Prep yourself with some of the videos Boseman got to absorb in his quest to replicate a larger-than-life legend.
Most of James Brown's amazing performances were never filmed, and the quality here varies from grainy, to early color television, to cramped studio scenes. But Mr. Dynamite on film is a force...Get On Up!
"Ski Party," 1965: There are few movie quality James Brown performances, and this rarity is definitely hilarious. The movie is an attempt to shift the surf craze to what those wild kids to in winter, and we get the Famous Flames in sweaters at a ski lodge! Groovy, man!
"I Feel Good" circa 1965: The quality isn't great but the dancing is somewhere between liquid and electricity. Probably off ABC's "Shindig," or Dick Clark's after school show "Where the Action Is," as James in a crowd of teenagers. But it's 1965. Who moves like this?
Ed Sullivan, 1966: Ed almost introduces a football player, then tries to connect it all to gospel. They try to tie the tiger further with a narrow stage, but you still get to experience a little nitro.
"Prisoner of Love," 1966: Around the time of Ed, another TV spectacular. Don't forget the slow songs, James could croon...
Mid '60s "Please Please Please": Pretty sure this is also "Where the Action Is." A scaled down version of the cape act (don't worry, a bigger one is coming) but a great example of the Hardest Working Man in Show Business doing his thing for the teenyboppers.
The Music Scene, 1969: A forgettable music show captures a breathtaking JB performance, in full control of his large band as the late '60s get a dose of primeval funk on "Mother Popcorn." (You'll get an idea of what the rest of the show was like with the David Steinberg intro...)
Soul Train, 1970: Not sure whose idea it is to try and upstage "Superbad" but JB seems down with it.
"Soul Power," 1974: "Soul Power" is a trip of a documentary, released in 2008, about Americans putting on a show in Zaire in '74 to accompany the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman heavyweight bout, but the finale is a knockout of a mid-70s Payback in Kinshasa...
The TAMI Show, 1964: Perhaps the best Godfather on film, the Teen Age Music International Show is a full length concert movie filmed in 1964 that includes the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, and the Rolling Stones and many others who are completely blown off the stage by this Richter defining performance. This is the video Michael Jackson spent his childhood watching. The incredible Mr. Dynamite also is about to have a lasting effect on Mick Jagger...