Saturday, August 16, 2014

Movie Review: "Get On Up" (2014)

Movie"Get On Up"
Director: Tate Taylor
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes
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The life and career of James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) from his childhood in Georgia to becoming the Godfather of Soul.

For being a relative newcomer, Chadwick Boseman is sure impressing the pants off of us! He carries himself so solidly as James Brown that it seems like he almost transformed into him! He managed to capture the very essence of everything James Brown was, even though he himself wasn't singing in this film. We will be stunned if he gets passed by (YET AGAIN, see his performance in "42") for an Oscar nomination because this is one of the best performances we have seen so far this year. The makeup work done on him is also spectacular, as James Brown ages. If it weren't for his splendid performance coupled with banking on the music of James Brown, our rating of this film may have been a bit lower.

If you know a thing or two about music, you know that James Brown is one of the most iconic musicians in history, but he was not without his flaws. He seemed to be not only a very jaded and self-centered person, but a very jaded and self-centered musician as well. This biopic does not portray him in a flattering light (as many biopics don't), but if his life wasn't dramatic, it wouldn't have been interesting and wouldn't have made compelling subject matter for a film. The movie opens right before his arrest in 1988 where he was brandishing a shot gun because someone had the audacity to use his office bathroom. This is one of the better scenes in the movie because it showed the sheer lunacy of a man who was once at the top of his game. Though the film opens during a time where Brown was obviously deep into drugs, the movie as a whole did not focus on this and doesn't ever really delve too deep into his drug use all. The main focus on the film is about James Brown's rise from nothing to everything that is great and revered in music, and how he always looked out for number one over anything else. Despite him being surrounded by tons of people all the time, he didn't seem to have any friends and often isolated himself from those who stood by him through his worst days, even when those worst days were brought on by himself.

Most biopics about musicians tend to have the same themes and story lines. They rarely if ever offer anything drastically new except a change in music group or artist, and this is really no exception without Boseman. He is a star in his own right and we cannot wait to see what is next for him. All in all, without him at the helm, this movie might have fallen flat. It does drag a bit here and there and ends up feeling quite long. Despite so much unfortunate occurrences that happen to Brown throughout his life, we didn't get that emotionally attached to his story or feel any tugs at our heartstrings throughout the movie's entirety. In this aspect, it ultimately failed to connect to its audience, and even though I'm a huge fan of music, we didn't think this was all that exceptional.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Lovelace"

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