“Get on Up:” James Brown Biopic Fun, But May Need Subtitles


Here’s my review of the James Brown biopic Get on Up in the Taki’s Magazine:

Even so, the movie skips over some of the weirder parts of the James Brown story, such as his reportedly playing “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud” at Richard Nixon’s inaugural ball in 1969. Nixon’s strategy of “black capitalism” suited Brown ideologically, so he endorsed Nixon in the Oval Office in 1972. Brown even stood by the besieged Republican in 1973, releasing “You Can Have Watergate, Just Gimme Some Bucks and I’ll Be Straight.”

Brown admired fellow connivers like Nixon, which is why his handful of close friends included Strom Thurmond, the late 100-year-old Republican senator, and the Reverend Al Sharpton, whose conked hairdo is a tribute to his surrogate father’s bouffant.

Nor do we see Brown’s last hit,Living in America,” in which JB welcomes befuddled Soviet superman Ivan Drago to a flag-bedecked Las Vegas in a hilarious scene in the ultimate Reagan era movie, Rocky IV.

And finally there was the huge lawsuit over his estate among the countless individuals claiming to be his heirs, including his legitimate grandsons Forlando and Romunzo Brown.

Read the whole thing there.

I put in links to videos of just about all the songs mentioned in the review.