Let the Mediocre Times Roll
This thing is a real disappointment. I had read Mick la Salle’s review in the S.F. Chronicle saying it was pretty good and I obviously have way different musical tastes than Mick. When the opening scenes rolled, with cotton field workers, and then Muddy Waters walking down the train tracks, and the candy-ass, idylilc backgrounds, I went, Uh-oh! Phony. The guy playing Muddy Waters: no way! Muddy was a powerhouse. This guy can’t hold a candle, and his voice is weak. The plot is a mess. The guy playing Little Walter was good, and the Howlin’ Wolf guy has a brooding presence, but Mos’ Def as Chuck Berry and the other musicians, who unfortunately sang in their own voices, don’t cut it. The exception is Beyonce as Etta James. her voice and presence, even the body language when she sings her first song, do Etta credit. But other than her, it’s too bad to see such great musicians and such powerful music get watered down for the mainstream (I guess) audience. Grrrr! Give me the real thing!