10 Thoughts About “All Eyez On Me”, Both A Day Late and a Dollar Short » VSB

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10 Thoughts About “All Eyez On Me”, Both A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I finally saw All Eyez On Me, the Tupac Shakur biopic that’s been years in the making after a bunch of fits and starts. It was pretty universally panned by critics, but I loves me a good bad Black movie so a bad review is like catnip to a thug. Also, I’m a big fan of Tupac so there’s almost no way that I wasn’t going to see the film in theaters. With that being said, here are 10 thoughts about the movie, in no particular order.

1. It wasn’t a good movie; it wasn’t a bad movie. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. The entire time I sat in the theater I thought to myself that it could have been so much better of a movie, but then I’d remind myself that Lifetime took a crack at Aaliyah’s life, which means that it could have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay worse. If you’re a Pac fan, there is ALMOST nothing new here to learn. Almost. Straight Outta Compton it ain’t, but Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story it ain’t either.

2. The dude who played Snoop Dogg in the movie blew my mind. In every single review it’s been pointed out how much he sounds like Snoop. I found that hard to believe until I heard him speak. Jarrett Ellis could release an ENTIRE album right now using  his Snoop voice and you’d believe Snoop dropped another album. That’s how much he sounds like Snoop. Good lordt.

3. I feel like anytime – from here on out – that we need Tupac or Biggie, they should just call Demetrius Shipp, Jr. or Jamal Woolard. Typecasting? Sure. But who the hell else are you going to call? Anthony Mackie was the worst Pac ever and should feel ashamed of himself for taking that role in Notorious.

4. It’s been said in quite a few reviews I’ve read, but the most compelling parts of the movie were those that illustrated his relationships with the women in his life, specifically his mother (played by Danai Gurira who put her foot all up and through that role), Jada (Kat Graham) in a limited capacity, and sister, Sekyiwa (Rayven Ferrell). The moments with them all were the vulnerable ones and while his vulnerable side isn’t a mystery to anybody, it was touching to see him like that on screen.

5. I knew about the relationship with Kidada, but I actually felt like THAT would been a much more interesting movie to make about Pac: A movie that functioned within the personal change and duality of the man towards the end of his life when he was with her and was trying to leave Death Row while trying to merge his West Coast and East Coast allies (the One Nation album), until the end. Everything that was in the movie was something you know if you’re a fan. I imagine there are people who don’t know much about Pac or for whom this movie was their introduction into a man they mostly know was a rapper who was killed years ago. But I feel like there was a lot left on the table regarding that relationship.

6. Which reminds me of something else, there were times where the editing made feel like this was damn near a straight to TV movie. Good gracious. It felt so phony and forced in parts, and choppy. The random animation of the Death Row logo in the middle of the film, etc. Critics were pretty hard on the directing and editing and I think it was very justified. Don’t tell John Singleton that though.

7. At the same time, Demetrius Shipp, Jr. channelled the shit out of Tupac during the concert scenes. He had the movements down. The mannerisms down. The bravado down. For everything that I felt was lacking in the grander film, those scenes were done REALLY well. If you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were looking at Tupac up there.

8. Would I recommend going to see All Eyez On Me? Yes. Here’s why: It’s not the best movie, this much is true. But it’s a movie about our culture and about one of the largest figures to ever come out of the culture. That’s good enough for me. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to see it in theaters, either. But I wanted to so I could support because whether good or not, I like to see these movies about iconic figures in the Black world. Am I playing the Black card here? Yes. Yes I am. That’s the best I got.

9. I kind of wonder – and don’t think the answer is yes – if Afeni would have signed off on this movie. I know Benny Boom and L.T. Hutton have emphasized that they tried to take care with the movie and all that jazz, but part of me feels like, damn, it took over 10 years to make THIS movie? It’s basically a Tupac Behind the Music with actors playing all the scenes. Ever since Tupac Resurrection was made, part of me feels like unless you’re going to dig real deep, there’s no point in making a Pac movie. I still feel that way. This movie, in its finality, doesn’t really bring much to the Tupac table, so again, I wonder if Afeni would have signed off on this, and I think the answer is not in the way we got it.

