Archives for posts with tag: rap

Grade D+

A weak biopic of Tupac Shakur (played by Demetrius Shipp, Jr.).  His childhood, his early foray into rap, his rapid rise in the hip hop world, his friendship and falling out with rapper Biggie Smalls, joining Suge Knight and Death Row Records, his part in the feud between some East Coast rappers and West Coast rappers, his legal troubles, his time in prison, and the shooting that led to his death are all shown in this disaster of a movie.

There were three outstanding things in “All Eyez On Me”: 1) Demetrius Ship, Jr. looks very much like Tupac, and his acting was decent; 2) Dominic L. Santana, who plays Suge, stole the whole movie with his imposing and threatening presence; and 3) some of the musical scenes were very entertaining.   But these three things do not overcome the inadequacies of the director — who I won’t even name because you won’t know who the hell this guy is — and the disastrous editing and the grossly inferior screenwriting.  You’ve been warned.

My most memorable, movie moment of “All Eyez On Me” is the scene when Shipp is in the studio, energetically putting his vocals to the song “California Love,” one of the best rap songs ever made.

— M

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Grade A

Based on the true story of the rap group NWA (Niggaz With Attitude) that started in the 1980s and revolutionized rap, “Straight Outta Compton” is a mesmerizing movie that holds your attention with its brutal, gritty scenes, good acting, energetic concert sequences, and powerful, in your face music.

O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, and Jason Mitchell portray three of the NWA founding members, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E, respectively.  From the mean, gang infested streets of L.A., these young men will hone and use their talents to rise above the killing fields and forge a new path for rap that is still felt today.  Brutal cops, vicious gangbangers, a sketchy manager (played by Paul Giamatti), jealousy and infighting among NWA members, and censorship will test the bonds the group members have.  Some will get stronger, some will fall by the wayside; but their music lives on.

My most memorable, movie moment is the scene when NWA is harassed by the LAPD just for standing around a building that houses a recording studio they are using.  That harassment inspires Ice Cube to write the lyrics for the song “Fuck Tha Police.”

“Straight Outta Compton” is one of the best biopics to have come out in the past decade, filled with a raw energy that can suck you in even if you are not a fan of rap songs.  And for those who do like rap, this movie will be much more enjoyable for you.

— M

 

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