|Page 1 of 6:||     |
|Index||59 reviews in total|
Celebrity bio-pics are very hit or miss, but once in a great while a
really good one comes along--and WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT is one
of them. Based on the autobiography of Tina Turner, the film offers a
glossy but intense portrait of her rapid rise to stardom under the
sponsorship of husband-manager Ike Turner--a relationship that quickly
turned dark and became increasingly abusive as Tina's fame began to
outstrip Ike's own.
Although the film is a bit on the obvious side, it is well-crafted and the two leads offer powerhouse performances. Angela Bassett is simply astonishing as Tina Turner; where most other actresses might have simply imitated, Bassett accomplishes the impossible: she makes you believe that she is Tina Turner, capturing both Tina's famous on-stage performing style (the concert scenes are really exciting) and giving a completely believable interpretation of her off-stage personality as well. The script offers Laurence Fishburne little more than a one-dimensional role, but he plays it brilliantly from start to finish, and both are well supported by the overall cast.
There is certainly a great deal more to the lives of both Ike and Tina Turner than this film conveys--but what it does show it presents with considerable power and conviction, and by the time Tina finally hits back at Ike you'll be roaring for her to hit him again--and again--and again--and eager to see her finally triumph entirely on her own. Recommended.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
I watched the film recently, and was amazed by how brilliant it was.
Not knowing about Tina Turner's life, I was shocked. The movie was
pretty hard hitting.
Laurence Fishburne was amazing in his role, he was very scary, and it just made you hate Ike for being so evil. Angela Bassett's performance was outstandingly amazing though - I've never seen so much good acting out of someone in a movie.
All in all, I loved the movie, and any awards for it were well rewarded.
It was gratifying to see rock legend Tina Turner earn the coveted
Kennedy Center honor last month, certainly reason enough to revisit
this wonderful biopic based on her 1987 self-affirming autobiography,
"I, Tina" co-written with Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder. Directed by
the late Brian Gibson in an appropriately feverish manner, the 1993
movie still burns brightly thanks to the electrifying performances of
Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. There have been several fine
performances in biopics of late - Jamie Foxx in "Ray", Joaquin Phoenix
and Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line" - but I still feel Bassett and
Fishburne maintain the high watermark as they seem to inhabit the roles
of Ike and Tina completely in this film.
Adapting probably the most melodramatic parts of Tina's book, Gibson and screenwriter Kate Lanier built a dramatic framework about the former Anna Mae Bullock that is somewhat standard-issue and probably biased, but it works on a visceral level as a story of personal triumph punctuated by some of the most gut-wrenching scenes of domestic violence captured on film. Playing one of the most recognizable and enduring celebrities in the rock world, Bassett manages to capture the physical mannerisms, vocal patterns, and onstage energy of the real Tina, even though her voice obviously had to be dubbed. With her almost distracting musculature, she convincingly rips into all her musical performances with unabated fire, but it's really in her dramatic scenes, especially when she becomes an increasingly degraded victim of her husband's demons, that she soars. Fishburne has an extremely tough role, as he has to transcend the inherent villainy of Ike by displaying the bravado and talent that brought the pair the spotlight in the early years. He brilliantly manages to imbue a spirit that is at once frightening and pitiable.
With a relatively sparse filmography, Gibson provides surprisingly sturdy direction here, often using an effective faux-combination of grainy home movies and TV programs to make the movie feel like a "Behind the Scenes" rock documentary. I particularly liked how he edited the inevitable "Proud Mary" - complete with gyrating Ikettes and Tina in her classic cave woman mini - to show the passage of time between the late sixties to the mid-seventies. Unsurprisingly, no one else makes nearly the impression of the two stars, though Jenifer Lewis has a few funny moments as Tina's mother Zelma, and Vanessa Bell Calloway does what she can in her switch from hard-bitten back-up singer to becalming Buddhist. Regardless, see it for two actors - sadly underutilized since this movie was released, the wondrous Bassett in particular - giving all they have into this memorable movie. The DVD has no significant extras other than the original trailer.
"What's Love Got to Do With It" is a fascinating and absorbing portrayal
the first 43 years of Tina Turner's life. It accurately and convincingly
depicts the abuse she underwent and her escape and, finally, salvation
through Buddhism. Laurence Fishburne is one of this generation great
and gives a riveting and observant performance as Ike Turner, but cannot
come close to the overwhelming, breathtaking, and mighty presence of
Bassett as Tina. She deservedly won the Golden Globe as the Best Actress
a Comedy/Musical of 1993 and if the film had come out any other year than
1993 (during which Holly Hunter gave a performance of a lifetime in "The
Piano"), she would have easily taken home an Oscar.
