'This Is It' brings out sad reality

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
LOS ANGELES "This Is It" is a movie documenting Michael Jackson getting ready to return to the stage for a series of London concerts.

Director Kenny Ortega took more than a hundred hours of rehearsal footage and whittled it down to less than hours, showing us a meticulous Michael preparing for what could have been one of the biggest comeback series of concerts ever.

"This Is It" takes us behind-the-scenes with Michael getting ready to perform his big hits for his fans with plenty of spectacular scenery to go along with it.

What I appreciated most about "This Is It" wasn't hearing Michael sing. It was seeing Michael interact with his co-workers, people he called family.

As you watch, you forget his controversies, his sometimes odd behavior and you get to see a Michael Jackson never really played out in the media. He comes off as a somewhat timid but nice and normal guy. He was kind with his crew, while still very much in control and he enjoyed celebrating the talent in others.

I expected the audience to be cheering and applauding but it was much more cerebral, almost silent, probably because you can't help but think that he's gone. And this rehearsal footage is it, this is it.

Director Kenny Ortega gets us as close to this "almost" concert as we'll ever get. And you will get a sense it would have been spectacular. It's fascinating to see played out. It's clearly meant to be a celebration of Michael's talents. And it feels like he's back with us for a couple of hours. But I suspect, as you walk back to your car, you'll be hit with some sadness, knowing all that talent is gone.

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