41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2000
I never really listened to Tina Turner except on the radio but one day I decided to watch What's Love Got To Do With It and I was absolutly blown away. The power and feeling Angela Bassett put into her character as Tina Turner was so convincing I actually started to believe it was the true superstar, not just an actress. Laurence Fishburne is an incrediable actor and he did a wonderful job portraying Ike Turner, to the point where I wanted to reach inside the television screen and hurt him as much as he was hurting Tina. He was so good being bad I can't believe he never won an Oscar for this incrediable role. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a big Tina Turner fan or anyone who just want's to watch a very powerful and emotional film, full of extremly talented actors and actresses. May God always be with Tina Turner after the Hell on Earth she went through, thanks to Ike Turner.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Celebrity bio-pics are very hit or miss, but once in a great while a really good one comes along--and WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT is one of them. Based on the autobiography of Tina Turner, the film offers a glossy but intense portrait of her rapid rise to stardom under the sponsorship of husband-manager Ike Turner--a relationship that quickly turned dark and became increasingly abusive as Tina's fame began to outstrip Ike's own.
Although the film is a bit on the obvious side, it is well-crafted and the two leads offer powerhouse performances. Angela Bassett is simply astonishing as Tina Turner; where most other actresses might have simply imitated, Bassett accomplishes the impossible: she makes you believe that she is Tina Turner, capturing both Tina's famous on-stage performing style (the concert scenes are really exciting) and giving a completely believable interpretation of her off-stage personality as well. The script offers Laurence Fishburne little more than a one-dimensional role, but he plays it brilliantly from start to finish, and both are well supported by the overall cast.
There is certainly a great deal more to the lives of both Ike and Tina Turner than this film conveys--but what it does show it presents with considerable power and conviction, and by the time Tina finally hits back at Ike you'll be roaring for her to hit him again--and again--and again--and eager to see her finally triumph entirely on her own. Recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2002
I am thrilled that Halle Berry is the first black woman to win a Best Actress Academy Award. I will forever be disappointed, however, that Angela Bassett, though nominated, was passed over in 1993 for her extraordinary portrayal of Tina Turner.
What is remarkable is that even though she looks nothing like Tina and is not at all like Tina off-screen, on screen she IS Tina Turner. You immediately forget that this is a woman ACTING the role of Tina Turner and is not the legend herself. This film should be required viewing as a textbook example of how to carry off a dramatic interpretation of a well-known individual. All of us know Tina and are accustomed to her distinctive personality. Bassett faced the incredibly difficult task of making us forget the larger-than-life public image of Tina and accept the character as she interpreted her. An exceptionally intelligent and classically trained actress, understood that the key to success was not to mimic Tina but to capture her essence, and she is brilliant in doing so. She never overreaches or milks an easy melodramatic tear. She can communicate a world of emotions and ideas with a smile, a glance, or the slightest body movement.
It really is wonderful to watch her as she sinks her teeth into the role, one of the very finest roles Hollywood has ever offered a black actress. Unfortunately, though she has carved out a fairly successful film career in the years since, Bassett is, I think, the most underrated and underutilized actress of our time.
I hope that she is fortunate enough to land another role of this quality and that next time she receives the acclaim that she so richly deserves.
P.S. Laurence Fishburne was extraordinary, as well. They BOTH deserved Oscars for their performances.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2000
How could anyone not like this movie? Unless they were Ike Turner, that is. When we walked out of seeing the movie during its first run in the theater, my husband commented dryly, "Well, that movie didn't paint a very flattering portrait of Ike." and we both laughed at the understatement. If you've read the Tina's book, though, you'll know that the movie goes VERY easy on him-while merely a typical abusive bully in the film, Ike treated her much, much worse in real life. I think if they put even half the abuse and torture he put her through in real life, though, the movie would have been too much of a downer-you got the idea. Fishburne does a good job of making Ike so charming when Tina first meets him that you can see why she falls in love with him, until he turns into a monster. Angela Bassett is just fantastic, she has Tina down perfect, though her upper body is so pumped up in some scenes she looks almost masculine. Tina Turner was (hell, still is at 60) toned and buff, but not a female bodybuilder. Her performance is dynamic and heartbreaking, and I can't watch the scene where she finally gets sick of his abuse and starts fighting back without getting emotional. When she finally hits him back in the scene in the limo, I heard the loudest cheers and applause in the audience that I've heard since I saw Thelma and Louise. I've seen the movie dozens of times and her passion in that scene still gets me emotional every time.
