Combustible Celluloid
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With: Terrence Howard, Mavis Staples, Snoop Dogg, Charles "Skip" Pitts, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, Lil P-Nut, Bobby "Blue" Bland, William Bell, Otis Clay, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush
Written by: Rick Clark, Jerry Harrison, Julie Janata, Martin Shore, Zac Stanford
Directed by: Martin Shore
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic material, language and smoking
Running Time: 95
Date: 09/12/2014

Take Me to the River (2014)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hearts and Soul

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Martin Shore's documentary centers around the creation of a new album of old-time Memphis blues singers combined with contemporary rappers and other artists. The music is exhilarating, but the movie is all surface, playing like an extra on a DVD, or a long advertisement to buy the album. Actor Terrence Howard narrates with overly-written dialogue, and also sings. Interviewees mainly talk about all the great artists who made records in Memphis, at studios like Stax, with hardly anything contrary to say. (Each person who ever came along was "the greatest.") Even the Civil Rights movement and its effect on the studios is given only a cursory treatment. This is one of those movies you can put on while you do housework and just listen; I think the new rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine," by Bobby "Blue" Bland and Yo Gotti, is my favorite.

Best Buy Co, Inc.