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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Eminem

8 Mile (2002)

Who ever thought Eminem could rap.

The people of Detroit know 8 Mile as the city limit, a border, a boundary. It is also a psychological dividing line that separates aspiring hip-hop artist Jimmy Smith Jr. from where and who he wants to be. A provocative fictional examination of a critical week in Jimmy’s life, 8 Mile stars multi-platinum recording artist Eminem in his first feature-film leading role, along with Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy and Eugene Byrd.

I have seen 8 Mile numerous times, on VH1, and other times, but never the full thing in one-sitting. I mean I would be dumb to tell you guy’s new stuff about this movie, that half of you already know, cause everybody has seen this movie.

There are plenty of things in this movie that just keep you going. The constant rap battles are awesome, and funny at the same time, cause who doesn’t love to see Xzibit get called a bitch and faggot. There’s no score for this one, so if you enjoy lots and lots of rap music, be ready cause you going to get a butt-load here. Lose Yourself, is in this movie, and it just gets you going so much.

The one thing that keeps this film going is it’s just overall tone. Some Eminem fans may be taken back by the depressing tone that the movie takes, but it works in its favor. The streets of Detroit are so scummy, so beat-up, and so dirty, that when these people talk about hard times, or rap about it, you know what their talking about cause of the hell-whole they live in. The film reminds me of a grittier, less glamorous Saturday Night Fever. And the main problem these people have with their lives is trying to get out of this ghetto.

The problem with this film is that it is way too overly familiar. It’s almost like the film is just Rocky, with a dope beat. The screenplay was good, but it didn’t go the extra mile (pun intended), to fully become something emotional and true. I also feel like the film since it was produced, and directed by a lot of white people, it doesn’t feel as genuine, but none the less, I still felt a good deal of emotion in the film. I also wish more things with Eminem and his ex-girlfriend were reconciled, or shown for that matter, cause by the end were just kind of like wondering what the hell happened.

Eminem does a great job at playing a role that he basically does in real-life. He’s funny, angry, and has a lot of good rhymes to support his angry side, but in the end is still a guy that keeps on looking for a change. Brittany Murphy (R.I.P), is also good here as the neighborhood tramp that Em falls for, and although she isn’t in many scenes, she is just still convincing. Underrated Mekhi Phifer is the shit in here, playing the dude who hosts all the rap-battles, and he does a great job of adding that emotional strife to the character, as well as having a lot of energy to show a likable character. Kim Basinger is a bit mis-cast here, she doesn’t prove to be too gritty, and low-life that she can be believable, but she does have some OK scenes.

Consensus: 8 Mile is a familiar story, but is straight-up gritty, engaging, and at the same time, a great watch, with good performances, including a surprising one from Eminem.

8/10=Matinee!!!!

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Funny People (2009)

I could only wish that everybody was as funny as the title says.

When famous comedian George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is given a second chance at a new beginning, he and his assistant, a struggling comedian, Ira (Seth Rogen), return to the places and people that matter most…including the stand-up spots that gave him his start and the girl that got away (Leslie Mann).

With Judd Apatow’s last two at bats (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) he has shown that he can make hilarious comedies, with heart-felt messages somewhere in between. This is no different, except it kind of is.

Apatow as the writer is perfect. He always fines a perfect balance of heart and hilarity, and this is no exception. The jokes as usual, are hilarious, if you like a lot of boner jokes, and it almost never slows down. The stand-up seems just wreak with hilarity and a lot of originality. When Simmons gets cancer, you would think that the most would slow down, and get very very serious, however, Apatow changes that and never stops bringing out the jokes, and surprisingly a lot of them had me laughing-out-loud. You can tell that he has matured, and his writing makes you have more hope for him in the future.

