There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the momentum that started with Straight Outta Compton but, despite an even stronger story, this film pales in comparison. The writers and director never quite get a grip on their subject matter, including far too many inexplicable events and unidentified characters. This means that audiences unfamiliar with Shakur's story will struggle to engage with people and events that lack context and resonance.
Raised by his activist mother Afeni (The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira) in New York, the gifted Tupac (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) starts studying music, acting and dance at art college with his best friend Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham). Then the family moves across the country to Northern California, where he becomes more politically active and starts rapping. Mistreated by his record company, his hot temper lands him in prison, after which Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana) brings him to Death Row Records. Amid rising fame and fortune, Tupac becomes caught up in an East Coast/West Coast feud with his former friend Biggie Smalls (Jamal Woolard), which takes a fatal turn.
With a story like this, it's odd that the filmmakers opt for such a saintly portrayal of Shakur, completely ignoring his personal life. He seems bizarrely asexual, even when surrounded by near-naked women, and his relationship with fiancee Kidada (Annie Ilonzeh) is non-existent. This is largely because the film's narrative is little more than sequence of moments in Shakur's life jarringly edited together without much connection between them. People wander in and out of these scenes in vast numbers, with some recognisable as famous figures but most just a blur. So the through-line of Shakur's life is a choppy stream of artistry, anger and violence. If the sound mix made it possible to decipher his lyrics, maybe more of this would make sense.
Continue reading: All Eyez On Me Review
Keith Robinson, Omar Gooding, LisaRaye McCoy and Guest - Photographs from the Premiere of movie drama "Lap Dance" which was held at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 8th December 2014
R&B singer Bobby Byrd and his family were among arrivals at the New York premiere for James Brown biopic 'Get On Up' held at The Apollo Theater. The movie has been directed by Tate Taylor and is set to be released on September 26th 2014.
Since he was a child, he knew he'd become a star. He may not have had the easiest life growing up in a poor family and enjoying frequent brushes with the law (something that continued for the rest of his life despite his illustrious career), but he was a pioneer in what he did best. Following his first stint in prison as a teenager, he embarked on a musical career that would create a whole new way of looking at music. His funky rhythms, mind-blowing voice and effortless moves on stage would go on to inspire artists for generations even if his troubled personal life left much to be desired. He even took his soul magic to Vietnam during the 20-year conflict - a venture that demonstrated both his patriotism and his bravery. This is the story of James Brown.
Continue: Get On Up Trailer
The stars of the upcoming James Brown biopic 'Get On Up', Viola Davis, Nelsan Ellis and Octavia Spencer, talk about the legendary musician alongside artists Ice Cube, Pharrell, Mick Jagger, Cee-Lo Green and Aloe Blacc in a short featurette ahead of the film's release on September 26th 2014.
Continue: Get On Up - Featurette
James Brown didn't have the easiest childhood being born to two young parents who were so poor they could barely afford to live. After just a few years, his mother left him and he was raised by his aunt who, although was equally as financially insecure, resolved to love him as her own. Naturally, given his tough background, James turned to crime as a youth and spent time in a juvenile detention centre following an armed robbery conviction. It was there he took his passion for music seriously and decided to form a gospel band with some fellow inmates. Following his parole, he joined another gospel group and from there spiralled an illustrious career in funk and soul music that took the entire world by storm. Just as he dreamed, he became one of the music industry's most revered stars, but, alas, he also became one of the most troubled.
Continue: Get On Up Trailer
John Tyree is a member of the US Army. Whilst on leave he meets a young woman called Savannah Lynn Curtis, the two fall in love almost instantly. The two spend all their time together before Jon is called back to the Army for a tour of service. The couple remain an item despite the lack of contact, both find themselves becoming dependent on their letters to one and other. 7 years down the line as their situations change Savannah finds herself engaged to another man. Now utterly depressed by the news John rushes into a dangerous situation and gets seriously injured. Eventually John is made to leave the army, he must get his real life back on track. How their separation will affect his life is a true testament to his will.
Continue: Dear John Trailer
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