Thoughts About 'Notorious,' on CP Time.

So I finally got to see Notorious, and it wasn’t as bad as I initially guessed it would be. That doesn’t mean it was good. It was pretty formulaic, and offered a textbook example of why voiceover narration is evil and should be avoided at all costs. (WTF? Was Biggie narrating from beyond the grave???) They also did a pretty lousy job of providing some sort of temporal context. With the exception of some shots of the New York skyline with the still-standing World Trade Center and some funny-looking clothing, it could have been 2002 or something.

I cracked on the choice of casting Naturi Naughton (late of the ferociously cheesy 3LW) as Lil Kim, but she owned the few scenes she was in. I stand corrected. Also, um, she’s grown up very, very nicely. Jamal Woolard was pretty solid as big, while Derek Luke was pretty annoying as Puff (which I suppose means he nailed him). The last ten minutes is basically Biggie making amends and learning to appreciate life — just in case anyone watching may have  missed the point that a talented 24-year-old being gunned down is a terrible tragedy.

But we have to talk about Angela Bassett. She’s been coasting on goodwill for “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” for over a decade now, but it’s time to let that go, folks. The past few years for her have basically been “Boy/girl, you KNOW I done raised you better than THAT!” with some crying mixed in. The same is true here, except this time there’s a weird accent (my friend: “is she supposed to be Irish?”) that completely disappears in some scenes.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • Big Word

    I refuse to see this movie. I can’t understand why they couldn’t cast a brother with a lazy eye to play BIG or go the prosthetic route.

  • I saw the bootleg because I REFUSE to pay for it in the theater and someone else got the bootleg so free for me. It was better than I thought but still not that great. It seemed rush which is a shame because I think it could’ve been so much better …with some actor changes and a much better script and maybe Bassett really getting that accent down and less bias in the movie making. Basically, just start from scratch and build from there and keep Jamal as Biggie.