Paul Saxton

Advertising and marketing copywriter based in Norwich. I can help you to build your brand by helping you to sell your products and services.

Stars Who Sell - James Brown

Trading on the old Blues myth of doing a deal with the devil at the Crossroads, the Godfather of Soul attempts to re-negotiate his contract. Which is, of course, exactly what you’d expect to happen in a BMW commercial.

This slick and noisy production makes good use of its stars: Gary Oldman is superb as the devil, Clive Owen is unflappably cool as Mr Brown’s driver, the silly Marilyn Manson pulls off a neat comic turn and James Brown is, quite simply, James Brown.

The best thing about the film is that it’s basically a loving homage to a genuine cultural giant. It’s quite poignant in places, with Brown himself acknowledging the downside of growing old. Overall though, it’s just great seeing him enjoy himself.

The only sour note is that, when all’s said and done, it’s a commercial for a car. And if anyone should have been beyond hawking his talents in ads, it should have been James Brown.

Oh, and it’s directed by Tony Scott.