Get On Up Movie Review

James Brown is a music legend. His music has spawned several genres and produced countless imitators.

The new biopic of his life, Get On Up is presently in theaters. Chadwick Boseman, who last year played another ground breaking icon, Jackie Robinson, in 42, takes on the role of the Godfather Of Soul.  James Brown grew in Augusta, Georgia, in extremely poor circumstances. His mother, Susie Brown (Viola Davis) abandoned her son as a boy, leaving him to be raised by Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer).  His rise to the top of the music scene is legendary, while his life is a mass of contradictions. He was a perfectionist performer, who doted on his family, but married several times over and was abusive to one of his wives.  His manager Ben Bart (Dan Akroyd) and his best friend Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis) stand by him through the highs and lows of his life.

I’m not sure if I liked this movie. While I can foresee nominations for Davis, Boseman (who completely disappears into the part) and Ellis, the movie is a little long for my taste. As a biopic is not too over-dramatic, nor does it skip over it’s lead character’s worst qualities.  But there are certain scenes that I would have left for the extras part of the DVD instead of leaving it on the theatrical release.

Do I recommend this movie? Maybe.


Shoot The Dam Dog Book Review

The number of people who suffer from depression is in the millions. Depression does not know sex, race, creed or religion.  Many sufferers feel ashamed and try to keep it to themselves.

Sally Brampton, a former writer and editor of several well known fashion magazines, is one of these people. She bravely bares her soul in her 2009 book, Shoot The Dam Dog.  Unlike many of us who choose to keep our depression hidden, Sally keeps nothing hidden in her fight with this debilitating disease.

She describes in great detail her childhood, her present life up to the publishing of the book. She speaks of the many forms of therapy from the basic talk therapy and anti-depressants to the more severe hospitalization and shock therapies. Her research is not only based on personal experience, but also studies done by doctors and universities about depression and the many methods of treatment that exist.

What hooked me was the end of the second chapter. Ms. Brampton speaks of the good things in her life. Her successful career , her family, her boyfriend. She has it all, but is depressed.  We live completely different lives, but I understand her. I know what it is like to have everything, but to feel like you have nothing.

I highly recommend this book, especially if the reader or someone the reader knows is suffering from depression. It may just start them on the road to recovery.

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