Review of TUPAC RESURRECTION
Crazy Jim | Massachusetts | 11/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While I am a very big fan of Tupac Shakur, I will present this review based on the movie itself and not "what an AWESOME rapper" I think he is or print my own half-baked theories on how he is really alive. I have noticed that pretty much every review has offered very little detail on the film. With the countless amount of DVD's and other product floating around, is there really a need for another movie based on the life of Tupac Shakur? Well, this movie does offer something that none of the others have before and that is narration by Shakur himself. Courtesy of old audio interviews and soundbytes, Tupac tells the story of his life in a way that few others could. From his birth as the son of a Black Panther to his final days in Vegas, Pac goes into detail on it all. Though commentary on his fatal shooting is clearly actually that of his first shooting at a New York recording studio, there are still some very eerie moments here. He talks about his days on Death Row Records in the past tense even though he was there until the day he died, he predicts his own downfall many times, and speaks candidly on a number of subjects that will really surprise you. The inclusion of Shakur's music is another thing that helps seperate this from a lot of the other documentaries on his life. To be able to hear the man himself speak on some of his best and most controversial recordings while they play in the background makes a huge difference. "Resurrection" really plays like a companion piece to one of Pac's albums. It provides all of the visuals to go with the stories that Pac tells in his complex rhymes. It isn't just a story about rap music though. We're not spending exhausting moments of time in the studio or on concert. This isn't about Tupac the rapper. This movie much like the artist it depicts is bigger than just its contributions to the world of rap music. The film spends most of its time examining the man himself. Going into depth about the controversy surrounding him. It gives him the microphone and allows him to fire back at the hypocritical politicians and Black leaders who try to dismiss his music as "gangsta rap" without even attempting to listen to the message behind it. It allows him to speak in great detail about the real horrors of the ghetto. He talks about his experience in prison and how it nearly destroyed him inside. He give us his side of the story on his sexual assault conviction, his NY studio shooting, and the beef with Notorious B.I.G. and Puffy. At times, "Resurrection" makes the mistake of pointing us away from things that don't show Shakur in the best of light. Well, it isn't exactly a "fluff piece" but there were some details that seem conviently absent. There is a moment where Pac talks proudly about being happy to work with Dr. Dre on Death Row but the movie never makes any mention of their falling out after Dre's departure from Death Row. Pac's feud with Biggie is the only one that actually gets covered while there were several others that at least deserved an honorable mention. For those Pac fans who are still pondering whether this film is worth the price of admission given that you probably have seen or heard every interview and own every DVD, it is. Granted there were a handful of times where I recognized the source of the audio in his narration, it didn't ruin the film at all for me. Seeing this one movie makes all of those other Pac documentaries seem like a waste of money. Pac's story finally gets the respect and attention that it deserves. "Resurrection" is a very unique film that really educates the average fan on the history of its subject. This film would honestly be best suited for those who no little to nothing on Shakur but continue to dismiss him as some "loud-mouthed thug". Sadly, it is that very ignorance that will keep them from ever even giving the movie a chance. With this film, I think Afeni Shakur has done something that I feel she was never able to accomplish in releasing all those posthomous recordings and that is to paint a portrait of Pac that really fits him well. I don't like taking quotes from other reviews, I think Roger Ebert summed it up pretty well when he said "Even if you don't intend to ever see a rap documentary but might have in it you to see one. This is it." This film might not convert you into a Tupac Shakur loyalist but if nothing else, it will give you a better understanding of who he was and why so many young people of all races view him as such an important figure."
