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The musical biopic has always stood as the premiere example of a vanity project, and 8 Mile is certainly no exception. And with every vanity project, there's a critic waiting to take it down quite a few pegs. Which means that the Honest Trailer for 8 Mile below is just nature doing its job.
Screen Junkies let their Honest Trailers team loose to tear apart the 2002 film that actually won an Oscar for Best Original Song. Yet despite its golden honors, and some overwhelming critical support, 8 Mile doesn't seem to have aged the way most other film success stories have. But then again, what can you expect when your film's award-winning song states: "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow" ... only to give that shot to its main character several times throughout the film.
Much like the many shots the character of Jimmy gets to shine throughout the course of 8 Mile, the Honest Trailer actually brings up a valid point when it comes to the filmography of Eminem: he's only ever played himself. You'd think that landing some solid buzz in a film directed by L.A. Confidential helmer Curtis Hanson, while also winning an Oscar for an original song from said movie, would be enough to start the man truly known as Marshall Mathers on a career for at least mid-level roles -- other than playing himself in a cameo capacity -- in big ticket pictures.
While 8 Mile may not have given Eminem his own franchise of superhero films, it is coincidental to note that both Michael Shannon and Anthony Mackie were both in the film. Go ahead, dig up that copy of 8 Mile you accidentally bought from your old Columbia House subscription, and search through the movie to find them. Shannon is the abusive boyfriend to Kim Basinger's fictional representation of his mom, while Mackie is the leader of what the Honest Trailer calls "the Cobra Kai of rap." So Zod and The Falcon stand in Eminem's way to a better future, and in the end, he defeats them both? The fact that one of the singles used to promote the film was a track entitled "Superman" is somewhat oddly prophetic. Listen to that NSFW track right here:
While Emimem's film career isn't as big as it could have been, and 8 Mile isn't exactly the cultural milestone it wishes it could have been, no one can take away from it the fact that it was a film that deeply affected viewers. Also, no one can change the fact that despite the thrashing Screen Junkies gave it in the Honest Trailer, the film still holds strong at a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. With that in stone, it's clear that 8 Mile took its one chance, and it came out much like its protagonist did: slightly better than everyone would have expected.
8 Mile is available on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital HD. "Mom's Spaghetti" recipe, not included.