Eminem, Kim Basinger,
Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Eugene Byrd

Curtis Hanson

Scott Silver

Curtis Hanson,
Brian Grazer, Jimmy Iovine

Universal Pictures

Rated R for strong language, sexuality,
some violence and drug use.
Rated Adult Acompaniement for
language and drug abuse.

Musical Drama
Every moment is another chance.

"I feel good."
I am not a fan of rap music. Occassi some onally rap music does fit films, obviously. What bugs me is that usually it is thrown in just to try and bring in teenagers who are into rap music and does not really go with the film content. There just does not seem to be any consideration as to whether it fits or not. My opinion of course, but then I am writing these things to give my opinion.That being said I have to say that obviously rap does fit in 8 MILE. What surprises me is that I actually enjoyed most of the music in this film. I especially enjoyed watching the battle of the rap sequences. Like most people out there, there is no way in the world I'd be able to string words like this guys do and for that, they have my respect. The movie also has my respect for actually being good without the use of any real major violence or shoot outs which seems to be a staple of rap films. 8 MILE is a good movie with a decent script and very good acting. A brooding and moody Eminem has the potienial of turning into a fine actor in the James Dean vein.Hype out there is that some feel this performance is worthy of an Oscar© nomination. He's good but not he is not good enough for this honour, not yet anyway. He definitely should work in more films and if he chooses wisely and and finds good scripts he will go places in Hollywood.

"Choke! Choke! Choke!"
It is Detroit in 1995 and the film begins with Jimmy Smith Jr., known as Rabbit to his friends, in front of a mirror practicing his routine which he will fail to perform in front of an audience at a rap battle. He locks up and can not get a word out; not good for a guy wanting to be a rap singer. The point of this contest on stage, in front of an audience is for two combattants to face off against each other. They have 45 seconds each to verbally put down or outwit the other and the audience chooses the winner. Rabbit fails to even say a syllable and is shouted off stage.

"Are you okay baby?"
Even though his friends tell him that he will do it next time, Rabbit retreats home to 8 Mile Road, a trailer park where he lives with his mother and sister. The mother played by Kim Bassinger has a live in boyfriend who treats her with disrespect and just out and out detests her Son, Jimmy. Rabbit loves his mother but hates the fact that she drinks and puts up with the abuse from her boyfriend, Greg. Jimmy puts up with Greg only to be there to protect his little sister, Lily. Eminem shines when he is dealing with Lily. In those scenes he seems so natural it is as if he has done this in real life. He may have, but since I know nothing of his real life I can not comment on this.

"Why do they call you Rabbit?"
The rest of the plot is really fairly simple and not special. The story is all about a young man trying to find his way through life and hopefully make a success of himself but only on his terms. First he has to find out what his own terms are and he must get over the personal hurdles he has placed in front of himself. He comes from a place that basically tells you that you are a failure and will always be one because you are from the wrong side of the tracks. To succeed in the real world it is crucial that he first succeed on stage. When he finally performs on stage against the other contestants it becomes his venue for venting out all his frustrations and failures as well as his limited successess. When he walks away we can feel that he may just perform well in the real world as he did on stage, and he will do it his way in his own time.

"What are you doing with your life that is so great, Rabbit?"
Jimmy is surrounded with many friends and most of them are African American's which explains most of his ambitions in music. These are loyal friends who stand by him through thick and thin. It is good to see this type of relationship on film instead of friends who want you dead or betray you. It is imortant in films, geared to teenagers, that a positive attitude towards real friendships are cultivated. Rap films seem to have a stigma that is attached to them, one that shows guns, drugs, betrayal and only fair weather friendships. To see this type of loyal friendships in this film genre is good and important. if more rap movies did this it would put rap movies in a better light to the general populace of film goers.

"I'm gonna battle."
The only thing that I found wrong with the film was it's length. It was stretched out by at least 20 minutes more then it should have been. It also could have been a, made for television movie, but since it stars a major personality in the music industry it had to go to the large screen, I guess. So if you are inclined to see this type of film or want to at least give it a chance then go for it but remember that language and scenes of sexuality make it not appropriate for young children.

"I'm not afraid of them guys."
One last thing to say. Listening to the raps it made me realize just how good these rapers ahve to be. They have to have good working knowledge of the language as to me they seem to be poets that often have to create on the fly. They seem to perform free style poetry on the spot and those that can do this well are the talented ones. You will see many occurences of this on screen. Well this is something I'll never be able to do so more power to them. Still, I hate dancing to rap choice of course. Well, gotta fly now.

"I just wanna do my own thing, you know?"
"Yah, I think I do."