Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 33:31)
Posts Tagged ‘James Brown’
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast Weekend” anchor Jamie Gutfreund discuss the life and career impact of the late actor Chadwick Boseman whose family reports he passed away after battling cancer for four years.
Watch the whole thing HERE.
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy features never-before-seen footage and over 100 interviews with people from singer Amy Winehouse’s personal and professional life. It is a heartbreaking up-close-and-personal look at a woman who, as Tony Bennett says in the movie, didn’t live long enough to learn how to live.
Kapadia may be best known as the filmmaker behind the BAFTA winning documentary Senna but says, “It’s funny, but I am really a drama guy.”
His docs are structured like feature films. Amy, for instance, plays on a few levels, featuring several dramatic arcs. It’s a cautionary tale of the effects of international stardom. It’s a portrait of drug addiction, exploitation and a woman who looked to men for protection, and chose badly. It’s the story of Amy, a fiercely talented person who laid her heart bare in her art only to have the thing that should have been her saviour, her music, ultimately be her undoing.
When I asked Kapadia if he looked at other music docs before beginning work on Amy he said, “I don’t have references I look to. I just kind of make it up as I’m going along. For example, in the sequence with the paparazzi, I’m thinking of Raging Bull, with flashguns going off. I’m not thinking of a doc where you have someone’s life and then they pick up a guitar and sing.”
Here’s a list of other music bios—some docs, some features—that take a dramatic approach and give a complete look at the personal and creative lives of their subjects.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil: It would be easy to call Anvil a real-life Spinal Tap. The story of the heaviest heavy metal band you’ve never heard of bears a strong resemblance to the legendary fictional band, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of passion, of trying to beat the odds, of friendship, of hope against hope. It’s also quite funny and the music will peel the paint off your home theatre walls.
I’m Not There: It’s an elliptical and metaphoric retelling of Bob Dylan’s life, but none of the characters in it are called Bob Dylan. Most of them don’t look like Dylan, and the one who most looks like Dylan is a woman, played by Cate Blanchett. Yet I felt I knew more about what makes Bob Dylan tick when I left the theatre than I did about Johnny Cash following Walk the Line or Ray Charles after Ray.
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap: A vibrant look at the art of hip hop, the first documentary from Ice-T profiles the passion of the grandmasters of rap: Afrika Bambaataa, Treach Criss, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Dr. Dre and more. Worth it to hear Snoop Dogg’s (now Snoop Lion) songwriting methodology: “I need to smoke a lot of weed, and have a couple girls there because I like looking at them.”
Get on Up: James Brown was known as many things; The Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. Dynamite and The Hardest Working Man in Show Business but he preferred to be called Mr. Brown. His rise from poverty to the top of the R&B charts is brought to life in a knock out performance from Chadwick Boseman, who plays Brown from age 16 to 60.
Watch the whole thing HERE!
SYNOPSIS: If you’re like the Reel Guys you don’t see the long weekend as the last chance to head up to the cottage for a final blast of summer, but more of a three day sprint to catch up on all the movies you missed over the last three months while you were too busy jumping off docks, BBQing or basking in the wondrousness of warm weather. With this list the Reel Guys say sayōnara to the silly season and serve up one last refreshing sip of the summer’s best air-conditioner movies we took in while the rest of you were slathering on SPF 110.
Richard: Mark, the summer’s biggest hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, is a lot of fun and deserves all the attention it’s getting, but for me the two best sci fi films of the season were Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Snowpiercer. Apes is a smart movie about race, gun usage and xenophobia that doesn’t shy away from big ideas while Snowpiercer is an environmental thriller about a revolution on a train that is unapologetically weird. For me it’s the nerviest actioner to come along in a season crowded with movies that go crash, boom, bang. What grabbed you this summer?
Mark: Richard, I usually cringe at the beginning of the summer expecting nothing but comic book adaptations and sequels. But this summer those kinds of films turned out to be among the best. The three you mentioned were excellent, but I’d also like to add X-Men: Days of Future Past and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both of which were smart, exciting, and had time travel motifs. Heck, even the latest installment of Transformers was a major step forward: I didn’t run screaming for the exit. But here are two smaller films that I thoroughly enjoyed: Begin Again, about a burnt out music producer trying to reinvent himself in hipster New York, and Chef, the story of a burnt out gourmet cook who is fired and is forced to start over with his own broken down food truck. Hey, notice a theme here?
