
In one of the final scenes in the movie, Jackson’s voice is heard narrating his performance of “Earth Song” lamenting the destruction of the earth by humans. He calls each person to take responsibility and not rely on others to fix problems.
The movie closes with Jackson rehearsing “Man in the Mirror.” “No message could be clearer,: he said, “take a look at yourself and then make the change.”
His message lives on in the heart of every person who has played one of his records, turned on the radio, seen him live or in this movie.
“You gotta get it right, while you got the time, ‘cause when you close your heart, then you close your mind.”