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.
"This Is It" spoils us. It will no doubt go down as the film that got the closest to MJ's process and work habits.
That film makes "Bad 25" look especially like second-hand news, as an array of musicians, technicians, sound engineers and others weigh in on MJ's follow-up to the still-reigning highest-selling album of all time in "Thriller".
One by one, the songs on Bad are broken down into the stories of how they came to be produced, while it is noted throughout that at that point in his adulthood, MJ was becoming a savvy businessman.
I especially like the stuff from those who knew MJ at the time of the recording, while hangers-on Justin Bieber, Kanye, and Chris Brown all received boos at the Toronto screening during TIFF.
In "This Is It" we get right up close to the King of Pop, so having a doc with a bunch of people telling us about him just doesn't resonate as fully, and to my surprise, there is a lot of talking in this movie compared with the amount of music in it.
This is not a bad movie. It made me nostalgic for my youth and to want to hear these songs in full. And of course, MJ's passing has only increased the shivers I get when I hear that choir go, "man in the mirruh!", but as far as music docs go, this is pretty much par for the course.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?