Music plays a huge part in the film and all of it is good. Though I'm only 12, I truly appreciate Tina's music and am always in awe when she sings "Proud Mary" (one of my favorite scenes in the film.) As Roger Ebert pointed out, one of the most triumphant scenes is where, after Tina and Ike have had a vicious and bloody fight, Tina runs away to the Ramada Inn where they take her in. It is one of the best acted scenes of this decade and I never tire of it when I see the film again.
"What's Love Got to Do With It" is one of the best films of 1993 (one of the greatest movie years in history- "Schindler's List", "The Piano") and one the most passionately and skillfully performed films of the decade.
**** out of **** (A)
As a young girl, Anna Mae Bullock is left behind when her mother flees an
abusive husband. As a young woman she comes to the city to rejoin her
mother and sister. Going with her sister to a local club, Anna Mae is drawn
onto the stage by band leader Ike Turner and reveals a powerful voice. He
takes her into his band and the two go onto success, marriage and children
with Anna Mae taking the stage name Tina Turner. However beneath the
surface, Ike is a violent man and Tina is forced to either defend him or
I have seen this twice already, although I'm not a Tina Turner fan and don't find her music to be that good (aside from a few of the bigger hits) but I do know a powerful film when I see it. The plot is based on the biography of Tina Turner and, because it is official, the end result is that it lacks an eye that approaches with fair judgement. The film therefore builds up the strength of Ike and the resolve of Tina and is a little too reverent at points like Tina finding strength in Buddhist chanting. However it is difficult to miss the cynical eye when you accept that having a violent husband and being trapped is a difficult situation that anyone does well to come out of.
The film is moving but never lets itself become overly emotional or sentimental. Instead it just soldiers on like Tina herself and the final scenes give you an impression of someone who has overcome to get to where she is. Usually it would be difficult to feel for someone who is as rich and successful as Tina Turner and it is to the film's credit that it has managed it. Part of the reason for this is a sympathetic yet strong performance from Bassett (one of the better black actresses around). She at times seems to be just impersonating Turner (during the music pieces) but she is in her element in the rest with a meaty part not often offered to her. Fishburne is good and bad in different ways. Firstly he is good because he grips the audience and commands attention and is, as always, an excellent actor given the chance. However he is too powerful the real Ike is less physically dominant and Fishburne doesn't do him justice appearing to point the blame on drugs and no inner turmoil.
Overall this is a good film that deals with a difficult subject matter. The fact that it is a true story just makes it better. Strong black leads and emotionally involving makes for a good watch even if it's hard to describe the violence at times as `entertainment'.
I really loved Ike and Tina Turner. then I got to love Tina Turner. I remember I was so sad way back when they split up but,,... after seeing this movie SO SO,,, many years later, I see why. Maybe Ike was a driving force for the group, but Tina made it happen and as far as I can tell, Ike didn't like that he was then along for the ride... and couldn't accept it. It is Too bad he didn't know/or understand at the time what was or would've been best for for his kids and himself. Famous or not, til people understand it's FAMILY that matters, nothing will ever be right. I know this is a Hollywood-ish type-style movie, but I'm proud Tina did what she has done for herself, and I'm glad I got to grow up Knowing Both Ike and Tina, and then Tina Turner.... This is...history in the making.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The deification of St. Tina and the deserved crucifixion of Ike, starring the magnificent Angela Bassett, is harrowing and crackling with electricity. Perhaps the only movie with more domestic violence than *Mommie Dearest*, this is the movie bio to end all movie bios. From the earliest scenes of a rambunctious Tina (or Anna Mae, as she was known then) acting up during choir practice, we, the audience, belong to her completely, irrevocably winning us through empathy and admiration for such a feisty, plucky spirit. Showing Ike as a famous R&B star and suave ladykiller at the time he meets the young Tina, Ike wins her through a combination of persistence and flattery, appealing to her vanity and sense of loyalty ("I make them famous and then they run off," Ike tells her). But they team up and, as we know, and make musical history. Their codependency is of the direst sort he *made* her and feels like he owns her, and she just wants to please him. But pleasing Ike is a tall order, and any success is only temporary. We are taken on a wild ride of spectacular performances in vivid color both the great achievements of the duo, as well as their darkest hours, but as Ike slides into drugs and domination, the situation is as hopeless as most codependent situations are. We see Tina as she is, once again, beaten to a pulp but perhaps for the last time. She runs away, and with a wrenching scene in which she appears in the lobby of the neighboring Ramada Inn, begging for shelter, we are begging with her, praying for some nameless act of charity to deliver her from evil. She makes a relatively clean getaway, winding up in the hands of Roger Davies, her manager (and a producer of this film), who engineered one of the greatest comebacks in history. Of course, Ike tries desperately and unsuccessfully to woo her back, telling her how he *made* her, but then becomes ridiculous, uttering to her in 1980, "You ain't no Donna Summers." But we know what the outcome of that is Tina's personal success and lifetime appointment as posterchild for Survivors Anonymous is legendary. Angela Bassett is one of the finest actresses alive, but has yet to produce anything rivaling this performance. She is backed up by a number of extremely strong performances, especially that of Vanessa Bell, in a stand-up performance as her friend Jackie, who not only proves to Tina that she can escape from Ike, but also shows her a way to inner-peace through Buddhism. During the closing credits, we see the real-life Tina perform the title song, but it is a gratuitous, and even negligent performance, that undermines the audience's belief in Basset as Tina. The crime is that this film did not receive Academy attention for art direction and costuming alone, it is the exquisite evocation of an extremely lively era and lifestyle as an almost perfect production, it meshes together the cinematography, script, acting and music into a dazzling and sometimes horrifying, but always riveting tour de force.
