214 – Get on Up (2014)

get on up

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.

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161 – Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

edge of tomorrow

Tom Cruise. There was a time where starting a written piece with those two words (okay, names) would have guaranteed untold numbers of page views. It still might, but for completely different reasons. Cruise has become a ridiculed totem for his odd religion, often keeping his incredible talent from being recognized. Regardless of his personal life, Cruise is a huge star (otherwise why would we care about his personal life?) – one who has reinvented himself numerous times over the course of his career. His latest vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow, is about just that: necessitated reinvention. It is a very entertaining action film, but it also takes a look at the trajectory Cruise has followed thus far.

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