Anyway, since Eminem is actually a top professional
rapper while Stallone was a mere dilettante at boxing, I guess it's
fair to say that it's even a better vehicle for him to show what he
can do than Rocky was for Stallone.
My advice to you is this. If you love rap, see it,
because it is a good film directed by the supremely talented Curtis Hanson
(L.A. Confidential), and Eminem is a surprisingly natural actor
playing a character very much like himself. But be advised that more
than half of
the film is rap and only 25% or so consists of plot and/or character development, so if
you hate rap this will be an unbearable experience, especially if you
dislike the kind of rap that is just an outpouring of anger.
DVD info from Amazon
1.85:1 . It looks great
Eminem rap battles showcase Eminem free-styling against
local Detroit rappers who auditioned to appear in the movie
uncensored Eminem music video of "Superman", not shown on
Behind the scenes with Eminem:
"The Making of 8 Mile"
The Music of 8 Mile
I like hip-hop in a lot of ways, but I'm not a major
fan, so I found it
a chore to watch at times.
Here's a thought - is rap a form of music? I don't
know the answer to that, but assume for a minute that it is. I always
hear people call it "rap music", and I guess it is music in the sense
of pure rhythm without the melody, like a drum solo. In that case,
this film is a musical, since (given the assumption), it has more
musical minutes per total running minutes than movies like Brigadoon
and Man of la Mancha.
Who would have thought that Eminem would be the guy
to bring back the movie musical? Has Gene Kelly's corpse stopped
8 Mile (2002) is a completely
standard sports film, basically a remake of Rocky. Substitute
rap for boxing, and Eminem for Stallone, and you have it. Eminem
lives with his trailer trash mother, Kim Basinger, who has her
share of problems. Her unemployed boyfriend refuses to go down
on her, and she is about to be evicted from her trailer. Eminem
himself works in an auto-parts factory, where he catches a lot
of crap as the only white employee. His way out is to be
"discovered" and become a rap star. He has a support group of
other wannabe rappers, and a group of rival rapper enemies.
Eminem's character stays very much within himself, which could
have made it a long 110 minutes, but he was just the
counterpoint to an entire cast of "dayglow colorful" characters.
In the end, I cared about the Eminem character, and was rooting
for him to score the final knockout. Thus, for me, the film
worked. It was also a major financial success, proving that
formulas exist because they can work when executed well.
Box Office Mojo. It just about broke even from domestic
gross alone. A success. $116 million domestic gross, about
the same overseas.
Production budget $41 million, advertising costs $30
Cinema Score. There was no distinction between gender
scores, but there was a strong correlation to age. The film
appealed to young audiences (A's), with the scores declining
in proportion to age.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description,
Scoop says, "C+.
I guess the genre is musicals, and the sub genre is "angry
hip-hop musicals". If you like Eminem, this is essentially a
concert film with a thin patina of plot and character
development. It's a good movie, but if you hate rap in general and Eminem in
particular, don't say I didn't warn you." Tuna seconds the
C+, but calls the genre "classic
sports movie." (see notes above).