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Thread started 08/09/21 2:09am

Marrk

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Do you like Music Biopics? Discuss the good and... the bad

Watched 'Get On Up' with Chadwick Boseman (RIP) last night. Felt it was better on repeat viewing, though he didn't quite nail the dancing (hard job!) his acting was on point.

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Have you ever been turned on to an act after watching a biopic? Have you watched any that were acts you don't even care for? I guess fans view these more harshly than non-fans. So what are in your opinion some of the best or worst?

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[Edited 8/9/21 2:13am]

Yeah, we'll, we'll try to imagine what silence looks like.
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Reply #1 posted 08/09/21 6:34am

PatrickS77

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Marrk said:

Watched 'Get On Up' with Chadwick Boseman (RIP) last night. Felt it was better on repeat viewing, though he didn't quite nail the dancing (hard job!) his acting was on point.

.

Have you ever been turned on to an act after watching a biopic? Have you watched any that were acts you don't even care for? I guess fans view these more harshly than non-fans. So what are in your opinion some of the best or worst?

.

[Edited 8/9/21 2:13am]


No.

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Reply #2 posted 08/09/21 2:26pm

alphastreet

I just liked Jackson’s an American dream, cause it introduced me to the j5 hits though I already knew abc
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Reply #3 posted 08/09/21 3:22pm

kitbradley

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I've enjoyed most of the ones I've seen. Probably my favorite is "What's Love Got To Do With It" because I wasnt familiar with Ike & Tina's discography so it made me collect their discography, which turned out to be better than most of Tina's solo work.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
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Reply #4 posted 08/09/21 3:25pm

TrivialPursuit

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In general, I don't get the hype around them. It's sorta the same hype around GLEE. "Ohh, they're doing a Madonna episode." Bitch, the last thing I care about is watching a bunch of millennial whiners sing a Madonna song. We have Madonna. We don't need Gaga, Glee or anyone else trying to snatch the wig. Ain't happenin'.

Everyone raved about Ray. Sure, it was good. But it wasn't Ray Charles. It was Jamie Foxx impersonating Ray Charles. Same with Get On Up. Chadwick did great, but it wasn't James Brown. It's always interesting to see what events they pick to tell the story. There is no way anyone's story is going to bet old in a couple of hours or so. People rave about the performances, but - it's not the artist.

A good example of the juxtaposition of a retelling as to the artist telling it is this: What's Love Got To Do With It. The movie was intense story telling. But it missed a lot, and some things were sorta fudged. The superior version of Tina Turner's story is the documentary on HBOMax right now, where she tells her story, she fills in the holes, provides new video and new perspective to it all. It's more complete, and certainly more satisfying.

I believe the lack of luster in many bio pics is the reason for the surge in shows like Behind The Music, Rockumentary, Classic Albums, Unsung, etc. It's one thing to tell or reenact a story. It's quite another to see the artist, in their home, talking, showing their belongings to the world, seeing them in the 'natural habitat,' as it were, just being who they are, not who we expect them to be. We expect to hear or see Tina getting punched around like a rag doll by Ike. What we don't expect, but are more satisifed with, is her providing videos and pictures, narrating the story, and seeing her face and hearing her voice while telling her story.

And I get tired of hearing folks say, "Well she didn't look like her," or "so-in-so wasn't that tall" or wasn't that tan, or didn't have that whatever etc. It's a stupid argument, which means no one is willing to go deeper and examine what was on screen. It's superficial and vapid.

I can't imagine the thunderstorm brewing if there was ever a Prince biopic. Every little fucking nuance that any fan thinks he had is going to be scrutinized and raked over the coals. ("Well! He never crossed his legs left over right, it was always right over left." Sit down, Karen.) I honestly hope they never make a Prince bio - not for another decade or two, at least. Do a documentary, fine. But don't get someone to play him. No one is ever going to be right for all viewers, and every other Prince fan is gonna play armchair producer.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #5 posted 08/09/21 3:51pm

SoulAlive

I enjoyed the James Brown biopic.The Elton John biopic (‘Rocketman’) was very interesting….a clever,unique way to tell his story.Looking forward to the Aretha Franklin biopic.

So yeah….I like biopics when they are done right.
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Reply #6 posted 08/09/21 4:15pm

spacedolphin

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Not generally, like standard biopics they often Oscarbait and exaggerate or make things up to hit those awards-night beats. Ones I did enjoy were The Doors, What's Love Got to Do With It, Control (Joy Division) and Love & Mercy EXCEPT for the boring parts with John Cusack. The interesting ones focus on the actual process of music creation/production. L&M showed some good tension between BW and the band, wish more zeroed in on the love of music that compelled the subject rather than the drug problems, melodrama, etc to try and tickle the rubes.

music I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. music
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Reply #7 posted 08/09/21 5:12pm

PatrickS77

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TrivialPursuit said:

In general, I don't get the hype around them. It's sorta the same hype around GLEE. "Ohh, they're doing a Madonna episode." Bitch, the last thing I care about is watching a bunch of millennial whiners sing a Madonna song. We have Madonna. We don't need Gaga, Glee or anyone else trying to snatch the wig. Ain't happenin'.

