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Notorious [Blu-ray]

158 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Notorious is the story of Christopher Wallace who, through raw talent and sheer determination, transforms himself from a Brooklyn street hustler to one of the greatest rapper of all time, The Notorious B.I.G. This story charts his meteoric rise to fame and his refusal to succumb to expectation. Produced by Voletta Wallace (BIG's mother), Wayne Barrowman and Mark Pitts (BIG's managers), Notorious challenges us all to redefine our notion of what "The American Dream" really is.

In music terms, Brooklyn’s Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace was a hip-hop superstar to rival Oakland’s Tupac Shakur. In movie terms, however, 2Pac has long overshadowed B.I.G. with the films he made as an actor and the documentaries that followed in the wake of his similarly-unsolved murder. George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Men of Honor) aims to correct that imbalance with Notorious, the authorized biography of the larger-than-life New York rapper. Produced by his mother, Voletta Wallace (played by Angela Bassett), and record producer Sean "Puffy" Combs (Derek Luke), Tillman presents Biggie as a bright child who grew up to be a drug dealer before finding his true calling on stage, only to be cut down in the prime of life. In his feature-film debut, Jamal "Gravy" Woolard captures Biggie's complexity--the loyalty to his crew, the disloyalty to his ladies (including Lil' Kim and Faith Evans)--but struggles to make him as sympathetic as the figure that emerges in Nick Broomfield's Biggie & Tupac, simply because the script relies too heavily on the usual musical-bio clichés. Fortunately, several bright spots elevate the scenario, such as Anthony Mackie as Pac, Christopher Wallace Jr. as young Biggie, and Woolard's rapping, which segues seamlessly into B.I.G.'s (the soundtrack mixes original tracks with remakes). If Notorious isn't a failure, it isn't a triumph either, but Tillman has crafted it with love and respect, and only a stone could remain unmoved by the real-life funeral footage at the end. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Notorious (Click for larger image)


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Mohamed Dione, Dennis L.A. White
  • Directors: George Tillman Jr.
  • Writers: Cheo Hodari Coker, Reggie Rock Bythewood
  • Producers: George Paaswell, Mark Pitts, Robert Teitel, Sean Combs, Trish Hofmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TUZI20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,787 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Notorious [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By T Boz on March 15, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Saw this when it was in theaters, and was pleasantly surprised it did not disappoint. What put this film over the top was the excellent casting; the characters of Biggie, Faith Evans, Lil Kim, and even Tupac and Voletta Wallace (played by Angela Bassett) made this a believable account of what happened between these intersecting lives that left such a mark on musical history, and ultimately, a tragedy. You really felt for young Christopher as he grew up in the 80's admiring the rising hip hop stars of the day, and perfecting his rhyming skills on the street, while trying to avoid the perils of drugs and crime. What I liked most about this film was the humanity they brought to his character, making him seem like more of a real person than a musical icon. He wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he was trying to be a good person, no matter what obstacles life threw in his way. Ultimately this is a tale of a flawed individual, as we all are, who was lucky enough to raise himself out of the conditions he found himself in, and tried to make his mark on history, which ultimately, he did.
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Format: Blu-ray
The death of Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace in 1997 was a big shock to hip hop fans around the world.

The events preceding his death was well-known, well-documented in the media in regards to the major riff with the East Coast vs. West Coast hip hop feud.

Considered as one of the greatest hip hop artists ever, "Notorious" is a biopic that documents the life of Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace and grossing over $43 million worldwide.

The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. ("Soul Food" and "Men of Honor") and a screenplay co-written by Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker (the author of "Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.") which showcases and celebrates the rapper's life.


The NOTORIOUS Unrated Director's Cut Collector's Edition Blu-ray Disc is presented in widescreen format (2.55:1 ration) with English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Audio with French and Spanish subtitles. English subtitles will also be available for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Picture quality for "Notorious" looked amazing as you can see the skin pores quite clearly on high definition but what is most amazing is how New York was captured on film. From the beauty of the city to its gritty side, the level of vibrancy in the colors, beautiful cinematography and wonderful editing really made this biopic come alive.

As for the audio, audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio. Audio is crystal clear during the dialogue department but its even more exciting during the musical segments as your speakers really showcase the drum and bass, giving your subwoofers a workout.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on June 21, 2009
Format: DVD

The biopic "Notorious," directed by George Tillman Jr., tells of the life and career of Notorious B.I.G., the gangsta' rapper who was gunned down on the streets of L.A. at the age of twenty-four. B.I.G. began life as Christopher Wallace, a kid being raised by a single mother in Brooklyn who, despite her best efforts, was unable to keep her son from falling prey to the destructive influences of life on the street. For by the age of twelve, he had already begun dealing drugs and, by seventeen, had dropped out of school and served time in prison on a weapons charge. But it was his talent for rapping - for putting into words and music his reflections on what it meant to be a black man living in the inner city - that brought him to the attention of Sean "Puffy" Combs, founder of Bad Boy Records, who signed Wallace, now known as Biggie Smalls, to his first recording contract.

Soon, B.I.G. was a major figure in the gangsta' rap scene, adored by his fans, hated by his enemies and partaking in the fruits of all that the "high life" of a mass market celebrity had to offer: namely, wealth, fame, fashion, women, and an unlimited access to guns and drugs. But as with all such tales, it would seem, Biggie ultimately found himself on an irreversible slide towards self-destruction, culminating in his assassination on Wilshire Boulevard on March 9, 1997, a victim, in part, of the life he lived and of outside forces he was simply unable to control (his killers, incidentally, were never identified).

"Notorious" is less interesting for the admittedly rather predictable cautionary tale and domestic drama it relates than for the glimpses it affords us into the hip-hop and gangsta' rap scene of the 1990s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on August 16, 2010
Format: DVD
I'm not really all that into rap (I like it, but I don't love it), but there is no denying that Notorious B.I.G. was, and will always remain, one of the best acts in the history of rap music. His flow, his fire, his passion rang true in every lyric he spit into the mic, and he sold me with each and every song.

The world of music (not just rap) will forever miss the entity that was Christopher Wallace.

I will admit that when the biopic was released in honor of Biggie Smalls `all too short but oh so meaningful' career I was an immediate skeptic. How could they pull this off and do it right? I'm all for the biopic (undeniably one of my favorite film genres), but there are so many musician biopics out there, and they generally fall into the same pot-holes and thus become increasingly generic. The look and feel presented in the trailer read `elongated music video' and that turned me off, so I avoided it. I happened to stumble across this film the other night while browsing the tube and I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm kind of on the fence here. Overall, the film really is a gigantic cliché, one that I think makes light of the powerful presence that was Notorious B.I.G., but on the other hand, the film is genuinely entertaining and sports a rather remarkable lead performance.

The life of Christopher Wallace may seem rather generic. He was a bright young kid who got derailed by circumstance. He grew up in a poor and dangerous neighborhood and turned to drugs. He spent time in prison, fathered a baby and then got a big break that changed his life. He spilled his heart out in the studio and on the stage, creating an instant fan-base thanks to his effortlessly captivating flow.
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May 10, 2009 by M. Pokorny |  See all 2 posts
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