But the real reason I watch the movie over and over (especially when I'm trying to get motivated to work out) are the musical numbers. They include among others "A Fool in Love", "Rock me Baby" a great montage to "Make me Over", but the centerpiece of the film has got to be the perfect recreation, right down to the choreography, of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue's "Proud Mary". It is full of so much energy and rocks so much that your jaw will just hang open in amazement when Tina and the Ikettes start going into their dance moves. I never get tired of watching that scene (almost as good as the real thing). I'm still trying to figure out how they kept their wigs on when they were whipping their upper bodies back and forth, they danced so hard. Oh, and the costumes (especially on the Ikettes and the "Proud Mary" fringe dress) and period detail are not only accurate but To Die For. I can't recommend this movie enough. She should have got the Academy Award, not just the Golden Globe, and the movie should have got the Oscar for best picture of 1993.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This is an incredible, highly energized film about the life of rock and roll diva, Tina Turner, and her stormy relationship with her controlling and physically abusive husband, Ike Turner. Award calibre performances are turned in by Angela Bassett, as Tina, and Laurence Fishburne, as Ike. They are both absolutely riveting.
Ms. Bassett plays Tina with all the earthy charm and sexual magnetism of the real life Tina Turner. Laurence Fishburne gives an amazingly effective performance as Ike, at once both repellent and charismatic. The movie focuses on their relationship, one which sowed the seeds for the Tina Turner we know today.
What started out as a match made in heaven, quickly soured as Tina naturally took the lead musically in their Ike and Tina Turner Revue. When it became clear that Tina was the one for which the fans were clamoring, Ike did not take lightly to being second banana, and their relationship became one of domestic discord and abuse, with Ike easing into the role of abusive husband with relative ease.
When Tina finally had had enough, she divorced Ike, taking nothing from the marriage except her children and her show business name, the name she earned. From there, she went on to rebuild her life and career, becoming the world reknowned rock and roll diva she is today. Ike, a substance abuser, ended up in prison for narcotics possession and fell into relative obscurity, little more than a footnote in rock and roll history.
This is a film well worth watching, with great performances and great music. Look for the live stage performance by the real life Tina Turner at the end of the film. That alone is worth the price of this video.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2007
This is a really fabulous movie with Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. Based on Tina Turner's life and her book I, Tina (which I have not read), the movie begins with her (formerly known as Anna Mae Bullock) as a little girl singing in a church choir, but out of sync from the rest of the group to where she gets evicted from the church. Years later, as a teen in the late 50s, she moves to St. Louis to live with her mother, who had walked out years before. Soon after that, she meets Ike Turner (played by Laurence Fishburne), the man who would give her his name. He gets her started as a singer and they get married shortly later on. At first, he is really sweet and kind to her, but after a while, the marriage starts going downhill. Ike becomes pressured and stressed out from his own career, abuses narcotics, and is jealous of Tina's success to where he gets very volatile and abusive to her. The scenes where Ike abuses Tina and bullies her are so disturbing. The scene where Ike and Tina are doing their own version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary is so wonderful, but when the crowd starts cheering after the performance, Tina receives all of the cheering, while Ike is pretty much ignored by the crowd. After a while, Tina is abused by Ike again, but it is the last straw for her as she quietly flees away from him to a hotel across the street while he is taking a nap at a hotel they had checked in to. She goes to court and divorces him, and leaving with nothing except for her name. From what is seen in this movie, Tina is very successful in her career, while the "crucifixion" of Ike is happening at the same time. He meets her sometime later on, gives her flowers and begs her to give him another chance and promises that he will do well and treat her better than the last time. She does not accept his promise (nobody would disagree with that), and gets out of his new car and slams the car door so hard the glass in the window shatters. What a way for Tina to tell Ike to get lost! She knew that she was determined to make it on her own without Ike. Good for Tina!! Bassett and Fishburne were great in their roles. This movie is worth watching. Jenifer Lewis does a great job playing Tina's mother. This is without any doubt one of the best true story movies ever to come out. I would definitely recommend it to friends. Get the CD soundtrack of this movie, too. You will enjoy that as well. Tina Turner is one of the greatest entertainers in the music industry!! Way to go, Tina!!
Additional note: Ike Turner passed away on December 12, 2007 at the age of 76. Even though he passed on, that DOES NOT mean that this movie should be trashed and/or not be liked anymore by the many people who have liked it since its release in 1993 (or anytime after). It's a movie like any other movie--you either like it or you don't like it. And, it will still continue to cultivate new fans while keeping the older ones who have liked or loved it since its original release. Even after his passing, Ike will still be regarded as a controversial person in music history, regardless of how he was portrayed in this film and/or in Tina's autobiography. Just because he's gone doesn't mean that anyone who hasn't liked him in general (or beyond), whether by seeing this movie and/or reading Tina's book, or listening to his music would soften their own opinion (or, if so, maybe just a little bit).
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
QUESTION: How many people have actually seen Holly Hunter's Oscar-winning performance in the critically-acclaimed "The Piano?"
