It's a new year and time for new double feature. This week saw the DVD release of a bio-pic about the life and times of one of popular music's most influential musicians: The Godfather of Soul, JAMES BROWN (I LOVE me some James Brown).
So I present this week's DVD (or Blu-ray as the case may be) Double Feature:
GET ON UP & NOTORIOUS
This might seem an easy to put together double feature, two black musicians, but there is more to this pairing than the obvious. While both films deal with the life and times of black musicians and "black music," I think the films portray their subjects in markedly different ways.
NOTORIOUS depicts the life and musical ambitions of Christopher Wallace, "Biggie Smalls" as a struggle from the gritty streets of Brooklyn to the luxurious life of a rap star. It clearly shows that while B.I.G. used his lyrical gift to elevate himself out of a life of crime, ultimately the street culture that he rapped about brought about his tragic demise. It is a story of doomed glory.
GET ON UP showcases the climb to musical stardom that James Brown made. The film makes it apparent that music was a gift from an early age, and a way for James to transcend the neglect that surrounded him. It showcases that "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" would not be deterred from getting HIS sound out and changing the musical landscape.
If you love music and film, this is a double feature for you.