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James Brown lives again in the trailer for Get On Up

Professional biopicist Chadwick Boseman (42) is back, this time as the Godfather of Soul. James Brown’s story seems tailor-made for the Hollywood treatment—both his rise from grinding poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in American history, and his extended stay at the top degenerating into domestic violence and disorder. From the opening strains of “Theme From Generic Heartwarming Movie Trailer,” and the focus on Brown’s relationship with the mother who abandoned him (Viola Davis), Get On Up seems like a safely paint-by-numbers portrait of the singer’s life. But at the same time… it’s James Brown. If Boseman and director Tate Taylor (The Help) can capture even a fraction of Mr. Dynamite’s energy on stage—which we only get a fleeting glimpse of here—this could be worth the price of admission.