“Mother Popcorn.” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” “Get On Up.” These are just a few of the hit singles made by James Brown, the proclaimed “Godfather of Soul.” “Get On Up,” one of his songs, is also the name of the newly released movie about James Brown and his rise to fame.
“Get On Up” is the biopic of James Brown, a funk singer who became one of the most influential musicians in history. The movie tells the story of his rise from being extremely poor to being filthy rich and known everywhere.
The movie itself, as interesting and funny as it can be, is not a very good movie. It was confusing, going scene-to-scene and jumping periods of years in his life, but giving no explanation as to why. There would be a scene of Brown at a concert, or getting ready for a concert, and next thing you know, it changes to something that happened anywhere from 30 to 40 years earlier in his life.
It’s understandable that they wanted to show as much of Brown’s life as possible, but it’s got to be shown in a better way. The scene would be great, you’d be getting into the music, or be emotional from something sad, and then out of nowhere the next scene starts.
By using this layout, the audience is confused, they have no idea what’s going on and they could get unhappy. Because of how they seemed to focus only on certain aspects in Brown’s life, there appears to be a lot missing from the movie also.
When the scene would change, it would go to the next day sometimes, but then it would go too far. The movie would go back in time to when he was a kid, or from being a kid to later in his life, and give no reason as to why it did.
Another thing in the movie was how they tried to introduce the periods of time in his life. When the movie went to a different year, like going from Brown as a kid in 1939 to him as an adult in 1968, there would be some kind of subtitle. It looked like it was pertaining to what was going on in that time of his life, but some of them made no sense at all.
The titles included “Mister Dynamite,” “The Please Please Please Man” and even “Bad Man.” They had no explanation, and seemed to just be there for show. By using these subtitles, it just added to the confusion.
I didn’t see any reason as to why that subtitle pertained to that time of his life. There was no explanation for the subtitle, and just seemed it was there for show and would have been better if it just showed the year it took place in.
The movie, which had its good points, needed a lot of work. The fact that it kept jumping years and going back and forth between Brown as a kid and as an adult was terrible.
Take that out, and actually go through his life from start to finish, and it would have been bearable. It wouldn’t be confusing, the audience wouldn’t be lost in what’s going on and would actually understand why there were scenes about those certain key points in his life.
2 stars out of 5