Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's Love Got To Do With It

Year 2, Day 5 - 1/5/10 - Movie #370

BEFORE: From Chuck Berry and Etta James to Ike and Tina Turner.

THE PLOT: A film about the singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.

AFTER: I'm not a big fan of Tina Turner, except I like to sing Ike's bass part from "Proud Mary" on long car trips for fun...

But her story is an important one, and if any movie in my countdown shows that there's a dark side to fame, then brother, this is it.

Humble working-class beginnings? Check. Improbable discovery by a record-producing "kingmaker"? Check. Drinking, substance abuse and complicated personal relationships? Check, check and check. So far, that formula describes every movie that I've watched this week. But one top of that, we've got Ike Turner's cheatin' and beatin' to deal with, and that's what makes this movie difficult to watch. It's kind of like the afterschool-special of biopics, only much more graphic.

I've seen bits of this movie before, especially the one in the car where Ike tries to salvage his relationship by claiming "I done give up that narcotic", and saying "we got a thing like this HERE" while slamming his fist into his palm. Umm, yeah, that's sort of the problem, Ike.

It's a star turn for Angela Bassett, and she arguably should have won an Oscar for this (over Holly Hunter for "The Piano", I think...) if for no other reason than the great lip-synching to Tina's recordings - I sure couldn't tell she wasn't singing.

Last night's movie had 2 stars of "Law & Order", and tonight we've got 2 stars who were later in "CSI" - Laurence Fishburne, now on the original CSI, and Khandi Alexander, who used to be on "CSI: Miami" in a bit role.

RATING: 6 out of 10 wigs

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