(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
8 Mile is a 2002 Academy Award-winning film starring Marshall "Eminem" Mathers as the young white rapper Jimmy Smith Jr. It is set in Detroit, Michigan during 1995. Eight Mile Road is a road which forms the boundary between predominantly African American Detroit, Michigan and the city's mostly white northern suburbs. The term "8 Mile" therefore represents a barrier that is difficult to cross.
Besides Mathers, the stars of the movie include Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Omar Benson Miller, Eugene Byrd, Michael Shannon, Evan Jones, Chloe Greenfield, Taryn Manning, and De'Angelo Wilson.
Tagline: Every Moment is a Chance to Turn it Around.
Tagline: Every Moment is Another Chance.
The film begins with Eminem's character Jimmy "B. Rabbit" Smith Jr. at a local rap battle emceed by Smith's friend David "Future" Porter (Mekhi Phifer). A nervous Rabbit chokes at the mic and exits the competition.
After the initial scene at the music event, the movie focuses on Jimmy, a young sheet metal factory worker who is struggling with different aspects of his life. He has moved back north of 8 Mile Road to the rundown trailer home of his alcoholic mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), his much-younger sister Lilly (Chloe Greenfield), and his mother's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg (Michael Shannon). Jimmy is focused on getting his music career started, but he seems unable to catch a break. Just prior to the events of the film, he ends a relationship with his girlfriend Janeane (Taryn Manning), and during the film, begins a new relationship with Alex (Brittany Murphy).
As the film progresses, Jimmy comes to realize that his life has remained largely the same since high school. At first, he considers himself a victim of his circumstances and blames others for his problems. Over time, though, Jimmy begins to take responsibility for the direction of his life and realizes that he has a large degree of control over how it will go. He begins to question whether his group of friends, including Future, are holding themselves back from moving on to bigger things. "All we ever do is talk shit," he tells them, as they bicker about the best way to become successful in the music business. With his onstage choke still fresh in his mind, he appears to decide that he will give up on or postpone his dream of a music career in favor of devoting more time to his day job and building a home life. Jimmy's newfound responsibility becomes evident to his supervisor at the factory as well. At the beginning of the film, when Jimmy requests extra shifts, his supervisor laughs at him, but by the end, Jimmy's improved attitude and performance earn him the extra work he had wanted. However, a late night shift conflicts with the next battle tournament. Jimmy initially doesn't want to go, but a visit from Alex changes his mind. Paul (Craig Chandler), a gay co-worker whom Jimmy stood up for when he was being harassed for his sexual orientation, agrees to cover for him, further indicating how Jimmy has earned greater respect.
The climax of the movie takes place at the battle. Rabbit's friends hype him throughout the film as an incredible rapper, but until this point the film only shows snippets of his skills. The tournament has three rounds, and in each of them Rabbit faces a member of the "Leaders of the Free World", a group that feuds with Rabbit and his friends throughout the film. Rabbit wins both of the first two rounds with progressively more impressive freestyle raps. In the last round, he is paired against Papa Doc, the tournament's most feared battler and Jimmy's main antagonist throughout the storyline. Rabbit is aware that Doc knows all his weak points, so he decides to address them preemptively with his freestyle. Rabbit acknowledges without shame his white trash roots and the various humiliations the Free World clique have inflicted on him. He then uses the difficult life he's had as a springboard to reveal the truth about Papa Doc: despite passing himself off as a thug, he has a privileged background. Doc, whose real name is Clarence, attended Cranbrook, a private school located in upper class Bloomfield Hills, and he lives in the suburbs with his parents. Rabbit makes a reference to Shook Ones Pt. II, the beat that the DJ is spinning, by calling Poppa Doc a "halfway crook", which sends the crowd into a frenzy. Doc is left with nothing to say in rebuttal, drops the mic, and Rabbit takes the title.
As a final sign of his growing maturity throughout the film, Jimmy resists the pleas of his friends to go out and celebrate his victory, and instead he quietly walks off into the night to return to his shift at the sheet metal factory.
 Debate about biographical nature
There has been considerable debate, in the mainstream press, amongst reviewers, and other viewers, on the extent to which 8 Mile is semi-autobiographical, biographical, or totally fictional. This has been fueled by the fact that events and characters depicted in the movie appear to parallel events, and people, in Mathers' own life (as presented in the media and in various songs). Many reviews have suggested that the character Jimmy Smith mirrors Mathers as a young adult.