Everyone raved about Ray. Sure, it was good. But it wasn't Ray Charles. It was Jamie Foxx impersonating Ray Charles. Same with Get On Up. Chadwick did great, but it wasn't James Brown. It's always interesting to see what events they pick to tell the story. There is no way anyone's story is going to bet old in a couple of hours or so. People rave about the performances, but - it's not the artist.

A good example of the juxtaposition of a retelling as to the artist telling it is this: What's Love Got To Do With It. The movie was intense story telling. But it missed a lot, and some things were sorta fudged. The superior version of Tina Turner's story is the documentary on HBOMax right now, where she tells her story, she fills in the holes, provides new video and new perspective to it all. It's more complete, and certainly more satisfying.

Exactly. I rather have good documentary, where the people involved tell their stories. I don't need wannabes acting it out. My imagination is good enough and whatever is depicted seldom is accurate anyway.

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Reply #8 posted 08/09/21 5:16pm

RODSERLING

No
Bohemian Rhapsody was a mess, and not what I can call a movie.
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Reply #9 posted 08/09/21 6:28pm

jfenster

That rhyes Myer (spelled wrong) Elvis movie ...was good ..
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Reply #10 posted 08/09/21 7:19pm

MickyDolenz

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I like these:

New Edition Story (I haven't seen the Bobby Brown one, but it's the same actors from the NE miniseries)

The Jacksons: An American Dream

The Temptations

Nowhere Boy (John Lennon as a teenager)

CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Get On Up (James Brown)

Lady Sings The Blues (Billie Holiday)

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #11 posted 08/09/21 8:31pm

funkman88

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The Prince one with Bruno Mars playing Prince will be Epic...

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Reply #12 posted 08/09/21 9:18pm

SoulAlive

I never saw ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but so many people have told me that it is excellent.
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Reply #13 posted 08/09/21 10:00pm

TrivialPursuit

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SoulAlive said:

I never saw ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but so many people have told me that it is excellent.


It was a decent reenactment.

Rocketman was more of a rock musical, like In The Heights or West Side Story. Something where the songs were also dialog and moved the story along. Rocketman was also more fantasy-bent and made no qualms about that. It was a fun romp.

I couldn't get past Rami's overbite to see Freddy at all. "Oh, but that Live Aid performance..." Like I said, give me the real deal, not Rami's version. He's not a singer, he's an actor. Freddy was everything.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #14 posted 08/10/21 12:37am

SoulAlive

Indeed.I foound it to be an interesting,refreshing way to tell John's story.I'd like to see more biopics like this...where they try new ideas.

TrivialPursuit said:

Rocketman was more of a rock musical, like In The Heights or West Side Story. Something where the songs were also dialog and moved the story along. Rocketman was also more fantasy-bent and made no qualms about that. It was a fun romp.

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Reply #15 posted 08/10/21 4:54am

jfenster

funkman88 said:

The Prince one with Bruno Mars playing Prince will be Epic...


Anyone playing him will end up looking gay...it will be doomed from the start
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Reply #16 posted 08/10/21 7:12am

automatic

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La Bamba has always been my favorite biopic. Love the cast!

A more recent biopic or I should call it a docudrama I saw on Hulu was Madonna and The Breakfast Club. I enjoyed it but it wasn't what I call high quality. It mixes interviews with Madonna's band mates with reenactment dramatization's of her pre-fame life and from what a read the actual real life locations were used. The actress looked surprisingly like Madonna.There was also tape recordings used of Madonna made by her then boyfriend Dan Gilroy.
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Reply #17 posted 08/10/21 9:20am

lastdecember

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Dont really like them as a whole because most fabricate some even have wrong timelines the QUEEN Freddie Mercury one had a lot of incorrect stuff and dates, so they are what they are very over dramatic for the purpose of making it sell to an audience, so whatever it takes that is what they do. If you want to learn more about an artist or get deep, you need straight documentaries, the Bee Gees one from this year amazing, The tina turner one, amazing, the one on Michael Hutchence of INXS called MYSTIFY was incredible, as a big time INXS fan from day one I was amazed at all the footage and things I didnt know about them. There was one last year on Harry Chapin that was incredible, these are the things you should watch for getting the real deal on an artist, because usually its done by fmaily or people that were deep with the artist, not a screenwriter and director, so I would say stay away from BIOPICS unless you are just looking for an overdramatic version of an artists highlights and lowlights.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #18 posted 08/10/21 9:34am

MickyDolenz

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lastdecember said:

If you want to learn more about an artist or get deep, you need straight documentaries

Actually, you would get a book. There's been over a thousand books on The Beatles since the 1960s. Even ones about Stuart Sutcliffe & Mona Best (Pete's mother) & The Quarrymen. A documentary is not that likely to say much about Mona Best, if at all. razz The Genesis book Chapter And Verse (written by the band memebers and people who worked with them like Chester Thompson) has way more information in it than any of their documentaries.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #19 posted 08/10/21 11:09am

SantanaMaitrey
a

With very few exceptions (Lawrence of Arabia, Ghandi), the biopic (I even hate the word!) is the most stupid, lazy and useless genre in the history of film. If I want to know something about a historical figure, I watch a documentary or I read a book. In the case of musicians, there's also live DVDs or YouTube. Why would I watch an actor playing James Brown when I can watch His Bad Self? The exception in this case is I'm Not There, because it's not a Bob Dylan biopic, but several interpretations of Dylan played by different actors.
If you take any of this seriously, you're a bigger tool than I am.
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Reply #20 posted 08/10/21 1:42pm

jaawwnn

Nowhere Boy is great.
Control is really great.
Sex & Drugs and Rock & Roll isn't perfect but is definitely worth a watch.