RC: Then there was the story of the burned out comic. Obvious Child came to theatres with a reputation. In its film festival run it got labeled “the abortion rom com.” While that shorthand description is technically accurate, it’s also reductive, ignoring the film’s well-crafted and hilarious coming-of-age story about accepting responsibility, to concentrate on the more sensational aspect of the story. I know you weren’t a fan, but I liked it and thought Jenny Slate was terrific in the lead role.
MB: Didn’t work for me, but I did like the James Brown biopic Get On Up. The movie lurches around trying to find its groove but Chadwick Bozeman deserves an Oscar nomination for his total immersion in the role. 22 Jump Street was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t care for 21, but this one had a sharper, funnier script and more evolved performances from Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. And I mostly liked Zach Braff’s unofficial sequel to Garden State, Wish I Was Here. The kickstarter funded indie had too much going on to succeed but there were some great sequences that a lot of critics seemed to miss.
RC: I started off talking about Guardians, which, deservedly so, has become the biggest hit of the summer. But another movie gave it a run for its money in the entertainment department, but not in the money department. Edge of Tomorrow may sound like the title of a soap opera, but it’s actually the name of a Tom Cruise alien invasion flick. In it Cruise battles nasty space bugs called Mimics but the story is more Groundhog Day than it is War of the Worlds. The first two reels are packed with energy and invention it’s only when the conventions that made the story enticing are put aside in the last reel that the movie becomes a standard Cruise action flick. But it’s still a good Cruise action flick and deserved a bigger audience.
MB: I know I’m going to like Boyhood. Haven’t seen it yet because I’ ve been too busy raising an actual boy.
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Watch the whole thing HERE!
James Brown is probably best remembered as the hit maker behind “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “I Feel Good”; a larger-than-life, cape-wearing showman who made funk a household word over a career than spanned six decades.
A new film, “Get on Up,” aims to fill in the blanks, detailing Brown’s rise from poverty to the top of the R&B charts.
Chadwick Boseman, who, after earning accolades for his performance as Jackie Robinson in”42,” seems to be making a career of playing 20th century legends on screen, plays Brown from age 16 to 60.
In non-linear, cut and paste style, the film tells of an abusive South Carolina upbringing at the hands of his sharecropper father (Lennie James) and a mother (Viola Davis) who abandoned the family early on to career highlights like the incendiary T.A.M.I. Show performance where he upstaged the Rolling Stones, (whose singer Mick Jagger produced this movie). It covers his close friendship with singer-songwriter Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis), a brush with death on a USO show and a young James pulling two-tone loafers off a lynched man.
“Get on Up” is the second musical biopic of the summer but the first one to vibrate with energy, spirit and soul. Where “Jersey Boys” felt staid and straightforward, “Get On Up” is as loose-limbed and funky as one of Brown’s groove-heavy singles.
Some may find the non-linear time jumping scenes that bookend the film arrhythmic, but the randomness of those sequences—it jumps, willy nilly from the 1940s to Brown’s 1970s heyday to a wild scene that lead to his 1988 arrest—breaks the standard rags-to-riches-to-arrests biopic formula. Director Tate “The Help” Taylor takes an impressionistic view of Brown’s life, integrating some magic realism and fourth wall breaking dialogue direct to camera in a bold approach to a very mainstream genre.
Stylistic flourishes aside, there are the usual biographical “one day everyone will know your name” show biz clichés, but the movie is smart enough not to rely on those elements to tell the story. Instead Tate relies on an extraordinarily charismatic performance—one guesses it’s a liberal mix of fact and fiction, life and legend—from Boseman to illuminate Brown’s angels and demons.
He’s called a musical genius more than once, and given his legacy it’s hard not to agree, but some of the more unsavory parts of Brown’s life are glossed over. The drug use and domestic abuse that checkered his life (and arrest record) are touched on but not explored with the same interest as the upward trajectory of Brown’s musical career.
Like the expert backing bands that supported Brown throughout his career, here the character is supported by very good actors. As life-long friend Bobby Byrd, Nelsan Ellis shows he has more range than simply playing Lafayette Reynolds on “True Blood” every week and Dan Aykroyd has fun with the role of Brown’s manager. It’s a shame that good performances from Craig Robinson, as sax legend Maceo Parker, and Viola Davis as Brown’s mother, are limited to extended cameos.
“Get On Up” is one big chunk of funk with a gold standard performance from Boseman and music that will make you want to… er… get on up.