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Tupac: Resurrection
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Reviews & Ratings for
Tupac: Resurrection More at IMDbPro »

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47 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

A biased but beautiful documentary about a brilliant mind

10/10
Author: LoveCoates from Los Angeles
20 November 2003

One never knows what to expect out of rock films. Going into Tupac: Resurrection, I half expected another mediocre blaxploitation groaner. The other half expected a gushy MTVish drool-fest out to promote the soundtrack artists, including current corporate media darling 50 Cent.

Resurrection is neither. The producer is not some slick Hollywood mogul with no understanding of rap except as a source for making a quick buck. Instead, Afeni Shakur, the late rapper's mother, takes charge. As both executive producer and the dominant force in her son's short life, her personal agenda impacts every frame. Like all documentaries, this is an extremely one-sided account, and it is likely due to her input that the movie downplays the darker aspects of Pac's self-destructive downward spiral after his move to Death Row Records. Nor is the film harsh enough on Tupac's seemingly endless capacity for paranoia and irresponsibility.

Fortunately, she also makes the crucial decision not to dwell on more tired hash-rehash of so called East Coast/West Coast rap war, which the movie clarifies as less of a reality than a media event. Nor does it choose to linger on the numerous rumors and conspiracies surrounding Tupac's murder.

Shakur and director Lauren Lazin wisely decide to let Tupac's voice carry the film. Lazin wisely refrains from using the masterful, propagandistic gimmicks of a Michael Moore documentary. There are no distracting interviews or massively-edited montages. As a result, the movie has a lyrical, sacred tone. History has mystified Pac as a martyr for West Coast gangsta rap, although during his lifetime he only released one such album. Few choose to remember that Death Row was the twilight of his life, that he spent the first half-decade of his career recording in the East where he grew up. It is here that the film takes its cue.

Resurrection lays bare a magnetic, arrogant, charismatic spirit that immediately affirms why Pac remains one of rap's only true megastars. Though the film is not hard enough on how his growing obstinacy may have hastened his demise, it does not shy away from the controversy, the premonitions of death, the sex abuse conviction, and the inflated ego. The result is a well-drawn sketch of man aware of his genius but haunted by demons, a tortured soul navigating a realm more thuggish than he was at his core, a contradiction which plays as a general commentary on rap's manufactured images.

This movie's production value alone easily outclasses nearly every other cinematic work that has ever pretended to be about hip-hop. It bears little resemblance to How High or Belly or to the shameless self-promotion of the vanity project 8 Mile, which was so sanitized as to kill any revelations it might have made about its star Eminem, the most high profile rapper to yet arise. I don't understand how someone could praise 8 Mile for its beauty and honesty (it isn't) and then criticize this film.

By contrast, the sincerity of Resurrection solidifies Pac's reputation as `the only rapper that matters.' It shows why he is peerless and maybe the greatest artist the genre has yet produced: whatever can be said about his music, as an intelligent personality there is simply no one else in his class. He is so much more painfully relevant than all star rappers, and the sharpness of his observations on everything from politics to poverty leaves dust in the eyes of all his contemporaries. He represents a paradigm that has become all-too-rare in a musical form now dominated by cartoon images: a constructive rather than destructive point-of-view.

A ball of contradictions, Tupac is finally much more complex and brilliant than most people would expect. People are uninformed and uninterested in hip-hop probably will get little out of this movie. Those who know will realize that the biggest tragedy is that not that Tupac died before reaching his full potential, but that other young black men with similar sensibilities rarely reach his level of visibility. 9.5/10.

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31 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating and tragic (***1/2)

10/10
Author: Jason Alley (samurai1978@aol.com) from Sacramento
20 November 2003

There is no doubt that Tupac Shakur is one of the most intriguing, fascinating personalities in pop music history. He is made up of a seemingly endless list of contradictions: ruffian / nice guy, obnoxiously arrogant / sweetly humble, hedonist / activist, "gangsta" / poet. And most interesting is that none of these "sides" of him seem at all false. He really is that complicated.

Being a fan of his, especially his acting, ("GRIDLOCK'd" is one of my favorite movies) I choose to remember the admirable parts of his personality more often, but I know that he was no angel, and I'm glad that "Tupac: Resurrection" doesn't try to paint him as a hero.

Made very much in the style of last year's great documentary "The Kid Stays In The Picture" (so much so that I was surprised there is no connection), it combines seamlessly edited footage, photos that "float" around to look 3-dimensional, well-chosen music, and fluid narration to create a dreamlike and slightly eerie portrait of one person's lifetime in his own words.

Unlike "The Kid Stays In The Picture", though, in "Tupac: Resurrection" the narrator telling his life story is dead.

Tupac is the one and only narrator of this film (through an edited collection of insightful interviews), and it's a distinctly poignant and eerie experience to hear it, almost like he is, "Sunset Boulevard"-style, telling you his story from beyond the grave. Adding to the "Sunset Boulevard" feeling is that the story starts in Las Vegas where he was killed, and then rewinds to the beginning of his life. But sadly, you know it's eventually going to end up in Las Vegas again.

