"I made the call. When I found out Tate was directing, I was like, 'You better find me something for me to do Tate. I don't care what it is, but you better find something, because I'm a big James Brown fan.' And he did, he's very loyal that way." Actress Octavia Spencer would have done anything to land a role in her director pal Tate Taylor's new James Brown biopic, Get On Up. The Help star portrays Aunt Honey in the film, opposite 42 actor Chadwick Boseman, who plays the late Godfather of Soul
Mick Jagger's new James Brown biopic brought back bad memories for the Rolling Stones rocker as it reminded him of a meeting he had with the Godfather of Soul at the beginning of his career. A naive, 20-year-old Jagger was asked to help calm Brown down after he learned he wouldn't be headlining a T.A.M.I. Show special in the 1960s, and the Brit jumped at the chance to meet one of his heroes.
But Brown wasn't in the mood to meet fans.
Jagger tells WENN, "James Brown was definitely the star but there were many others... like Marvin Gaye... and James was a bit annoyed as not being the last on the show.
"As I was the only one who had met him before, briefly, the producers of the show decided I was the fall guy. I was, like, 20, and they were like, 'You go and talk to him'.
"When you're 20 you go, 'Sure, I'll do it,' and of course that didn't work out well... He did this amazing performance and we (Rolling Stones) went on after. We had to work really hard, and maybe it was a better show because of that."
Jagger is the producer of new film Get On Up, which features 42 star Chadwick Boseman as late soul man Brown.
Summer at the movie theater generally means one thing: big-budget popcorn films packed with explosions, robots, superheroes, aliens, or a combination of all four. But even though we're currently in the middle of blockbuster season, that doesn't mean that action movies or outrageous comedies are your only option for summer entertainment. This also happens to be the best season for indie movies, and low-key alternatives to your favorite summer blockbusters are flooding into theaters everywhere. So, when you get tired of watching people run from explosions in slow motion and you can no longer tell one superhero from the next, why not take a break from the multiplex and give one of these indies a try instead.
If You Liked Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Try Snowpiercer (Opens June 27) The sequel to 2011’s Captain America saw Chris Evans lead a band of rebels who took down an oppressive regime that infiltrated a major government agency in order to save the world and protect American citizens. Snowpiercer sees Chris Evans lead a band of rebels as they attempt to take out and oppressive bureaucrat in order to establish better living conditions for the people living aboard the train. One of them has Tilda Swinton and one has Anthony Mackie, but both are worth watching.
If You Liked The Fault In Our Stars, Try What if (Opens August 1) Now that you’ve recovered from watching two people fall tragically in love, why not follow it up with a funnier take on romance? Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, What if tackles the immortal question of whether or not people can be just friends if they have romantic feelings for one another. It’s a smart, creative take on the traditional rom com, and it won’t leave you a shell of your former self at the end.
If You Like Tammy, Try They Came Together (Opens June 27) Comic powerhouses Melissa McCarthy and Amy Poehler both happen to be starring in major movies this summer. Co-written by and starring McCarthy, Tammy is a road trip movie that follows the titular character’s misadventures with her alcoholic, diabetic grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). Poehler’s role as Molly in David Wain’s rom com parody is a bit more low-key, but promises to be just as funny and irreverent.
If You Liked 22 Jump Street, Try Life After Beth (Opens August 15) At its heart, 22 Jump Street is a film about a couple attempting to hold their relationship together despite their different personalities and the obstacles that arise because of them. It just so happens that Life After Beth tells a similar story, except instead of being undercover cops whose partnership is tested by college, the big hurdle that Beth and Zach need to overcome is the fact that Beth is, well… a zombie.
