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Get On Up (But Keep It Clean): James Brown Biopic


Get On Up  premieres August 1 and the Godfather of Soul, who was once super-bad is still super-bad, just in an audience appropriate manner. How the creative forces made a PG-13 movie about the life of James Brown is quite beyond me. I love Brown’s music, especially that of the late 60s and the 70s. Listening to it, if you aren’t getting down and dirty, you aren’t appreciating it. Frankly, it could be classified R-rated all by its lonesome. No, he doesn’t swear. James Brown doesn’t need to swear. Fact is, he doesn’t really have to say more than a couple of words. I guess what Tate Taylor’s film proves, and why not go back to the well, given the success of The Help, is that history can be made to smell like a bed of roses no matter the truth. Seeing the trailer, Chadwick Boseman looks as if he will do a very good job as Mr. Dynamite, but still.

I propose we take the Windex bottle Tate Taylor used to scrub clean James Brown’s life and wipe the history of rock clean.

1. We might as well start with Elvis. We won’t allow him on a stage, period. The blues are the devil’s music. Elvis sticks to country, but we’ve spritzed that as well. Elvis goes on to create Taylor Swift-style country long before John Mayer has a chance to break up with her. Taylor Swift, in turn, can’t just write about her failed relationships and thus, only has one song.

2. Led Zeppelin and that girl play Scrabble and no fish of any sort are involved.

3. “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis meets a nice older lady, doesn’t have a career lull as a result of marrying his cousin, but manages to screw up his career in another way because, he’s Jerry Lee Lewis.

4. John Lennon loses his edge and becomes Jim Nabors.

5. Marvin Gaye ceases to exist.

6. Paul McCartney doesn’t write a song about doing it in the road and, in turn, doesn’t influence a whole lot of men to try to imitate it.

7. Members of Kiss never put on make-up. People see them and suggest they go forth with it nonetheless.

8. The Eighties never happen. Period.

9. Rammstein needs to be addressed but, since they speak German, no one knows what to do.

10. Rock biopics are no longer made.


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