Copyright 1999-2002 3BlackChicks Enterprises™. All Rights Reserved.

Cass' review of
8 Mile


8 Mile (2002)
Rated R; running time 118 minutes
Genre: Drama/Musical
Written by: Scott Silver
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Cast: Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, Eugene Byrd, Omar Benson, Taryn Manning, Brandon Jackson, Evan Jones, Anthony Mackie, Michael Shannon, De'Angelo Wilson, Chloe Greenfield

Review Copyright Cassandra Henry, 2002

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"If you had one shot, and one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?" -- Eminem

CASS' CLIP (WARNING: **spoilers below**)
Detroit, 1995. Jimmy "Rabbit" Smith (Eminem) is a white boy, at a crossroads in his life,living on the wrong side of the 8-mile city limits.

Rabbit's one shot -- a dream of one day becoming a rap superstar, but right now he'll settle for earning just enough money at a dead-end job to make a demo. Problem is he's temporarily homeless because he and his pregnant girlfriend broke up. He was nice enough to leave his car so she can get around.

Stephanie's (Kim Basinger) one shot -- a dream of day getting out of the trailer park community she calls home. In the meantime, she's sleeping with one of Rabbit's ex-classmates, George because she believes her ticket out of the trailer park will come in the form of George's large settlement check.

Rabbit and Stephanie need each other just long enough until their dreams come true. So with his clothes in a garbage bag, Rabbit returns home because he has nowhere else to go. Basically, Stephanie is trailer trash and an unfit mother, so his presence at home provides some stability for his little sister Lily.

Alex's (Brittany Murphy) one shot -- a dream of one day becoming a supermodel, but right now she's content earning enough to put together a portfolio. Alex sees bigger things happening in Rabbit's future, so if she rides his coat tail on his way up to superstardom, perhaps she'll benefit from his fame.

Rabitt's one opportunity -- "The Shelter", a club where local rappers hang out and showcase their free-styling skills and battle against other aspiring rappers. Rabbit's friends, Future (Mekhi Phifer), Chedder Bob (Evan Jones), and DJ IZ (De'Angelo Wilson) know he's a gifted rapper, but the night Rabbit is scheduled to battle against a black rapper, he chokes on stage. However, Rabbit is given another chance to prove himself.

The big showdown is between Rabbit and members of a rival rap group, The Free World. ["It's always easy for a white man to make it in a black man's medium."]

Do we really need to give Eminem another shot on the silver screen?

DA 411
8 Mile is known to Detroit residents as the city's dividing line between the suburbs and the inner city. The story focuses on Rabbit's messed up life and is supposedly loosely based on the life of controversial rapper, Marshal "Eminem" Mathers. I think he does a decent job in this role, but Eminem's loyal fans will no doubt enjoy his performance. [I think I would have preferred to see a "Behind the Scenes" look at Marshal "Eminem" Mathers' life instead]. In spite of the mediocre script and lack of character development, Mekhi Phifer does an excellent job. Kim Basinger and Brittany Murphy performances aren't worth mentioning, except to say that they added nothing to an already Been There, Done That storyline. What I did enjoy, however, was the ease in which the fellas played off each other. Those were some of the funniest parts in the movie.

I venture to say that had it not been for black artists to take Eminem into their world, I wonder if his rite of passage into the rap/hip-hop scene would have gone so smoothly. To his credit though, Eminem is not another white boy, wannabe brotha, like Vanilla Ice. He's comfortable in his own skin because his talent speaks/raps for itself. You can be guaranteed that Eminem will always be associated with some type of controversy because chaos is his inspiration. Controversy sells music, and in this case, movie tickets.

By the time the movie builds to the final showdown, it's gone way past the 8-Mile marker.

8 MILE:   yellow

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Copyright Cassandra Henry, 2002

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More 3BlackChicks™ review(s) for this week:
(movies reviewed week of 11/08/02):
Cass' reviews:
8 Mile

The Diva's reviews:
8 Mile | Femme Fatale

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