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8 Mile

by

Jeff Nelson

8 Mile is highly recommended even to those who couldn't care less about rap culture.

8 Mile
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Hip-hop has always been a love it or hate it genre of music. However, it has its place in society. One of the more popular artists in the genre is known as Eminem. From the surface, 8 Mile appears to be a film strictly for rap fans. The movie doesn't try to make new fans of the genre, but does open itself up to a wide audience. The film itself can be seen similar to the way hip-hop music is thought of. While some will love 8 Mile, others will loathe it.

The people of Detroit know 8 Mile as the city limit, a boundary. It's also a psychological dividing line that separates aspiring hip-hop artist Jimmy Smith Jr. from where and who he wants to be. A provocative fictional examination of a critical week in Jimmy's life. This is the typical story of a man with a great talent being underestimated. Even though the story isn't very deep, it is still captivating. I'm not a fan of rap music myself, but the film doesn't focus too much on the music. Instead, it spends time on Jimmy, his dream, and everything holding him back. The screenplay is well-written and captivates its audience. The 1 hour and 50 minute running time flies by extremely quickly as there isn't even one slightly dull moment. Eminem fans are sure to be pleased with how 8 Mile boasts his talent. The film takes the bold subject matter of the hip-hop world and presents it with raw force.

This is rap artist Eminem's starring debut. Who would ever expect a hip-hop artist to present a phenomenal performance? Well, somehow Eminem managed to do so. My usual response to music artists becoming actors is that they should stay in his or her field. However, Eminem is an exception. I would have liked to see him in more motion pictures. He received an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song. Kim Basigner performs as Jimmy's mother, Stephanie Smith. She is impressive and powerful in her role as well. Brittany Murphy is Alex and does a good job, as well. Each representation is strong and brings the film to life.

With 8 Mile taking place in Detroit, the setting takes on a persona. The dark and dreary imagery at night sets the tone flawlessly. Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of this genre of music, Eminem's song "Lose Yourself" is fantastic. As the background music blares over the imagery of Detroit, it fits perfectly. The audio is exactly as one would expect. The dialogue scenes don't have very much ambiance coming from the surrounds, but the voices are stable in the center channel and are always audible. Once the beats begin to play, the track comes alive. The subwoofer pulses through the room with accurate, deep bass. Both surround channels become constantly active and immerse the audience. Audiophiles will be pleased with the results.

I walked into 8 Mile with low expectations due to my opinion on the majority of rap music. I found myself highly enjoying the movie. The script is good, the acting is fantastic, and the technical aspects are great. The extreme language is enough to make me not recommend this to younger audiences, but those who don't mind the language will be enjoying every minute of the film. It's predictable and a bit cliché at times, but the raw nature of the film is successful. 8 Mile is highly recommended even to those who couldn't care less about rap culture.

My Rating = Four Stars

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