Oh good heavens, the new Michael Jackson documentary is here! For all of us who have spent hours in nostalgia, watching old videos and performances and nervously followed the news around his passing…here comes finally something yet unseen. This Is It is the recordings around the popstar´s preparations for his planned 2009 tour with the same name. The movie will be screened at cinemas during two weeks only, so you better get moving!
As can be read on City Weekend:
Pieced together from more than 100 hours footage of Jackson’s rehearsal of his London serial concerts which would have been happening this summer, this highly anticipated film offers you a private look at the late super star through precious on-stage and behind-the-scene materials.
Visit the movies official homepage and get some shivers down your spine. There is something in the same time joyously tickling and horribly sad to know that we´re about to see the last footage of the star, preparing for a huge event that would have actually been taking place right here and now, if things just wouldn´t have gone so terribly wrong.
The This Is It concerts was a series of 50 concerts planned to be held at The O2 arena in London. They were going to run from July this summer until March next year. Less than three weeks before the scheduled premiere, the news of MJ´s death struck the world. Originally only 10 concerts were announced, but because of the public demand the organizers increased the number to 50, all sold out. The ticket sales broke several records and Jackson’s album sales increased following the announcement.
The shows would have been Jackson’s first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour in 1997, and was listed as one of the year’s most important music events. Over one million people would have seen MJ break his new moves and tunes.
Some trivia about the movie from it´s Wikipedia page:
The footage was filmed at The Forum and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Despite originally being set for an October 30, 2009 release date, the film’s release date was rescheduled for October 28, 2009, with a limited two-week run. Tickets went on sale a month early on September 27, 2009, to satisfy a high anticipated demand
According to the movie´s homepage, it is “chronicling the months from April through June 2009, produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson”.
According to Rolling Stone there were several conditions the movie must adhere to: it must secure a PG-rating, Jackson’s Estate should get 90% of the profits from the movie, with 80 percent of that figure going to Jackson’s children and mother, it should be no longer than 150 minutes, October 2nd was the deadline for the film to be completed edited and screened for Jackson representatives, so the film could potentially reach theatres by year’s end. Also, “Footage that paints Jackson in a bad light will not be permitted”.
However dubious it always sounds with biased portrayals, we could actually agree on that last statement. He´s had enough of gossip and ridicule already, and maybe he’ll have even more in the future – let the ol´ dancing chap rest in piece in his own freakin movie.
This Is It will be screened at these cinemas. It´s in English with Chinese subtitles.
Check out what other movies are showing in Shanghai this coming week after the jump. Links lead to info about times and venues.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Knowing (神秘代码): Nicolas Cage continues his action thriller career in Alex Proyas’ latest production. The plot focuses on elementary school student Caleb and his father John as they discover a string of numbers that match with dates of disasters over the past 50 years, including the numbers of people who died. In Mandarin or English depending on the cinema.
- Astro Boy (阿童木): An origin story set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist, Dr. Tenma, in the image of the son he had lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, becoming part of a group of rowdy kids led by a girl named Cora, experiencing betrayal, and a netherworld of robot gladiators led by the greedy ring master, Ham Egg…
- The Taking of Pelham 123 (地铁惊魂): Tony Scott directs this remake of the original Palomar Production/Walter Matthau-starring thriller from 1974 with this Columbia Pictures production that pits Denzel Washington and John Turtorro against a group of hijackers, lead by John Travolta, who take over a subway train in order to rake in a hefty ransom. David Koepp (War of the Worlds) is adapting the book by author John Godey.
- Rouge Crocodile (逃亡鳄鱼岛): Pete is an American travel writer on assignment in the Australian outback. While taking a river cruise he finds himself stuck with a collection of interesting characters, including Kate, the local tour guide. When their boat is rammed by something from below, the tour is thrown into disarray and they become stranded on a tiny mud island. As night falls and the tide starts to rise, the group slowly realise they are being stalked by a huge saltwater crocodile, beginning a terrifying struggle for survival in one of the most remote places in the world.
- Penelope (真爱之吻): Grab your nose for this Hollywood rom-com. James McAvoy teams up with Christina Ricci to unveil a modern day fairytale. Penelope is born with a pig’s snout due to a witch’s curse. To break the curse, she must find true love and realize life’s most important life lesson: “to like herself the way she is.” In Mandarin or English depending on the cinema.
CHINESE LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Chong Qing Girl (重庆美女): The Story of Chong Qing Girl, set in Chongqing City of southwest China, begins with two brothers who own a hot-pot restaurant, entrust a sort of Jack-of-all-trade guy to steal the secret recipe from a rival restaurant.
- Stubborn Radish (倔强萝卜): An amateur scientist plans to dig a tunnel to steal back some money from his ex-best friend now worst foe. Starring Huang Bo.
