|Artisan Entertainment | Release Date: November 15, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Offers terrific interviews with the surviving Funk Brothers, who provide a tasty insider history of 4 a.m. recording sessions inside ''the snake pit'' (as the fabled Studio A was known) as well as a chilling description of their final kiss-off from Berry Gordy, the Motown mogul who treated them like indentured servants. Read full review
A glorious feature-length documentary -- This film will leave an indentment, and a deep one, on anyone who loves great, joyous music and cares about the people who make it.
If there's a flaw with the film, it's that Justman doesn't trust his narrators enough; too often he'll stage a re-enactment while someone's talking, as if he's afraid the mere tales themselves won't hold our interest. But they will, as long as there's a kid slapping a bass, a sampler swiping a groove or some middle-aged couple slow dancing to Marvin Gaye or the Miracles. Read full review
Frustratingly, though, and not a little ironically, Justman chooses to focus on the new stars when they sing, rather than on the Funk Brothers playing in the background. Just as curiously, he paints a remarkably rosy picture of the old days, overlooking the racism and exploitation the Brothers surely experienced. Read full review
Justman's affectionate doc provides the pleasure of hearing one classic pop hook after another performed by a still tight unit, as well as the spectacle of veteran sidemen sitting around talking music. (The movie would have benefited from more period footage and fewer restaged scenes.) Read full review
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