my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Director:   David Leaf
Year:   2008
Genre:   Documentary
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   04.05.08

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
04.05.08DVR One of the handful of movies I was sad to miss when I didn't do South By Southwest this year was this doc about the night after MLK was assassinated when James Brown had a show in Boston. The Alamo plays that concert every year on MLK day (I've seen it once; keep meaning to watch it again because it's great but there've been obstacles both years (ice storms and sold out shows suck)) so I already knew the basic story, enough to get me interested enough to want to see it.

Well, lucky for me, it's on VH1 less than a month later.

I know I don't usually include TV on here, and this was just an hour long, BUT I feel like it was a movie since VH1 ran it as a "rock doc" instead of a normal show and I would've reviewed it had I seen it at sxsw so... that justifies me talking about how there needs to be a James Brown biopic again, right?

OK so whatshisname was blind and Johnny Cash drank so what. JAMES BROWN. That's the movie I want to see. Maybe now that he's dead Hollywood will feel free enough to dig into all the boring personal problems that plague every successfull musician and make an overlong overrated biopic about him. BUT, that overlong overrated movie will have a handful of scenes that are AWESOME, no matter how much drama payroll screenwriters try to inject. I just hope they get a guy who remotely approached Brown's dancing ability. This doc touches just a bit on biographical elements of the man and it's tantalizing. you can see the movie done already in your head.

Anyway, this doc was good but really seemed unfinished. I'm not sure there's another 20 minutes there to put in just about this one night and really this one stretch of the show that's maybe 5 minutes long where Brown keeps the cops from getting involved with fans jumping up on the stage and managed to cool the crowd out when they're all massing around him like Stephen Hawking and a group of zombies (get it, because he has big brains and can't get away? eh?), but it feels like it needs something. Maybe more concert footage or something. I dunno. Anyway, it was pretty cool to learn about MLK's connection to Boston and the motives behind why the mayor wanted to cancell the concert (done with CG maps that we all love). The stuff with the Mayor butting heads with Brown over choosing the televise the event thus enabling ticketholders to get refunds and see it for free was fun, the mayor seemed a good interview. The intellectuals and black leaders talking seemed a bit grandiose but whatever. I loved the "film journalist/concertgoer" and how he fills out his stereotype so well. The members of Brown's band were also good but I could've used more musicians in the film. Get Isaac Hayes up there talking about if he'd go on stage or not or at least someone talking about how influential James Brown's music was. I feel like ever since Eddie Murphy's hot tub sketch and Brown's frequent legal woes in later life, the man isn't quite taken seriously by the everyday guy. I hope I'm wrong about that though...

I love how in James Brown's music, the rythm and his band are SO tight and he's SO loose.

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