A documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.
had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined
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As documentary the film could do much better. I didn't appreciate the reenacted sequences, and some of the talks looked too staged. But nonetheless it's good to see and hear some stories about the people behind the stars, the people who created and developed the Motown sound. And - as the excerpts from the live show illustrates - they have been really brillant musicians.
The film helped fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of Motown, and I appreciate the goal of getting these musicians the attention the deserve, but as a movie it felt a bit inert. It also seemed more telling than showing. It struck me like one of those re-union shows that play on PBS during a pledge drive - I'm glad folks are still doing what they do, but watching them now is not the same as watching them then.
The story of the Funk Brothers would have been a really exciting one. Unfortunately this movie is filled with footage of old folks who can't remember a thing and have lost their grove way back when. Ok, so there is very little footage of the golden age of the Funk Brothers, but you can't make up for it by dragging them onto the stage and let them replay their old hits. They are not as tight as they used to be.