By February 19, 2010

Michael Jackson’s This is it – Blu-ray Review

cover In 2009 Michael Jackson was preparing for a sold-out concert tour at the O2 Arena, a tour that, as it turned out, he was never to perform.  With the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson this film is made from behind-the-scenes and documentary footage that was filmed during these preparations to offer us a glimpse of what might have been.



2 Making of documentaries
8 Featurettes
Photo Collection
Theatrical trailer
Vignettes for Thriller and Smooth Criminal
Making of Thriller vignette


To be honest I wasn’t sure what to make of this film when it was announced. It seemed part celebration of Michael Jackson for the fans, part recouping of costs by the firms involved in the production of the concerts, and part morbid curio for those wanting to see the final months of this performers life.

The film is a combination of a purported 100 plus hours of footage of what appears to be behind-the-scenes documentary footage in full 1080p HD and lower quality footage that was probably for ‘blocking out’ the performances and for personal memories.

It is all edited together to give us an idea of what a potential concert might have looked like albeit without all the special effects, costumes and lighting yet in place. We get to see Michael running through his songs, some dance routines and how he and his team were preparing.

Along with the main film there are featurettes that show footage of the rest of the performers who were to make the concerts happen, from band and dancers to costumers and vocalists – again these are of varying original video and sound quality.

There are also a couple of ‘vignettes’ for ‘Thriller’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’ that were to be displayed on the video walls that backed the stage – again in full HD (they were actually shot as 3D pieces, but are obviously 2D here).

The feeling I came away with after watching through the film, and all it’s extras, is that this is primarily for fans of Michael Jackson. The preparations weren’t quite far enough along for a truly complete vision of what the concerts would have been, more a snapshot of a work in progress.

For someone like myself who has grown up hearing his music it’s interesting but not something I’d necessarily watch again.

That said, for the ‘hardcore’ Michael fans, this is a chance to dream about what those last performances might have been like.



Feature film  
Video 1080p HD 1.78:1
Sound English 5.1 DTS HD MA
Special features  
Video High Definition
Sound English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Run length Approx 111 minutes
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