- Happy Running (快乐奔跑): The 90-minute animated fi lm with a theme of “I exercise, I happy” is China´s answer to the Harry Potter saga. A group of vegetable babies embark on an adventure to a mysterious island to vie to be champion of a sports game. They are confronted with new challenges and unexpected situations in life. In Chinese without English subtitles.
- Qiu Xi (秋喜): The romantic spy thriller “Qiu Xi” by director Sun Zhou, takes place in wartime Guangzhou before the country’s liberation by the Communist Party of China in 1949. A young woman named Qiu Xi is a “boat person”, or Tanka, living in the coastal area of Guangdong Province. Qiu Xi, (Jiang Yiyan), becomes a servant to Yan Haiqing, (Guo Xiaodong). She finds herself falling for the undercover communist agent who works with the Kuomintang regime that ruled China until 1949. The story unfolds as the two fall for each other but are kept at distance because of the wartime situation. The 45-million-yuan film comes several years after Sun Zhou’s widely acclaimed movies “Zhou Yu’s Train” in 2002 and “Breaking the Silence” in 2000. His films are known for their exploration of humanity and the genuinely virtuous nature of people.
- Lost Indulgence (Mi Guo, 秘岸): In this family drama, the relationship between a teenage son and his mother become complicated when they take in secretive young woman into their home. Upon the apparent death of his taxi-driver father (Eric Tseng), Xian-chuen (Tan Jianci) and his mother Li (Jiang Wenli) take in his father’s last fare, Su-Dan (Karen Mok), a bar girl, to fulfill the family’s obligations. The father, Wu Tao drove his cab into the Yangtze River, breaking Su-Dan’s leg and potentially paralyzing her for life.
- Copy Cat (盗版猫): In Copy Cat, a guy’s life falls into chaos after he accidentally discovers a bootleg disc factory.
- My Fair Gentleman (窈窕绅士, Yao Tiao Shen Shi): My Fair Gentleman” follows the romantic pursuit of a newly rich businessman obsessed with a female entertainer. Through the hilarious quest for a woman he thinks is the love of his life, the vulgar rich man transforms himself, as well as the object of his affection. In the end, he becomes a perfect gentleman.
- The Message (Feng Sheng, 风声): “The Message” is set in Japanese-occupied China in 1942. It tells a story of a Japanese spy chief trying to identify a Chinese agent from a group of suspects. Produced by China’s leading entertainment producer Huayi Brothers, the film is the company’s tribute to the 60th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. Riding the popularity of the TV series and play of the same name, this espionage flick features Zhou Xun, Zhang Hanyu and Li Bingbing. Mandarin only.
- Ke ai de Zhong Guo (可爱的中国): A bio-pic of Fang Zhimi, a senior Chinese Red Army leader executed by the Nationalist government in 1934.
- The Foundation Of A Republic (建国大业): This offering from China Film Board chairman Sanping Han tells the story of the founding of the PRC, in celebration of the country’s birthday. Chinese megacelebrities Chen Kaige, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Chen Daoming and Ge You star. Mandarin only.
- Legend of The Tang Empire (大明宫): As the royal palace of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, Da Ming Gong is a magnificent example of the era´s architecture. This epic historical movie traces the legendary events that are said to have taken place in the grand palace. Take a look at the extravagant lifestyle of the Tang imperial family in this movie directed by Jin Tiemu. Mandarin only.
- Eternal Beloved (爱有来生): Yu Feihong is now back in the spotlight with her directorial debut Eternal Beloved. This ghost story revolves around an ancient gingko tree and tells a tragic romantic tale that crosses between the dead and the living.Co-starring in the movie is Yu Feihong herself and actor Duan Yihong.
- Cow (斗牛): In the winter of 1940, Japanese soldiers are marching toward a small village. The Chinese troops are hurrying to evacuate and villager Niu Er is asked to take care of a precious Dutch diary cow, which supplies milk for wounded soldiers. He takes the job only after a village master offers a marriage with the master’s daughter, Jiu Er. To protect the cow and sometimes the life of his own, Niu Er has to outsmart the Japanese, starving refugees, bandits and a greedy quack doctor.
- Feng Sheng: Riding the popularity of the TV series and play of the same name, this espionage flick features Zhou Xun, Zhang Hanyu and Li Bingbing. In 1941 Hangzhou, four suspected spies within the CCP each try to divert suspicion from themselves. Mandarin only.
OTHER LANGUAGE MOVIES
- Nepobedimyy (特工008): Chronicles the adventures of Russian special intelligence agent Yegor Kremnyov. It involves fugitive oligarchs, western crime syndicates and top-secret papers. Languages: Russian / English.
- Scandal Makers (非常主播): Head over to watch this ubiquitous Korean romantic comedy featuring Cha Tae-hyeon and Park Bao-young. Cha stars as a show talk presenter whose program gains instant popularity from a single mother’s story. However, Cha’s life is turned upside down when the single mother shows up at his home with her six-year-old son. Language TBD.