Tupac Shakur's Life, Politics, & Problems in His Own Words.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 06/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Tupac Resurrection" is a documentary celebrating the life of Grammy-nominated rapper Tupac Shakur. Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, serves as executive producer on the film, so this is really a loving tribute to her son, made for his many fans. Because MTV produced "Tupac Resurrection", director Lauren Lazin was able to include material from MTV's archives, which would otherwise not be available. Lauren Lazin has done a good job of presenting a coherent portrait of Tupac Shakur's music, message, and personality, from his childhood in Harlem to his death in Las Vegas in 1996, at the age of 25. "Tupac Resurrection" isn't going to convert anyone who doesn't already like Tupac Shakur's music or share his political convictions. His detractors will find their justification in the film, and his fans will find theirs. Perhaps ironically, that is the film's strength. "Tupac Resurrection" uses a lot of interview audio, as well as the interviews, themselves, to present Tupac's life in his own words. He speaks for himself here. Afeni Shakur and director Lauren Lazin are to be commended for including the less admirable aspects of Tupac's personality, including coverage of his 1994 trial for sexual abuse which resulted in Shakur serving eleven months in prison. Tupac Shakur once said that his life is a story of "ambition, violence, redemption, and love". Love him or hate him, this is a very good documentary about a man who not only cultivated the image of constant conflict, but also the reality.The DVD: This is a very good package of bonus features for Tupac Shakur fans. In "Interviews", you will find a never-before-seen interview from 1992, recorded by MTV while Shakur was recording "A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 2" and an interview with Tupac and Snoop Dogg that was taped after the 1996 Music Video Awards. The "Malcolm X Dinner Speech" is a speech Tupac gave in 1992 at a dinner banquet given by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. "Deposition" is a video taped deposition that Tupac gave in 1995 while in the Clinton Correctional Facility concerning a lawsuit. "About the Resurrection Soundtrack" features three songs from the movie accompanied by interviews with the artists: 2 songs by Eminem and one by 50 Cent. There are two videos in "Music Videos". In "Remembering Tupac" ten actors and musicians and nine family members talk about what Tupac Shakur meant to them in mostly separate interviews. The celebrities include Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Dogg, Treach, Mary Jo Blige, and 50 Cent. "Mutulu Shakur Interview" is with Tupac's stepfather. In "Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts", Afeni Shakur talks about the performing arts center that bears her son's name. "Bootleg This!" is a short statement concerning lawsuits against Tupac Shakur's estate. Also included are some deleted scenes and an audio commentary featuring director Lauren Lazin, Tupac's mother and executive producer Afeni Shakur, and some surprise guests. I wouldn't recommend the bonus features if you're simply interested in learning about Tupac Shakur, but are not especially a fan. It really doesn't provide any additional insight. But this is a gold mine for fans."
To Many Critics, To many Opinions.. Not enough understanding
realist_critic | los angeles, california United States | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was flawless. There wasn't a single mistake nor error. I know that is a disappointment to maintstream Hollywood, but it's true! Yes there is finally a great movie about the most Controversial rap artist of our time. There is finally a movie that shows how wrong, biased, and down right evil the media was towards Pac during his life time. They tried to reduce him to nothing but a low-life, trouble making, hood star with tattoos. Just because they were threatened by the truth in his lyrics, and the realness of his actions. Let's keep it real, Tupac represented a whole mass of youths in urban ghettos all across the country, if mainstream media accepted Pac, then they would have to accpet all of us, gangstas and thugs included! and you know they are not having that! With that being said, it's not suprising to hear some of the negative reviews previously stated. Some people would love to keep Tupac Shakur in that negative depiction of a thug life screaming maniac with out hearing his side of the story. Well this movie dismisses all of that. We hear the story coming straigt out of his mouth. We heard why he did certain things, how he felt about it, and his opinions of his own actions. If you watched the movie you saw that he was caring, intellegent, beautiful, charismatic, charming, misunderstood and incredibly talented. Don't get me wrong.. He had his faults as well.. But he didn't have faults because he was Tupac, he had faults because he was HUMAN, not only that but he was only 25! Let Pac rest in Peace! He was already his biggest critic. If you're going to tell a story about him then tell all sides. If your going to scream about him being a thug, then also scream about him being politically conscious. If your going talk about him being in trouble with the law, then keep it real with yourself and others and talk about how almost everyone with the last name SHAKUR is either dead or in jail from their political practices.This movie shows all of that.. The good and the grimy, the real and the romantic. It is a most have for any fan of hip-hop, urban politics, and future film makers....until next time
MAKAVELI FINALLY IN HIS OWN WORDS
Shanan T. Gocher | Sydney, NSW Australia | 03/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There has been so many dvds (8 IN ALL)released about 2pac since he was murdered on sept 7 1996 at 25yrs. His estate has released 8 albums & there is still more to come plus he stared in 6 movies while he was alive. This movie captivates you from start to finish, his eyes draw you in & make you feel like your going threw the struggle with him. His life was so short yet he achieved so much, with just another 6 months who knows how many more albums we would have coming out. This movie is filled with never before seen footage of pac on several talk shows where he does not hold back on anyone & you get to hear his side of what happend from his fights with police,rape allegations & of coarse biggie & puffy. AS you watch you come to realise that puffy is a fake man beyond words & that one day he will be exposed. AND songs like hitem up & about 20 others he made dissing puffy & biggie would be what anyone would do in his position who was shot 5 times. Ressurection is by far the best movie made about pac, his music sets the soundtrack perfectly as the story unfolds. At the end you are left with an empty feeling that all the jealousy of others was what finally brought him down(they wounder how i live with 5 shots, ni**az are hard to kill on my block). Pac never let up on his goal(to make us all aware white & black,what the governement & certain people in the world are fooling us & leaving us in vicious cirle of poverty & no hope) even after his death he still remains the best rapper of all time. Ressurection will be a classic for years, plus the dvd will have extra scenes & interviews. This movie is so enjoyable beacause there is no one else talking about him its all pac telling his story(some of the comments he makes leaves you woudering did he sit down & tell his story to a mic before he died so his legacy would live on. Im getting 2 copies when its released on june 15. Pacs lyrics will live on for ever. rest in peace pac & yak"