Other suggested parallels include but are not limited to:
- Rabbit's 3-1-3 (Three-One-Third) posse to D12's rap group.
- Rabbit's friend, mentor, and promoter Future to Proof, Eminem's real life friend. Proof hosted the battles in Detroit,
which Future does in the film.
- Future to Kon Artis, Eminem's friend and fellow D12 rapper. Future's real name in the movie is "David Porter", while Kon Artis's is Denaun Porter.
- Rabbit's little sister Lilly to Eminem's young daughter Hailie Jade Scott. Eminem's "Lose yourself" video explicitly connects Lilly to Eminem's daughter.
- Rabbit's mother to Eminem's real-life mother, Debbie.
- Rabbit's ex-girlfriend in 8 Mile to his real-life divorced, re-married and recently divorced again wife, Kim Mathers.
- Rabbit's rap battles in "The Shelter" to Eminem's participation in "The Rap Olympics." "The Shelter" is also an actual concert venue in downtown Detroit, in the basement of St. Andrew's Hall. "The Shelter" scenes in the film were filmed in a warehouse and not the actual concert venue as it was far too small to film in. Also, when the outside of St. Andrews Hall is shown, the sign for the venue is removed.
The suggestion amongst those holding such a view is that identities and events were changed in the film, and thus should be considered "biographical", or "semi-autobiographical" (given Mathers' role in the creative process). Some people holding such views have suggested changes of names and events were done to make civil lawsuits against Eminem more difficult. Others have suggested that names were changed along with a fictionalized, sanitized account of real events, designed to legitimize Eminem as an artist, and present him in a positive light.
In an interview included in the "Extras" portion of the DVD, Eminem says that Jimmy is not him but the story is semi-autobiographal. This allows Eminem to do more with the character of Jimmy than he could if it were solely based on his life.
8 Mile was generally well received among critics. The film currently holds a 76% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ebert & Roeper gave the film two thumbs up. The film was a surprise hit at the box office making $51.2 million in its opening weekend, making it one of the biggest opening weekends for an R-rated movie.The total domestic gross is $116 million USD.The 8 Mile DVD released in march 2003 grossed $91 million USD in DVD sales.
"Lose Yourself" won the Academy Award for Best Song
- Eminem parodies this movie in the single and video for "Just Lose It".
- Scary Movie 3 parodied the rap battle scenes, but instead of the character "choking" he starts rapping while wearing a Ku Klux Klan-like hood.
- The movie is also parodied in The Simpsons in the episode "Pranksta Rap" when Bart is writing things on a sheet of paper.
- For "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of "Lose Yourself," entitled "Couch Potato," there was a t-shirt made for to promote Al's Poodle Hat album. The shirt had a parody of the 8 Mile poster, depicting Al holding a small TV monitor, with rabbit-ear antennas on top, in his hands. The shirt can be found at the online shop at his website.
- On June 29, 2007 a leaked video clip on YouTube showed many more rap battles that had been filmed for the movie. The clip is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal, though additional battles were featured as an extra on the DVD edition.
- The movie featured 200 usages of the word "fuck," according to the Family Media Guide (see: List of films ordered by uses of the word "fuck").
- In the beginning of the movie when Rabbit is in the bathroom, the beat from Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Pt. II" is played, as the song was made in 1995 and the film is set in 1995. It is also the beat used in the final rap battle between Rabbit and Papa Doc.
- When Eminem battles Lotto at the end of the movie, the beat is from the Onyx song "Last Dayz."
- When Eminem battles Lyckety-Split before he battles Lotto, the beat is from the Show & AG song "Next Level (Nyte Time Mix)" from the album Goodfellas.
- Sara from MTV's popular series Making The Band has a cameo towards the end of the movie. She can be seen in the background during the last rap battle in the movie as Rabbit and Poppa Doc compete.
- During scenes in which television screens are present in the background, the music video for the Wu-Tang Clan's "Method Man" plays.
- This film is heavily shown on MuchMusic every year, and it is said to be one of the greatest rap-themed films ever. However, the muting of controversial language and the removal of some graphic scenes have been criticized.
 External links
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