Flavor In The Street Review: Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B + The Way Aaliyah's Life Was Being Potrayed:
I'm sure you all caught up with the Aaliyah biopic, which made it's big debut last night. I said that I was going to do a review, when I thought I was fully ready. Now, I'm not going to cover everything, and this isn't going to be perfect. It's going to be a "Flavor In The Street Review," so now you guys know what to expect. During a "Flavor In The Street Review" I usually go all over the place, about the particular thing I'm reviewing. Don't know what I mean yet? Well your getting ready to see:
In the Aaliyah biopic, it starts out with a young Aaliyah performing "My Funny Valentine" by Ella Fitzgerald on Star Search. I remember discovering this performance some months ago, and I couldn't get over how cute Aaliyah was. She was about 10 years old, and she had the voice of an angel. Now, that I fully remember, my exprience of watching this performance, I remember watching the other girl perform (the girl who went against Aaliyah), and I was so confused with how Aaliyah lost, when she sounded much better than her competition. Anyway, the biopic is more like a timeline in my opinion. It only goes through the important events in Aaliyah's life, and I'm sure most of you are like, "Well isn't that what biopics are based on?" Yeah, that's true, but I didn't discover anything new from this biopic, is what I'm saying. I can't say I was a big Aaliyah fan, but I knew everything that was going to happen. I wanted a few surprises. I couldn't take the project too serious, because in my opinion, I just thought the biopic was based on rumors. It wasn't actually real evidence. We can't actually say when Aaliyah told her parents about her marriage to R. Kelly, that Aaliyah tried to fight her dad. This was "Supposedly" the most intense scene from the movie, but like I said earlier, nothing about it moved me. I wasn't feeling it. As an actor or actress, you have to really bring it. Show me a little emotion. I can tell, just from the biopic, that Aaliyah had a strong love for R. Kelly, and she was so sad, when she lost him, but come on, we could've gotten a tear or two from Alexandra. Another scene that I wasn't happy about with this biopic, was Aaliyah meeting Timbaland and Missy Eliott. I expected this movie to really focus around them, since they really helped Aaliyah throughout her musical journey, but they only made one apperance. Timabaland ever recommended his fans not to watch the movie saying in the caption of an instagram snapshot, "Hope y'all not watching this." Wow. Another problem was the music. I think that, it's weird how someone does a biopic on an artist, and they don't even have the music rights. This is Aaliyah PEOPLE. I thought this just meant they weren't allowed to use Aaliyah's music. I didn't know that meant Alexandra wasn't allowed to perform it, with her own vocals. I think that would've put something to the producers head, that this just wasn't going to work out properly, but they decided to continue on with the movie. Also, another thing that bothered me, was the actors. Most of them were pretty decent, but were these people new actors, or have I just never seen any of their work? The only one I could actually say I knew was Alexandra Shipp and that was for her little role in the "Drumline" movie. I think they needed a professional or true Aaliyah fan to produce this movie. This was Wendy's first time actually producing a movie, so you have to cut her some slack. I just wished she would've had more experience with doing this.
Some other things that I almost forgot to mention was this guy playing R. Kelly. He got on my last nerves, and I didn't think it was possible for someone to look worse than R. Kelly. Plus, during some scenes he kept whispering, and basically from what I'm seeing in this biopic, they make R. Kelly look like he was a punk, but most of the stuff that happen, in regards to R. Kelly, was true, so I guess you could say he was.. (Lol) I just couldn't believe all these things he said to Aaliyah, about how Aaliyah just needed a couple of years, and they could finally be legally married. She lied about her age, so she could get married to this fool, and years later, he just gets married to another chick. I also couldn't believe Wendy didn't mention anything about Aaliyah's relationship with Jay-Z, Ginuwine, or Nas. I also think they should've had 3 actresses play Aaliyah. Like, a young Aaliyah, a older Aaliyah, and a woman to play Aaliyah during her later years, because they way it seems, Alexandria never aged. She just looked the same throughout all the years. The movie went from 1994 to 2001 in regards to her music career, and Alexandria barely aged. Sure, her clothes got sexier, but that was about it. She still looked like a "supposedly 15 year old" throughout the movie. (If you watched the movie, you'll get what I'm saying)
Also, I caught a performance from the movie. I believe it was Aaliyah performing a song by Marvin Gaye. She supposedly sampled it in one of her songs. What I didn't get was the vibe of the live performance. I remember when Lifetime teased the performance, and I was just like, "What?" Aaliyah never had shirtless dancers in her live performances, and she was never grinding on man. Her background dancers never grinded on the girls in the audience either. That was just a little digusting scene from the movie in my opinion, plus I felt like at certain parts throughout the song, the beat was going way too fast, like they were rushing to get past this scene. I felt like a lot of things got skipped throughout this movie. I saw R. Kelly and Aaliyah talking on the stairs in one scene, and then the next scene, (after the commercial) I see Aaliyah at her parents house. Something I did actually enjoyed watching throughtout the movie was Aaliyah's relationship with her grandmother, and I think that's because I always love watching grandparent/grandchild love. They had such a special bond, and I never got to see them again, throughout the rest of the years of the movie, and her grandmother said in the biopic, to not forget about her. That's the way they potrayed it though.
At the end of the movie, they showed Aaliyah's relationship with Damon Dash. I couldn't watch that scene without thinking of Fifteen Cent and Penny Proud, only because their dressing style was so similar.
I even mentioned it during my conversation with my friends on the biopic:
That scene, really went by quick, like I can't say much about it. I do think the actor they had playing Damon Dash sounded like an old man, who used to smoke cigars, but that's just opinions.
Around the end of the movie, Aaliyah is seen saying goodbye to Damon Dash, because she's going to Marsh Harbour to film, what would be her last music video, "Rock The Boat." At the end, she waved goodbye and told Damon Dash how much she loved him, then a big caption shows up talking about how Aaliyah died, and what age it happen. I did actually expect them to show Aaliyah filming for "Rock The Boat." They didn't have to include the plane crash, but at least "Rock The Boat."
Oh, well.. That's my 2 cents. What did you guys think on the other hand?