Man, that Cary Grant is a great actor. I read that he was really great
in Notorious, so I rented it and the buzz was right. He was incredible.
Who could have dreamed that he could play a young, 400-pound black gangsta
rapper? I though DeNiro's transformation in Raging Bull was impressive,
but this impersonation makes DeNiro's look as unimpressive as when I put
on my wax mustache for Halloween and St Swithun's Day.
Oh, that Swithun! What a saint, and what a guy!
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
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 B.I.G. song.