If You Like Get On Up, Try Frank (Opens August 15) Chadwick Boseman stars as the hardest working man in show business in Get On Up, which charts the life and career of James Brown, culminating in his comeback in the 1990s. But if you’re looking for a slightly more unconventional take on the music “biopic,” we recommend Frank, which stars Michael Fassbender as an eccentric, brilliant musician who wears a giant fake head at all times and Domhnall Gleeson as the newest recruit to Frank’s band. Although something tells us their music won’t be as easy to dance to…
If You Like Sex Tape, Try Two Night Stand (Opens August 22) Summer isn’t just filled with alien-fighting robots and superheroes protecting the galaxy; it’s also the time of year when the world celebrates the raunchy sex comedy. First up is Sex Tape, which follows a couple who film themselves in the act in an attempt to spice up their marriage, only to accidentally send it to all of their friends. Two Night Stand also centers on a regrettable decision – sleeping with a drunk stranger you met at a bar – that spirals out of control due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, it’s a blizzard that traps the unhappy couple in an apartment together.
If You Liked X-Men: Days of Future Past, Try I Origins (Opens July 18) If you prefer the X-Men to all of the other superheroes on the block, you’re likely someone who appreciates a slightly complicated storyline, discussions of science and genetics and misfits coming together to form a family – which means that I Origins, a sci-fi romance about a molecular biologist who studies the human eye and his journey for truth and his lost love.
Drew Chadwick has quit Emblem3 to pursue a solo music career. The pop rock trio, who found fame on the 2012 series of America's The X Factor, announced Chadwick's departure on Friday (20Jun14), just days before the boy band were due to start The Fireside Story Sessions tour on Monday (23Jun14).
They said, "While we regret sharing this news, we as a group need to share that Drew has decided to move forward in pursuit of his solo career and will no longer be with Emblem3 or joining us on The Fireside Story Sessions. We're sad to see Drew go but he will always be our brother, and we couldn't be happier for him as he starts his new journey as a solo artist."
The remaining members, brothers Keaton and Wesley Stromberg, assured fans they would continue with the group, adding, "We know many of you may be concerned about what this means for Emblem3, but I can assure you this is just the beginning! Me and Keaton started this band when we were 9 and 11 years old and we will continue making music for our fans.
"We love you with all our heart. E3 has always been about a partnership of like-minded musicians and we’re committed to continuing this journey alongside you all. And who knows, you may also start seeing some very familiar faces popping up. "
Chadwick has already begun working on his solo album.
Director Tate Taylor had his work cut out trying to convince Chadwick Boseman to portray the late James Brown in a new biopic, because the actor was adamant he would never step into the Godfather of Soul's shoes. Boseman admits he really wasn't interested in tackling the lead role in Get On Up after experiencing the intense pressure of playing a real-life icon in 42, in which he brought baseball star Jackie Robinson back to life onscreen.
He tells Entertainment Weekly, "Somebody said something to me about the script and I was like, 'No, I'm not going to even read it.' "It felt like one of those roles that nobody should try, ever. And I had just gone through so much scrutiny doing a biopic. Nope, I'm not doing that."
Despite Boseman's concerns, Taylor managed to get him to perform Brown's funk song Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud for a screen test - and it was only then that the actor was won over by his own talents. He explains, "I needed to see the wig. I needed to see myself on stage."
Boseman perfected the soul legend's difficult dance movies and singing skills for the movie and his efforts even left Get On Up's producer, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, impressed. He recently stated, "James Brown was a fluid, supper aggressive mover, so for Chad to learn and do that is quite an achievement."
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
When a movie opts to play inside baseball with a particular industry, it runs two risks: alienating the people outside looking in ("What the hell is all this mumbo jumbo?"), or alienating the people tightly connected to the underworld on display ("They got it all wrong!"). On special occasions, you have a film like Draft Day, which strikes out in both areas, somehow feigning expertise with such vigor as to befuddle strangers to behind-the-scenes football and frustrate those with an inborn knowledge of the underworld. As a member of the former community, I was bored stiff by the nonstop industry jabber. I was surprised to find, after our viewing of the movie, that a sports-savvy friend was even more aggravated with the film for everything they got so very, very wrong.