That's all i got for now. None of them would have been better as a documentary.
[Edited 8/10/21 13:47pm]
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Reply #21 posted 08/10/21 1:46pm

SoulAlive

funkman88 said:

The Prince one with Bruno Mars playing Prince will be Epic...

lol lol it would be pure comedy

Bruno Mars On Covering Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" | GRAMMY.com

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Reply #22 posted 08/10/21 1:51pm

jaawwnn

Oh and Frank. Not technically a biopic of Frank Sidebottom but captures his absurd spirit.
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Reply #23 posted 08/10/21 2:30pm

Matthaus

Most of the ones I see suffer from either two problems:

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1) Treat their protagonist as an idol/icon, and heightens a lot of their mostly uninteresting life into spectacle, their music being just a background for this, as if it always just mirrors their intimate life. (like Johnny Cash's "Walk the Line").

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2) Repeat same-old stuff everybody already knows about their personal life without anything interesting to add, but gets by on the strength and popularity of the music (like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody").

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The big problem for me is that, many times, those are basically fiction films marginally based on some musician's biography, yet they're sold as almost documentary-like. To not fall down on superficiality yet still recognizing their subject's artistry can be difficult, but it's been done sometimes. Elton John's biopic "Rocketman" comes to mind as a great example in this, as addind his songs as musical numbers, instead of something that plays over edited shots of whatever important was happening in his life when he wrote it, keeps this authenticity yet doesn't take the protagonist more seriously than it should.

.

EDIT- Another great example I just remembered: The Rose (1979), marginally based on Janis Joplin's biopic, but because her name wasn't used on the main character (renamed Mary Rose Foster), the creative freedom made for a much more compelling drama than if it was all the time worried about making its subject look up to her mythical status.

[Edited 8/10/21 14:34pm]

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Reply #24 posted 08/10/21 11:55pm

funkman88

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Don cheadle as Miles Davis running all over town for organ record and cocaine was EPIC!

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Reply #25 posted 08/11/21 2:16pm

SoulAlive

automatic said:

A more recent biopic or I should call it a docudrama I saw on Hulu was Madonna and The Breakfast Club. I enjoyed it but it wasn't what I call high quality. It mixes interviews with Madonna's band mates with reenactment dramatization's of her pre-fame life and from what a read the actual real life locations were used. The actress looked surprisingly like Madonna.There was also tape recordings used of Madonna made by her then boyfriend Dan Gilroy.

Madonna is now working on her biopic...trying to get a script together.The director of 'Rocketman' has said that he would love to direct it.Her story is really interesting.If they do it right,it will be fantastic.

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Reply #26 posted 08/11/21 2:40pm

Mintchip

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I dislike most that I've seen. They tend to be incredibly formulaic, with simplistic notions of how art gets made (fight with your girlfriend / turn it into your biggest hit). I also find it such an insult that they call the movie "Aretha" or "Ray", and the movie includes no vocals by either Aretha or Ray. So is this about the musician, or is this about the actor wanting an Oscar?

The entire point of Aretha is the voice. It doesn't matter if someone else CAN sing the songs, they don't have that voice.

I guess my favorite is What's Love Got To Do With It. As far as I know, it had Tina's real vocals, and wasn't the same old formula. It was more like a horror movie, and that moment when she finally hit back in the limo was cathartic and great.

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Reply #27 posted 08/11/21 3:34pm

runningbear

I don't think I would like Prince biopic, I would think it would ring false, I know too much about the subject, hard to overlook fudged happenings

Was not a huge Ray Charles fan, but Jamie was incredible in that movie, and rang very true to me, do not know enough about Ray to watch it with a discrimanating eye. The music and vocals were amazing to me, even if not Ray

The Best Biopic to me was Searching for SugarMan, or was that a documentary, dunno, what's the diff, but that show pulls at my emotions big time, love that Rodriquez

merf
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Reply #28 posted 08/11/21 9:08pm

SoulAlive

the thing with Prince…his look and style was so unique and original.Nobody can duplicate that.Bruno Mars would look ridiculous in a movie,wearing eyeliner and trying to make those Prince faces lol we have all seen those Prince imposters.They look like they’re wearing Halloween costumes.

I like biopics in general.I just don’t think that a Prince biopic is a good idea.
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Reply #29 posted 08/12/21 10:23am

nextedition

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jfenster said:

funkman88 said:

The Prince one with Bruno Mars playing Prince will be Epic...


Anyone playing him will end up looking gay...it will be doomed from the start

Whats wrong with looking gay?
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