Will “Notorious” Suck?

So Notorious finally hits theaters nationwide today. Since I’m obviously not cool or credible or suck enough industry cock to have been invited to last week’s premiere festivities, I’m going to brave the cold and stand in line like a normal human being, watch it along with a whole bunch of rowdy mothafuckas on 42nd street. Last showing of the day. This is hip-hop, I’d have it no other way. Shit I may even call some of my 1994 friends just for the occasion.

This is the most hyped I’ve been to see a film since… since…since… ah fuck it, since I went to see the 5-hour long epic, Che`, at the IFC theater 2 weeks ago. So that’s not saying much.


Perhaps because the last major hip-hop biopic, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin, was so terrible. I couldn’t even make it through that shit. Granted, 50 is no Biggie. And 8 Mile was cool, if not a tad cheesy in retrospect. But like, for some reason I keep thinking Notorious might be the equivalent of Vh1′s MC Hammer biopic Too Legit.

I think in some respects we get caught up in the nostalgia of it all. I see those trailers, with “Juicy” playing in em, and I just sit there and so many memories come to mind. So many good times.

But I caught some clips of the actual film itself, like this scene where Biggie meets Faith. Shit seems kinda ummm… I dunno… weak?

So far Rotten Tomatoes has the film getting a 54% approval rating, which isn’t bad considering that most film critics know zero about hip-hop and will have a hard time identifying with this film.

Some negative excerpts of reviews read:

“Notorious is a game of dress-up, the Greatest Hits version of Biggie’s life. But in the end, it fails to present a convincing argument of why we should care.”- Adam Graham Detroit News

“The script lets too much slide, and director George Tillman Jr. — whose biggest films have been Soul Food and the Barbershop franchise — abets it.”- Steven Whitty Newark Star-Ledger

“Notorious obviously loves its protagonist, but the movie can’t get past its own starstruck awe.”- Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

Some postive excerpts read:

“Closer to Scorsese than Scarface, Notorious gives a heartfelt yet clear-eyed sendoff to the late Brooklyn rapper Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls aka the Notorious B.I.G.”- Kyle Smith New York Post

“A vivid biopic of the larger-than-life rap star that doesn’t require you be a big fan of the genre.”- Joey Guerra Houston Chronicle

“It’s unlikely there will be a better dramatization of the Biggie Smalls story than this one.”- Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

Thing is, a film like Notorious could really hurt Big’s legacy in the long run. To a large extent, movies are what shape people’s perceptions of characters. That’s the reason why actors are so micromanaged in their private lives. Because people who watch Spiderman really think Toby Maguire is Spiderman! It’s called protecting the franchise. If Biggie is portrayed in a cheesy way, he’ll be remembered as such. Unless they make another movie about him later on down the line (which I don’t see happening, it was hard enough getting this one made).

Some folks have already seen the movie, but again I think their opinions are very biased because they have a real connection to hip-hop and/or the music industry. I want to know what the 13 year old kid in middle America, who doesn’t even know who Biggie really is, thinks about this movie, and what he now thinks he knows about Christopher Wallace. Then again, maybe the purpose of the film isn’t to educate, but just to cash in on that market of people who are longtime fans of the guy.

If you’ve seen the film, please do, speak on it!

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  • DV8

    gonna check it out either tonight or tomorrow. I’ll be back with my opinion.

  • Hate Hate and more Hate

    This movie won’t make any type of profit because they won’t recoup all the money they spent advertising this wack ass movie. they way they are promoting this movie, you would think Biggie was running for the presidential office.

    I for one will be out of various movie theaters giving out free bootleg DVD’s of this bullshit ass movie. Fuck Biggie and his lazy ass right eye.

