Thursday, March 26, 2009

I rented Cadillac Records this weekend and even though I loved all the actors I don't like the movie. Now I love the director Darnell Martin. The Sista keeps getting better and as the First Afrikan American Female to helm a Major Motion picture (I Like It Like that) she gets my respect but she is listed as the screenwriter of Cadillac Records. This is a story about Leonard Chess and Chess Records.


Miss Martin, let me ask you before you wrote the screenplay did you actually RESEARCH your subject matter? Did you read any of the biographies or interviews from that time? I gotta know! I read Jerry Wexlers Autobiography and in it Mr. Wexler ( A Jewish Man) describes The Chess Brothers, Leonard and Phil (Also Jewish) as anything but benevolent and fair.

I quote, " I walked into a local bar and the Chess Brothers and the Behari Brothers (another famous Jewish set of Record Company owners) were sitting at a table and called me over. "Jerry! We hear that you guys over at Atlantic Records are promising them five cents a record and playing them five cents a record! Why not just give them Five Hundred dollars and be done with it? " The Chess Brothers made alot of money off of Willie Dixon, Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters. Muddy Waters once told biographers that Leonard Chess said "Muddy you'll always have a job with me....when you get old you can paint the walls of the studio." The Rolling Stones visited Chess Records and found their HERO, Muddy Waters, doing just that. Mick Jagger stated that they walked in and there was Muddy Waters, who they named their band after his song Rolling Stone, is painting the walls.

Mick: What are You doing here doing this?
Muddy Waters: I gotta Eat!

The Rolling Stones took Muddy Waters on tour and it gave him a boost to his career. You kinda mentioned this but the movie overall is a big untruthful puff piece made to look like a feel good story that really is the story of another record company shark who bilked alot of Musicians out of their royalties and publishing.

There may have been alot of good in Chess and his Brother but Muddy Waters was not wearing a suit and driving a Cadillac like your movie makes it look. And as for Bee as Etta James. Well, I don't believe that there was no big love affair between the two that you alluded to. I don't think Leonard Chess was that Loving of a Dude.

I know that movies allow for literary and artistic license but Damn Darnell! Damn Darnell!

Then we watched Spikes Miracle of St. Anna. I enjoyed the film. The only real criticisms I have is the waste of Michael Ealy in the role of Bishop. I know Michael Ealy can play a hustling pretty boy well but I've watched Showtimes Sleeper Cell and There Eyes were Watching God and know for a fact the boy has alot more range. It's a shame he's limited and reduced to Bishop.

Derrick Luke will grow as an actor but I do believe that he was miscast in this role. He was simply too young to have been a Sgt in the Army. He looked in and he acted it! Alot of those guys were Men at that time and had been Men for a long time. But I ain't getting down on Spike cause Hell, at least he has tried to stretch over the years.

And it don't hurt that I Like Spike!

BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!
Jaycee

12 comments:

Miss.Stefanie said...

Didnt like the movie too....

Keli said...

I think to get rights to Leonard's Chess story she had to paint this positive picture...I read that his son was upset with the way his father was portrayed, thought they showed him in a negative light. I have not seen the movie, but I find your review to be quite interesting.

Jillian said...

i have seen the movie but didn't know any of the real history...that's unfortunate that the movie was that far off of actual events..what a shame...

what really sold me more so were the actors and their interviews to promote the movie etc...granted they aren't going to be like "i was apart of this project, but it's not entirely true"...

thanks for the insight!

buttahflychronicles said...

Thanks, I needed a list of recommendations to put on my Netflix list. I hardly ever see adult movies in theater anymore. And by the time they've come out on video, I've forgotten that they exist.

Az said...

Interesting tid-bit on Cadillac Records.

I still need to view Miracle, perhaps I'll plunge into that film tonight.

Mista Jaycee said...

Well what about the truths that Willie Dixon, and all the rest of the folks have to say. Chess may not like that his Father is percieved to have been a crook but if the hook fits the crook, then crook it is. Good to see you Keli
Jaycee

faatma is... said...

here I am! I think you pretty much have it covered bruh... Gardens are a bitches best friend for real for real...

I saw Spike speak at a local college before Miracle at St Anna came out and he showed a trailer... I was so into it I went home and purchased the book on amazon... it was dope and the film barely cut anythin out... nice review btw...Peace

Mista Jaycee said...

Hey Jillian,
I love Jeffrey Wright as an actor. He only has one role that he ever sux in. That was the Sam Jack Shaft movie. That movie Sux! It did. Admit it you know you want to. (smile) But as Basquiat he was wonderful, great in Bill Murray Flowers movie, just great!

I did like the way Howling Wolfs presence was portrayed and Mos Def as Chuck was cool. I liked the lil Walter scenes although it wasn't really true. Shame he died so young, he made history as the only harmonica in the rock and roll hall of fame although I think Toots Thielman will join one day.
Jaycee

lyfesimplified said...

Jaycee you be posting your ass off don't you. I go away for a few days and when I come back you've posted EVERY DAY...but that's how it's suppose to be..lol

Now about this movie: It was okay...gave you that..DREAMGIRLS kinda feel. Beyonce annoys the hell out of me when she's not performing so..the movie went from okay to not good once she got on.


Go.

RiPPa said...

If it wasn't for my 1yr old we'd rent more movies. Usually she has ALL the TV's in the house hijacked with the channel NOGGIN.

RiPPa said...

BTW: was there ever a Lincoln Records? You know, a movie about a record label where Black people sung the songs but nobody ever knew because all the album covers had white people on them?

Ok, ok, ok... I'm gone.

DC DIVA DATING ADVENTURES said...

Wow! I didn't think it would be that far off, but that's good insight...I guess that's why people don't like biographies, because they usually display someone in a better light than what they really were...I wonder if that's why Lil Kim was so mad about the Biggie Move ;) (must say, haven't seen the Biggie one, but just puttin it out there)