****SPOILER ALERT IN A MOVIE WHERE YOU KNOW THE OUTCOME****

10. I’m SUPER intrigued to know if Pac and Suge were REALLY listening to “Blackberry Molasses” when he got shot. I don’t know why that was so fascinating to me but of all the songs to listen to when you get shot, that just seems so…ironic? Sad? WTFic? I don’t even know the right word. I can’t imagine that’s not true and that had to be shared by Suge. I’d never actually pondered on what they might be listening to in the car until that scene, and then I was like, “really? “Blackberry Molasses???” I’m kind of amazed this isn’t common knowledge, or if it is, how I managed to NOT know this for 21 years.  

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Kas

    What is John Singleton’s second best movie?

    • BrothasKeeper

      Higher Learning.

    • Boyz

      • Kas

        2nd best

  • BM, President of Fuckery
  • Africameleon

    I did not like this film.
    Yes to #6 and #10.
    Black card is not enough in this case.

  • Tashema Shanae

    I would have loved to known more about the relationship with Kidada, the marriage to Keisha Morris. Which was left out, the blackberry molasses song by Mista. Whether they was listening to that song when it really happened. It actually fit the scene.

  • Mr. Mooggyy

    PJ are you sure that wasn’t a Snoop Voice-Over? It had to be! For those who didn’t know, that’s why I posted “Blackberry Molasses” song last week! That is definitely a QTNA! But, you are spot on with the review about this movie!

    • Asking_Questions

      ‘Twas a Snoop voice over, which is why it looked like dude was pantomiming when he talked.

  • Blackberry Molasses was the last thing 2Pac heard before shuffling off this mortal coil. That’s a trip. I might catch this one on Netflix. There’s something about the Cult of 2Pac that makes him hard to listen to. He’s had some bangers (“Hail Mary” is a classic record), but a lot of his stuff hasn’t aged well musically. There’s a reason Biggie has some multiple of streams over Pac despite Pac having a diamond record.

    I didn’t know about the relationship between him and Kidada Jones. It also explains why Quincy Jones randomly tried to son 2Pac in an interview once. Knowing your almost-son-in-law isn’t really ‘Bout That Life had to crawl under his skin. He’s definitely a compelling person, and it’s a shame we’ll never know what he would have turned out to be. All the stories that have come out about a dude that only lived 25 years is interesting. That, and it was him, not Big Daddy Kane, that smashed Madonna. Wow…

    • KMN

      Wait a min…say what nah? Tupac and Madonna? um…boy I guess lmao
      I don’t know how to take that right now…but…Madonna ~eye rolls~

        • KMN

          Hmmm…that just proves they were smashing…and it’s Madonna she smashed EVERYBODY lmao…
          She’s promo’ing a new album…I’mma take this with a grain of salt lolol…but he looks so sunken place in that one pic of them at the table…

      • cakes_and_pies

        Madonna is one of the reasons D’Angelo got out of the game. She loved her some Black D, she was a blonde succubus.

        This is the same broad who said “I’ve never been treated more disrespectfully as a woman than by the Black men that I’ve dated.” but she always ran back to them.

        • KMN

          Dennis Rodman too
          She irks me lmao

          • cakes_and_pies

            I’m glad Prince had enough sense to throw that one back into the ocean.

            • KMN

              Man listen…you can’t outfreak THE freak…she thought she could…she thought wrong…lmao

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Hehe Madonna sounds like she’s sour because she didn’t make the cut for Pimps Up Ho’s Down.

          • KMN

            DEAD lololol

        • cyanic

          She had the misconception marginalized persons were less likely to practice maltreatment of other marginalized persons.

      • Giantstepp

        Yep, pretty much common knowledge for his fans.

        • KMN

          huh…I’m still believe smashing over dating because…Madonna lmao

          • Soul Glo Model

            Live yo best life!

