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   Click for more: celebrities | movie reviews

8 Mile

Release Date: November 8, 2002
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Curtis Hanson
Screenwriter: Scott Silver, Jesse Wigutow
Starring: Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Eugene Byrd, Omar Benson Miller, Taryn Manning
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for strong language, sexuality, some violence and drug use)
Official Website: 8-Mile.com

I just came from the world premiere of "8 mile", Eminem's much anticipated semi-autobiographical hip-hop flick twenty minutes ago. First of all, the film was a huge hit with the audience, with several spontaneous ovations for E's character (Bunny Rabbitt) when he rhymes (not enough) in the film. Although you could dub the showing a love-in (many devoted fans were in attendance) the film definitely held its own.

The Toronto Film Festival is best when its films show you a world you will never know, and 8Mile definitely did that. It showcases life in central Detroit, which rivals Liverpool England for social mobility, and hip hop in general. In order for hiphop to completely cross over, it needs to provide its middle-of-the-road audience with some touchstones that they can understand. This film does that, and, thus, is more of a cultural event than a film.

The film itself is fine, with excellent acting (E and Kim Bassinger) direction and cinematography, and a script that keeps you interested, even if the story is something we've all seen before. It would have been nice if there could have been a deeper message than one of individual inspiration and strength. I keep thinking of all the sad lives Bunny Rabbit must have left behind after he "made it", but this is an American film, so don't look for any Marxist messages of inspiration here.

8 mile is the definitive hip-hop film, but it only offers as much insight into the big picture of American life as Elvis' films did. Eminem aimed slightly higher than he could have, and hit the mark.

Eminem .... Jimmy Smith, Jr.
Kim Basinger .... Stephanie Smith
Brittany Murphy .... Alex
Mekhi Phifer .... David Porter/Future
Eugene Byrd .... Wink
Omar Benson Miller .... Sol
Taryn Manning .... Janeane

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