Street Buzz About Roxanne Roxanne …
Decent HipHop biography with great acting and poor execution
amonem5 November 2018
I remember exploring Roxanne Shante and the infamous Roxanne wars, since I was still not born by that time, but around BDP conflict with MC Shan. I became quite the hip hop schollar since then, so I was realy excited to see some new biography of maybe nowadays forgoten rapper.
The movie had some amazing, excelent performances – Marshala Ali is simply one of the better actors of this generation, maybe even top 10 at the moment. Every scene he engages in is pure gold from his side. I was surprised, since the main actress was a mystery to me, but her job was well done – she had great charisma, attitude and most of all – diversity in delivering different types of feelings to the audience. The script however was not so good – maybe even the direction, because the story itself is something a viewer could easily get into, but the delivery was just so mediocre, you stop caring about the characters during the movie (even though they are going through hard times, have interesing plots and meet interesting historical people, it just comes out flat and soon to be forgotten). I realy wish this was done better, because it had so much potential to be a stand-alone biopic, different from everything else, but it ended up being same old repetitive tv movie.
I hit you because I love you.
nogodnomasters1 July 2018
This is a biopic, or autobio pic of Hip-Hop Rapper Roxanne Shanti. She was rapping as a child, so as a teen she was quite good and recorded a record which gave her some notoriety, but not the money that she had hoped for. She still had life issues with a drinking mother whose main fault was that she trusted a man.
Shanti’s second job after rapping was being a punching bag. The problem with the film is this was just a slightly more than average life and really not worth making a film about it, although the acting was fine.
Guide: F-word. No nudity. Attempted rape, sex.
pdiamant201121 April 2018
Yo came here to ask just a quick question, was “Tone” from the film supposed to be the same Tone with the one from the “Trackmasters” fame? Thank you, holler if you know anything.
Mostly well made, and somewhat involving.
Hellmant6 April 2018
‘ROXANNE ROXANNE’: Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A Netflix original drama about a teenage girl in Queens, New York (during the 1980s), who had to fight to provide for her family, and defend herself on the streets, while also becoming a hip-hop legend at the same time (rapper Roxanne Shanté). The movie was written and directed by Michael Larnell (who also performed both duties on 2015’s ‘CRONIES’). It stars Chanté Adams, Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips and Shenell Edmonds. Forrest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams served as producers, and RZA did the music. The film was released by Netflix through it’s streaming site. I found it to be mostly well made, and somewhat involving.
The story begins in the New York Queensbridge Projects, in the early 1980s, when Lolita Gooden (Adams) was just a young teen. She had to struggle to support herself, and her family, and defend herself from predators constantly. Lolita was already a very gifted rapper at that age, that went by the name of Roxanne Shanté, and her musical talents helped her survive on the streets as well. This movie details her rise to fame, as she also struggled just to get by.
The film is another story about a very strong, and talented, young woman, that has to put up with constant sexism, and oppression, but still survives. It’s well shot and acted. It’s also really depressing, and frustrating at times as well. Obviously it’s an inspiring story in the end. I would have liked a little more from the third act though, the film seems to end without a strong emotional climax of any kind. Overall it’s a well made movie though.
What a let down
paperboy990005 April 2018
I checked out Roxanne Roxanne after seeing people speak good about the film on a instagram post. Now I’m wondering what movie they were watching. Movie lacks depth and left me with many questions. Who was raising her son? The cocaine dealer/user father was taking care of the baby? How did her son end up being grown over night. So many questions.. .
Film let down by poor script and direction.
stellanjara1 April 2018
Film let down by poor script and direction. There were lots of moments that were just useless, utterly useless. The actors were good but the lack of direction, plot and story line left it drifting in the breeze.
It could of been really great but it missed the mark totally. I felt it was rather a film of “why men are rubbish” or “how to groom a teenage girl” instead of rap and hip hop. Where were all the rap battles and hip hop scene???
Give this a miss and don’t waste an hour and half of your life. Although towards the middle I forwarded through the film in the hope it got going, it never did!
I Didn’t Move!
authorkradir31 March 2018
From the time I pressed play, I DID NOT get up from my seat. I paused the film maybe twice, to explain scenes to my family members. Other than that, I was thoroughly engrossed in the movie. It was heartbreaking, an emotional roller coaster ride. I was drawn back to the 80’s when Roxanne raps were on fiya! The film to me, confirmed what is MISSING in rap and rap artist. The only thing is, I wished it was longer! Bravo!!
