Director Curtis Harrington has definitely made some great films. "LA CONFIDENTIAL" is an undeniable classic, and while "RIVER WILD," "BAD INFLUENCE" and "THE BEDROOM WINDOW" aren't in the same league, his craftsmanship led to all of those achieving an entertainment value, far surpassing the marginal payoff one would have rightfully expected, given their "B-movie" plotlines.
So, a reviewer, less than enthused with the acting potential or semi-autobiographical storyline of "Eminem," held out hope that if Harrington was choosing this subject for a film, there was good reason. Ultimately, "8 Mile" is Harrington's most disappointing work. While he does a great job in providing the gritty atmosphere in which the main character grew up, there's little inspiring here. Yes, it's great to see someone finding success against great odds, but there's just nothing really new within this urban drama, about an aspiring rap artist. He's also not a very amiable or sympathetic character. While it's certainly more honest than "FLASHDANCE," it's not really a more entertaining film! IT SHOULD BE!
Kim Basinger feels woefully miscast here, and her performance is atrocious. That said, for those who are fans of the film, UNIVERSAL has provided a great looking and great looking blu-ray.
The correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio is intact within the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray presentation. Colors vary in intensity, but are typically subdued, due to the inherent colder tints of the inner city depicted. Grain is also present, but intentionally so, and, even so, detail is always exquisite. The inky blacks and deep grays, provide a level of depth not obtainable on the previously impressive dvd. The blu-ray presentation offers an image, definitely on par with what one would expect in the best theatrical presentation.
UNIVERSAL has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Ambient effects are used effectively throughout, and while most of the film is front-focused, surrounds offer some engaging effects, immersing the audience. However, it's the musical rap sequences one expects the biggest punch from, and this mix delivers it with a whallop! Bass, music and discrete effects are played out with exquisite detail, allowing for great clarity of the rap lines, amidst layers of effects. It's a notable feat. Fans of "8 MILE" will love the sight and sound offered here. New viewers should probably rent this one first, before deciding whether to add it to one's collection.