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8 Mile (2002), R
Analysis Date: November 8, 2002
CAP Score: 20
CAP Influence Density: 9.59
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8 MILE (R) -- No less than 368 uses of some form of foul, vulgar language...
Production: Imagine Entertainment
Distribution: Universal Pictures, Universal Studios Inc
Director(s): Curtis Hanson
Producer(s): Carol Fenelon, Gregory Goodman, Brian Grazer, Curtis Hanson, Jimmy Iovine, Paul Rosenberg, James Whitaker
Written by/Screenplay: Scott Silver
Cinematography/Camera: Rodrigo Prieto
Music: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Rakim, Kid Rock, Xzibit
Film Editing: Craig Kitson, Jay Rabinowitz
Casting: Mali Finn
Production Design: Zane Weiner
Art Direction: Kevin Kavanaugh
No less than 368 uses of some form of foul, vulgar language in 105 minutes. Two-hundred and twenty were the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8] Multiple instances of graphic intercourse [Gen. 34:7]. All for the eight year old boy in the audience -- with what looked to be his 18 or 19 year old brother. And for the ten year old in the audience. And the 12 year old. And the 13 and 14 year olds. And the....... [Luke 17:2]
Rabbit, a.k.a. Jimmy Smith, Jr. (Eminem) is not happy with his life. Once happy with his life, happy enough to get his girlfriend, Alex (Brittany Murphy) pregnant (which was brushed under the sinematic rug), Jimmy broke up with her and did the right thing by giving her his car. Now he's broke and has no place to live. So, he goes back home to mom, Stephanie (Kim Basinger) in her trailer with her live-in paramour who hates Jimmy. The only bright spot in Rabbit's life now is his little sister, Lily (IMDb gave no name for Lily). I wonder how long, in a real life, a little girl about eight years old would be a bright spot for anyone after such a lifestyle of wanton immorality, hate and violence with which she was living. Our Father warns us to not despise (regard as negligible) any of His little ones for each has an angel which beholds the face of the Father. [Matt. 18:10], Yes, He is watching. And denial of it because you don't like it will not make Him go away.
Jimmy is a rap artist. And he is white in a predominantly black area of art. Competition is severe but he is going to make it one way or another. With rap being born on the streets, Rabbit's life as a street urchin should serve him well. And a street urchin he was. All his life in the big city where the only grass was smoked. Yes, there is illegal drug possession and consumption and drug intoxication in this movie. His life has been spent on the poor side of 8 Mile, a boundary between rich and poor demography.
Jimmy's first attempt to audition for glory as a rap artist happens at the Shelter which appears to be an abandoned building sparsely renovated to permit stage shows. He fails miserably to outperform his opponent and freezes then "rabbits" offstage. It seems that this genre of rap is who can come up with the most vulgar and bitter insults of the opponent.
Setting his sights on winning the next battle, Jimmy bides his time and works as a stamping press operator. Trying to save up enough money to move out of his mother's trailer, Jimmy seeks extra shifts. But on one night during a second shift, his second chance to show his skills as a rap artist comes up at the Shelter.
The story is a good story well performed and is a moving and revealing tour in the life of one who is dissatisfied with his life trying to make it better. Genuineness, courage and sincerity were well portrayed as possible even in the bitter, back-stabbing world of the inner city life.
But the story is saturated with vulgarity, obscenity and filth. Maybe this movie accurately expresses inner city life but that inner city life is the way it is doesn't excuse emboldening, encouraging and perpetuating vulgarity, obscenity and filth in inner city life by presenting them in and as entertainment. Maybe this movie combined with thousands of others like it is one of the reasons inner city life is the way it is and one of the reasons such a lifestyle is propagated. Camaraderie in dissonance takes its toll on the observer. The "that's *my* story" planting of sympathetic behavioral templates is powerful, especially for the impressionable and the already embittered. Many health professionals and scientists agree with me and I with God [1 Cor.15:33] that *any* behavioral expression can be shaped by observation of behavior in entertainment, good or bad, whether acted upon or not, whether the behavioral influence manifests the same as the observed behavior or not. Maybe we should be trying use entertainment to move life away from bitterness, nihilism and hate. A very nice thought, but I don't believe modern filmmakers and screenwriters are good enough.
In addition to the 368 uses of some form of vulgar and profane language [Titus 2:6-8, Prov. 8:13, Prov. 22:11] were five separate graphic displays of intercourse. Sexual vulgarities seemed to dominate the rap songs as much as tales of killing, mutilation and suicide. Sexual immorality, both spoken and performed, homosexual insults and talk of immoral sex was rampant. [Mark 7:21] Drunkenness and drug intoxication were not often but were present [Gal. 5:19 - 21]. Foul quarreling with vulgar words and physical abuse were performed before a young child [Matt. 18:10.]. Let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section tell you all that was noted.
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|