Senior HTF Member
- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
Film Length: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
Look, What if You Had One Chance to Seize
Everything You Ever Wanted? Would You Capture it?
Or Would You Let it Slip?
By all rights I should have quickly dismissed
8 Mile. I am not a fan of Hip-Hop music,
and I am certainly not a fan of Eminem. Despite
the preconception I had before watching this film,
I came out of the experience both elated and
emotionally drained. While 8 Mile is at
times a gritty film filled with raw energy, it can
also be a rather touching drama. In short, you don't
have to be into rap music to appreciate the raw
authenticity of Eminem's fictionalized biography.
8 Mile follows the exploits of a poor white boy
and his journey from the obscurity of working in
a steel mill to local rap fame while still working
in a steel mill. Named after a road that serves
as a physical and psychological boundary between
black inner-city Detroit and its white suburbs,
8 Mile is set in 1995. As the film opens
we meet Jimmy Smith, Jr. (Eminem) who is referred
to by his friends as Bunny Rabbit, choking on his
first "rap battle" performance at the local Shelter.
Jimmy is a middle age man with a dream of getting
signed by a rap label. He recently broke up with
his possibly pregnant girlfriend, who now owns his
car. With no money or means of transportation,
Jimmy moves into his mother’s (Kim Basinger) trailer
home, an environment that does the young wannabe
absolutely no good.
Rabbit is poor in spite of working at a factory
pressing car bumpers, but his sights are set on
saving for studio time to record a demo that could
break him into the black-dominated world of battle
rap, where two rappers face off in an effort to
out-rap each other amidst hollers of a riled-up
audience. Rabbit and his friends talk about
making it big, and making it out, but none of
them seems to know how to make that dream real.
Nevertheless, Rabbit has the support of Alex (Brittany
Murphy), his new girlfriend who believes in him
like no one else.
8 Mile plays so much like a Rocky
movie that you can almost see it's star, Eminem
running up the museum steps. But you know what?
That's okay....director Curtis Hanson makes this
into a really different compelling coming-of-age
tale that draws in the crowd and gets them cheering.
Eminem really shows he can strut his stuff, giving
a focused, intelligent performance. It's almost a
shame that it's co-star, Kim Basinger is wasted
with her minimal amount of screen time.
How is the transfer?
Though the film is mostly low-lit and full of
gritty images, the transfer sports outstanding
sharpness and detail. The transfer has some of the
deepest black levels I have seen, giving this film
the kind of depth and texture that you don't
regularly see. Colors are accurately rendered without
any oversaturation and flesh tones are dead-on
accurate. Simply a superb transfer!
Get ready to rock 'da house! The DTS mix is one
of the most kick-ass soundtracks I have heard in
the past few months. What else would you expect
from a film that features killer rap tunes?! The
DTS audio provides ultra-rich sounding dynamics
backed by bass-thumpin' LFE support. The louder you
turn this baby up, the more it kicks. Despite all
the punch in this soundtrack dialogue comes across
clearly and distinctively so that you can better
understand the music lyrics. In fact, audio is very
even across all the channels. The surrounds do a
audacious job of immersing you in a crowd-packed
room during the various rap battles as well as
providing the ambience of the Detroit city streets.
TURN IT UP! TURN IT UP!
It's surprising for a film that made so much money
for Universal last year that they kind of skimped
on the extras on this disc. Notably absent is any
real "in-depth" making=of material or even an audio
Although The Making of 8 Mile is just another
one of those ordinary promo pieces, I did find it
sort of educational when it came to understanding the
dividing line between city Hip-Hop that is considered
authentic and the less-than-authentic suburban version
of the music. You know, when you're a white boy like
me, you just don't readily understand these things.
This featurette is filled with lots and lots of film
clips alongside snippets of interviews with its
stars, Eminem and Mekhi Phiferas well as director Curtis
Hanson and producer Brian Grazer. We learn about
Eminem's own personal contribution to the film,
given the fact that he is so well rooted into Detroit
and its Hip-Hop music scene. Very nice indeed --
especially for positive message that the star brings
to this featurette.
(length: approx. 9.5 minutes)
Exclusive Rap Battles is a fun watch. It
begins with director Curtis Hanson giving background
on "rap battle" where two opponents square off and
use rap instead of fists to throw jabs at each other.
Sit back and enjoy the 15-second auditions that many
of the extras performed. Watch as the many are
narrowed down to a few finalists who vie for a
starring role in the film via some deleted scenes.
(length: approx. 24 minutes)
The music of 8 mile is a shameless plug
for the two CD soundtrack offsprings from the film.
Holy boobies! An uncensored music video,
Superman is featured here.
We also get the film's original theatrical trailer
as well as Production Notes and Cast and
DVD-ROM content is mostly devoted to an
exclusive 8 Mile website.
For review purposes, Universal sent me a copy of
what seems to be the CENSORED version of
this film. I look forward to hearing more about
how the UNCENSORED version differs from this.
8 Mile is a straightforward, honest look at
the basis of an art form that gives one a reason
to escape and a reason to dream. Eminem gives us
a character who is somehow likeable in spite of his
mouth. Let's hope there are enough of you out there
still young enough at heart to enjoy this film as
much as I did.
Release Date: NOW
All screen captures have been further compressed.
They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
represent actual picture quality