A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink.
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
In the weeks before his death, Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009) was rehearsing a show, "This Is It," that was to open in July. This film begins with a few of the auditioning dancers speaking to the camera about why they're trying out and what Jackson means to them. Then we plunge into rehearsals at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The film is arranged by musical number with pre-recorded material and footage from Jackson's various rehearsals edited together to take us through what would have been the concert's set list. Written by
The blimp in background of the "Smooth Criminal" section says "MJ Air". This was the name given to the airline in the unfinished 3D finale of the concert in which Michael and his dancers would board a plane and take off over the audience. See more »
I haven't been since I was a kid. I therefore had zero expectations for this movie, and even groaned that I had to come in at 6 this morning to preview it for my theater. That said, I was completely blown away and entertained from beginning to end. His voice and his dance moves are top form and timeless. He sang all his greatest hits, even from the J5 era, which really hit a soft spot with me. And people might be complaining that this isn't a typical concert movie...in truth, that is a big plus here. Typical concert movies are overly produced. The intimacy of this footage makes you feel, not like you're in a concert, but like you're witness to very private performances. You get to see first hand how involved this man was (to every little detail of production and planning). There are no crowds of screaming and crying fans to have to sit through (with the exception of a brief opening scene in which the auditioning dancers get a little too blubbery at times). This film easily reignited my appreciation for the man, who was without a doubt one of the greatest entertainers of our time. Complete 180 for me, I'll be the first to admit. And a side note, his female guitarist (her name escapes me) had me picking my jaw up off the floor, and not just her looks. You'll see what I mean.
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