PDA

View Full Version : Review: 8 Mile


Darth Groovy
04-03-2003, 01:57 PM
Originally published at www.themanipulation.com


8 Mile
Universal Studios, 2002

Disclaimer: If you loathe everything about rap music, it is in your best interest to leave this DVD alone.
8 Mile is a formula movie about aspiring rappers who long to shake the shackles of their surroundings and move on to bigger and brighter things. That formula is not all that dissimilar to that of Rocky, a classic low class boxer with a questionable past and a heart of gold, who gets his big chance at fame and learns the value of going the distance, and benefits from it. 8 Mile replaces boxing with rapping, yet unlike Rocky, it is about friends, family, and the ways in which they cope with defeat.
The film is cleverly set in 1995 Detroit, where our central protagonist is Jimmy “Rabbit” Smith (played by bad boy rapper Marshall “Eminem” Matthers), a low self opinionated aspiring rapper who early on experiences blows of defeat on stage at the “Shelter”, which is a small local club where amateur rappers host “battles”, where each rapper is given only 45 seconds to verbally destroy each other, until one rapper runs out of material. His defeat is intensified by the recent break up of his girlfriend, which in turn forces him to move back to the 8-Mile trailer court with his apathetic mother, Stephanie (Kim Bassinger) who also happens to be sleeping with Greg (Michael Shannon), someone he went to school with. Longing to escape his current situation, Rabbit takes on a job at the New Detroit Stamping plant. There he catches the eye of Alex (Brittany Murphy), a young blonde aspiring to become a model. Rabbit’s friends come to his aid after the loss, and try to convince him to take another shot at the rap battle. His friends consist of a motley crew of wannabe rappers who have dreams that far outweigh their efforts. This is perfectly fine with “The Free World”, the rival bad boy rappers who happen to dominate the rap battle circuit. The social interaction among the friends is well done, despite certain misplaced characters such as “Cheddar Bob” (Evan Jones), who seems to have a big mouth, and the mind of a sea urchin.
Surprisingly, this movie is not about gangs or drugs. Although Rabbit and his crew do smoke pot in some scenes, substance abuse in general is remarkably below the radar on this film. The dialogue does contain a great deal of profanity, which is also pertinent to the age of the central characters as well as the slum land surroundings. It is questionable at times weather the film intends to glorify such situations of juvenile criminal behavior. Like for example scenes where Rabbit and his friends engage in drive by shootings with a paint ball gun. And then there is absolute schmaltz involved where Rabbit and Alex share a tender moment after setting fire to an abandoned building. Even though sirens scream in the background, Rabbit and his cronies chant around the fire as if it were a weenie roast, and they’re justification for starting the fire is even more absurd.
Another low point in this movie is the amount of gratuitous sex in the least likely of places. Alex gives encouragement to Rabbit, but seems to have no trouble sleazing around in order to catch a break. All of the women in this movie are portrayed as sex objects, morons, or a combination of the two.
Eminem shines best in this film when he shares tender moments with Lily (Chloe Greenfield), who plays Rabbit’s sister, and even more when he clashes with his mother’s redneck boyfriend. Eminem tones down the bad boy image he normally demonstrates to members of the press. In this film, the character he portrays has good intentions of escaping his environment, yet throughout has such little faith in his self.

The movie climaxes when Rabbit’s mother receives an eviction notice, and Rabbit must decide if he can obtain extra hours at the plant, or take his chances at the next big rap battle, where rumors of talent scouts spread like wildfire throughout the community.
8 Mile most entertaining moments are the rap battles themselves, where amateurs verbally KO each other senseless, as the audience cheers on as if it were a blood sport.
Directed by Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential), this film is semi-autobiographical of Eminem’s own rise to fame. It is however designed with a young adult audience in mind. The DVD contains a short behind the scenes look at the making of 8 Mile, a music video, and a making of the Shelter rap battles. Hanson reportedly had a contest among the extras to pick the actual rappers who do battle against Eminem during the actual movie. Some of it is tasteless, and some of it is mildly entertaining. Although it is frequently done in feature films, the fact that Eminem’s final rap battles were dubbed in later, kind of subtracts from the gritty feel of those scenes. There were even a few scenes in this movie where I was almost waiting for Eminem to say “Yo-yo-yo Adrian!” which thankfully, does not happen.
Weather Eminem is really a good actor or not remains to be seen. In this particular movie, the actor is portraying a version of himself. Had the movie been about something else, like boxing, or basketball, it may have shed light on the question. This film however compliments both Eminem and rap fans, but maybe even a bit self serving at times.

Score: 86%

Eldritch
04-03-2003, 02:02 PM
Didn't 8 Mile come out forever ago? Why post a review on it now? :confused:

ShockV1.89
04-03-2003, 02:55 PM
Because it was just released on DVD.

XERXES
04-03-2003, 04:41 PM
I dont see what the big deal is...eminem OMG!!!! :rolleyes:

Reborn Outcast
04-03-2003, 05:01 PM
Its actually a very good movie. XERXES you would be surprised I think.

ZBomber
04-03-2003, 06:52 PM
You just had to post an ad for your site, huh? :p

Acrylic
04-03-2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by ZBomber
You just had to post an ad for your site, huh? :p

I guess mods think they can do anything...even not look if another person posted a thread about linkin park a few days before.

Eldritch
04-04-2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by AcrylicGuitar
I guess mods think they can do anything...even not look if another person posted a thread about linkin park a few days before.
As well as plug other sites, something I thought was against the rules.

Darth Groovy
04-04-2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by ShockV1.89
Because it was just released on DVD.

What he said.

Sorry if puttin a link on my site offended you.

ZBomber, since you have so much to say, but so little to add to my site, I am wondering why you even want to be a part of the staff.

I didn't realize this was against swamp standards........

well whatever....

I shall no longer post any reviews here.:rolleyes:

Darth Knight
04-04-2003, 09:18 PM
nice review it is really profesional i like it:sbdance

-=DarkZero=-
04-04-2003, 10:08 PM
Review was cool,much appreciated,in my own opinion tupac's story thats coming out in the summer will be way better,hell tupac is 500% better then emeinem but hey whatever works >=):fett:

ZBomber
04-04-2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by Darth Groovy
What he said.

Sorry if puttin a link on my site offended you.

ZBomber, since you have so much to say, but so little to add to my site, I am wondering why you even want to be a part of the staff.

I didn't realize this was against swamp standards........

well whatever....

I shall no longer post any reviews here.:rolleyes:

You already fired me, but thats not what I was saying.
I was just joking around with you, bevcause you posted two Manpulation links. Hey, do whatever works. :)
But since you already fired me.....