A: The true life story of Christopher Wallace, A.K.A Biggie Smalls, A.K.A Notorious B.I.G., A.K.A. Big Poppa, covering his childhood dealing drugs on the streets of Brooklyn to his highly publicized East Coast/West Coast hip-hop/rap rivalry with Tupac Shakur, which ultimately led to both of their untimely deaths. This movie begs the question: does any man need that many names?
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Jamal Woolard, Derek Luke, Anthony Mackie, Angela Bassett, Naturi Naughton, Antonique Smith, Dennis L.A. White, Marc John Jefferies, Julia Pace Mitchell, Kevin Phillips, and Christopher Jordan Wallace-- Biggie's real son, playing his dad as a youngster.
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. It's a perfectly well done movie about a perfectly overdone story. While this is the first fictionalized version of Biggie's life, it doesn't shed any new insight onto the matter that hasn't already been brought to light in the 2002 documentary Biggie and Tupac or the 2007 documentary Notorious B.I.G. Bigger Than Life... Or for that matter, from having lived through it, since it all only happened 12 years ago.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: The funniest thing is how even keeled and charming Sean "Puffy" Combs comes off, as portrayed by Derek Luke. Just to give you an idea of how funny this is, here's a story: My friend Kimberly's friend used to work for P. Diddy, until she quit because she realized he was a chair thrower. Yes, at people. What makes this joke particularly funny, is that Puff Daddy is an executive producer on the film, and the only surviving member of the feud, and therefore also the only one who could protect his image as to how he would be represented in this film.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: There is a very touching scene, where Biggie's friendly neighborhood drug dealer takes a rap for him, and goes to prison in his place, so that Biggie can pursue his rap career. I don't buy it for a second as truth, but it's very good writing.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: Probably an Image Award. After all, in this version of the truth, Biggie does manage to make amends, before he dies, with all the women he'd been using, abusing, cheating on, impregnating, and undeservedly treating like complete whores. His apologies make for another moment that I don't buy, but I enjoyed as a piece of good writing.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: The most impressive thing is how all these drop dead gorgeous women manage to act like they're attracted to this ugly-ass man. (No offense to newbie actor, Jamal Woolard, who was pretty much pulled off the street to play this part, and does a very convincing job.) And don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of his music, too, but talent is no excuse to despicably disrespect women like he does-- especially if he was raised by a mother as loving and strong as the one depicted in this film by Angela Bassett.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: George Tillman Jr. creates the perfect ambiance for the story, using the grain in the film stock to create a look that's glamorous but not glossy-- perfectly matching the tone of Biggie Smalls' life.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: The story is well told, it has simply been told too many times... Which is probably why my favorite parts were the parts that seemed made up.
Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?
A: It's somewhat distracting that the actress who plays Lil' Kim, , looks exactly like Mary J. Blige.
Q: Where can I see the trailer?
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