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8 Mile (DVD)
Member Name: werdna152
8 Mile (DVD)
Date: 09/06/10, updated on 09/06/10 (15 review reads)
Advantages: Not much swearing, sex or violence. Good performances.
Disadvantages: Not good if you don't like rap music at all.
8 Mile is a film released in 2002 starring Eminem, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger and directed by Curtis Hanson.
The film is set against the backdrop of urban Detroit where young Jimmy Smith (Eminem) lives in a district called 8 Mile with his mum and younger sister. He moves in with his mum after he splits up with his girlfriend Janeane. Jimmy has aspirations of being a rap singer but being white trash from a trailer park he has to deal with other people's prejudices.
Jimmy has a close circle of friends who support him and are made up of mixed race people. One of his friends is the MC at a club where every week there is rap battle. The film starts with Jimmy ready to take the stage, but where he freezes and loses confidence in himself.
The story follows Jimmy as he takes on fresh employment and battles against prejudices from all around him. He meets a girl Alex (Brittany Murphy) one night and she shows an interest and gradually his friendship with her grows.
To be a rap singer, Jimmy needs a demo to play to record companies to get his career started. Alex too wants a different life with aspirations of modeling.
Eminem is very good as the central character and holds the piece together nicely. His acting is natural and it is as if he has personal experience to draw upon that makes his performance convincing.
Kim Basinger is excellent as Stephanie. Her role as a mother on benefits bringing up a young daughter is also convincing. She wants to keep her man happy and sees him or a win at bingo as her escape from poverty (he awaits a settlement). Her desperate clinging to her meal ticket is just right. The boyfriend Greg (played by Michael Shannon) is superbly played, a user and leech who uses her for sex and winds up Jimmy at every opportunity.
The late Brittany Murphy (died of cardiac arrest at age 32 last December) is also very good. Her character sees modeling as an escape from the slums of Detroit, but Alex is a pathetic hoper and believer in the word of other people.
Overall I liked the film, I would give it 7/10. There is not too much swearing and at 115 minutes is just the right length. The performances hold the film together although the drama is not gripping enough and the rivalry between factions could be exploited more. Boyz in the Hood it is not.
I was dreading a film score full of rap music, but is it is largely in the background and if anything is understated and perhaps this is a flaw too. In the attempt to make a mainstream film the core of the film that could have been gang rivalry and rap music is understated and the focus is on Jimmy and his relationships, particularly with Janeane, and this in itself is not compelling enough.
Anyway, the film is currently available on DVD is £3.97 or Blue-Ray DVD £8.93 on Amazon.
Eminem - Jimmy B Rabbit Smith
Brittany Murphy - Alex
Mekhi Phifer - David Future Porter
Kim Basinger - Stephanie Smith
Evan Jones - Cheddar Bob
Omar Benson Miller - Sol George
De'Angelo Wilson - DJ Iz
Eugene Byrd - Wink
Taryn Manning - Janeane
PS The film won 1 Oscar for Best Music - Original Song for the song Lose Yourself performed by Eminem.
Summary: Eminem almost typecast, but gives a good account.