by Ryan Fu •
PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN LINDENSMITH/ ALL ACCESS PHOTOS
Get on Up is based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, which the film will gives a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of James Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
I watched this movie with a couple of friends last night, which we where big fans of James Brown’s music even though we were pretty young at the time when he was on top of the music game. The movie was enjoyable but I personally thought it ran at bit long but I guess it has to be when you’re telling someone’s life. Chadwick Boseman did a terrific job playing Brown, getting all his songs down including his funky moves. Just like how he got the essence in playing Jackie Robinson in another bio topic film, 42, he got to the heart and soul of James Brown. But of course, he had plenty of help along the way with a great supporting cast.
An All-Star cast of Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Dan Aykroyd, Craig Robinson, plus many more. I thought everyone played a terrific job including Nelsan Ellis, who plays Lafayette on True Blood. It was crazy seeing Nelsan not being so flamboyant, trying to be the center of everyone’s attention but being in the background as the back up singer of James Brown, playing Bobby Byrd. Former cast mates from the Help also did a great job playing opposite mother figures to James Brown, which you can see why he was such a driven young man to begin with. He came from nothing and became something.
As James Brown tells it, “You always have to be moving forwards because if you move backwards, then you’re dead.” He had the ability to flip an awkward situation and make it work for himself. He was driven to succeed because he believed in himself when no one else did, which is just one of the virtuous of successful people. Naturally, James Brown wasn’t an angel but he never claimed to be but he believed you gotta do what you gotta to do to succeed in this world. In his words, “Do right by yourself.” Regardless, of what people might think about you, you must do what you do and continue on your path because that’s how you stay true to yourself. Do right by yourself and you can live with yourself, which James Brown did and he lived to the fullest. I highly recommend this movie and listening to James Brown’s music.