  • Curtis75Black

    I felt the same way looking at the trailers and scenes they’re showing. This should be on VH1 instead of the Movie Theaters. I loved Biggie as an emcee but I really don’t need to see a movie about his life, especially when you got Eazy E dying of AIDS and he doesn’t get any sign of Love after death eventhough he brought NWA, Compton and Gangsta Rap to the forefront with Ruthless records. I was 22 when Biggie passed so knowing his older music along with stories from friends and foes is alright. I guess I could check it out to see the scene where Faith beats Kim Ass lol !

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Gooch

    “I for one will be out of various movie theaters giving out free bootleg DVD’s of this bullshit ass movie. Fuck Biggie and his lazy ass right eye.”


  • these posts are racist

    As a 29 year old hip hop head…and long time Biggie fan, I fear the movie is simply an info-merical for the soundtrack. There is no way the movie is a realy biography…especially with Big’s mother and Puffy as the Producers…It’s not a movie about Biggie nor was it meant to really be a Malcolm X type biopic. It’s a commerical, i think.

  • THat guy

    I for one will be out of various movie theaters giving out free bootleg DVD’s of this bullshit ass movie. Fuck Biggie and his lazy ass right ey


  • DopeMan

    i saw it, the scene’s where hes rapping are kinda cheesy so are the performance scenes….i woulda preferred it to be a more darker biopic but his moms and the niggas that made millions of him and will continue to make millions were the executive producers so what could u expect…….i liked the movie tho cause imma big BIG fan plus Gravy did a good job, as did Angela Bassett shes gonna remind a buncha niggas of there own mother…….oh shorty from 3lw did a good job on lil kim too plus her rack was amazing

    tupac fans however wont like how hes portrayed…there is no deep thinking, poetry writting black panther…instead hes basically the asshole he was at the end of his life

    all in all its a solid movie like most biopic done for iconic music figures its dope howeva that instead of some shit from the 60′s or 70′s its from the 90′s and a genre that i was apart of

  • escobar9300

    Me and the homies are rolling to see this tonight, I’m not expecting a classic, but something that does the Big man justice is all I’m hoping for. Rest in peace to the motherfuckin Biggie Smalls!

  • geico lizard

    Angela bassetthound is the only real actor in the whole thing so it sucked harder than i thought it would.

  • Pierzy

    I’m boycotting for the exact reason(s) you mentioned…

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

    I think the movie would stand a better chance if it were ficticious.

    I mean actually ficticious, like a make believe rapper, as opposed to the fiction based around the reality that the exec’s are portraying it as.

    The hip hop community is going to be extremely critical, because a lot of us feel like we knew him, even shed a tear when we found out he died (& how). The critics are just doin their jobs, rating movies, ho hum. For what its worth, this movie is supposed to be for us (to no avail, which is why the “Queen Bee” is so pissed).

    I might check it simply because I like movies, but I’m puttin in what I expect out, & that’s not much @ all.

    & them dudes couldve made a better soundtrack. Two versions of “One More Chance”, with his son rapping on one? Yikes! Puffy’s gonna posthumusly pimp his flagship artist until the day he sees him again, bet that.

  • Pana

    Like someone mentioned, some of us feel like we knew him…so yeah its gonna be hard for those of us who were in the clubs in the mid ’90′s either dancing to his music or actually watching him perform :). The scene when he met Faith, yes it seemed cheezy but you know what? I didnt know dude personally, so…After seeing it, now I know why my husband didnt want to at first. Not because he thought it would be wack but because – like someone else metioned – this was from a part of OUR era and area in hip hop. And he warned me that it was gonna be hard to watch because we lived it. Not like watching the “Temptations” lol..no disrespect but now I know how my pops felt watching that shit.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

      I am the person u were referring to, & damn home girl, that was kinda deep…

  • Pana

    Just weird that this is even happening (the movie), like dam, has it been that long?

    Shout out to Charles Black (Chuck) my bro’s bf/Co-D..lol.for inviting me down to Durham, NC to see an up and coming EmCee outta my own damn borough BKLYN,NY do his thing at the sportsman’s lounge (where all the willies hung out)for my 20th B-Day. Patra, Meth and Total was there too and they couldnt sing! lol. But it was one of my fav B-days. I’ll never forget it.

