'This Is It' a Jackson triumph

jackson_thisisitYes, you probably want to see this.

Kenny Ortega's record of Michael Jackson in rehearsal in the days and weeks before his untimely death in June has been a red-hot advance ticket all over the world, even while fans worried about what the film would reveal about the singer's fitness on the verge of the planned 50-date engagement at London's O2 arena.

He's as thin as a rail, so thin that his trilby looks a size too big for him. But any pessimistic speculation that the King of Pop headed for the exit to save himself the embarrassment of a flop that he wasn't just past his prime but incapable of living up to his own legend just won't fly.

From the evidence Ortega shows us, "This Is It: the concert" would have been as exciting and spectacular as his audience hoped it would be. Jackson may have been broke, but this would have been a no-expense-spared extravaganza. More important, creatively, it's obvious he was far from a spent force.

Admittedly, there is no way to tell from the movie whether "MJ," as his collaborators call him, would have mustered the stamina for the demanding schedule he had signed up for.

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