James Brown: Soul Survivor

James Brown: Soul Survivor

Director: Jeremy Marre

Cast: Jeremy Marre, James Brown, Al Sharpton, Chuck D

     
 
James Brown: Soul Survivor grooves its way to DVD courtesy of Polydor and the American Masters TV series. Presented in a full-frame 1.33:1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, the picture and audio are adequate. While there is plenty to enjoy on the program itself, the bonus features on the DVD add up to make one funky James Brown package. Extras are split

Overview

James Brown: Soul Survivor grooves its way to DVD courtesy of Polydor and the American Masters TV series. Presented in a full-frame 1.33:1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, the picture and audio are adequate. While there is plenty to enjoy on the program itself, the bonus features on the DVD add up to make one funky James Brown package. Extras are split up between the performance at the House of Blues (briefly featured in the film), rehearsal footage before the show, and extra interviews. The five songs from the live performance are surprisingly smoking, with Brown's backup band ripping things up as he repeatedly gets his groove on with the dancers. You can also watch the performance in either 5.1 Dolby, DTS, or a standard 2.0 Stereo track. If that's not enough, the rehearsal footage turns out to be the hidden gem of the disc, with the Godfather of Soul looking great in shades and a cowboy hat as he conducts his band through three solid tunes (two of which feature some amazing sax work from his horn section that could very well be considered a highlight of the DVD). The extra interviews are well worth checking out as well, especially Fred Wesley's breakdown of "Get on the Good Foot," one of the entertainer's most unique and off-the-wall pieces, in which all music theory is literally thrown out the window in favor of some patented James Brown flavor. Snoop around a little and you should be able to find some Easter eggs featuring an interesting pairing of the soul legend and Luciano Pavarotti (of all people!). With great extras, nice animated menus, and an overall package that will look good on your shelf, Soul Survivor is a funky DVD classic that should not be missed.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
This 90-minute documentary, originally aired on PBS, presents the Godfather of Soul as the legend he is -- musical innovator, consummate entertainer, civil rights champion, and African-American icon. In addition to lengthy interviews with JB himself are 24 musical numbers, including five live takes at the House of Blues and rehearsal footage. Brown's colleagues and admirers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Chuck D, Wyclef Jean, Little Richard, Afrika Bambaataa, and others contribute to this portrait of an extraordinary life in music.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Very few entertainers throughout history have had as big of an impact as the legendary James Brown. Soul Survivor brilliantly documents the story of the impoverished youth from Augusta, GA, whose rise to power lead entire generations through America's darkest days. From his early days of gospel-inspired soul to his birth of funk, the special deftly shows how this famously controlling performer rose above musical traditions while becoming a leading figure among African-Americans throughout the 1960s and '70s. With dramatic archival footage fueling the story, the audience gets a rare glimpse into the genius that was The James Brown Show. Whether it's the smoking Ryker Island Prison show in 1972 or the televised broadcast the night of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, each clip is full of all the dynamite and soul that only he could bring to the stage. The downfall of the man is covered as well, with his habitual drug problems and famed IRS dealings being the focal point of the last third of the film. Soul Survivor is a testament to Brown's place in history -- not only musically, but also culturally. Despite all his flaws, he brought love, understanding, and an amazing grasp of the groove to a world that desperately needed it.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/09/2004
UPC:
0602498091661
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
NR
Source:
Polydor / Umgd
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo, DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

"Live at the House of Blues" featurette; Guest interviews with the Rev. Al Sharpton, Chuck D, Wyclef Jean, Nelson George, Dan Aykroyd, Little Richard, Afrika Bambaataa, and Fred Wesley; Rehearsal footage

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

-- A Mark on My Back
-- Augusta, Georgia
-- A Way Out
-- The Street Kid

"I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On"
"Please, Please, Please"
"Try Me"
"Kansas City"
"Prisoner of Love"
"The James Brown Show"
"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"
"Georgia on my Mind"
"Cold Sweat"
"It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
"Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud"
"Hot Pants"
"I Got that Feeling"

-- Black Caesar
"World"

-- The Blues Brothers
-- On Trial and in Jail
"Unity" / "Get On the Good Foot"

-- Live at the House of Blues 2003
"Get Up Offa That Thing"
"It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
"Get on the Good Foot"
"Doing It to Death"
"Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)"

-- Rehearsal Footage

"l'll Go Crazy"
"Get on the Good Foot"
"Cold Sweat"

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