Friday, August 19, 2016

Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Movie: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Director: F. Gary Gray

Writer: Jonathan Harman (screenplay), Andrea Berloff (screenplay), S. Leigh Savidge (story), Alan Wenkus (story)

Cast: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, Marlon Yates Jr., R. Marcos Taylor, & Paul Giamatti

One-Line Plot Synopsis: The story of the creation and rise to fame of the rap group NWA from Compton, California.

If you think of one person who you'd go to for some rap'd think of me, right?  Well, maybe not, but that doesn't mean I don't listen to or appreciate rap music.  Actually, when I think about it, live rap music is so much tougher to pull off than any other genre of music.  There's always those 10 other hype guys, who you have no idea who they are, yelling the last word to every verse that the artist is singing.  At least that's how it was when I was growing up.  Nowadays, most of the music sounds like crap live.  The majority sounds 100% better on a stereo system then it does live.  There are exceptions (i.e. Childish Gambino), but more often than not, the live product is far inferior to the produced product.  Now, this doesn't necessarily translate to a movie format, but movies about music are very hit or miss if you ask me.  I think it's actually easier to make a movie about music with a fictional band because the movie is more focused on the story than it is on the music.  On the other hand, a movie about an actual band can fall back on having great music, but the performances need to live up to the actual artists that everyone is already familiar with, which in my opinion is harder to do.  Movies about bands or musical artists usually work better as a documentary than as a movie.

But then there are exceptions and such is Straight Outta Compton.  Like I said earlier, the hardest part about making a movie about a super famous or influential band or artist is nailing the roles.  Somehow, Straight Outta Compton knocked all of the main parts out of the fucking ballpark.  Eazy E, played by Jason Mitchell, was basically a perfect fit.  Ice Cube, played by O'Shea Jackson, Jr., was spot-on.  At first I didn't know how they randomly found someone that looks EXACTLY like Ice Cube, but then I looked it up after watching the movie and realized that it's actually Ice Cube's son.  That makes sense.  He looked entirely too much like fucking Ice Cube to not be his son.  Those two were basically the two most accurate casting choices I've seen in I don't know how long.  I thought Dr. Dre, played by Corey Hawkins, was also really good but, because I'm a Providence College basketball fan, he reminded me entirely too much of my man Kris Dunn.  Since watching the movie I've looked at picture of both of them and I see basically no resemblance whatsoever now, but at the time, for whatever reason, he reminded me of Dunn.  That's probably a me-thing.  I thought the actor was pretty good, just not on the same level as Eazy E and Ice Cube.

Paul Giamatti can play the manager for anyone in any movie.  It can be Cinderella Man, Straight Outta Compton, Rock of Ages, or fucking Big Fat Liar, just give me Giamatti as a manager and I'm in.

The movie itself was really damn good.  It was at least 30 minutes too long, but that was OK because the good scenes were really damn good.  They tried to fit a little too much into the movie in the second half of it just because there were so many famous rappers who played a role in some of N.W.A.'s members' careers after the fact, but I think that might be kind of expected.  Whoever played Snoop looked nothing like him and the scene where him and Dre come up with Gin & Juice is pretty far-fetched and ridiculous but I can see why you'd want to indulge there because of how awesome both the song and Snoop are in real life.  Little things like that weren't my favorite but they didn't bother me enough to take away from the rest of the movie.  

Overall, it was a really fun and enjoyable movie watching experience.  I'll probably watch certain scenes again if the movie was on HBO or something but I'm probably not going to watch the whole movie again just because it's so freaking long.

Rating: 8/10

P.S. I got somthin' to say...

And also this scene...which was awesome...