This is an extremely well done, gripping documentary that I highly recommend even to people who don't care for rap music. Tupac's life story is a true American tragedy, and anyone can learn from those.

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A movie that will tempt you to think.

Author: Adam (adam93084@aol.com)
16 November 2003

I went into this movie kind of hesitant. A lot of albums have been put out after 2pacs death and all this and it seems like everyone just wants to make a quick dime off of him. Suge Knight more than anyone. But when i heard that 2pacs own mother had put this movie together I wanted to see it. So some friends of mine and I went to it. I've seen a lot of documentaries because a lot of documentaries interest me and though i completely disagreed with Bowling for Columbine it was interesting to watch. This documentary by far takes the cake. This movie was one of the deepest most heartfelt documentaries...wait i mean MOVIES ive ever seen. 2pac takes you through his life and what he's down and though it dragged a little in the beginning as he tells you about himself as a boy it picks up nicely as you're going through and you just can't help but think this man was pure genius. This movie is worth watching. Take a date, take your mom, take your dad, take your friends...take your kid sister. The message isnt about violence. Out of 4 stars I give it 3 3/4 . Beautiful Movie.

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

2pac and Growing up in the ghetto....

10/10
Author: ice_man_39 from Canada
15 November 2003

This documentary shows everything about 2pac's life, you can really dive into his character and see how complex he is. His accomplishments during a period of 6 years (pretty much) is really inspirational. He isn't a hero, or he at least didnt have enough time to transform into one, but I think the message was quite clear: Give (black) people a chance and they can do great things. That's pretty much what this movie is about and it can be enjoyed on many levels by different races simply because of - struggle.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding.

9/10
Author: Droogie502 from USA
16 November 2003

First of all, let me say that I am biased, I think the world of Tupac. That said, this is his (and his mother's) mission statement for his life and death and everything in between. I have followed 'Pac for almost 10 years now, and my obsession for him has only grown deeper and deeper as the years, months, even days have passed since his departure from the music game.

When I first heard about this film, I thought it was going to be another video release accounting his legacy and mystery. I had no idea that it had a theatrical release date until a few months ago. Then I started hearing the hype behind it, and really started to anticipate it strongly. I informed all my friends and anyone else who shared the same passion of 'Pac as I, of it's existence and when it was close to release. After reading some very positive advance reviews from "Rolling Stone" and a few other publications, my anxiety only increased. It hits it's peak when I saw that ROGER EBERT gave it 3 1/2 out of a possible 4 stars. I saw the film tonight at an 8:00 showing fully prepared sportin' my 'Pac t shirt, ticket stub in my hand, and an unmistakable grin of happiness of things to come. One word: OUTSTANDING. Afeni, Mtv, and Paramount were really, really, really seriously devoted to this project!

I don't want give anything at all away to either serious 2pac devotees or casual fans, but EVERYTHING you ever needed to know, or wanted to know about him, is presented in ACES. I rated this documentary a 9 out of 10 stars on the Imdb scale. To sum up, I really and truly believe it is an enormous shame that some people just don't understand or "get" how iconic and influential Tupac was on both the music industry and to a certain extent society as well. He was WAY, WAY more than just a "rapper", he was an IMPACT!

2PAC FOR EVER.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the best documentaries

8/10
Author: BDB7898 (Buttsinator_STA@hotmail.com) from Louisiana, U.S.
16 November 2003

This documentary of Tupac Amaru Shakur's life was amazing. I am a huge Tupac fan and have seen many other stories and and biographies of his life, but this movie by far surpassed any expectations I had about it. Even if you are not a Tupac fan; you will still be amazed at the life he lived, grew up with, and his legacy. One of the film's strong parts is the fact that it really explains Tupac's mind and how he though about life. Not only that, but many people have a misconception that Tupac Shakur was just a "gangstar" that ran the streets and made music; and this film shows that he was not all bad and that he had a more sensitive side to his life and music. Overall the film captured a lot of his life through his eyes. The film isnt about his friends and family getting interviewed and recalling facts.....It's real interviews of him in the studio, in court, on MTV, personal interviews, and live accounts of him being him.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Finally...a documentary that does slain rapper justice...