Angela Bassett, as Tina Turner asks the musical question "What's Love
Got to Do with It" in this 1993 film also starring Laurence Fishburne,
Jenifer Lewis, and Khandi Alexander. The film tells the story of Tina
Turner's childhood as Anna Mae Bullock her move to St. Louis after her
grandmother's death to live with her mother, her meeting Ike Turner at
a nightclub, her subsequent singing with Ike's band, their marriage and
By necessity, biopics have to leave out people and incidents, often combining several incidents into one or skipping several steps. In no way does a knowledge of Tina Turner''s life detract from the impact of this film. It's a story of a woman's determination, beating the odds, suffering, perseverance and ultimate success.
Ike's and Tina's marriage was pretty much a horror show. Ike was always controlling, to the detriment of his own career, and as he turned to drugs, his abuse of Tina escalated. The most stunning scene in the film (besides the performances, which are fantastic) occurs when the couple fights in a limo en route to a hotel. Ike becomes physical; Tina has discovered Buddhism and finally gets the courage to fight back. A bloody mess, she runs away from him with only 36 cents in her purse.
Angela Bassett gives a searing, electrifying performance as Turner. Her sinewy body is a great match for Turner's, and she uses it to perfection in replicating Turner's performances (Turner's voice is used on the soundtrack). She shows the star's vulnerability, fear, and internal strength throughout.
Bassett is matched by Laurence Fishburne's terrifying performance as Ike. Fishburne seethes with manipulation and anger, even in scenes where he's being "nice." When Ike loses his temper, you can see how he can't stop and the violence just gets worth. A brilliant performance.
A must see. The latter part of Turner's life is not explored, but while she always remained popular in Europe, it was a long time before she could get a recording contract here after some failed recordings. Today she remains one of the greatest singing stars ever. But there were lots of valleys in between.
What's Love Got to Do With It
If it weren't for females, record labels would have to rely solely on money and cocaine to entice potential male acts.
However, the male singer in this biography needs a woman to complete his act.
Abandoned by her family, Anna Mae (Angela Bassett) grows up with nothing but her unorthodox singing voice to keep her company.
In her teens, she auditions for local bandleader/lothario Ike (Laurence Fishburne), who is impressed by her pipes.
Joining him and his band under the moniker Tina, Anna Mae begins banging out the hits, while her new husband begins banging on her.
Under Ike's thumb, Tina is unable to branch out and become the star she's destined to be.
Based on Tina Turner's biography, WLGTDWI is a superbly acted, heartbreaking tale of overcoming domestic abuse in an era of blind eyes.
Fortunately, domestic violence in today's music has been restricted to the Top 40 list. (Green Light)
Personally I'm not especially keen on this type of movie; movies packed
with music numbers. But after all, it is the grand old lady Tina Turner
we are talking about; she deserves more than something average. I
really did like her songs in the 80s when she got rid of her abusive
husband Ike. Her voice was strong and with a great personality.
The relationship between Ike and Tina was almost made for a movie; there is drama, violence, and music. The title really says it all. Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne are stunning as the main characters. Bassett got the nearly impossible job to portrait one of the most remarkable female artists in music history especially when it comes to the body language of Tina. However, Angela Bassett did it very well. Also in scenes with playback I could hardly notice it was an actor imitating a great rock star.
Overall a very good movie, but like I said; too many music scenes that I felt interrupted the story. But most of the songs are well known - and good!
|Page 1 of 6:||     |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|