Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

2014

Biography / Documentary / Music

2
IMDb Rating 7.4/10 10 1504 1.5K

Director

Top cast

Kanye West as Self
Bruno Mars as Self
Mick Jagger as Self
720p.BLU
1.08 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 54

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grantss 10 / 10

Brilliant documentary on an entertainment genius

Brilliant documentary on an entertainment genius.

The story of James Brown, singer, songwriter and showman extraordinaire. From his life growing up in abject poverty, to his rise to fame and his influence on music.

Wonderfully made. Contains some rare footage of James Brown concerts and you can feel the dynamism of his performance and sheer exuberance of the show. Could there ever have been someone with a greater stage presence?

Some quite illuminating interviews from people who he worked with - former band members mostly - and people he influenced. Not your usual empty, fawning interviews but genuine, candid, well thought- out, insightful interviews with people who know what they are talking about.

Not just about the music. Shows his work for the civil rights movement and in the black community. Demonstrates well the high regard to which he was held in those groups.

Fantastic.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 8 / 10

fine TV doc

This is a documentary of Soul Brother No 1 by prolific filmmaker Alex Gibney. It follows the soul legend from his difficult childhood in the south to his mustache/jumpsuit decline and its influence in the rise of 80's hip hop. I feared this would be a scrubbed down version of his life. The first half does touch upon his wild side but mostly it attributes it to the world in which he survives. It seems like an easy treatment until the second half painting a fuller picture. While it does not shy away from the violence against women, it doesn't dwell on it either. It also paints him as a man alone unable to trust anyone. He is ruthless with his dealings with money. Essentially, he had no friends, just employees. He grew up in a world of violence and is heavily influenced by it. Although it tells the story, it doesn't really show it. It doesn't enough of his own words and it doesn't hit him as hard as I want. Of course, this has his amazing music. It tackles his politics with which I'm less familiar. I know about Black and Proud but I didn't know about backing Nixon. That's an intriguing part of his bio. This is a well-rounded TV doc of this American music legend.

Reviewed by Lejink 9 / 10

Hot Hot Hot

Probably produced in parallel with the bio-pic "Get On Up" (a big clue is in Mick Jagger sharing production duties on both), this for me was indeed a dynamite documentary on the life and times of the great soul and funk artist James Brown.

Brown's peak years of success were from around 1962 to 1972 after which he seemed to finally get caught up and overtaken by younger hipsters like Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and others with James starting to look and sound anachronistic and out of time. He still made some great records after '72, but this history stops with him at his peak somewhere in the mid-70's, which while lopping around 30 years off his life, does so to concentrate on his glory years as the hardest working man in show business.

Eschewing star tributes (Mick Jagger apart), which are so often the staple in films like this, instead we get revealing interviews with the members of his band and entourage to deliver a superb inside-view of a musical genius but sometimes difficult man. The musical clips are fantastic, including his see-it-to-believe-it performance on the "T.A.M.I. Show", various knockout appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and best of all, his historic televised performance in Boston in the immediate wake of the Martin Luther King assassination where you see him calmly but convincingly cooling down his over-heating audience.

Brown's complexities and complications aren't completely ignored, but they do seem somewhat sidelined. These include his sometimes tyrannical and miserly treatment of his fantastic band, his attitude to women and especially his controversial political stance in the 70's where he unwisely hitched up with Nixon and in so doing alienated his own black audience, coincidentally about the time his musical star was just starting to fade.

The performance clips are sensational, his singing and dancing both out of this world, with so many great records that he made in that golden decade. Little is told of his family background, where he certainly had his problems, but this obviously partisan movie concentrates on his musical and cultural status of the time to pay a great tribute to an artist as important, in my opinion, as almost any other you care to mention in the 20th century.

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