James Brown

Summer movie preview – for when your ears and eyes need entertainment

Admit it, 2013 was terrible for music biopics (let’s not even think about the sinking ship that was CBGB). Good news is on the horizon now that N.W.A. ‘Straight Out of Compton’ finally has been given a release date for August 2015. That’s too far away for me, so while we wait for next year’s most anticipated biopic, here is a list of what music films you can catch this summer:

1.Jersey Boys

Release June 20
Clint Eastwood
Cast Christopher Walken, John Lloyd Young
The Lowdown Yes, it is that musical, but this Clint Eastwood directed film could give some much needed edginess to what could be tacky and boring Broadway fluff. Jersey Boys follows the same rise-and-fall (and rise again) of the New Jersey quartet the Four Seasons. The movie has been lucky enough to nab Broadway star John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony award for his portrayal of Frankie Valli in 2006. Young’s singing chops are as close to Valli as you could get without dragging the real thing in front of the camera. The clean-cut meets dark appeal should make this an impressive film about pop-geniuses the Four Seasons.

2. Get On Up

Release August 1
Tate Taylor
Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Tika Sumpter
The Lowdown
Chadwick Boseman has already proved his chops as an actor for biopics. He played famed American baseball player Jackie Robinson’s in last year’s 42 and absolutely nailed it by avoiding becoming a stereotype and giving a complex portrayal of a black athlete during a racially tense time in American history. The young actor should have no problem portraying the Godfather of Soul. Here’s hoping he knows how to groove half as well as James Brown could. If he can, it is guaranteed to be a memorable biopic. Brown’s life was incredibly fascinating and will be a pleasure to watch on screen.

3. All is By My Side

Release August 8
John Ridley
Andre 3000, Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots
The Lowdown Imagining Andre 3000 as an actor can be a bit of a stretch, but early footage and praise from the SXSW premier of the musician playing icon Jimi Hendrix makes us think otherwise. The film doesn’t document the guitarist’s most famous moments. Instead writer and director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) gives the viewers a focus on the early years of Hendrix’s rise to fame in London during the mid-60s. The most worrying bit is that the family estate would not allow permission to the rights to any of his original music. No music in a film about the most memorable guitarist of all time? Worrying.

Get up offa that thing

Oh blissful weekend! Time to get out of that business and into the leisure suit. The clubs will open in a few hours and you know you suck at dancing. To get the weekend off on the right foot (because you need to learn fast), here are a selection of Daddy Cools that can give you inspiration.

Forget what everyone says about Michael Jackson, no one can move like James Brown. Every performance by Brown is electric. He’s the man most likely to get your body to lose control. Thankfully this gem of him showing off some of his favorite dance moves exists. Praise the Lord for the internet.

Frank Farian did a lot of cruel things to music (let us never forget Milli Vanilli), but thankfully he gave birth to Boney M. The lovely ladies of this disco group are fabulous, but it’s almost impossible not to watch ex-exotic dancer Bobby Farrell spin and kick. He might not have contributed any vocals, but who cares when you move like that? Careful, Boney M. are incredibly addicting. You might be stuck in all night watching old videos instead of going out.

Of course nothing can live up to the magic of the Soul Train. Get a gang of friends together, find a lucky partner, and get your own dance party going. See also: “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-lite. A staple at my dance parties in college.

If those moves prove to be too vigorous, I suggest the tantalizing moves shown by Four Tops. The “sunshine daisy bop” at 1:31 is not to be missed and probably a standard for any groovy club you could get access to for £10.