Author: Matt Shane from USA
19 August 2004

It's about time that a documentary about slain rapper Tupac Shakur such as this be released. I've seen a number of other documentaries based on the Shakur's life and they make me sick. For one thing, those films make him out to be some sort of prophet or messiah, feeding into the myth that that's exactly who he was. However, by allowing Tupac to tell his own story, both his fans and detractors alike can finally get a glimpse of who this man truly was as a person. In this film, from Tupac's very own words, Tupac is not made out to be the monster that some people would like to easily dismiss him as but but he is also not portrayed as a saint, nor are his many troubles with the law ignored. From this movie, the clear conclusion is that Tupac Shakur was ultimately a good, well-meaning person whose flawed philosophies and poor choices in the people he chose to surround himself with ultimately lead to his destruction. However, through tenacity and hard work, he has become the bestselling hip hop artist in history, even from beyond the grave.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

compelling look into a man's life

Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
18 September 2004

Gangsta' Rap artist Tupac Shakur was gunned down on the streets of Las Vegas in 1996, the end result of the life he led and the people he knew. He was 25. The documentary 'Tupac: Resurrection' takes an unusual and interesting approach to its subject, allowing the deceased singer to speak to us, as it were, directly from the grave. The film begins with him commenting on his own murder, then tracing back over the events of his life as a means of both setting the record straight and trying to make some sense out of all that happened to him in his very brief time here on earth.

The film, directed by Lauren Lazin, relies primarily on interviews Tupac gave throughout his short career, supplemented with some additional commentary from those who knew him best. Though he became a lightning rod of controversy due to both his criminal activities and his provocative (i.e. violent, sexist) lyrics, Tupac saw himself more as a 'voice of the people,' using his music as a vehicle for reaching out to and connecting with the downtrodden, impoverished blacks living in the kinds of ghettoes from which he himself sprang. However, even many well-known black leaders and spokespersons had trouble accepting Tupac's rather rose-colored definition of himself. What's most interesting about 'Tupac: Resurrection' is the dichotomy it establishes between the violence, drug use and criminal activities which played so prominent a part in Tupac's life, and the genial, reflective, almost apologetic tone of so much of what we hear him saying. It's hard to know just how much of what has found its way into this film is really raw truth and how much is sugarcoated revisionism designed to 'resurrect' and burnish a man's posthumous image and reputation. His views on women come out particularly incoherent and unresolved. Yet, 'Tupac: Resurrection' is an intriguing documentary because it gives us a glimpse not only into a strangely conflicted individual but also into the even more bizarre world of corporate thuggery he inhabited. Like many artists who have attempted to speak for the 'little people,' Tupac became a victim of his own success and celebrity, living the kind of pampered lifestyle that most of the people he was singing about would clearly never know. It's a conflict as old as art itself, and it is one that Tupac, for understandable reasons, was never able to resolve in his own life. Interestingly, however, his brutal death at the hands of murderous rivals, demonstrated that he never made it quite so far from his roots as his lavish lifestyle might otherwise have suggested.

As a document, the film traces Tupac from his early years as the child of two Black Panther members ( a pedigree that, he believes, set him on the path to social crusader early on), through his youth in poverty, his exposure to literature and drama at a performing arts high school in Baltimore, his early attempts at performing, his meteoric rise in the music industry, his years as a controversial celebrity, his burgeoning film career, his continuing battles with police, the first attempt on his life, his conviction for rape, his time in prison, and, finally, to the rivalry between his own West Coast label, Death Row Records, and the East Coast label, Bad Boy Records, which ultimately led to his untimely death. For that little bit of history alone, the film is worth watching.

As someone who knew very little about the life of Tupac - and even less about his music - before watching the movie, I found him to be both appealing and repellant, frightening and charismatic. The film leaves the audience feeling as conflicted as the subject - which is what a truly successful documentary should do after all.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This movie resurrected Tupac Shakur

9/10
Author: vinnienem from Philippines
14 February 2007

I liked the movie very much. The documentary summarized 2Pac's life. It's very informative and it educates us. You could learn a lot by watching this movie. I'm a big 2Pac fan. I've listened to his music, read his books, and watched, heard and read his interviews and speeches. He is a standout from all the other rappers I've seen and heard throughout the years. He is more than just a rapper. He is a poet, prophet, revolutionary, activist, actor, singer, intellectual, leader, orator, and artist. He is a man of many accomplishments. That's why many fans and rappers strive to be like him. But I don't think that we will ever see another one like 2Pac. There is only one 2Pac. He was so different from the rest of us. It's a shame that he was taken from this world at such a young age.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Documentary Full of Facts Told Frankly by Tupac Himself!

8/10
Author: Faisal_Flamingo (faauda@gmail.com) from Riyadh City
26 November 2006

This is a very good documentary .. it gave me an inside closer look to a world I don't know much of. I've heard some stories about Tupac .. some myths too in my high school but I wasn't 100% convinced and sounded just like lies.

I'm not a big fan of rap. I heard some songs of Tupac, though. I don't remember his songs but I remember that I didn't like them due to the foul language with all the swearing and the excessive use of the "F" WORD!.

Anyway, that didn't mean that his life story wasn't interesting .. the movie showed me briefly the life of a controversial young man who's music was popular in many places of the world .. I'm amazed of how frank Tupac is and that he has such courage to tell his stories publicly.

Good documentary..entertaining, brief and goes right to the point!

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