film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tina 2021 * * * * Stars


"When I saw her dance she was all I could look at". As an admirer of iconic entertainers, I concur.

With some bubbly musical numbers and interviews from colleagues, friends, and kin, 2021's Tina is possibly one of the greatest documentaries I've ever seen. The only one I would say is better would be 2019's Apollo 11 (and that's just by a hair). After 50-plus years in the entertainment biz, Tina Turner decides to tell her story here chronologically. Yup, it's only fitting that HBO would step in to do it all justice.

Tina Turner well, what can I say. The woman is a living legend. She moves and sings on stage like a freaking fireball. At a running time of nearly two hours, Tina is done in the normal HBO Documentary Films style. That means the events in her spotlighted life are told with a certain level of visual elegance, a certain level of mystique, and streamlined panache.

What separates Tina from other docus however, is the archive footage. It's grainy, vibrant, trippy, and awesome. You get to see Phil Spector producing, you get the "Proud Mary" stuff, and you get the 70s cabaret shows in Vegas. I only wish the filmmakers would've included scenes from Turner's stint in Tommy as The Acid Queen. That might have literally put it over the top.

Whatever. Tina keeps it real and well, revealing. The film includes insight into her abusive marriage with Ike Turner, her comeback in the 80s, her cold upbringing, and her finding of love again with music executive Erwin Bach. Nothing you see hits a false note. Tina is an exhilarating foray into a singer that screams like a boss and zigzags like an energizer bunny on pure stimulation. There's a "lot of love that's got to do with it". Natch.   

Written by Jesse Burleson

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