DVD of the Week: ‘This Is It.’ Plus: ‘Surrogates,’ ‘Saw VI’

When you see how much preparation, effort, expense and love went into developing Michael Jackson’s sold out This Is It tour, scheduled for 50 dates this summer before the singer/dancer's untimely death, you realize that A) even at age 50 Jackson was still a genius performer, B) despite his personal problems we forgot just how good he was, and C) the world was robbed of a damn good show.

Next best thing is Michael Jackson's This Is It, which draws from 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage that shows Jackson working with his dancers, planning (and disagreeing) with the filmmakers, even his quirky sense of humor. One of the highlights is an all-new remake of the “Thriller” video which was also done in 3D…perhaps for a future double-dip of this release? Best Extras: A look at the dancers’ audition process; the complete vignette of the “Smooth Criminal” remake that incorporates Old Hollywood elements (BD only).

Surrogates In this future world humans interact solely via their “surrogates,” perfect-looking robots who work, play and do all the things real people would do if they weren’t holed up at home instead. Bruce Willis stars as an FBI agent investigating a murder connected to the creator of the surrogate program, but unfortunately finds he has to enter the real world as a vulnerable human to solve the crime. Fascinatingly relevant in today’s world of “social media” and at a breezy 89 minutes, could even have been longer.
 
Saw VI The latest in the successful horror franchise was arguably the best since the first movie, even if the novelty has faded. This time Jigsaw has corrupt health-care workers in his sights, and you might even get behind him. The Blu-ray comes with the original Saw on BD, so you can see where it all began.
 
Whip It Drew Barrymore’s sweetly predictable directorial debut stars Ellen Page as a Texas teen who’d rather dye her hair black than go along with her mother’s beauty pageant plans, and becomes drawn into the wild, tough-gal raucousness of a local misfit roller-derby team.
 
Little Ashes Robert Pattinson stars as 18-year-old Salvador Dali, who enters a forbidden relationship with art world pals Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bunuel.
 
Bright Star Jane Campion directs this love story between poet John Keats and his muse.
 
   
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