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Nelsan Ellis

'Get on Up' reaches for high concept instead of getting down

'Get on Up' reaches for high concept instead of getting down

At 2 hours and 18 minutes, the James Brown biopic "Get On Up" runs exactly two hours longer than the knockout YouTube clip of the real Mr. Dynamite performing up a storm in 1964's "The T.A.M.I. Show." It is not time well spent. Despite the linked advantages of generous helpings of the man's high octane music and a star performance by Chadwick Boseman that's little short of heroic, "Get on Up" is more frustrating than fulfilling, a disjointed film that suffers from having a more ambitious plan than it's got the ability to execute. It's not at all obvious, actually, that the too-cool-for-school high-concept script by the British...

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