James Brown, the hardst working man in show business, is one of the titans of the 20th century. A brilliant, complicated, exciting figure, Brown deserves a movie that has the energy and daring he brought to his live performances. Judging by the trailer for Get On Up it does not look like he's gotten one. Get On Up's trailer is selling a by-the-numbers biopic - a life in montage - that is overlit and obvious. Could the movie itself be different? Maybe, but the trailer proudly proclaims it's from the director of The Help.
The upside of this movie: the excellent Chadwick Boseman gets more exposure and continues his journey of playing every important black man of the middle 20th century, and a lot of people will probably buy James Brown records after seeing the film.