Robert Teitel

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Notorious (2009) Review


Bad
In hindsight, the thought that a film could have ever done justice to Christopher George Latore Wallace, the Brooklyn-born rapper who went by the names Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G. until his untimely, unsolved murder in March 1997 at the age of 24, was a foolish if exceedingly hopeful fantasy. Would any director possibly be as good at balancing blunt criticism -- of masculinity, poverty, the music industry, the black experience in America and, perhaps most importantly, himself -- and have as big an ego as the late MC? Maybe Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep) but his project never came to pass.

What we are presented instead is Notorious, a dutifully celebratory, profoundly inept retelling of the rise of Wallace from fatherless coke slinger on the corner of Fulton and St. James to the still-praised Shakespeare of hip-hop and best friend to that other don of hip-hop culture, Sean "Puffy" Combs. The film, which is directed by Soul Food helmer George Tillman Jr., opens on the infamous shooting of Wallace outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA. As the first bullet is fired, the screen pauses and the voice of the deceased rapper kicks in and rewinds us back to the beginning of the tale with a 12-year-old Wallace, played by Christopher Jordan Wallace, the son of Wallace and R&B singer Faith Evans, sitting outside Queen of All Saints Middle School in Bed-Stuy, waiting for his mother Voletta (Angela Bassett).

Continue reading: Notorious (2009) Review

Beauty Shop Review


Weak
Television shows spin-off characters all the time - Matt LeBlanc leaves Friends for Joey and Cheers gives way to Frasier. Not so in movies, where producers frequently tease similar spin-offs but rarely make the big-budget steps to actually get these projects off the ground. For every Elektra, for example, there are promised X-Men franchises waiting to be built around Wolverine and Magneto.

Bucking the odds, MGM's Beauty Shop spins off from the successful Barbershop comedies, taking Queen Latifah's sassy stylist Gina Norris from the second installment and setting her up in a potential franchise all her own.

Continue reading: Beauty Shop Review

Men Of Honor Review


Good
Diving movies rule!

I just can't seem to get enough of the thrill of the being submerged in hundreds of feet of water with the ever-present threat of drowning all around me. You know, that feeling of small animals crawling into my wetsuit or larger animals deciding to eat me whole. The intoxicating sensation of my lungs exploding from gas build-up in my lungs. How can you argue with that?

Continue reading: Men Of Honor Review

Robert Teitel

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Robert Teitel Movies

Notorious (2009) Movie Review

Notorious (2009) Movie Review

In hindsight, the thought that a film could have ever done justice to Christopher George...

Beauty Shop Movie Review

Beauty Shop Movie Review

Television shows spin-off characters all the time - Matt LeBlanc leaves Friends for Joey and...

Men of Honor Movie Review

Men of Honor Movie Review

Diving movies rule!I just can't seem to get enough of the thrill of the being...

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