But really, neither of these is the true crime of Draft Day. Even on the promise of delivering a bona fide curtain pull on the NFL, all the film really owes us is a good story. Instead, Draft Day banks on the appeal of its would-be authenticity — this is how football people talk, act, eat, do business, grimace, throw laptops on draft day! — as a stand-in for any material we might otherwise be able to care about. The film slaps Kevin Costner's Sonny Weaver Jr., beleaguered general manager of the Cleveland Browns, with just about every go-to leading man conflict in the book (problems at work, problems with his girlfriend, problems with his family) in hopes that something will land in the neighborhood of emotional legitimacy... or, more plausibly, in hopes that it'll play enough like an attempt at a screenplay to warrant all the stats talk he's really there to spout.
His supporting cast has even less to do — Jennifer Garner is his all smiles romantic partner whose vehement love for football is supposed to make her interesting to us (What?! But she's a girl!). Ellen Burstyn is Sonny's disapproving mother, who has a penchant for wistful staring. Denis Leary is a coach who yells a lot.
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
The one vein of character work that stands out as a near success comes attached to the line of potential drafts. Josh Pence plays draft frontrunner Bo Callahan who Sonny has a bad feeling about. Chadwick Boseman is the underdog linebacker who we know we're supposed to like because he takes his nephews to gymnastics. In a post-Moneyball world, Sonny is accessing the humanity in the boys he's considering for a career on his field. Hell, he's even willing to overlook the troubled past of Arian Foster because he trusts the boy's dad (I think Terry Crews is contractually obligated to appear in any movie about football). It's thin material that amounts to a disjointed explosion, but it rings as the movie's most interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it's couriered through Sonny, a character who we're barely allowed to meet.
The tragedy of this conclusion is that most of the cast members, Costner included, are giving moreover enjoyable performances — accolades in particular to 25-year-old Griffin Newman as fish-out-of-water intern Rick, suffering through the worst first day of work imaginable. The small comedy offered by Newman and a few others (bullpen fixtures like Wade Williams and Veep's Timothy Simons) is treated like an occasional garnish, but amounts to much-craved sustenance when it pervades the tasteless and stale football blather.
Blather that will detract anybody just hoping to catch a fun sports movie, and blather that will turn off the most high-minded of football fans craving some degree of industrial accuracy. In either case, the blather exists in absence of much otherwise. Without any real characters operating in this dense, hectic, ostensibly colorful world of the NFL, it feels as vacant as Sun Life Stadium on opening weekend. (Right?)
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Reclusive soul man D'angelo will join Aloe Blacc and Angelique Kidjo, among others, for an upcoming all-star tribute to James Brown at the Hollywood Bowl. The Brown Sugar singer has been added to the Get On Up: A James Brown Celebration in Los Angeles on 13 August (14).
The show will also feature Bettye LaVette and members of Brown's band, including Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, Clyde Stubblefield and Danny Ray.
The concert will coincide with the release of Sir Mick Jagger's new James Brown biopic Get On Up, which features 42 star Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul.
Brown passed away in 2006, aged 73.
Actor Chadwick Boseman is wowing Mick Jagger with his performance as James Brown in the veteran rocker's new film project. The Rolling Stones frontman serves as a producer on Get On Up and he cast the 42 star to play the music icon, despite Boseman's lack of experience as a singer and dancer.
According to Jagger, the actor has been able to tackle the difficult dance moves and his singing skills have left Jagger and director Tate Taylor impressed.
Jagger says, "James Brown was a fluid, supper aggressive mover, so for Chad to learn and do that is quite an achievement."
Taylor adds, "Sometimes I forget to yell cut, because I forget I am directing a movie. I'm mesmerised by him, all of us are. It's like that every single day."
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Endless Love has awakened something in me. Not a long dormant passion for an introverted high school classmate, or a sudden desire to break into the zoo after dark. A question about movies — more accurately, about movie criticism. The same question you would ask yourself if you fell drowsy in the middle of Citizen Kane, or welled up during the emotional climax of Just Friends. The question I ask myself now, as I recount the 103 straight minutes of asphyxiating laughter that I endured during a screening of Shana Feste’s would-be romantic drama: What makes a good movie?
