Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Starring: O'Shea Jackson, Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown, Marlon Yates Jr, Corey Reynolds, Nate Ellington
Plot: The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.
My Review and Thoughts:
Straight Outta Compton is most assuredly one of the best films of 2015. A blend of perfect real life history with the dynamic direction, acting, and complete creation of this Bio-drama. An important piece of music history. An important piece on the birth of a group that is truly iconic, and gave forth extraordinary performers in the music world.
I grew up with N.W.A. My brother use to listen to them, and was a part of the Freedom of Speech movement when the music world was being attacked in the 80’s and early 90’s with the censorship movement against lyrics. I probably knew Easy E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre before I really knew any other Rappers in the world of music. N.W.A. was a force, a powerful lyrical experience that really had not been done before. They were so unique, and gave a pure sense of rougher, darker images to the world of music and Hip Hop rap. They took you into the realm of their true life reality of street life, and the struggles and ordeal’s they faced.
What needs to be mentioned about this movie is the excellent acting by all involved. I find that this reality is what makes this film stand out. The basic young no-name actors gave it a reality based feel, and also an eye opening experience to see these very talented persons act there butt’s off in unbelievable ways, that even diehard acting legends can’t do. It was beyond my comprehension on just how great these young, gifted, and talented actors graced the screen, owned it, floored it, and left a lasting impression, at least upon this movie lover.
This equals a harsh exploration of violence, drugs, gangs, racial tension, but most importantly the vibrant perfection of artistic endeavor of this group. The ups, the downs, the brutal realities of music life, street life, and life in general, all come to completion on screen in perfected film making.
F. Gray Gray created and directed a stunning example of how to make a film. This movie could have been a hot mess. It could have been a disaster, but it was so well crafted through the lens in front and behind, that there really is no flaw to this movie. I thought it was a dynamic piece of cinema. A modern film to be truly happy about. It’s a movie that deserves all the accolades. I think it is an award worthy picture that should be honored in that way.
The cast is amazing, but I have to pick out two performers that blew me away, and gave such performances that makes me love cinema all the more. First up is O’Shea Jackson Jr. Playing his real life father in the part of Ice Cube. First movie. Can you say that allowed while saying, flawless performance. First movie is beyond my understanding. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is way I love cinema. His performance leaves me amazed at how talented this young man is.
Next I have to mention the ever, often over looked, underappreciated actor Paul Giamatti. Paul is a performer that never lets a role down no matter even if a movie sucks, he still is able to own his part and create that unreal, reality of perfection that he bleeds on screen. He plays the character Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton. Shall I say Oscar, Oscar, yes Oscar.
I also have to mention Jason Mitchell. Truly a fantastic performer. He gave one of my favorite performer’s a spark at life once again. Easy E was a true rapping icon that knew and owned and transformed the art form of lyrical poetry in his words, execution and performances. Jason Mitchell did Easy E, true JUSTICE. Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, another flawless and equally important role that stands out, and was utterly fantastic in his execution of the character. All these young actors owned the film, and made you feel like you were watching real life unfold before you. That is how amazing and important this film is.
Highly recommended and is easily one of my favorite films of 2015.
To quote my fellow film critic Livia Peterson from her own review: “The music is sensational and the highlight in the film. The concert sequences are immersive.”