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'This Is It'? Not for me

On Oct. 30, oddly enough just in time for Halloween, Sony Pictures will release "Michael Jackson This Is It." People will line up and pay their $10 to take a look at Jackson's final performance rehearsals before his death. For me, this prospect is cringe worthy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Jackson fan from way back. My mom has a picture of me as a kid, excitedly holding up a copy of "Off the Wall" that I'd received as a gift. But this film release stinks of exploitation; just another way to keep money rolling into the estate.

Getty Images
Michael Jackson in his final rehearsals.


Perhaps to some, it feels like a way to celebrate a great entertainer. But if so, why not just air it on television? Why charge admission? The fact that organizers charged for refreshments at the public memorial in Los Angeles already seemed like a bad idea. I don't remember paying for a Pepsi at my grandfather's funeral.

And will people even be attending the movie to glimpse his talent? Or will it be to see if they can sense his impending death somewhere in those dance moves. Upon learning this week that the L.A. coroner considers Jackson's death a homicide, we also learned the singer had bed sores. It's hard not to be curious how someone can go from strenuous concert rehearsals to bed sores. Will we be looking for evidence of the "King of Pop's" decline?

I realize that the Jackson estate has debts and that his children will most likely be the main beneficiaries of the estate's gains, but it just feels way too soon for this film release.

On last week's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Maher made a joke about the postponement of Jackson's burial, saying, in effect, that Jackson was about to become the zombie he pretended to be in "Thriller." When I get a notice for this film's release that's what I think of: A lifeless puppet going through the motions on stage for our amusement.

I, for one, don't plan to buy a ticket. Instead, maybe I'll dig out my old copy of "Off the Wall." Now I just need to find a record player.