Great Performances …… Bad Film
AhmedSpielberg9931 March 2018
The only thing that redeems this messy film is the superb acting specially from the lead actress Chanté Adams; she made me care about her character and root for her character, although neither the character’s background or the struggles that the character went through have been represented well. Also, Mahershala Ali gave an awesome and powerful performance, he steals every scene he’s in in this film.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a bad film but the great acting is what kept me riveted while watching it.
At the first act, the film tries to show me Roxanne Shanté’s backstory which should be important but what I got instead are details about minor characters that don’t have anything to do with the story but even that it was hard to figure out who’s who. Also, there are a lot of in-your-face messages about racism.
The character of Roxanne Shanté’s mother is annoyingly stereotyped and the film gave her dramatic scenes which are so corny. The dialogue is so faked and stilted that it ruined some great acted scenes.
There are many important turning points in the plot that are so rushed.
jersmac30 March 2018
I remember when my boy D came home from Detroit with a Roxanne tape. It was all we played for weeks. This movie was well acted but lacked the feeling of the time and music of the period. I expected more from it.
mochabeige25 March 2018
I Luv’d this movie. I did not expect the quality of the movie to be as such. Just seeing how they brought it back to yesterday with the clothes, the slang and how we were all the way around back in those day. It brought back such good memories. When I 1st saw that ROXANNE ROXANNE gold Name Plate I thought of how I had one with my name on it as well and how SPECIAL of a feeling I had when I got it.
But mostly to see your Journey Roxanne Shante and how u were the one to open the doors for the Female Rap Mc’s today.
This Movie is worth the watch and to watch it over and over again.
I’M ROXANNE SHANTE…!
What a let down.
MovieCriticOnline25 March 2018
I love hip-hop history, but very few films ever get it right, with the exception of Wild Style, Style Wars, and Beat Street, no other film captured the hip-hop scenes.
And unfortunately, Roxanne Roxanne didn’t break the legacy of any of those 3 films. It just didn’t feel like they were living in the times of 80s from the clothes to the hairdos. it was more like the 70s.
The lead girl was actually pretty good, but the directing wasn’t very good. It was hard to figure out where they were sometimes and what they are doing and why, location and time wise.
There was a failure by the writer to establish a good relationship. And the music was all off. Sometimes it felt the 80s, but then the music felt 70s and vice versa. The wrong wardrobes, which must have been done by people that didn’t know the times, like the oversizes Adidas tracksuits and pulled down Kangol hats. All wrong. not the style of NYC hip hop at that time.
Too many close-ups. Maybe they were trying to avoid the 2000s scenery. There were also too many characters, which made it hard to follow. They should have focused on 1-3 an then let the time period and progression surround around those characters, instead of adding too many.
The movie was just poorly executed and was way too many scenes that were supposed to create an emotional connection were either forced or rushed or both.
It’s like this film was written and directed by someone that wasn’t there at the time or just too young to have known the times the film takes place and then just adding a few words here and there they got from a Hip Hop lexicon. I.e. they read a hip-hop history book and then imagined what it was like. I was right after watching this.
Just sad the subject matter wasn’t handled properly. It could have been a great story if done right. Just too many things weren’t believable. There was too much unnecessary resistance.
Was the music not cleared?
ROCKAFELLA7125 March 2018
I grew up near New York during the time of Roxanne’s career. Shante was known for battling and, although not the first female MC, was the first I can remember doing a response record on wax that became popular. There were some good actors in the film and of course the person playing Shante and my future one day in my dreams baby mama Nia Long were great. Having said that, Shante to me was never a superstar such as an MC Lyte or Queen Latifah but that was more so because Shante was out earlier than those MCs and the state of rap was different during her reign for females. Having said all that, after watching this film with this abrupt ending I felt like something was missing. I thought her struggles with her mother, relationship, and Marley Marl were noted, but again something from this film was missing. Sure they showed other rappers at the time i.e. MC Shan, Biz Markie, Sparky D (always thought her delivery was better than Shante’s), etc but something was missing. When the abrupt ending took place and she was in the projects with her mother listening to the Legendary Nas rap as a child and then it went off I felt that I missed something. I went to bed that night closed my eyes and then it hit me. The music. If you watch Notorious, Walk the Line, Straight Outta Compton, New Edition, The Doors, The Temptation, Ray Charles, the one thing that stayed constant to making those good movies is the director did not only show case skills but also had music in those movies created by the artist the biopic was about and/or music from other artists at the time. This movie basically played one song…Roxanne’s Revenge. They didn’t even play the original song Roxanne Roxanne of which prompted Marley to ask her to make the response record. Where was all the other music from that time to help with the atmosphere of the movie? Even when she went to do a different song live, it was done to Beat Box so no music had to be played. So my question is did they not get clearance from Warner Bros. or whoever was distributing their music at the time? In spite of that they did a decent movie without music from the artist. Lastly, at the end of the movie she talks about her album coming out. They did not even discuss the album she was going to come out with which I assume had the songs “Have a Nice Day” and my personal favorite “Go On Girl”. The story was ok, was more nostalgic for me remembering those times but not something I would rush to see again.
