8 MILE   - A  Narada   Film Review

  ''get it any way you can'' Alex,      
  and - 
  as Jimmy 'Rabbit' Smith, Jr.   
   MAKHI PFIFER as 'Rabbit's'    
   best friend and mentor,    
   Stephanie, Rabbit's poor   
   white trailer trash mom.  
8 Mile    - Curtis Hanson -Director  & Brian Grazer -Producer

  Reviewed 22 Jan 03   8 MILE is, plainly and simply, a Hollywood 'dance' genre film.   Only this time 'round, "dancing" has been replaced by "rapping".   Slanging 'battles' between opposing rappers, to be exact.  The story of the poor, unrecognized artist finally overcoming all odds and "making it" is, however, per the tried-and-true formula.  
        I keep hearing that Eminem is the next Elvis.   Not .  Firstly, Elvis was a singer.  Rap is not singing, it is rap.   Secondly, Elvis didn't take himself so seriously that he never smiled - for Elvis, being 'cool' didn't come from some posed 'bad boy' image.  Perhaps the only similarity is they were both white, and initially rejected by mainstream white society.  And, unlike Elvis, Eminem had better tread carefully; too much mainstream acceptability would be incongruous with the 'bad boy' persona he has been carefully grooming.  
       The question that comes to everyone's mind sooner rather than later is, 'Is this an autobiographical story?' Marshall 'Eminem' Mathers' reply is it is, partly.  But which parts?   In the movie, for example, where Cheddar Bob draws a gun in a gang fight and Rabbit (Eminem) does the "right thing" by talking him into putting it away before someone gets killed, doesn't mesh well with the real Eminem's record of having been arrested twice for carrying a loaded weapon.  You decide, but this smells more of ' whitewash' than it does of 'autobiography '.
       Having said all of the above, Eminem, with a little help from his friends, has pulled it off - the result being a well produced film that entertains to the end.  Kim Bassinger's portrayal of Rabbit's wasted trailer trash mom is not to be missed.  -And one hopes that Bangkokians' exposure to 8 MILE will help them realize that the US A is not one huge, happy "Leave It To Beaver" suburb.  Albeit Director, Curtis Hanson's depiction of Detroit was so dreary I honestly can't remember whether 8 MILE was filmed in black & white or color. Can you?
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "It's Saturday night; I can get 'closer to my Lord' on Sunday."

        ''CLICK & GO'' BACK to Movie Reviews         To print this page: *CLICK* .     2003, Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com