In one of the earliest moments from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Tim Meadows’s character Sam declares, “Dewey Cox has to think about his whole life before he plays.” The movie – a parody of musician biopics – then goes on to show us Dewey’s entire life, from childhood to death. It is a pitch perfect satire of one of the most frustrating elements of the genre, and one hopes it would be so biting that screenwriters would never be so obvious in their intentions again. But here we are, seven years later, and the new James Brown film, Get on Up, opens the exact same way. But there’s no wink here. Screenwriters Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (still my favorite names in show business – that hasn’t changed since Edge of Tomorrow) play into almost all of the tropes in their depiction of the soul legend.
While everyone has been distracted by the McConaissnce, there has been another career revival going on that very few people have been following. Dubbed the Costnergence by Matt Singer over at The Dissolve, Kevin Costner’s career as of late has been quite busy, after several years of near-silence. It all kicked off with Costner’s turn as Jonathan “Pa” Kent in Man of Steel, but has already been followed by three movies in this still-young year: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days to Kill, and this week’s Draft Day. I’m not even a fan of Costner (I’m more of a Dennis Quaid guy – where’s my rejuviQuaidtion?), but here I am, a viewer of all of these movies. None of them are going to recontextualize Costner the way Mud and True Detective have for McConaughey, but that doesn’t that mean none of them are worth your time. Draft Day, in fact, could almost be described as “good.”