ANSWER: Probably not as many who witnessed the star-turning explosive one by Angela Bassett as rock icon Tina Turner.
Bassett, although "pumped up" a little too much, IS Tina. She captures the singer's movements, attitude, and magnificent stage presence. She successfully pulls off the aging from teen to adult perfectly.
Her co-star, Laurence Fishburne, brings energy to the role of mentor and abuser Ike Turner.
The always captivating Jenifer Lewis is outstanding as Turner's mom. I wish that Hollywood would saddle Miss Lewis with more than "motherly" roles. She is sexier and more intriguing than women half her age.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2004
That is my sentiment. When Angela Bassett exploded on the silver screen as the irrepressible Tina Turner and was nominated for an Oscar....I was certain she would win. However, she didn't. Instead, Halle Berry earned the distinction of the being the first woman of African descent to win the Best Actress Award...and for a performance that doesn't come anywhere close to Bassett's. In fact, many Oscar winner's performances pale to Bassett's and people still remember Bassett's showstopper and didn't even remember whom she lost the award to.
Based on Tina Turner's autobiography, it "chronicled" Tina's rise to stardom as Ike Turner's partner. The relationship, already tumultous from the start, turned for the worst when Tina's fame pulled ahead of Ike's. Tina finally left the relationship and started from scratch, becoming the successful solo artist that she is today.
Ike is very much maligned in this movie, understandable since it is told from Tina's point of view. In any case, Laurence Fishburne delivered a tour-de-force performance that rivals Bassett's.
As for Bassett herself, I agree with reviewers that she did not imitated, or even looked much like Tina. To imitate someone only shows you are NOT that person. In any case, Bassett did an incredible job of endearing herself to the audience into believing that she IS Tina Turner. So successful was she that when the real Tina showed up in a concert clip at the end of the movie, it seems a bit of a comedown...because we have already attached to and identified with Angela; and invested a good portion of our emotions toward her.
Some reviewers seem to take umbrage with the fact that Tina's Black husband is the villain of the piece while benevolent White men "saved" Tina in the end.
Got news for you, despite what PC and feminism like to make you believe, heterosexual white men are not the only oppressors of the world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a biopic about Anna Mae Bullock (a.k.a. Tina Turner) and Ike Turner. This is your basic success-in-the-face-of-adversity story. To start out with, Tina's Turner's beginnings were humble, to say the least.
EARLY YEARS. Tina Turner was born at a farm in Nutbush, a town in Tennessee. Her parents abandoned her at a young age. She moved to Brownsville to stay with her grandmother. Her grandmother died when she was 16, and her mother moved her to St. Louis. The film starts by showing a precocious child (Tina as a 6-year old) singing in the church choir. This episode is one of the best and most endearing depictions of cute, precocious children that have been committed to film. Then, the film shows the girl holding a singing cricket. Truly, the use of a cricket as an analogy to Tina Turner's singing demonstrates that this movie is, at least to some extent, a work of art. Without spending too much time with preliminaries, the film devotes a chunk of time to Tina Turner's audition with Ike Turner's band, and her rocket to success. The film makes skillful use of faux archival footage from hand-held movie cameras that were available from the era. The film provides a nice contrast between an auditioning woman, who flings her mouth wide open and screams hysterically (in attempt to please Ike Turner with her singing), and Tina Turner's own singing, which is measured and relatively subdued. We learn that Ike Turner was an accomplished rhythm and blues composer, musician, and band leader.
LATER YEARS. The film demonstrates that Ike Turner was a fine composer, and that he was fully capable of adapting to the British invasion, and to changing his style from rhythm'n'blues to rock'n'roll. However, the film also demonstrates that the man was not able to adapt to the fact that Tina Turner was, in a word, a better artist than he. The result of Mr. Turner's failure was a string of arguments and fights. The film shows Mr. Turner acting up at a family restaurant, in front of a couple of families. The film shows Mr. Turner acting up at his recording studio, in front of a dozen guests. The film shows Mr. Turner threatening Tina Turner with a gun. Eventually, this film provides excellent footage of Tina Turner leading her own band. The last minute of the film shows footage of the real Tina Turner, entertaining a real audience in a stadium.
