I was lucky enough to watch 2 biopics in the weekend – 42 and Get On Up; both starring Chadwick Boseman in the lead roles playing 2 legendary characters – Baseball legend Jackie Robinson and the Funk, soul, R&B legend James Brown. Both movies are brilliant in their own right and gave me a lot of insights into the lives of these 2 special gentlemen.
I watched 42 first and after watching the movie while researching about Boseman, came across the movie Get on Up so expectedly it was the next movie I watched. Boseman has done great justice to play both the characters effortlessly and at times it was very hard to figure out that it was the same man playing the 2 real life characters! I wonder why Boseman never got enough credit for his stellar performances and hasn’t got many films after these two. Infact his lack of any major nominations for Get on Up was considered a huge snub in 2014-15.
He has been cast as Thurgood Marshall in an upcoming “courtroom thriller” about the first black Supreme Court justice which would be the third time being cast as the lead in a biopic. He will also star as Thoth, a deity from Egyptian mythology, in Gods of Egypt, set for release in 2016. He will also be playing the Marvel Comics character T’Challa / Black Panther in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War as part of a five picture deal with Marvel as well as a solo Black Panther film to be directed by Ryan Coogler in February 2018.
Let’s focus on the 2 movies now…
Get On Up
It is a 2014 biographical drama film about the life of singer James Brown directed by Tate Taylor with Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in supporting roles. The story is told using a nonlinear narrative through Brown’s life. Tate Taylor had earlier directed the four-time Oscar nominated blockbuster “The Help” which was a spectacularly awesome movie!
James Brown is considered as the Godfather of Soul and this movie tells his incredible life story and provides a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, and the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential musical figures of the 20th century. I have heard & enjoyed some of Brown’s most famous songs like “I feel Good” and “Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable),” the theme song for Django Unchained! Brown is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Brown recorded 16 singles that peaked at number-one on the Billboard R&B charts.He als also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number-one.
Boseman did all of his own dancing and some singing which is a remarkable achievement! As the cliche goes “he got into the skin of the character”. He has played the character of a violent, manipulative perfectionist who was always emotionally disconnected from those around him including his staunch friends and close family. Some of the LIVE performances portrayed are so damn electric that I felt like dancing myself! The film starts with an almost Tarantino-esque sequence, when a shotgun-toting Brown takes an insurance seminar hostage, aggrieved that someone present has taken advantage of his adjacent office’s toilet facilities. This wacky incident actually happened, in 1988 in Augusta, Georgia and it sets the tone for a fast-paced ride about the tumultous & crazy life of Brown.
This is a sureshot watch for all biopic and music genre fans. Watch this to know more about the legend of the Superstar and understand more about him.
It is a 2013 film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the racial integration of American professional baseball player Jackie Robinson, who wore jersey number 42 through his Major League career. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey; the man who brought him to the mainstream sporting arena by signing Robinson into Brooklyn Dodgers. He became the first African-American player to break the baseball color barrier and the film focuses mostly on the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season and somewhat on Robinson’s 1946 season with the Montreal Royals, which emphasize his battles with racism.
Boseman has played the stoic & iron-willed character of Robinson brilliantly and the rare times he smiled on the screen, it brought a lot of warmth & good spirit to the character! It is a very engaging movie and talks about a momentous event in the history of professional Sports. I had a long discussion with my wife about racism, tolerance, and self control shown by Robinson after being abused by so many of his players and adversaries alike.
Harrison Ford has also done a superb job and brought a lot of realism to his character. The editing of the movie is quite unique and some of the scenes have been woven very efficiently indeed. The plot moves at a fast pace without getting too emotional or monotonous.
This is a definite must-watch for all Sports & Biopic genre lovers and even if you don’t like Baseball you would find this movie interesting and very enriching. It provided me a lot of insights into the legend of Jackie Robinson, his early life, his struggles, his resolve, his playing days and thanks to my research about his life after he retired from Baseball!
Do post your comments if you found my reviews interesting or if you have watched these movies!
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…