Movie Reviews


8 Mile

Starring: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Mehki Phifer, Omar Benson Miller, Evan Jones, Eugene Byrd, De'Angeloe Wilson and Anthony Mackie
Directed by: Curtis Hanson



Wow! Believe it or not folks, this is the feel good movie of the year! You don't have to be into hip-hop to get into this remarkable piece either. It's gritty and real, almost like a documentary - though they insist it's ficton. Eminem is uncanny. Of course he's playing himself, basically, but he's still phenomenal. You can't catch him "acting." Who would a thunk it? A musically talented wise mouth bluntly spewing venom to a catchy beat rips out the acting performance of the year!

The story follows a down and out Detroit kid, Jimmy Smith Jr. aka Bunny Rabbit (Eminem). B. Rabbit's life looks hopeless; dead end job, no home life, gloom and doom. This guy's life is pretty much nestled in the Motor City pits. The only hope he has of ever crawling out of his abyss is his music.

He and his crew the Three One Third have dreams. They want to cut a demo record and take over the Detroit airwaves. Problem is they have no cash. Oh and the fact that no one in public has really ever heard B.Rabbit rap. See, he's got this dreadful recurring case of morbid stage fright that has him mad as a hatter every time he hits a stage. He's tagged as a "choker" at the infamous club Shelter where rappers - in this part of the world - prove their stuff. Not good.

His buddies, Future, Sol, DJ Iz, and Cheddar Bob ( Mehki Phifer, Omar Benson Miller, DeAngelo Wilson and Evan Jones) know this white cat's the sheet but he needs to chill and let his talent shine through.

Of course there's big rivalry around his hood. The Freeworld guys now rule Shelter and claim the territory with their own rap stylin's. B. Rabbit has got to scurry through some pretty big holes in his life to find Wonderland; the allusive record deal.

I got to tell you. This film is incredible. The beat keeps it pulsing while the whole delightful cast lets us into "their" world. Naturally the greatness isn't harmed by the fact that Curtis Hanson
( L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys) directs. This guy always takes us in and makes us feel as if we were a fly on the seedy walls of someone's real life.

Brittany Murphy's, a chickbabe I've long been trumpeting, shows up as B. Rabbit's sluty gal pal, Alex, working the boys to get ahead. It happens and the role's right on. She's likeable and sleazy.

Chocolate mansicle Mehki Phifer plays friend Future, and host of Shelter with depth and ease. Man could this guy be hotter? Um, NO!

Eugene Byrd, also cute high on the rictermansteak scale, bounces through as Wink the "organizer" so legitimately you wonder if he spied the real guy for a while, researching the character. Great.

Eminem radiates on the the screen. And even though he's in every single scene, you still want more. He's man heroin. His obvious charisma bullets off the screen. The real nice thing is? He doesn't come of as an as***le cashing in on his name - he's got the friggin' goods in spades baby! I for one cannot wait to see his next film gig.

Kim Basinger shows up as B. Rabbit's disenchanted mom. Yech. I mean the mom not Kim. She tried to unpretty herself. For a woman this gorgeous it hardly worked. But what did work is as we got to know her as Stephanie, her looks dissipated and the real sad little lizard trying not to fry in the sun appeared.

8 Mile is remarkable, the cast stellar and the story enthralling. After you watch it you may just feel good about life. When was the last time a film did that? Exactly. See this.

Snack recommendation: Pancakes.

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