LIST OF OBSERVATIONS. It is interesting that this film stars Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne,who also starred together in AKEELAH AND THE BEE. In AKEELAH AND THE BEE, Mr. Fishburne was the good guy, and Ms. Bassett was the bad guy. But in WHAT'S LOVE HAVE TO DO WITH IT, Mr. Fishburne is the bad guy and Ms. Bassett is the good guy. Surprisingly, this film seems to be totally free of racial issues, unlike the case with two other recent biopics, namely, MEN OF HONOR starring Cuba Gooding and TUSKEEGEE AIRMEN, starring Laurence Fishburn and Cuba Gooding). Although I am not sure that Tina Turner's compositions are as good as, or are as creative as, those of, e.g., THE WHO, CREAM, BEE GEEs, CROSBY STILLS & NASH, or MICHAEL JACKSON, the evidence available to me from other sources indicates that Tina Turner's musical career occupied the same lofty territory as these artists. If an Amazon.com customer is interested in a biopic sheerly for the entertainment value for the concert performances, then the customer should be assured that, in this regard, WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT delivers admirably. If an Amazon.com customer is more interested in a biopic for its disclosure of human relationships and emotions, in this regard, WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT also delivers admirably. If the Amazon.com customer is interested in a relaxing movie where there are episodes where nothing much happens, then the customer will be disappointed by this film. FIVE STARS.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2005
Most of us agree that this was a great film. However, it's the acting of Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett that keep me coming back to watch it over and over again. Although Tina Turner's life proves of interest, it is of more interest to me to see how the actors bring their versions of Ike & Tina to life. Clearly Bassett had the easier role because Tina's the one everyone is rooting for. Fishburne on the other hand didn't want this role. He thought it was too one dimensional. Isn't the job of every good actor to find the other dimensions of a character though? Once he found out that Bassett was in he signed on. Fishburne's performance digs deep and lets us see a few glimpses into the mind of a man that treats women the way Ike treated Tina. Fishburne's Ike Turner shows us an inner rage, jealousy and insecurity that another actor might not have thought to expose to us. Just after a performance of Proud Mary the audience begins to scream, applaud and call out Tina, Tina, virtually ignoring Ike. Fishburne shines as he interprets what Ike's reaction to that might have been (all done by facial expression). Bewilderment, confusion, anger and jealousy. The audience pours out love and affection for Tina but Ike stands in the shadows. He is ignored again. He's well known but not famous in his own right. His fame is nonexistent without Tina. He knows this deep down and it fuels his ever increasing hostility towards her. Fisburne is particularly brilliant here. Right after that scene comes the rape scene. I don't know if that's when it actually happend but for continuity's sake it makes for a great transition from one film scene to the next. Aside from all of that going on inside of the man, is the drug use which of course, makes everything ten times worse. Fishburne is also responsible for some comedy relief as well. Some of his lines are very funny. Ike to Tina in the ambulance after Tina tries to commit suicide; "If you don't make it I'll kill you, you hear me b***h, I'll kill you".
Ike to Tina after she comes home from the hospital (by herself) "Oh hey Ann, feelin alright? Listen, next time you want to take some time off, give a n****r some notice..."
Angela Bassett is divine. She works hard to give accurate perfomances. She had Tina's moves down pat. Although she can sing, her singing was dubbed with Tina's voice for obvious reasons. Tina's voice is just too distinctive to be copied. Laurence on the other hand did do his own singing) Bassett and Fishburne work very well together and I hope to see them in film together more in the years to come ( she probably would have been great in The Matrix). Bassett never gives us anything less than extraordinary.
The rape scene in the film is so well done that I can't watch it. It's too disturbing for me but it's brilliant. It's full of rage and anger and it had absolutely nothing to do with sexual gratification. There is another sex scene in the film just so that you're forewarned. Bassett and Fishburne do not object to sex scenes but neither of them do nude scenes I'm happy to say. I could do without the sex scenes altogehter but that's just my personal preference.
The timeline in the film is not accurate. You have to read I Tina to realize that though. And of course, the film takes liberties with things and tends to spin in some things that did not happen the way you see them on screen. The first child that Tina gave birth to was fathered by a member of the band, not Ike. Also, Tina states that she thought Ike was kind of ugly when she first saw him but the film turns that around to make a better film I suppose. The film is acccurate in terms of the fashions as the decades go by. Fishburne goes from processed hair to Beatle cut to afro and finally a natural style much as you would see him today. Much attention was paid to the costumes as well. Bell bottoms, miniskirts and platform shoes,etc.
I suppose we must give Ike credit for recognizing Tina's talent even if he did try to parlay that into a career for himself. In the end though he did not reap the benefits of all that. You can't gain talent by osmosis. It has to be inside you to start with. While it is true that without Ike there wouldn't be a Tina Turner, it is also true that no one would know who Ike Turner is if there had been no Tina!
My pet peeve with this film is it's ending. During the last concert scene, the scene cuts from Bassett to Tina singing What's Love Got to do With It. This is a diservice to Bassett and I find it insulting for Bassett not to have been allowed to follow through. In fact, it annoys me so much that I stop the movie right after Fishburne's last scene cuts.
I find the flaws in this film forgivable due to the quality of the project as a whole. All being said and done this film is powerful and I reccomend it to you highly.