Christopher Wallace's eldest has managed to stay off our radar for the majority of all things Biggie-related. In fact, the only Tyanna Touchstone for me is the answering machine intro to "One More Chance". Well little Tyanna is all grown up, loving her some Chris Brown and Jennifer Hudson, and is giving the Notorious movie some props. She seems like a sweetheart and I'm glad she's managed to stay low-key through everything. Word to well-adjusted teenagers! Press play to watch her review of the premier and the film, and read on for my thoughts.
Anthony Mackie as 2Pac. This seems to be a major point of contention with most people. Anthony Mackie is a serviceable thespian in most cases, but his version of 2Pac came off more like Eddie Murphy doing an impression of a game show host. Fail.
I would've liked to have seen "Faith" whale on "Lil' Kim", but no such scene happened.
Derek Luke had us rolling with all his Diddy dances, but this movie would have you believe he's Mr. Myagi or some sainted, wise old shaman with nothing but the best intentions. Right. (This won't be the case if a film about The LOX ever happens. Heh.)
"Hypnotize", over and over and over again. SMH.
Biggie is my favorite artist, but some of you act like he freed the slaves. Relax. He was a dope lyricist that employed cinematic storytelling and wit. The hoopla surrounding the release of this film has caused me to re-evaluate Biggie's status in Hip Hop and why I'm a fan. The verdict is that just because he's my personal favorite doesn't mean I have to go around forcing everyone to revere him as the GOAT. The Notorious film is a Hip Hop vanity project that should've aired on VH1, plain and simple.
WHAT? No Total?!!! Boooooo! (You ever get the feeling that Diddy is trying to retroactively remove Total from Bad Boy's history? I do.)
One thing that needed to be reconciled for the public that wasn't: "Who Shot Ya." We've been forced to take Big at his word that the song was recorded before 2Pac was shot and had nothing to do with him. But the fact that Faith sang background vocals on the track is enough for me to believe this is true. I don't think she'd take part in that song knowing it was intended for 'Pac. This fact has been grossly overlooked in history.
The portrayals of Faith and Lil' Kim seem spot-on. I can understand why Kim would be upset, since her character came off as desperate and needy, but no suspension of disbelief was required of me as a viewer.
The "Party & Bullsh**" scene took me back. It was damn-near iconic.
I appreciated the scene where Big tells young Tyanna to "Never let a man call you a b*tch," as "Me And My B*tch" plays in the background. (Kidding!)
The funeral procession literally brought a tear to my eye.
Gravy, the most important actor in the film, does not disappoint. He doesn't completely nail Biggie's rapping voice, but it's forgiven. He was able to go from being sympathetic and endearing to a raging ass**** when the script called for it. The scenes between him and Antonique Smith are spooky, because you really believe that's Big and Faith.
Despite any nitpicks, the film is solid and fun. There's certainly nothing about it that warrants a major theatrical release (that kind of treatment should go first and foremost to the long overdue Marvin Gaye biopic), but reliving some of those moments just before Hip Hop almost completely went to sh*t was nothing less than satisfying.