Miles Davis is one of the best jazz musicians of all time. Davis was one of those musicians that really conveyed great talented passion and emotion in his trumpet playing. Miles made a great album in particular his 1959 masterpiece" Kind of Blue". Which Rolling Stone magazine voted it as one of the best albums of all time, regardless of genre of music. His life should've been made ages ago, unfortunately it took 2016 for a Davis film to be made, with Don Cheadle playing the great musician and also making his directorial debut.
The film takes place in 1980, where Davis hasn't made an album in five years and has recorded on but does not want the album released without his permission. He would prefer to snort his new drug of choice, cocaine than work on any releasable music. He is also hates to do interviews but a persistent one from Rolling Stone writer Dave (Ewan McGregor) who wants desperately to interview the legend and follows him to his record company at Columbia records and talks to a the President of Columbia, Harper (Michael Stahlberg) whose ethics are not honorable and demands Dave to coax Davis to send his most recent work to work with a talented musician (Keith Stansfield), who is also a junkie heroin addict. The one drug that Davis was once addicted to. Miles has no desire to give his boss anything and threatens his boss with a gun to leave him the hell alone.
Dave decides to take matters into his own hands with questionable ethics, to get his dream of an interview with a legend and says he know someone who can give him good coke. On the basis of drug use they become good friends. The first part of the movie is about a cat and mouse game of Davis music recording becomes of tug of war of who has the upper hand in who will eventually get Davis most recent recording. Another main subplot is more interesting is the relationship between Davis and his greatest love and muse Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corlneaidi) which takes place in the 1950's. The film deals with their courtship, marriage and Davis wanting Frances to give up her career as a dancer when they marry. To all of the predictable, nonetheless interesting because it is well acted are the relationships of Davis girlfriends and his infidelity and his addiction to a drug that makes him paranoid. The film contends that the relationship with Frances gave him the greatest creative musical prowess and his music was at its great peak when Davis dated and married Frances.
The film other subplot is also not very original but the car chase sequences back and forth between Davis and Dave vs. Harper and is crooked associate's is not very interesting and lacking in energy. Miles Davis deserved a better treatment in a subplot that is right out of the many car chases we have seen in the movies since the standard of car chases in the great 1971 action cop movie The French Connection. A car chase still can be entertaining if those scenes can offer something thrilling, this film action scenes are rather dull and pointless. The other love story is predictable but well-acted with Corlnealdi a standout as Davis's greatest love. Don Cheadle is very good as the great trumpeter, I just wish it was in a movie that dealt with a more interesting story of Davis life, maybe coming to terms with his coke addiction and his marriage to the great actress Cicely Tyson. Cheadle does a very good job of directing his first feature, but as it stands, more should have been made of his personal struggles with addiction and more of the great jazz that people love with great intensity.
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