November 2nd, 2009
10:34 AM ET

Michael Jackson's $100 Million Show!

Michael Jackson's "This Is It" earned over an estimated $100 million dollars worldwide its opening weekend. Not surprising considering the hype around the film after Michael suddenly died in June. I was one of the MJ fans who contributed to the big box office weekend on Friday. So how was it, you ask?  In a word…Inspiring. And I don’t mean how the film was put together. I’m talking about what the film showed me about the man.

Michael Jackson was certainly a complicated guy – no movie has to be made to explain that to anyone. But what "This Is It" does is bring forth perhaps the part of the man we all want to remember – the guy who thrilled us with a show bigger than we could ever imagine.

“This Is It” doesn't have narration or a detailed look behind the curtain of this musical wizard’s mind. There's certainly no hint that Michael would've died within days of the footage that was shown except for the fact that he looked so skinny. It simply shows us a glimpse not only of what Michael wanted to give to fans in his London O2 Arena concert series, but also a vivid reminder of why he was the King of Pop.

In every segment of the film, you see music radiating from every part of Michael’s being. He can’t help himself by singing out or dancing while re-arranging one of his classic hits. And, perhaps, what was so revealing about this film was that you could see that Michael was never more at home than on that stage. On stage, surrounded by music is where he knew exactly who he was, what he wanted and his position among his peers. A chill shivered up my spine with every snap of his leg or burst of his pitch-perfect voice (are we certain he was just in rehearsal?).

At the same time, it didn't escape my mind that it was off stage where Michael became the little boy lost in a big, cynical world obsessed with tearing down the famous. He could have screamed from the top of his lungs that he was misunderstood, and no one would have listened. We didn't listen. In our world, he was a child-devouring monster (though, never convicted).

I have to say, as a die-hard fan growing up, my mind and my heart have been in conflict about MJ since he passed away. He's a sicko! Oh, but he was such a genius! Is it possible to separate MJ’s music from what he allegedly did behind closed doors? Can we do that for Chris Brown? R. Kelly? What about this man who was born a musical prodigy? Must I reluctantly erase “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” from the ipod in my brain after what he allegedly did? How can I reconcile that – especially now that he’s gone?

After seeing "This Is It," the 11 year old inside of me wishes she could've witnessed Michael's genius in person. The only thing this movie shows me is that Michael was it. He was the maestro who composed the soundtrack of my generation. I will always struggle with my feelings about MJ's bizarre and disturbing life choices and his alleged behavior with children... Ultimately, I don’t know that I could ever give him the benefit of the doubt and yet, conversely, I will never deny his musical virtuosity.  I guess, I’ll have to live with that conflict within me, because “This Is It” proves, Jackson’s music will never die.


soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Serenity

    Michael Jackson is a Musical genious and the most talented person. He never did any of that stuff. He was different because he was so loving and caring, which no one else is really like. Just look at all the money he donated and understand how much he loved children and the world! The media lied and the people believed it. Michael Jackson was both the most lvoing person and most outstanding pop artist.

    December 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tanya

    go and click Michael Jackson's Beautiful Girl(fanvid feat.super model Naomi Campbell) at you tube and he's a happy Michael Jackson . Very beautiful video.

    November 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hollywood

    I have yet to see the movie......but I can just imagine how great it must be. I am truly sadden that such a brilliant.....talented.....and caring individual had to live the majority of his life with the world against him......and as soon as he dies.....the world suddenly realizes what a mistake they made at turning their back and love away from such a sweet individual. I too....believed at one point that Michael was indeed guilty. If he wasn't guilty....then I believed that he was foolish for continuously placing himself in situations where children could accuse him of such crimes. Finally......a lightbulb clicked on and I came up with the conspiracy that these children's parents were coaching them to make such accusations in order to gain some type of financial repayment for stability......and I continued to love him and his music. When Michael died....I was at work and I remembered hearing about Farrah Faucett dying.....bless her angelic soul =)......but a friend and I was talking about that and all of a sudden another coworker walked by and was like..."Oh yeah....Michael Jackson died." I swear that at that moment I litterally lost my breath. A disturbing pain formed in my chest and a sadness overcame me that I could not control. I prayed that he was still alive....just in critical condition.....because.....well......I always had hopes that he would be able to have a successful comback and be able to be seen as Michael....the humble individual that donated boat loads of money to different charities and the Michael who did all he could to try and help sick children. Now of course....Michael was no saint....no one on this Earth can carry that title.....but I do not think he was the monster he was made out to be.....neither do I think he deserved all that he went through. Throughout the years he still brought us great music and entertainment even after all of the turmoil......and even then the world could not see the shine of his star because the constant flashes of cameras for the hundreds of tabloids faithfully worked at dimming his star. I just hope that now he can be at peace......and I really wonder how the parent's feel knowing that they destroyed such a kind and gentle man's demeanor to the world......and litterally caged him in a box of speculation and ridicule. They tried to ruin this man's life over a few dollars? Really? And then come out after the man dies and says "Oh.....my parents made me say that to get money from him." As if it wasn't a big deal? America.....what are we teaching our children?????????? I just really hope that Michael is in a better place and that his real fans will keep his memory alive forever. It is not for us to judge anyone........that job is strictly for God. I just pray that we use this as an example of what not to do. We should love and cherish people while they are still here. When they are gone.......what difference does it make then?????

