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Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Directed by Oscar and Emmy winner Alex Gibney, and co-produced by Mick Jagger, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown digs into the career of one of music and culture's towering figures, using fresh interviews with band members and contemporaries, extraordinary historical interview footage, and rare archival. Film running time is 120 minutes. Bonus features include an essay by Mick Jagger, 27 minutes of additional interviews, commentary, photo gallery and Soul Train performances.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Brown
  • Directors: Alex Gibney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2015
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B015J9HOTQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,119 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Think about the musical landscape before James Brown came along.

At the time, Elvis, and the new genre of rock and roll, was probably the most controversial and “dangerous” new thing in pop culture. Mr. Brown was still trying to find his “voice.” He was singing familiar styled blues and R&B songs. “Kansas City,” for example, became one of his early staples. By 1959 rock and roll nearly died; then came the Beatles, Motown, and a host of cultural upheavals during the 1960s.

Out of this decade of upheaval emerged the Godfather of Soul. He surrounded himself with great players and he found what he could do, and do well – bring the funk and soul. Nobody had heard anything like “Cold Sweat,” or “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” or “Say It Loud." Imagine what it must have been like to hear these songs for the first time!

“The Rise of James Brown” chronicles this time period; his climb to the top. This is not a survey of his entire career, but the period in which he was the most innovative, politically active, and a force to be reckoned with. So much so, that in 1969 LOOK Magazine placed him on their cover asking if he was the most important Black man in America.

The documentary includes fresh interviews with significant people associated with Mr. Brown, including, Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Maceo Parker, Melvin Parker (with a story about pulling a gun on Mr. Brown!), Pee Wee Ellis, Danny Ray, Alan Leeds, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd, Martha High, and Al Sharpton.
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This film tells most but not all of the story of the hardest working man in show business. The one thing missing from this film is that Mr. Brown always made clear to young people the importance of staying in school. In fact he had a big hit record on the R&B charts in the mid sixties called "Don't be a Dropout" and made reference to this point on a number of other recordings. He also made one of the very few patriotic R&B songs called "America is My Home". Prior to this recording the only other R&B artists to write or record patriotic songs were Chuck Berry, Back in the U.S.A., Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, This is My Country and The Drifters who recorded the original version of Only In America. Unfortunately, Atlantic Records did not think that was the right time to release it by them. So instead they recorded it with a white group called Jay and the Americans. But the film is great and it is clearly worth the time and money to buy it.
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By Popeye on November 19, 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Mind-blowing new look into a great (and obviously flawed) man. Intelligent commentary, deep interviews with key players like Pee Wee Ellis, Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, and Bobby Byrd, and so much footage of Mr. Please Please Please himself that is new to me. An absolute thrill.
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This documentary was quite informative and entertaining. It provided the chance to understand a lot more about the R&B and Funk music that still has a huge impact in the 21st century. It gave us a glimpse into the genius of the man...and a compelling look at the complexity of the man haunted by a horrific past of neglect and racism. We got a chance to understand how smart he was with the hint of some of his business dealings. Most people don't know how many radio stations he owned at one time. It was amazing accomplishment of a long and storied career that spanned 5 decades. The exclusion of the traumas of his personal life were understood as being out of scope of this piece.
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haven't watched this all the way thru but I am secure in giving it 5 stars. I learned more about JB here (and I'm a studious fan since 1966) than any documentary and I appreciate how professionally done were the interviews w the JB players and behind the scenes support. Great team of Leeds and Weinger ensured class!

Longtime fans will be stunned to find live material from a concert attended by Doctor Martin Luther King, in 1965, following a long March for Civil Rights. One realizes how important Brown was even at that early juncture in the fight. Most of us recall mainly the 1968 "makeshift" concert for Peace within 24 hours of the death of King.

Brown: Musical innovator and cultural emanicipator; poet; choreographer; show business savant. All covered nice and consisely. However, I *did* find some unnecessary negatives about JB, courtesy of Melvin Parker and Mick Jagger.
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I am an acrylic artist and potter who commonly looks for musical artists for inspiration. This is a great DVD for artists of all types to watch for this reason! This documentary was very well done and I love Mick Jagger in it! It was so great to see clips of him so young! It shows great footage from past times and explains James Brown as not only a musician but a "historical figure". It shows how his music and persona has influenced so many artists after his time. They describe Prince and Michael Jackson as his "musical children" and show his influence on the hip-hop era today. Sweet!
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