I went and saw "Notorious" over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't have any groundbreaking insights to add to existing reviews: it's a fun, fan-friendly biopic; you don't learn much you didn't already know; Jamal Woolard aka Gravy is absolutely spectacular as Biggie Smalls (of course, we already knew he was a man dedicated to his craft); the music is delightful (particularly the scene that spawns "Juicy"); it's a little unsatisfying (you want to know more about the minutia that are glossed over, but then again, biopics can get long if you aren't careful); the ending is poignant but a little too easy. Peter Travers' review from Rolling Stone is dead-on.
Amateur movie reviews aside, my viewing of "Notorious" was noteworth for a Crown Heights/Franklin Ave sighting. The pivotal scene where Biggie and D-Roc are arrested for illegal firearms possession takes place and was shot right down the street. You can even catch a glimpse in the trailer--the duo are dealing on Prospect Place just west of Franklin when the cops arrive, and they spring down the alley next to the shuttle, pictured above from the St. Marks side. Initially, I figured the neighborhood was just a stand-in for Bed-Stuy, but then I heard an officer onscreen shouting "they're headed for St. Marks!" Apparently the location was deliberate enough to warrant a specific reference. I poked around a little bit but couldn't turn up any concrete evidence that the Notorious B.I.G. was once arrested down the block, but that doesn't mean he wasn't. If anyone can verify, let me know.
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