    R.I.P Michael Jackson......A person that was misunderstood.....but was truly a unique and rare individual! =)

    November 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    Have not seen this yet, but Michael's story is indeed a very sad commentary of what money and others' greed can do to someone! If he would have sought the continued advice of Deepak Chopra and others with Integrity, he'd still be alive now. I just wish that his abusive father/family would not be continuing to profit from this horrific horror story of inherent talent, fame, wealth, dysfunction and ultimate complicit suicide! Too bad for us all that folks must hide their weaknesses rather than reach out for serious Help. Peace

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philippines

    people can be easily intimidated and manipulated by the media. they only show one side of the story . the purpose of having a media is for us to see and to know. to see, doesn't mean it's true, to know, doesn't mean you know the root of the story or how it started. the media only there to provide us to see or watch the news or to learn but the media did not provide us the real truth about Michael Jackson, the media do not give full information to us unless if they are doing something fishy about their news. i am very upset on Michael Jackson's death. he was being hammered and maliciously misinterpreted by the media constantly until his last day of his breath. i always admired Michael Jackson since he started singing. he was a unique human being, he was so kind, compassionate, loving, idealistic,considerate human being,innocent, eager to help around the world, generous, a wonderful human being etc. it really hurts me that he's gone, you cannot even descrive my feelings towards Michael Jackson, he was my brother too, my family too, my love, my inspiration, and he made the world inspired on his own imagination and why don't we respect him and accept of what he is? why would Michael Jacksome be like us the way we think, the way we do, the way we see, the way we feel, the way we talk, the way we live? he doesn't have to. he 's gifted this way and no one could take that away from him. he was born to be this way and why would he be like us?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. robert

    Saw the movie...regardless of what you "think" or may know about MJ...the movies shows one thing, he was insanely talented, both as a dancer, singer, chorerographer...he had it all. Yes, he made bad decisions off the stage, but on stage, he was IT...100 years from now, everything about his life will only be remembered for his talent, and that he had 100%

    November 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TheObserver

    Fantastic display of genius, talent and goodness.

    Ironically, Jackson appears to me to have one of the purest adult hearts that one could encounter. Of course, no human heart is completely pure...but this guy gets as close as an adult can get to it (children seem to get naturally closer to it that us adults). Maybe this was so because he was so child like, who knows? He seems to just care about people because....well,... because they are people.

    To those who repeat the molestation allegations, I say this: Perhaps the only thing worse than a child molester, is one who falsely occuses others of the same.

    To those who try to remain neutral like I did at the time he was occused (which I regret to this day-my guilt haunts me even now): There is more than enough information available to reach the same conclusion that the jury did in Jackson's case. There is no credible evidence to reach the opposite conclusion (as the jury ultimately concluded).

    To say that we can never know may be a cop out, the result of mental laziness. Of course we weren't there...but we have all the evidence we need. Jackson's trial was clearly more about greed and a boy's father who thought he could cash in,...than it was about sexual molestation.

    Seems to me that Jackson's heart was as big as his talent. There may never be another one like him.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Odette

    What an idiot you are! People like you Sandy was what drove Michael to his death. Media people damaged him completely! It's true that Michael made some bad personal decisions but he was never a pedophile as press claimed he was. Media would write all these crap about stars to sell papers. Michael was nothing but a kind, generous man. He was never a child molester. He was accused because they knew he had money and could get away with it. I wished he didn't listen to his advisers but fight the first accuser to clean his name. Although it was too late, nevertheless you (media people) are all nothing but piece of crap compare to Michael. You make a living out of lambasting others. You should be ashamed of yourself. If it was you that was treated this way, I wonder how you would feel.

    November 3, 2009 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. hannah

    We love you Micheal,u are a true musical legend. R.I.P

    November 3, 2009 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    Excellent writing & diverse perspective. Have seen the movie twice.. What an amazing talent we have lost!! Well worth seeing, though the "answers" to MIchael's controversial personality will not be found. Just love him for the tremendous he gave all of us.

    MJ was absolutely a unique, eccentric persona. Truth is, as fans we have never really known this man and never will. The truth and judgement are between Micheal and his God, as mere humans we should respect that. I thank God for the gift of Michael's ability to inspire milions upon milllions of people.