  • F DOT

    ya know its really funny how yal bitch-ass muthafuckas sittin in they moms basement talking shit about something they havent even fuckin seen…. yal some sad bitches… i just got home from seeing the movie… i was pumped about it but ready to be disappointed… THIS FLICK WAS INCREDIBLE!!! go see this shit and i GUARANTEE u will FEEL it… George Tillman Jr. breathed life into this shit like no one else could… if your any kind of a biggie fan this shit will hopefully have the same affect on you… couldnt do nothing after but come home, smoke a blunt, and throw on ready to die… Peace

    “haters hate… thats what the do!”

  • http://1290wmcs.com “The Party Killa”

    Went to an advance screening of this, last Thursday. IMO the movie was well put together, & it had a great story to. Like a mother son relationship. Sorta reminded me of like a Brooklyn version of Boyz N The Hood, but maybe thats because Angela Basset played a Mom in that movie too. I really enjoyed it though, & I think it’ll turn into an instant classic. BTW Gravy did his thing in it!!!

  • latino heat

    i said it on another post, the movie was far better then i expected. i went in just waiting to hate on the wack ass acting and over all low budgetness (i know that’s not a word) of it. it was actually really good though. so stop hating on it and go see it for yourself. i don’t know if gravy is ever gonna drop a album or not but if he don’t he might have a future in acting. and who knew shortie from 3lw had body like that? DAMN!

  • escobar9300

    Me and my dudes tosted a couple biggie blunts and went to see this last night, and real talk I was impressed with the movie. Granted, there are some parts that feel rushed and sometimes some big time jumps, but this movie absolutley showed the huge shadow that BIG cast over hip hop. So many parts you couldn’t help but smile and feel like you were actually watching Biggie living it up again, Gravy did a hell of a job. If you don’t walk in there expecting a perfect movie, but look at it as a fun, sad, and candid movie that really does Big justice, then I think you will enjoy this movie a lot. Its just a sad reminder that we will never get to hear that man rap another line again. Rest in Peace Big.

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    I was in 5th-6th grade when Biggie was around, and remember hearing Juicy on the radio and watching the video on Rap City (when Rap City was actually a great program). My moms never really let me listen to rap music because of the lyrics or let me watch the videos, but I snuck my ass around her and got my listen on at friends’ cribs. I plan to see the movie either tonite or tomorrow sometime and I got a feeling its gonna take me back to grade school lol

  • viski

    I saw the movie and you cant go into it thinking it is going to be the best movie ever, though i must say it was better than I though it would. I agree with the belief that they made pac look like an ass and immature individual. Nonetheless, it wasnt that bad and after i saw it i just put ready to die and life after death on repeat for a couple of hours. One thing though watching the film gave me was incredible nostalgia; thinking about the good old days of hip hop. DAmn Nas was right, HIP HOP IS DEAD.

  • amar

    better than get rich die trying, the roca fella and no limit shits; not as good as hustle & Flow or 8 Mile. Overally, 8/10 for a rap movie, 6.5/10 for a movie in general.

    The dude who played tupac was pretty bad lol and the chick who played lil kim was hotttttttttttt…waaaaaaaay hotter than lil kim lol

  • http://shazisrad.blogspot.com superxshaz

    so I wasn’t gonna waste my $11.50 on Notorious, so I watched online [off watch movies, the legal site!] & surprisingly I liked it. maybe because I was only 6 when he died, but when I watched it I got flashbacks of my dad & I riding around and listening to his stuff. I was a little apprehensive though with Angela Bassett playing Ms. Wallace, but all in all I thought it was pretty decent.

    *awaits criticism & crappy insults*

  • http://xxl ryan

    i want my muthafuckin money back. biggie life is fuckin borin. his life is not as compellin as pac. biggie life is jus lik most rappers. n diddy cant produce 4 shit.