|8 MILE (Curtis Hanson, 2002)
and sometimes i even got annoyed by it. damn. and i'm an eminem fan!
the way i experienced this film was like this - a bland script shot with beautiful colors by Rodrigo Prieto (amores perros), but that's pretty much it.
the script by Scott Silver (the mod squad; says everything) is saved only by the rap battles (which i'm sure scott didn't even get to touch). but most of all, i didn't see any kind of direction by Curtis Hanson. it looked like one lazy job to me. sure we get to see some street life, but i couldn't help feeling we were only scratching the surface polish with those scenes; they were too short, polished and to-the-point to feel like anything. and it's like checklist filmmaking (alcoholic mother - check; caring for young daughter/sister - check; the ex - check; cool girl who turns out is cheating on you - check). ask for some depth or some honesty but all you get is mtv news rethreads.
the only cool points i give to the film are the few bits where we actually get an insight into the creative process of coming up with raps. those were done through the music track. dunno if hanson had anything to do with those or if it was just the musical producer, though.
and there's the main event - Eminem (big gripe - why not go with marshall mathers?). the only thing i saw him do was try to look weak, like he was some big loser stuck in a drone life. but the problem is that all those things are telegraphed and em can't even bring some kind of performance to them. he just stares down and tries to look sad. it's a one-dimensional performance. he has no screen presence whatsoever when he's not rapping (btw, was it just me or did the street/demo raps have nothing exceptional about them? they did not lead me to believe that he was such a good rapper (rabbit, not em) that people around him believed in him so much). i couldn't believe in his loser schtick, it only made me feel like he was playing dumb and would be amazing at some point and win the rap battles. so the suspense was nowhere near this script. in the end, he does explode and it blows the shit outta the movie, sure. but did i have to go through ninety bland minutes to see that? hell fuck no.
the film felt like a series of bland scenes edited one after the other with no real purpose or original intent. if you've ever seen rocky, though, you know there will be salvation or a light at the end of the film and all will be good in eminem-land because ... well, because hollywood standards say so. emotionally, though, this film is bone-dry.
don't get me wrong, though, the film is not mediocre; but it's nothing original either.
to say that sylvester stallone did it better than you close to thirty years must really hurt, though.
Posted by Sam | 2:46 PM