With an appropriately jarring sense of energy, this James Brown biopic acutely captures the Godfather of Soul's iconic musical talents, although the fragmented script undermines any emotional kick in his story. The film also struggles to build up momentum, because it continually leaps between various chapters in Brown's life. Which means that it never quite connects these disparate episodes into one coherent narrative. Even so, Chadwick Boseman delivers an electrically charged central performance.
Boseman plays James from the time he was 16, thrown into prison for stealing a suit in 1949, until his comeback in the 1990s. Raised in a brothel run by his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer) after his parents (Viola Davis and Lennie James) abandoned him, James is in prison when he meets visiting gospel singer Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis), who takes him in on his release. Together they form The Famous Flames, gaining small-time success as James catches the eye of a manager (Dan Aykroyd), a record executive (Fred Melamed) and the public. A string of major hits followed in the 1950s and 60s, then James went solo in the 70s before the usual issues of fame caught up with him: money, drugs and guns. But he returned to the stage in the 1990s.
The film completely skips over his Hollywood years in the 80s, which wouldn't be a problem if the decade was so notably missing from the film. As the story skips back and forth through the years, the audience is forced to make sense of the disparate scenes, filling in several holes along the way. Aside from one rather surreal scene in a Southern Gospel church, there's never much of a sense of how Brown found his voice or developed his inimitable style. It also never quite captures his impact on the music industry as a whole.
Continue reading: Get On Up Review
The cast and crew were spotted among the many arrivals on the red carpet at the New York premiere for James Brown biopic 'Get On Up'; among them included stars Tika Sumpter and Brandon Mychal Smith, co-screenwriter John-Henry Butterworth, co-producers Erica Huggins and Brian Grazer and director Tate Taylor.
The long-delayed sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey hit is a terrible movie. Let's not mince words. It's an awful, unoriginal, infuriating, and endless mess. The always likeable Jamie Kennedy stars as Tom Avery, a struggling animator whose life is in flux. His wife, Tonya (Traylor Howard from TV's Monk), wants a baby badly, but the immature Tom doesn't want that responsibility. He's content to play with his precocious dog, Otis, draw on his sketch pad, and kid around with his tolerant wife.
Continue reading: Son Of The Mask Review
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