    November 3, 2009 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. dee-dee

    wow emma, i really hope you dont fall off that pedestal and break your
    unforgiving neck dear! elvis gave himself his title as have many others and we just go along with it because it is proven by sales, maybe me or you dont get surgical meds cause we cant afford them, and speak for yourself cause i dont think anyone else who've left comments share your "we are tired of you, you wore out a long time ago" feelings. i really hope one day we can judge others the way we want to be judged at the end of our lives, smh at haters and hatred.......

    November 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. emma

    MJ was a loser and will be one even in death.. He gave himself the name "king of pop" and all his music sounded the same. MJ RIP, we are tired of you, you wore out a loing time ago..... Suicide was your way out and thats exactly what your death was, ppl who can't sleepp don't get surgical medications when they can't sleep.

    November 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Matt Cooke

    Yay Sandy Lee!

    I agree, the moive was great! MJ was for sure one of a kind. But the movie shows off what we all loved about him, his amazing talents. It's weird to think how people could almost always look away from his personal life and enjoy his music.

    November 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mary

    I saw the movie 6 times,and I loved it. about the molesting part, if u knew the hoLe story, he slep in the same room and in the same bed wit his brothers for years ,til they became famous. so in mi heart I know mike didn't do that, its not him he helped these children, and loved them 2 so he couldn't he wouldn't do it and I was watchin the whole tril from day one, and when I heard about the charges I knew he waz inace
    nt

    November 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sj

    i saw the movie i was amazed rest in peace mj i love you

    November 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Mike

    Well written, articulate. Agree with some other posters that MJ maybe wasn't a clear cut molester, but very likely wasn't entirely innocent of potential bad behavior either. At his level of mental abstraction, US views on such behavior are lost and perhaps for him such ignorance is blissful. Anyhow RIP MJ.

    November 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  17. pezozui

    Sandy,

    I saw this movie twice, and I agree with most of what you said. I loved Michael Jackson through 1994, and was heartbroken when he settled the first allegations for $20 million. Because of his decision, for the last 15 years I wholeheartedly believed MJ was a child molester. I therefore stopped thinking, talking, or reading about him. Even when the 2005 trials occurred I could not have cared less. Honestly, to me I cannot enjoy his music if I truly believe he is a child molester. However, when he died I cried like a baby for months. Talk about a paradox.

    I have since begun doing both on-line and off-line research. Reading books covering the trials, books about his life, and on-line articles. I have read Aphrodite Jones' book, am reading Tarraborrelli's book, have read the GQ article that served as what might have been his "defense" if the first allegations ever went to trial, and am searching for "Redemption" by Geraldine Hughes (funny how it's not easily available....).

    I am convinced he was innocent, and set up by unscrupulous parents because he was rich, eccentric, and ridiculously naive, all of which made him a big fat target. I'm not saying he was perfect, just that he was innocent. He was definitely an odd man with unusual behavior towards children, but none of it criminal, and certainly all of it harmless.

    Geniuses generally tend to be eccentric and odd, it comes with the territory. The fact that we can't understand him in "normal social terms" only underscores his musical genius, to me. Thank you for your frank assessment of TII, as well as sharing your torn feelings about MJ. it's a conversation we all need to have.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Erica Smith

    I do not believe Michael did that to those children. If he did someone wouldn't be willing to be paid off and then admit after his death that all was said was not true so an innocent man was tried in the first place. The movie was brilliant and Michael will always be brilliant in my heart no matter if people misunderstood him or not. He was a very humble person and gave Millions to children around he world and still holds the guiness book of world record for most charitable donations to many different organizations. I think people need to wake up and see what message he was trying to put in front of people who really honestly and trutfully cared about him and his music. Who are we to be judgemental on what he was never convicted of in the first place. It is not for us to judge anyway and that is just my opinion. I will always cherish his music, his aura, his messages and his heart because that is what he gave to his fans. I love you Michael forever and always!
    Phoenix 86 – Jonesboro Georgia

    November 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. marcel1170

    I agree! It was introspective yet entertaining at the same time!

    November 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  20. fan

    Yes I agree with everything you said Sandy. Shame won't be able to see finished work because what a show that was going to be. I remember watching MJ on the 25th Anniversary special of Motown when he came on and did Billie Jean, I was working at a record company at the time and the buzz was going around the office something special was going to happen at the show, I couldn't believe my eyes, ears and everything else. I was instantly in "new awe" because I was a Jackson Five fan when I was a kid. Amazing talent, physically elegant dancing genius. Total entertainer schooled in all things theatrical and to what an effect!!! Very sad he is gone. I did not agree with how he lead his life and deep in my heart want to believe he did not do the things they say. Unfortunate he had to be so defiant and did not stop or distance himself from it. Anyway go see the movie.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. attorneyhater

    "heart stopping"?? Is that a bad joke?

    November 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |

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