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Movie Review: “Get On Up”- Chadwick Boseman Fires Up the Screen as James Brown

Get On Up may confuse with it’s non-linear timeline, but there is no misunderstanding the brilliance of Chadwick Boseman.

In last year’s 42, Boseman played baseball legend Jackie Robinson as a man suppressing his pride and bottling up his anger.  It was a strong breakout performance by an actor we knew we’d be seeing again very soon.  He then made a small appearance in the underrated Draft Day, as hopeful pick for the NFL draft.  In Get On Up, Boseman gets the chance to let loose in a firehouse of passion, funk, and intense ferocity.

The story itself may not have audiences captivated, as the constant back and forth jump from one year to the next tends to scramble the brain.  I understand not wanting to follow they typical bio-pic formula but in an attempt to be different, they might have lost track of what is more effective to moviegoers.  Getting emotionally wrapped up in one scene only to be abruptly pulled away to a moment that occurs 5 years later is not only frustrating, but it is distracting.  You don’t want to to forget what you just saw because you know they will be coming back at some point to finish the scenes they just started (confusing, I know).   So instead of concentrating on the current sequence, you are bookmarking everything you watch.  Luckily, this film isn’t about the story, it’s about the performances.

Chadwick Boseman’s phenomenal portrayal as James Brown and his A-list supporting cast is all you need to remember about this movie.   The Help alums: Octavia Spencer, who plays Brown’s brothel-owning aunt, and Viola Davis, who plays Brown’s neglectful mother, slides in for the film’s most emotional scene.  But it is Nelsan Ellis, who plays Bobby Bryd-Brown’s loyal best friend, that proves once again, he is more than the flamboyant comic relief as seen on True Blood every week.  Boseman and Ellis share great chemistry on screen and complement each other extremely well.

In comparison to the recent bio-pic/musical, Jersey Boys, Get On Up wins by a landslide.  The acting, the story, and most importantly the ability to have us care for the characters.  Had the story just been slightly more chronological I would have given the film a much higher rating, but none of the faults in Get On Up deteriorates from the sensation that is Chadwick Boseman.

Rating: 3.5/5

“Get On Up” Official Trailer HD

TV Review: “True Blood” Season 7 Premiere Begins with a Shocking Death

It’s the beginning of the end as our beloved HBO vampire series draws to a close.

When we last left off, the people of Bon Temps had agreed to the “one vampire to every human” plan, put in motion by the new mayor, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell).  The plan provides protection for the humans from the H-Vamps (infected vampires), and in return a steady meal for the vampires.  Citizens gathered at the human-vampire mixer held outside of the Bellefleur’s, and just when it seemed like a trust was made between the two species, a group of rogue H-Vamps crashed the party.

Directed by series star Stephen Moyer, the season 7 premiere picks up right in the middle of a chaotic blood bath.  A slew of humans and vampires are brutally murdered within the first two minutes of the episode.  And be prepared for an unexpected death that sets the tone for the final season.  As we saw last year, our beloved Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe) was the first main character who passed.  After the season opener, we’re reminded that anything can happen and anyone can die.

The season starts off with a battle between the Bon Temps and H-Vamps.  New friends and relationships have been made.  Sookie (Anna Paquin) is now with Alcide (Joe Manganiello), a safe choice for the girl that every vampire wants, but it doesn’t look like all of her feelings for Bill (Moyer) have quite faded away.  Jason (Ryan Kwanten) belongs to Violet (Karolina Wydra), a domineering vampire who saved him from being feed on by hundreds of blood thirsty female vamps.  Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) is in a surprisingly healthy relationship with new hottie vampire, James (Nathan Parsons).  If you’re wondering why something seems different about Jess’ brooding beau she met while being captured last season, it’s because he is a totally different actor.  Due to his recent casting in the anticipated 50 Shades of Grey film, Luke Grimes has been “subtly” replaced by Nathan Parsons.

The search for Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) continues.  Did he get burned to a crisp, or is he just hiding out?  All we know is Pamela (Kristin Bauer Van Straten) won’t quit until she knows what happened to her maker.

It is set up to be an exciting final season, and an unpredictable one at that.  Let’s just hope the series finale serves a pleasurable bite that leaves us with a satisfying after taste for the months following.

True Blood returns on June 22.