I have to say that I never realized Cary Grant was such a great actor. I know
that he was the star of Notorious, but I never realized played a fat, young black rapper! He should have gotten an Oscar for this, like Charlize Theron did when she played that fat murderer, or like Danny DeVito did
when he played Shaq in that biopic.
Although it is a biographical story about an actual gangsta rapper (Chris
Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls) who died violently,
Notorious is an amazingly square movie about a middle class private school kid
raised by a straight-laced teacher. Biggie had to adopt a rugged street persona
to achieve street cred, and sometimes just to survive the streets of Brooklyn.
Although Notorious doesn't shy away from the unsavory elements of the rapper's
life, it's really about how he finally learned how to get beyond all that, to
live without the false front and become a man. And it's about how his life was
taken from him almost immediately after he figured out how to live it.
If that sounds like a sanitized, obsequious hagiography of the life of Biggie
Smalls, it's probably safe to say that's because the producers of the film
include Biggie's mother and his good friend Sean Combs. Who knows? Perhaps it's
God's honest truth, and Biggie was just a lovable ol' momma's boy who lived the
life of a generic Hollywood rise-and-fall story. Or perhaps the character is
presented the way his momma wanted him to be. Or perhaps the story was
deliberately crafted to maximize its profit potential by appealing to a
cross-over audience instead of just focusing on the hard-core rap market. I
don't know. I do know that it turned out to be a remarkably accessible film
which I enjoyed watching, even though it's two hours long and filled with
gangsta rap, a musical style I don't find very appealing at all. Given
that, I have to think that you'll like it a lot if this happens to be your kind
of music. The general consensus is that actor/rapper Jamal Woolard brings back
Biggie with uncanny accuracy.
Possibly even better than Cary Grant would have done.
I wouldn't know about that, but I know it's a pretty good yarn, a lot like a
- Notorious split the critics right down the middle: 63 thumbs up, 62
- It grossed a respectable $36 million.
- Roger Ebert liked it a lot and awarded 3.5 stars.
- It's rated a surprisingly low 5.9 at IMDb. It is a better movie than
indicated by that score.
A tremendous upgrade from previous clips from this film ...