Notoriously faking it.

In Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Entertainment on January 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm

A friend and I plan to check out “Notorious”, the biopic about rapper Biggie Smalls this evening.

I’m not sure why I’m paying some serious theater money to see this flick as I’ve yet to see the movies that I really wanna see like that Brad Pitt “Benjamin Button” flick. I mean it’s not like the acting will be stellar in “Notorious” save for Derek Luke, whom I love. I hear he nails Diddy’s one-of-a-kind a la Bad Boy dance moves.

It don’t matter what you tried to do. You couldn’t destroy me!

I’m still here! I’m still strong!

Remember those fame lines from “Antoine Fisher”?

Moving along, so part of my lukewarm attitude about the BIG movie has to do with Angela Bassett starring as Voletta Wallace. It’s the accent thing or lack there of that’s got me wondering what gives?

Could the casting crew not find an actress who could consistently speak with a Jamaican accent? I get the whole you-need-major-stars-to-carry-these-sort-of-movies Hollywood mumbo jumbo but can we get them to act, accent and all? That grates me. I mean REALLY.

I hear Bassett uses a faux Jamaican accent from time to time in the movie but that’s not good enough especially when Mama Biggie Smalls always spoke with an accent the numerous times I’ve seen on her  interviewed on the telly. I mean an accent isn’t tucked away for special occasions. It’s part of her everyday speech just like my pronouncing New York well  New Yawk. Can’t help it. I’m from New Yawk, SON!

But enough about the MJ. Back to one of  my many pet peeves. I simply don’t get why No. 1, West Indian actors and actresses are not cast for these roles. And No. 2, why don’t actors try really, REALLY, really hard to master faking a Caribbean accent. When I pay to see a movie, I want to be convinced, not distracted by an actor’s poor attempt to speak with an accent. And why the hell is it so hard for American actors to achieve this??? What effing gives, huh? Sheese.

And speaking of, why is Missy Elliott doing U.S. Reggae complete with detectable bogus accent? Fuck!!! She has gone too far. I’m covering my ears. I can’t hear you, Missy. I don’t want to hear you, Missy. Stop it! You’re giving me a headache! It’s not like Missy has to put on an accent as a) she’s not auditioning for a role and, b) she’s a friggin producer/singer/rapper who has yet to have a role in a movie to be also called an actress. And if she has had role on the Big Screen, I simply don’t care. Like I said, I’m covering my ears. I want her and all the other culprits to put a cork in it.

A Caribbean accent is not meant to be toyed with. It should be skillfully handled so that it comes off sounding tres authentic, not gibberish. And if someone knowingly speaks with an accent in real life, I expect for one of my favorite (and ahem, Oscar-nominated) actresses to attack the accent full force. No excuses. – MJ

Several hours after later…

I’ve returned from seeing the movie “Notorious.” It. Was. Well. Worth. The. $12.50. My. Friend. Spent. I’ll have to repay her. Good story telling. Great scene transitions. Ignore movie reviews written by or potentially written by someone who can’t name five rap songs by the Notorious.  Aside from being a foodie and bonafide movie snob, I’m a lover of Hip Hop, the culture and its music. Follow your heart and check out the “Notorious.” You won’t be disappointed.

I’m off to eat a whiting sandwich and most likely pay homage to the man who put the East back on the map. Y’all know who I’m talking about and if you don’t know, now you knowwwwwwwwwww!

P.S. Mrs. Bassett spoke not one lick of anything remotely Jamaican or West Indian. Even some white boys hanging outside the theater were discussing her Black American twang.

But as Voletta Wallace has said to Lil’ Kim, who I hear is pissed about her portrayal and wanted an Asian (!!!) to play her, this movie is about Biggie so I’ll drop it.

  1. This is a buch of garbage man they try to explain the lil Kim role it was garbage and I agree with Kim. The fact is no matter who the movie was suppose to please how can you make a movie that includes her without asking her what happened, granted it’a about BIG but obviously they interviewed everyone else how can they depict a real relationship between herself & BIG without asking one of the persons who was involved “KIM”.

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