Lightning in a Bottle: Paul Brissman
Scott Brown
October 20, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Lightning in a Bottle

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
106 minutes
Limited Release Date
10/22/04
performer
Aerosmith, Gregg Allman, Chuck D, Natalie Cole, Bill Cosby, Macy Gray, Buddy Guy, Keb' Mo', B.B. King, Joe Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Tyler
director
Antoine Fuqua
Producer
Martin Scorsese
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B-

”Looks like y’all hired the phone book,” comments piano man Dr. John, ”looked in the yellow pages under ‘Blues.”’ That’s exactly what billionaire Paul Allen, his indie film unit Vulcan Productions, and producer Martin Scorsese have done with Lightning in a Bottle, assembling a pantheon of blues and blues-inflected deities, from Solomon Burke and Ruth Brown (still cooking at 75) to a very spacey Macy Gray, for a massive February 2003 superconcert at Radio City Music Hall. The occasion commemorated 100 years of the art form, and director Antoine Fuqua (King Arthur) tries gamely to bring Delta roadhouse intimacy to a mammoth corporate event. The music’s sensational, but you keep waiting for the pledge number to flash up.

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