Although, Apatow as the director, now that’s a stretch. He overuses the slow-zoom to show his characters being emotionally effected by something, it’s almost too obvious at times. Also, the first act between Rogen and Sandler works so well, it was this close to getting a 10/10, then came the next story with Sandler and Mann, then it just kind of lost me. It’s less of a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and more a but-one-and-get-one you really didn’t ask for deal. Both stories just don’t seem connected, and although the jokes kept up during the last act, I still didn’t find a reason for it. Oh, and the film is about 2 hours and 30 minutes, so be ready to be looking at your watch many times.

Apatow does a great job of blurring the line of fiction and non-fiction to create compelling, realistic performances from the cast. George Simmons is sort of the dream role for Adam Sandler. Mainly because Simmons is a goofy comedian, Sandler gets to indulge in that goofy side, we all know and love him for, but he gets to show the characters darker parts, and does a fantastic job at it. Although, I think the film could have done a better chance of showing Simmons in a more positive way sometimes. Simmons is a dick, especially towards the end, but we never get to see him come out of that dark shell, and understand who he has come to be.

The rest of the cast is perfect too. Seth Rogen (who is looking very, very slim) plays probably the least Seth Rogen he has ever played, because he doesn’t do that famous “Rogen chuckle“, and instead he does a character with nervous twitches, and mega-awkwardness. Leslie Mann is funny, but more serious than her usual character, and seems a lot more genuine during the last act, than she has, in a long time (yes, I’m talking about you George of the Jungle). There are other little characters that will make you laugh such as Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, RZA, Aziz Ansari, but the most surprisingly funny one was…………….Eric Bana! He comes in the film and you expect him to play this really deuchy character, cause the whole film they talk about him so badly, then you meet him, and he’s downright lovable. He’s hilarious, sweet, and really cool. Kind of makes me forget about The Hulk.

The film probably should get an Oscar for the film with most cameos, if there ever was one. I mean you got Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, James Taylor, even Tom from MySpace (I don’t know how that guy still has a career). But the funniest one is between Eminem and Ray Romano, that will just have you cracking up, although it does seem really random. Better yet, you never know, Eminem probably wasn’t acting.

Consensus: Funny People is consistently funny, as well as being heart-felt, with great performances from the whole cast, even though the last act may take some away, and not very inspired direction.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

Richard Pryor – Live on Sunset Strip (1982)

I remember one day, I was looking up reviews on Eminem’s new album, and one critic compared it to this movie, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. Since I had yet to see this movie, I decided to go out and find it.

No subject is safe from barrier-breaking comedian Richard Pryor — not even Richard Pryor himself. Proving his main passion is to make us laugh, the unflinching Pryor cracks jokes about his near-fatal drug-related accident and the fallout in his personal life.

Now I have always heard about Richard Pryor from movie critics, and other fellow comedians, that he was one of the greatest. And to be honest, I never saw any of his stand-up acts, and I’m pretty mad at myself for that now.

The film has tons of laughs and the one best thing about this film is that Pryor does not shy away once from touching on any subject. He makes fun of his own race, which is hilarious but in the same way, also very brave and true.

This gig was actually Richard Pryor’s first since he accidentally set himself on fire while freebasing on cocaine. He talks about anything and everything here: Nazis, marriage, sex, lawyers, Africa, the mafia, the list goes on. While the jokes here are suitably edgy, there are some touching personal moments as well.

However, watch this film closely and you’ll notice the laugh track and the mismatched visuals, as a good portion of it was shot on the Columbia lot and not in front of a live audience. The editing team does their best to give the impression of a single seamless performance, but the fact that it is a combination of three separate dates at two wholly different locations is glaringly obvious.

Pryor shows that he is one and always will be one of the best with his whole act here. He is basically one of the main reasons why comedians have jokes today, and without him all jokes would be knock-knock and racist jokes. He is hilarious as usual and gives probably one of the best delivered stand-up performances I have ever seen.

Consensus: Pryor is on top of his game, with the constant jokes that touch on every controversial subject, while providing enough humor and enough insight from one of the truly greats of comedy.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!!