“This whole music biopic thing is overdone to death. Are they really any different from each other? Jersey Boys, Ray, Walk the Line, I mean, the list goes on and on. The only real difference is the music. Get on Up really felt most like it was made for true James Brown fans, especially with all the concert footage, for people who wanted a chance to be there at his shows again or for the first time. That’s all fine and dandy, but for those of us who just have a passing interest in the subject, you gotta give us more. The story always tends to play out the same too. Non-ideal childhood, quick rise to fame, quicker downfall. *yawn*
Get on Up was a bit heavier on the stage performances than others tend to be. Again, for big fans, I could see that being a plus. Actually, I guess it was a plus for me too. Those were livelier moments and more entertaining than the slow and predictable plot.
While I’m sure Chadwick Boseman’s physicality and interperation were accurate, it was really tough to understand him a lot of the time. Starting off the film with a drugged out and incoherent rant did not help matters. If the realism you’re going for practically requires subtitles, maybe you should rethink things a bit.
The parts of the story that grabbed me most, were his relationship with best friend Bobby Byrd. Maybe it was just because I adore True Blood’s Nelson Ellis, but I think I would have liked it better and the film would have stood out more if there was more focus on them.
So right now, in film and theater we’re being inundated with the stories of musicians that aging baby boomers (a key demographic right now) are nostalgic for. I’m starting to realize that I should just let this phase pass me. Besides, one day, my generation is gonna be in the biopic spotlight, and I’m sure I’ll be lining up to see the likes of “”Basket Case”” “”Smells Like Teen Spirit”” and “”Larger Than Life””. Maybe even “”What’s My Age Again”” “”Pretty Fly for a White Guy”” and “”Oops I did it again””. Then some young’un movie blogger will complain about how those films have no appeal for them. But at least I’ll be in nostalgic bliss.
Get on Up – \m/ \m/”