Universal Pictures Home Entertainment sent me the Get On Up movie for review on my film blog. The movie is about the life of James Brown, the godfather of soul. I’ll admit it. I rarely listen to funk and I know very little about James Brown. But I do love biographies about musicians. In this regard, the film does not disappoint. Get On Up (giveaway) is available now on digital HD and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on January 6th. Continue reading to learn five things about Get On Up.
Five Things About the Get On Up Blu-ray Combo Pack
It’s the story of the godfather of soul
Get On Up tells the story of how a little boy was abandoned by his parents and raised in a brothel by a stranger. Most kids would not have mounted to much in such an environment, but music helped James survive. His talented voice and musical vision took him from his humble beginnings to a band called the Famous Flames. The Flames eventually recorded their first hit: Please, Please, Please. This was start of James stardom. But along the way to stardom, James began to alienate the people around him, started acting poorly, and eventually ended in prison. Fortunately for James, he turned his career around by reaching out to an old friend.
Get On Up jumps all over the place
The movie starts off with James Brown getting ready for a concert in the 90’s. Then it flashes back a few years to the time James fired a gun because someone used his private bathroom. Then the story flashes back another couple decades to the war. And then the story flashes back to the thirties when James was just a little kid. Just when you think the movie will follow the life of this kid into adulthood, the movie jumps forward, then backwards again, then forward, backward, and so on. After a certain point, the movie stayed mainly with James during the 50’s and 60’s. But even then the film jumped around. I actually like movies that use flashbacks to fill in gaps. But Get On Up jumped all over the place. It was very annoying and broke the flow of the story.
Stars Chadwick Boseman
The star of the movie is clearly Chadwick Boseman. I thought he did a great job playing the part of James Brown. Get On Up also featured Nelsan Ellis (Bobby Byrd), Dan Aykroyd (Ben Bart), Viola Davis (Susie Brown), Lennie James (Joe Brown), Fred Melamed (Syd Nathan), Craig Robinson (Maceo Parker), Jill Scott (DeeDee Brown), Octavia Spencer (Aunt Honey), Josh Hopkins (Ralph Bass), Brandon Smith (Little Richard), Tika Sumpter (Yvonne Fair), Aunjanue Ellis (Vicki Anderson), Tariq Trotter (Pee Wee Ellis), and Aloe Blacc (Nafloyd Scott). The film was directed by Tate Taylor (The Help).
There’s a lot of special features
In addition to the movie on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD (UltraViolet), the combo pack includes the following extras:
- Long Journey to the Screen
Producers Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer spent 14 years bringing Get On Up to the screen. In this short feature, they discuss why James Brown is such a compelling subject, as well as their own memories of meeting the superstar, the rocky road to the screen and how they joined forces to bring the film to life.
- Chadwick Boseman: Meet Mr. James Brown
The filmmakers discuss why they chose Chadwick Boseman to embody the legendary ‘Godfather of Soul’ and what it took for him to learn to sing and dance (and do the splits) like James Brown.
- The Get On Up Family
Director Tate Taylor and producers Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger talk about the extensive search for the perfect actors to play bring James Brown’s life story to the screen.
- Tate Taylor’s Master Class
The director’s extended take on a key scene in the film showcases the actors in an unscripted performance.
- Feature Commentary with Director and Producer Tate Taylor
- On Stage with the Hardest Working Man (Blu-ray only)
Compare the film’s depiction of Brown’s performances in Vietnam, at the TAMI Show and the Apollo with the real thing using archival footage of the actual events.
- The Founding Father of Funk (Blu-ray only)
Producers Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer join select cast members and recording artists to talk about the real James Brown and the influence he had on the world around him.
- Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (Blu-ray only)
- Full Song Performances (Blu-ray only)
- Extended Song Performances (Blu-ray only)
- Long Journey to the Screen
Get On Up is rated PG-13
The 139-minute film is rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations. Get On Up should be OK for older kids. I didn’t there wasn’t anything really nasty or bad in the movie.
More info: Get On Up Blu-ray