      • Val

        Madonna was the original Kardashian.

        • Kas

          Their was a time when she was on top of the game. At least she had a talent.

          • Val

            Madonna’s main talent was appropriating. But in this instance I’m talking about her bedding Black men.

      • miss t-lee

        yeah girl. Madonna was hitting everything at that time.

    • I thin you can hold “Me Against the World” against most albums today and it would still be listenable.

      • The hype of Pac doesn’t match up with the reality of Pac. I recently listened to All Eyez On Me, and that album desperately needed an editor.

        • Sweet Potato Kai ?

          Dead rappers get better promotion.

          • This was going on when he was alive though. It isn’t merely his death.

      • it wasn’t bloated with guest appearances like his other albums.

    • cyanic

      Pac deserves the immortal treatment he’s gotten. Biggie was wholly entertainment rap.

    • Blueberry01

      Yeah, Todd, your East Coast – or old age – bias is DEFINITELY showing. His Makaveli album still rocks.

  • trillyholiday

    – I’m convinced that was a Snoop voice-over.
    – I wish they would’ve talked more about his marriage to Keisha.
    – I was intrigued too about Blackberry Molasses. Were they really listening to that song before he was shot? It’s a Negro spiritual.
    – They brushed over his childhood, but I wish they would’ve dived deeper and how it impacted his thinking as an adult.
    – I feel the same as Panama. It wasn’t a good movie, but it wasn’t terrible either. I saw it in theaters because we need more movies about our cultural icons. I did it for the culture.

    • Val

      “I did it for the culture.”

      I really need a t-shirt that says that.

      • Kas

        Gets in line to buy one before realizing culture doesn’t equal white wimmenz.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    We need to confirm your #2, Panama. I believe it was already confirmed Snoop did the voice-over for his character.

    • panamajackson

      I’d like to see the receipts. He is not credited anywhere in the movie.

  • BrothasKeeper

    “If you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were looking at Tupac up there.”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cefdd7484af5670415f3dc51b2b210eec487260c709acb0b578353c03a3f0e7b.gif

    I think Pac would’ve been an Oscar winner had he lived. A Black Sean Penn, probably.

    • cyanic

      The actor playing he should have gotten himself lean for the role.

      • BrothasKeeper

        He said in an interview that he was told to gain weight.

        • cyanic

          They wanted a meaty Pac? Eww.

          • KMN

            that reads so nasty lmao

            • MissRosé

              It’s Cy..it was intended to read nasty.

              • cyanic

                A lot of assumptions are made about me in this place.

                • MissRosé

                  Ok.

        • Blueberry01

          Really? Pac never had chubby cheeks…

    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

      I agree to the Oscar part. I even went back and re-watched Juice after I saw this movie. I also loved him in Poetic Justice

      • Kas

        He was a very good actor.

      • BrothasKeeper

        Juice was the best indicator. Also Gridlock’d. Even if he did play it safe and wound up in a Fast and Furious, he had the chops to do a prestige film.

        • Sweet Potato Kai ?

          I never saw Gridlockd. I’ll add it to my I ain’t doing sh it today movie list.

          • Kas

            Good movie

            • Sweet Potato Kai ?

              Like, guy movie good, or just a good movie? Cause yall will watch anything with tidday, guns and weed in it!

              • Soul Glo Model

                I like romance and a lot of talking about feelings in my movies.

                • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                  Lies! What’s the last movie you saw like that?

                  • Soul Glo Model

                    Love Actually
                    Benjamin Button
                    Time Travelers Wife
                    Titanic
                    Their Eyes Were Watching God

                    Yea. I’m a fun date night.

                    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                      Which one did you cry on?

                    • Soul Glo Model

                      I aint telling you in front of everybody.

                    • Kas

                      It was Roll, Bounce wasn’t it?

                    • Soul Glo Model

                      Naw. The 6th man when Dwayne Wayne dies on the Basketball court.

                      Stings the corners of my eyes every time.

                    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                      ***leans in*** whisper it in my ear ?