Watchable, but lacking
lnsheppard24 March 2018
Being an 80s baby, I was so excited to watch this movie. Once I saw that Pharrel Williams, Forrest Whitaker, and Nia Long were involved I got even more excited. Once I actually started watching–whole different story. The movie felt so disjointed. We never even really get to see WHY she was the best. In the opening scenes, we see Chante as a little girl going to battle a grown man, but then…nothing! It cuts to another, unrelated scene. I enjoyed seeing her home life and the relationship with her mom and sisters, but that should’ve been the backstory. As a pioneer for females in hip hop, I think she deserved better. The movie should’ve been written in such a way that a millenial could watch it and get a feel for the 80s hip hop scene and what truly made Roxanne Chante significant. This feels like just another hood movie.
On a positive note, the acting was great. Nia Long and Mahershala Ali were phenomenal like always. Chante Adams was good, but the story didn’t let her shine like she could have.
A small piece of Hip Hop history Roxanne Roxanne lacks on all fronts.
theabstraktmedia24 March 2018
As a hip hop head this truly disappointed me. Of course I am aware of the history Roxanne Shante has played. For those who did not know now know, but I felt the story was very weak. The dialogue doesn’t grab you by the balls. There is a huge lack of, something. It doesn’t feel raw. It doesn’t take you back to the 80s, more like a low budget movie. The same feeling I got from The Get Down, although they had a 30 million dollar budget. I also feel that her story alone is not enough to represent Hip Hop alone. There were many other female MCs at that time who started way before Shante who never received the same credit they deserve. If this story is about abuse, a young girl going up in the projects and by ”accident” becoming a full-time rapper, then overall it could have been told better.
fcthemusic24 March 2018
I gave this movie a 8/10. I thought the acting was great and the actual quality of the movie (sound, picture, etc) was phenomenal. I don’t know what the budget was but I wish more movies looked as good as this. Chanté Adams did an incredible job. She was a natural and very believable.
I think it was a little hard to follow if you’re not from that era because I don’t know all of the players. I’m an 80s baby and I still don’t know everyone who was being portrayed in the movie. I think they should’ve paused the film with a little caption under each main character so the audience can get a better understanding of who is who.
Also, I would’ve liked the film to illustrate how Roxanne Shanté affected the billboards and media etc. This was an inside looking out movie but the outside looking in perspective would’ve been nice to add, just a tad. Other than that, solid film!
contactmacca23 March 2018
Much better than most hiphop movies previously made, with a bit more depth and budget I would have gone to the cinema to see this.
Hopefully there will be more movies of this type as there some great stories to tell about the golden era of hiphop and plenty of fans.
Good acting and casting and held my attention throughout which is a rarity nowadays for tv output. Way better acted and far more authentic than The Getdown.
Decent TV Movie
krisdimoski23 March 2018
After watching this movie i cant say that I was left speechless but have to admit that there was definitely some decent acting and a familiar story told from a fresh and unique perspective. Nia Long who was playing the mother of Chante nailed her roll, her acting was really spot on. One could easily see how Mahershala Ali managed to score himself a golden statue. His character was the complete opposite of the one he played in Moonlight where he was the criminal with a golden heart. Here we had a troubled drug dealer who couldn’t rise above his dark environment, his huge gangster ego and his selfish needs. And finally Chante gave us a really honest and fresh performance that kept me and my girlfriend watching until the end of the movie. I rate it 7 out of 10 only because i felt that the movie lacked a bit of depth.
All in all i would recommend this movie if you are into biopics.