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TV/Film & Literature / Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Last post by 209 on Today at 06:19:41 PM »


Notorious (2009), directed by George Tillman Jr.

When I was in fourth grade, I had a friend that was a Biggie Smalls fanatic. My friend had this idea that we should perform at the talent show. One of us was going to be Puff and one was going to be Biggie. I don't remember who was supposed to be which, and it wasn't a good idea anyway, but this is what I think of whenever one of Biggie's songs comes on the radio. I looked up my friend and I couldn't find him, otherwise I would be writing him about this right now rather than posting this review. Notorious is a film that I should have watched prior to viewing Straight Outta Compton. The latter makes the former feel completely underdone. Biggie was just as brash as anyone. Hasn't everyone seen the video for Hypnotize? This movie was nothing like that in any way.

Chris Wallace (Jamal Woolard) was a young man who was raised by a single parent, Voletta (Angela Bassett). His mother was very busy, and Chris spent his days selling crack. The older he got, the more he sold, the more his mom started to notice that something might be off. Eventually, Chris got busted dealing crack in North Carolina. While in jail, his girlfriend gave birth, so Chris had a family to support both when he went in and when he came out. Once he got out, he recorded a demo, which eventually led to him being noticed by Puff (Derek Luke). This portrayal is pretty much dead ass accurate. Anyway, Puff wanted Biggie off the streets, that didn't happen. What got him off the street was that he got arrested on a gun charge, along with his friend D-Roc (Dennis L.A. White). D-Roc said that the gun was his, knowing that Biggie could make it big. So he did and all that stuff, which we all know.

There are some other good portrayals here, which is necessary. These kinds of films are reliant on supporting roles because they're effectively trading on their appearances in order to make the film believable. One bad turn and the whole thing falls apart. Anthony Mackie made a great Tupac. He was also in The Hurt Locker that year, and I cannot think of many more dissimilar films than these two. Faith Evans (Antonique Smith) was another great performance. On the negative side, Lil' Kim (Naturi Naughton) complained that this portrayal was completely inaccurate, in terms of the way she met Biggie and everything else. She's not the only one who says so, so that goes down as a negative point. Non-fiction should not present fiction.

The film is flawed beyond my initial complaints about it not being flashy enough, but I need to come back to that. His lifestyle was not really portrayed here. His relationships with the four women in his life were, but that's only one piece of the puzzle. I understand why this is, because the budget for this wasn't exactly gigantic, but I would have liked to see more. This film is also generic in its presentation of rags to riches. It just...is. The dialogue is not great. The film also goes too far down the road of West Coast/East Coast rivalry. This is another thing that I understand why it was done, but it's a little annoying to me. Similarly annoying is that Puff is pretty much presented as somebody who should be canonized. That's one of the reasons I said the portrayal was pretty accurate, it's exactly what the guy seems like, but we all know he's really a piece of shit. He did bad things that have been proven in court.

On the subject of somebody being a piece of shit, I don't like to take shits on dead people, but Biggie Smalls was a piece of shit too. The film is kind enough to present just enough to make that clear, and if you're stupid enough to think a few phone calls he made before dying made up for his behavior and actions, then you're a total idiot. I don't know why those phone calls were inserted into this film, but I have my suspicions. I know this doesn't cover all of somebody's wrongdoing, but it's just enough to a greater extent than Straight Outta Compton did. While Straight Outta Compton is the superior film, the major complaint everyone has is the exclusion of the way Dr. Dre would treat women. At least it's not entirely excluded here, and I appreciate that.

The thing I often can't stand about biographical pictures is that they are made with the intent of canonizing people who do not deserve it. There are very few exceptions to this, and with many of those exceptions the wrong message is gleaned from them, so it doesn't matter what the filmmaker intended to do in the first place. The consumer is not often able to accept that the person whose music they liked did bad things. After all, what the person did in this case, even though that wasn't the intention put on the screen here, was to make music that made people happy. That's what most people are doing with their entertainment products whether intending to or not. At least in this case, they did not completely canonize a bad person. I enjoy his music, but I am clearly hung up on this and cannot stop talking about it, so I will cut myself short. Jamal Woolard's ability to resemble that person is remarkable. Unfortunately, as with so many other actors of color, he served his purpose to Hollywood and I have not seen him in anything else. This was a good movie though.

7/10
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Sports / Re: CXF Fantasy Football '17 - Rivalry Week!
« Last post by Krankor on Today at 06:17:18 PM »
Rivalry Week! Remember, you beat your opponent you take $20 from them. If they are already bankrupt, you'll get your money at the start of next season.

WEEK SEVEN RIVALRY WEEK MATCHUPS
Mel Kiper Jr Jr's vs Springfield Atoms
All-Pro Pop Stars vs Kings of Crunk
Flamingos vs Gotham Harlequins
HamAndEggersInc vs SteakGrowsOnCutler
Harrington's Heroes vs Pawtucket Patriots
Hawk's Squadron vs Medium's Marauders
Houston 1836 vs The Champs Are Here
RetardeSean Jackson vs XFL Allstars

Bold indicates winning team. Kotz is at -$20 in debt to the coffers for being at a $0 balance with a Rivalry loss. All other FAAB accounts have been updated.
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Sports / Re: Later Ya'll (This Eternity in Baseball)
« Last post by Slayer on Today at 05:38:39 PM »
I was amused by having those memories refreshed but thought "Wow everyone in that rant is long long gone (or dead) now" until I realized that Cashman is still there, thirteen years later
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Wrestling / Re: TLC 2017: Kurt Angle Returns
« Last post by King Kamala on Today at 04:03:40 PM »
This PPV really reminded me of a mid '90s WCW PPV. Real solid albeit kind of dry (cause no real good buildup to most of the matches) undercard with a dumb, overbooked main event where the heels looked like doofs and red faced, middle aged star triumphed against the odds.
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Wrestling / Re: TWIW 10/23-10/29: The Build to Brock Vs Jinder Begins
« Last post by Damaramu on Today at 03:38:45 PM »
I really hate the way these first two matches for Asuka have been booked.
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Sports / Re: NFL Week 7: THUG BOWL
« Last post by on Today at 03:29:49 PM »
The San Diego Los Angeles Chargers of Anaheim shouldn't be able to shut any team out this year. The Broncos stink.
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MMA/Boxing / Re: MMA General Discussion 2017
« Last post by Old school tough guy on Today at 03:18:10 PM »
https://www.mmafighting.com/2017/10/22/16515866/conor-mcgregor-drops-homophobic-slur-multiple-times-backstage-at-ufc-event

Quote
It was unclear exactly what McGregor, an Ireland native, was conveying to Lobov, but he unmistakably used the word “f*ggot” at least three times and it seemed to be in reference to Fili.
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Wrestling / Re: TWIW 10/23-10/29: The Build to Brock Vs Jinder Begins
« Last post by strummer on Today at 02:21:50 PM »
Notice how Miz and the Bar weren't there to help either.  Now Angle has to beg them to join him after he's fucked them over.  Good stuff
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Wrestling / Re: TWIW 10/23-10/29: The Build to Brock Vs Jinder Begins
« Last post by strummer on Today at 02:18:51 PM »
I think I liked that segment but I'm not sure what I just watched.

Bryan is going to be the voice of reason in all this, right?  There's a reason he wasn't there.  Like with
Sami and KO
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Wrestling / Re: TWIW 10/23-10/29: The Build to Brock Vs Jinder Begins
« Last post by 209 on Today at 02:11:00 PM »
That was a total TNA segment and I loved it.
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