For the second week in a row Straight Outta Compton has been the most watched movie in America, at the time of writing this, the film has grossed over $111 million, it isn’t out in England until Later this week but I had the opportunity to go and watch it last week so I thought I would tell you a bit about it…
Firstly I am going to try and tell you what I thought of this movie without spoiling it for you, there is nothing worse than reading about a film before you go and watch it and the writer has taken it upon themselves to ruin the best bits!
This movie is cast perfectly, I am still confused as to how Ice Cubes son looks more like Ice Cube than Ice Cube does. Its mad, I even found a meme dictating this:
Not only do the actors look and sound like the ‘real deal’ they embody the actual people so well. I’m not an actress, I don’t know how hard it is to become someone else, but I do not take it lightly.
At the screening I went to Ice Cube said that this movie took over 2 years to make and while filming he kept having to remind himself that the cast were actors, not younger versions of himself.
The first thing I noticed was that these people ( Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Ren and Antoine) were friends, friends who were trying to do something different. To do more than survive in the circumstances they were in. I was worried because I just assumed it would be a graphically violent film, with guns and fights and blood. But it is more than that, it’s a true story of success, that is brought to life by the amazing cast.
I understand that this movie will bring a lot of N.W.A ‘fans’ out of the woodwork, people who have never mentioned Compton in their lives will be pledging allegiance to the city, wearing all sorts of colours, but ask them to quote one lyric and they will be sweating in their newly acquired Raider Gear!! Jokinnnnnnnng.. Well I am joking until it happens! And then I told you so!
I have to admit that before watching this movie I wasn’t a diehard NWA fan, I wasn’t super excited for this film and I didn’t really have any expectations, that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much.
It is so weird see to a film that is set in the 80/90’s mirror so much of what is happening in the world today. Straight Outta Compton doesn’t try to explain the origins behind racism or police brutality. It doesn’t try and solve it or understand it, it is very honest in it’s approach; this existed, has always existed and still exists today.
I am a girl who has grown up in London, I can’t pretend I know what it is like to be a black man in LA. Compton gives me a chance to see what police brutality is like from the eyes of the accused.
There are a few key moments in the film where you take a step back and think ‘So that’s why they did that’ or ‘This is why he wrote that song’ it was just a general reflection of the times but a personal account.
To see the effect music had on people without the aid of YouTube, Twitter, Soundcloud.
Can you imagine anything doing well without 100,000 retweets today? To my 2015-fied mind this seems almost primitive; to imagine a world where I had to wait for someone to go and physically create music by pressing it to vinyl before I could listen to it. It blew my mind completely.
I know that with a review (I think this is a review) there has to be some constructive (if not negative) points and mine are this;
Eazy E’s cornrow wig was a madness. Completely threw me off of my serious film watching game, I can’t have been the only one who noticed that.
Can a film ever truly be objective when the ones who created it are the subject? A lot of things are not included in the film, this could’ve been down to time constraints I guess, but I have read a lot of interviews and statements from people who were around N.W.A at the time and who haven’t been included in the movie.
Dr Dre and Ice Cube were producers on the movie.
It has come to light recently that Dr Dre has abused previous partners. He has since released a statement apologizing for his treatment of past girlfriends and past girlfriends have come out saying they weren’t included. When you are telling people a story about yourself you naturally edit out the parts that make you look less that shiny and that’s ok on a one2one basis, but when you are telling your story to potentially millions and you omit certain things about your past is that ok?
The film is super misogynistic, if you take into consideration my previous point; that Dre and Cube produced the movie and have omitted certain dark areas of their lives then the same could potentially be said about their treatment of women. I am assuming here (call me an ass if you like) but they probably haven’t shown the extent to which they ‘got down’ with the ladies. And the snippets that are included in the movie suggest a whole deeper level of sexism. I know it’s a reflection of the times but boy oh boy.
Having said that; this wasn’t created to be a Blockbuster. Think about the movies of 2015 so far; Minions, Fantastic Four and so on. Straight Outta Compton is a surprise hit.
Am I Ice cubes no1 fan all of a sudden? No, of course not. But the new found respect I have for him and the other members of N.W.A (yes even Eazy E) is immeasurable, they haven’t even included all of the unlawful arrests, police harassment or bullying in the movie and still what I saw has resonated deeply. The way the film handled Eazy E’s death, which was due to HIV, was nothing short of heart breaking. And the over all message; how a few young men rose up so high when they had so much against them, is no less than inspiring.
Yes it is subjective, yes it doesn’t include the less than sweet smelling sides of N.W.A but at least it is a film about something, look around!
I don’t feel like I only watched a 2 1/2 hr movie. I feel like I was taught something that will last me a long time.
Straight Outta Compton is in cinemas on Friday. Go and watch it. Seriously, even if you don’t like it as much as I did it is all anyone is going to be talking about for a while!