Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cadillac Records

Took some time to watch Cadillac Records tonight. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that rock-n-roll evolved mostly from the blues, but this movie is more a history of many of the people involved in that evolution, primarily Muddy Waters and to a lesser degree Etta James and Chuck Berry. It's "based on a true story", but I left this one wondering just how much of it was "based" and how much was "true." Did Little Walter really just shoot a man who was in a traveling band impersonating him? I'm skeptical.

That said, the story was very good. And for a movie with a good many recording artists having turned to acting, it had VERY good acting. I'd say the direction was very good, too. Writing was good. Casting was excellent with the exception of Cedric The Entertainer as Willie Dixon and the narrator at the beginning and end. But where it was lacking was in production quality. The editing was just plain odd...there were several scenes that I don't even understand why they made the movie. The musical performances were far too obviously studio recorded and then sync'ed...this is not hard to do properly these days.

Overall I'd say if you're a music lover, this is a good film to see. Even if the stories aren't completely accurate, I did feel like they gave a good sense of the emotion of the time. It also made me want to learn even more about Muddy Waters. I knew through interviews with people like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton that he was a major influence on the early days of rock-n-roll, but he was much more than that. While he never played much rock-n-roll, he did sort of champion it through his influence at Chess Records.

Definitely a recommended movie, particularly for music lovers.

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