Friday, August 1, 2014
Get on Up
I'm really not a big fan of biopics. And I think it's because they're limited to the true story, basically. And truth is rarely as interesting as fiction. Chadwick Boseman certainly does a decent job of embodying James Brown here, but to some degree that's the problem. His James Brown is just as unintelligible and annoying (when not on stage) as the real one. In fact, when the film first began, I couldn't decipher what the hell he was saying. Maybe it's because I adapted or learned to speak James Brown-ese, but along the way I started to at least interpret the majority of it. Unfortunately the talents of great actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are for the most part wasted here. Dan Aykroyd is decent, and I enjoyed seeing him again. But generally, I just found this movie to be too long and too slow. Though, as the hardest working unpaid film critic in the business, I stayed to the bitter end. Though I was certainly tempted to get on up ... and get on home.
Who is this movie for? James Brown fans will probably enjoy it for nostalgic purposes. Those who aren't all that familiar with the Godfather of Soul, like me, will probably be bored.