On route to the stage, singer James Brown recalls a life with a turbulent childhood where music was his only constructive release for his passions. A chance demonstration of that in prison led to a new friend who helped get him out and into a musical career. With his fire and creative daring, Brown became a star who defiantly created new possibilities in show business both on and behind the stage in face of racism and conventional thinking. Along the way, James would also become a peacemaker who redefined and raised the African-American community's feeling of self-worth when it was needed most. However, those same domineering passions would lead James Brown alienating everyone around him as his appetites became ever more self-destructive. Only after he hit rock bottom with a serious mistake does Brown realize what he needs to do make his life as the Godfather of Soul truly worthwhile. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the scene preceding the 1964 T.A.M.I. show, when James is discussing The Rolling Stones with Pop, one of the other acts, the American rock band The Beach Boys, is depicted in the background rehearsing vocals. See more »
At the T.A.M.I. show, James walks by the Beach Boys dressing room. They are wearing "Pendleton" long sleeve shirts, which they wore earlier in their career. At the T.A.M.I. show they wore their trademark short-sleeved striped shirts, which they had been wearing in concert since at least March 1964. See more »
James Brown was a superstar. An artist well ahead of his time, who still tops the list of most sampled musicians to this day with music he made 40-50 years ago!! I mean you play "Sex machine" at any party and it still rocks a quiet audience.
The point of all this is, that when you are making a movie about such a great artist, a music icon, the movie should aim at being at least mildly good. But this movie was far from that. It's mediocre at best! I am not sure whether it is a personal thing, but there was something I just disliked about the actor who impersonates him and that didn't help. I just didn't feel the guy was James Brown. Ali was portrayed beautifully by Will Smith for instance and he made the character believable. But this guy, I don't know Plus, on several occasions he stopped to look at the camera to "speak to us". That was unnecessary, an absolute pain and a pace breaker. But the one thing that I disliked the most was the constant going back and forth in time. We start in the eighties, then we are in the sixties, then we find ourselves in the thirties, then the seventies again, back to the thirties. An absolute mess that went on throughout the movie. What was the point of all that?
In any case, I love James Brown, and to me his music is what really matters. I wasn't expecting a mind-blowing cinematographic experience, and it sure wasn't one. So, I guess I'll just go home and play some of his songs and that'll help erase the movie from my mind.
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