DVD Review: Straight Outta Compton

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This biopic of the iconic rap group NWA starts with following the three biggest stars, Eazy-E, (Jason Mitchell) Ice Cube, (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) from the very beginning. E selling dope, Cube writing lyrics on the school bus, and Dre with his DJ gigs. They eventually start to record with two more artists, DJ Yella (Neil Brown. Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) and become a sensation on the club scene. This leads to a man named Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) coming on as their manager, but specifically closest to E, and the eventual downfall of NWA, and the rise of many other things.

The run time kept putting me off seeing it in theaters. 2 1/2 hours is steep. The movie feels it, but there's so much to cover that it's completely understandable. I really enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. I can't call myself a massive NWA fan. I only knew of their big hits, but I listed to plenty of Dre and Cube afterwards. The nostalgia is strong in this film. Not only from hearing their songs, (which were expertly mixed with the actual tracks, and the actors rapping them) but seeing small cameos from artists like Snoop Dog, Tupac, and things like Ice Cube writing the Friday script. I loved it. 

Acting can be something that is so hit or miss in bio pics, and this film hit it. Jackson is obviously a spitting image of his father and I'm so glad he got to portray him. It's almost jarring to watch mini Cube. Corey Hawkins, who is currently being wasted on The Walking Dead was excellent as Dre. He cuts a very intimidating, yet vulnerable figure at times. The biggest star, however is Jason Mitchell. A lot of this film is seen through Eric's eyes and Mitchell is tasked with a variety of emotions throughout. I read that one of Eric's sons auditioned to play him, and it didn't work out. While that's sad there couldn't be another child of an NWA member playing their dad, I cannot picture anyone else but Mitchell. He nailed it. 

Straight Outta Compton might not be for everyone. I wasn't sure it would be for me, but it was. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "How do you like your new decor?" - Kim (Alexandra Shipp) 

15 comments:

  1. Really happy you liked this one. And you're completely right about Mitchell being perfect. My own review has been written for a while, will post next week.

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  2. Nice review. I agree that Jason Mitchell was excellent in this.

    - Zach

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  3. Your last comment has me sold. I keep telling myself that this just doesn't seem 'for me'...but maybe it is!

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    1. Drew, my love! Thank you for commenting. I miss you. lol

      And I hope you like it, I think you will.

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  4. im glad you liked it even though you were not a fan of NWA. Yes the acting is all really good in this, and I thought they all did a great job with their roles. It would be great if the real members of NWA did a commentary track to this

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    1. That would be an excellent feature. I saw that Eric's kid got to give Mitchell pointer on how to play him.

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  5. i'm glad you liked this! I thought it was great

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  6. Nice review. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. I think its maybe because I wasnt ever really a fan of NWA's music, but never really found myself engaged by the film.

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    1. Thanks! That's too bad you couldn't get into it. :(

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  7. I was surprised by how much I loved this. It worked as a biopic as well as a demonstration about racism while also being entertaining at parts.

    Lastly, Jason Mitchell..is going to be a star!

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