              • Kas

                Not sure what menz you keep in your life but it sounds like you need to upgrade. I repeat, it’s a good movie, though not great.

                • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                  Why do have to come at the men in my life? Why do we always have to fight each other? Is this what you want on a Monday ?

                  • Kas

                    I took on the souf this morning so I’m good with fighting. However you did insult my recommendation and men in general first.

                    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                      One won?
                      And I merely asked a question, sir. I didn’t realize that was your soft spot

                    • Kas

                      I won of course. Back to the topic at hand. This is merely a question?

                      *Like, guy movie good, or just a good movie? Cause yall will watch anything with tidday, guns and weed in it!*

                    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                      I’m LOL. Why are you so sensitive?The question stands! Come here n let me rub your back.

          • Janelle Doe

            If you ever wanna share that list it’d be much appreciated.

            • Sweet Potato Kai ?

              Lol, will do!

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I LOVED him in PJ. He was naturally good a time everything he did. Poetry. Rap. Acting. The list probably goes on. I still need to see all the other movies he played in.

    • Val

      Or he could have gone the safe route and ended up like Ice Cube or LL.

      • Kas

        Such a waste

        • Val

          Can’t you imagine an older Pac on NCIS? Lol

          • Kas

            That is so depressing.

            • Val

              Lol

          • MissRosé

            Nah, more like Empire or Power…I think he would stay in the culture.

          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            What about The Wire? We all know Pac’s actually East Coast

    • Brown Rose

      He really was a natural actor who had the potential to be really great and better than Penn. Such a complete waste.

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah. He left too soon.

        • Brown Rose

          As a casual fan, he really had potential and if he lived–he would have been in his 40’s probably with a few nominations under his belt at least. Real shame.

          • miss t-lee

            We’re >here<

      • Love Heals

        He was the real McCoy and he did have some training from school. That said, his talent and ability to thoroughly inhabit a role were the reasons so many rappers with zero acting chops were given roles. (Ditto:models after Michelle Pfieffer’s success.) . I imagine serious African-American actors had to have been livid. .

    • panamajackson

      I be wondering if folks catch stuff like that. LOL. It makes me laugh.

      • BrothasKeeper

        You went deep on that one, P!?

      • Kas

        I had to read it twice, but caught it. Well done.

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I did. I loved it. Favorite line. Says the woman who hasn’t even seen the movie yet.

        I just know I won’t like this movie.

    • miss t-lee

      Chris Penn was the better actor though.

      • Brown Rose

        Thank you. And I agree. Never liked S Penn acting. He always alternates between petulant and pissed off whiner. *Blech*.

        • miss t-lee

          Indeed!

      • Val

        Huh?

        • miss t-lee

          He said Pac could’ve been a Black Sean Penn.
          His brother, Chris Penn was the better actor.

          • Val

            Chris better actor than Sean? How sway? Lol

            • miss t-lee

              If you’re familiar with both, you’d know the answer to how.

              • Val

                Lol Luv ya, T but el nopa.

                • miss t-lee

                  It’s cool. Valentina…lol

      • BrothasKeeper

        Uhhhhhhhhhh. No.

    • Mr. Mooggyy

      I saw that and had to look twice! I’m tired. So, I thought I was reading it wrong. Just said, fuck it!

    • Emmie

      http://www.baltimoremagazine.com/2016/9/6/legendary-rapper-tupac-shakur-spent-his-formative-years-in-baltimore

      i feel like if anyone dug into his formative years, we’d get to see more of his potential as an actor and how that blossomed. I’m so curious to see the stories of his youth and these experiences played out on screen. Like the articles says, everything put out about him glosses over his years in Baltimore and the people who knew him (Mouse Man) are still living here and could contribute to this project.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    Again, I said, if there was an award for the Best Impersonation in a Movie, AEOM would take the cake. The movie lacked cohesion, felt too rushed at times, and as you said, offered nothing new for any of the Pac fans. This could have easily been a straight-to-Netflix film.

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