James Brown Movie ‘Get On Up’ Now Showing in Theatres

James Brown
James Brown’s new movie, Get On Up, is now showing in theatres after being in the making for over ten years. Movie producer Brian Grazer, who first purchased the rights for the movie in 2001, originally planned the biopic film debut to honor Brown before his untimely death in 2006. However, the movie was even further delayed due to many legal issues regarding Brown’s estate after his passing.

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina. The movie shows some of Brown’s earliest days of childhood, where he experienced very traumatizing events beyond his control. In one scene, young Brown is torn apart from his mother, played by Viola Davis, and forced to live with his father, played by Lennie James. The scene is described in a very disturbing setting, where young Brown lived temporarily in extreme poverty before being sent to live in a brothel with his aunt Honey, who is played by Octavia Spencer.

Aside from the early childhood trauma, there are a few other childhood scenes where young Brown is depicted as a male figure to his aunt, who shows support for his aspiring musical talents. Later on as a teen, Brown had minor trouble with the law and he was arrested. While in jail, Brown first meets his close friend Bobby Byrd, who was a band member of the Famous Flames. Eventually, Byrd, who is played by Nelsan Ellis, convinces Brown to become the lead singer for the band. Once he is released from jail, Brown moves into Byrd’s family residence, where he first began to actually craft his musical talents.

Brown’s real life experiences are laid out in the movie as much as possible. Many people saw Brown as living a very private life. Although he had been a mega superstar for six decades, there have always been clouds of mystery behind his straight-laced persona and his abilities to keep up with the modern times musically.

Until his death, Brown managed to remain a musical icon and a mentor to many other stars over generations. He made tremendous impressions on stars like Michael Jackson and Prince, and he also managed to influence modern-day stars such as Usher and Chris Brown.

Since James Brown’s new movie, Get On Up, is now showing in theatres, fans from many generations will have an opportunity to see what Brown’s life was like and get up close, widescreen views of his musical genius and powerhouse moves that have withstood the test of time. Get on Up was directed by Tate Taylor, who managed to brilliantly visualize the details of a near perfect portrayal of the life and career of James Brown.

From his blues performances on the so-called “chitlin circuit” to more brassier performances among all-white crowds, the movie depiction of James Brown’s career certainly lives up to the legendary name of the world-renown superstar. Brown’s live performances are shown in the movie in thrilling fashion.

Some of the self-declared nicknames that Brown was known for are used as metaphors throughout the movie. The metaphors bring the viewer towards a fuller understanding of how the names came about as the movie recalls several platinum song performances and superior dance moves all originated by Brown.

The adult version of James Brown is played by Chadwick Boseman, who also starred in 42, which was the biopic of Jackie Robinson released in 2013. Boseman does a remarkable job in portraying the legendary singer and showman. Throughout the entire script, he imitates the guttural, rhythm-filled voice of Brown flawlessly, although the producers decided to keep all of Brown’s music tracks in his own voice.

James Brown’s new movie Get On Up is now showing in theatres. The biopic has a running time of 2 hours and 13 minutes. Get On Up has been Rated PG-13, but parents are strongly cautioned to supervise any viewings by young individuals. This is due to a few sensual scenes, a violent domestic eruption, and some drug use shown throughout the movie.

By Kimakra Nealy

NY Times
Time Magazine
USA Today

6 Responses to "James Brown Movie ‘Get On Up’ Now Showing in Theatres"

  1. Karen   September 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    The movie was the sorriest image and portrayal of James Brown any human ever depicted or could ever depict of him. I knew the man and had seen his performances since I was a young child and this was not him at all!

  2. K.Evans   September 2, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I m a resident of the Las Vegas,NV. area , Get On Up hasn’t been available to the tax paying citizens here, are screen actor’s blocking distribution to the silver screen for some unknown reason ?

  3. Sandy Hester   September 1, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Although I did not see the movie, I was lead to believe it would have been a better portrayal of his life had the movie been directed by members of James Brown’s own race.

  4. Booker Mckissic   August 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    i grew-up on James Brown music.as it is said in his time the hardest working man in show business.

  5. Booker Mckissic   August 7, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    James Brown is still a favorite of mine’s.I haven’t seen the movie yet but i will.

  6. Ham   August 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

    He was one of the greatest influences on black music in the late 50’s .My band and group of 27 members never gone the chance to compete against his group! We were the El Corol’s! Baddest group in the late 50’s and earlyb 60’s! I always knew James Brown would would be One of my the greatest performers of our time! Even then!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.