Film Review: ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown’ (2002) [8/10]

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (courtesy of IMDB)[8 out of 10] [ For my other movie reviews, see the Film category of this blog or my IMDB vote history ] This is my mini-review of “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”, which I recently got from the library and thought I’d share with whoever is interested. I gave this movie an eight because it does a great job chronicling The Funk Brothers, a forgotten group of Detroit musicians that put together a hard-to-believe string of chart-topping hits from a small basement studio. In fact, the movie mentions that they created “more number-one records than The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys combined”. I personally love the Motown sound and was sadly ignorant of how big a contribution the musicians made to the music of Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson etc etc. It’s a no-brainer to wonder who provides the sound to go with those incredible vocals, but many have overlooked that aspect. Director Paul Justman is apt at guiding us through the group’s collective story and individual histories while splicing in some of the hits that made Motown such a juggernaut. Interestingly, this seems to have been his breakthrough as his previous docs were not noteworthy. There are musical cameos by Ben Harper and Chaka Khan (among others), who play some of the Funk Brothers’ biggest hits with the remaining members of the band.

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~ by dubesor on June 6, 2007.

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