We assign deference to some films, disgust to others — a lucky few of us make a living this way. But what, precisely, are we reviewing? A film’s mission or its execution? The product onscreen or the experience of watching it? All factors come into play when considering whether or not a movie “works.” But on rare occasions you’ll get a film that offers no common ground in its meeting of these standards. You’ll get Endless Love, which strives for dramatic sincerity, winds up with underwritten idiocy, and provokes in its viewers an unrestrained, absurdist revelry — the kind of joy you’d otherwise be forced to seek in a third viewing of The Lego Movie. Laughter at the ill-conceived antics and befuddling dialectical patterns of our central teen couple — a Mars native Gabrielle Wilde and her gaping mouthed beau Alex Pettyfer. Elated bemusement at the younger generation’s propensity for chaotic disrobing and didactically organized dance parties. Unprecedented ecstasy at the Mafia movie intimidation tactics of an overprotective dad (Bruce Greenwood) and the brain-dead disregard of a supportive one (Robert Patrick). As a comedy, Endless Love is unstoppable.
I can only hypothesize that it was not Feste’s intention to roll us in the aisles. I have no cold proof that her resolution in paving every nook in her Georgia-set remake with another farcical stone — Wilde’s instantaneous evolution from wordless ingénue to sexually aggressive spirit walker, Patrick’s loving caution-to-the-wind attitude regarding any situation that has to do with a girl, Rhys Wakefield’s “black sheep” character forming an odd amalgamation of Pauly Shore and Charlie St. Cloud — was not one of Wolf of Wall Street-like satire, or reappropriation in the vein of Spring Breakers. Here are two movies that earned scorn from viewers who read them literally, and in turn vehement defense from those who peered through the exaltation of cocaine and firearms into the filmmakers’ ironic intentions.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
To the latter community, one to which I subscribe, I ask: if we’re readily willing to dive deeper for Martin Scorsese and Harmony Korine, shouldn’t we grant Feste this benefit? If we’d defend the authenticity of the splendor we recognized in their movies, why am I inclined to write off the very same when present in this year’s Valentine’s Day cannonball? Why do I eagerly laud the merit in Leonardo DiCaprio directing Quaalude-charged tribal chants and relinquishing subhuman treatment upon anyone short a Y-chromosome, while instinctively shafting the invaluable merriment in Pettyfer’s goofily deliberate declaration that he likes to read into the category of happy accident?
But an even more precise question (one I was challenged to entertain by a friend and film critic far wiser than I am), and this time to the former community: does it matter? Did it matter to all those offended by gunplay and intrusive nudity that Korine set out to demonize youth culture and its omnipresent hedonism? Did considering his intentions make the endgame any less a visceral nightmare? If not, does it matter if Feste poured her soul into the machination of a timeless love story, only to produce a riotous cinematic episode that treads genre parody as expertly as anything from the golden age of the Zucker brothers? Does it matter that she didn’t intend for Wilde and Pettyfer’s sex scene to come off as super-hoke, for every mention of cancer to feel like soap opera send-up, or for Robert Patrick’s vindication of his son’s passion for menagerie trespassing to elicit the biggest laugh of a movie yet in 2014?
So long as I consider the power of cinema, I’ll never be sure if it matters. I’ll never be sure of the answers to any of these questions. But no matter where I find myself standing on this issue down the line, I had far too much fun at Endless Love — and entertained far too many questions on the nature of cinema and the way we react to it — to call it a movie that people shouldn’t see.
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"There was one day that was, like, 15 hours of dancing, take after take after take after take. I counted up and I think I did 90 splits. It's been fun, but I'm also ready for this to stop." 42 star Chadwick Boseman on portraying James Brown in Mick Jagger's new biopic Get On Up.