Some Thoughts on ‘Straight Outta Compton’


I just watched Straight Outta Compton and I have some thoughts so here they are on Medium, a place where thoughts can go:

  1. Ice Cube is played by his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. Every other actor is played by someone unrelated to their real-life counterpart, as far as I know. They still look pretty similar — no one seems to be playing a person they don’t resemble in the slightest. But Jackson playing Ice Cube is something else. It’s like watching a younger and slightly distorted version of Cube on screen, like a dream where the features are slightly off. It’s an uncanny valley sort of sensation.
  2. Straight Outta Compton and Mad Max: Fury Road are my favorite musical movies of the year. As with Suspiria, the music is relentless and constantly keeping the movie pumped. Straight Outta Compton has diagetic and nondiagetic music playing, but all of it flows in and out seamlessly; the master is great. Fury Road and Suspiria are a bit more like heavy metal concerts playing in the background.
  3. The movie intentionally pushes up the this-stuff-on-the-streets-is-happening-right-now-this-movie-is-so-relevant angle. It isn’t inappropriate. Indeed, it’s probably an important part of the movie’s popularity ($60.2 million domestic on opening weekend, on a $28 million budget). But I’ve seldom seen a fictional movie that pushed me out of itself into real life like that. It’s different from boredom, which is what happens when a movie fails to keep you in itself. This one nudged me out.
  4. The movie is clearly from the perspective of the people who made it. I don’t know enough about the true story it’s based on to say more that that. But yeah, Suge Knight comes off as a complete bag of scum. Then again, he seems to be one.
  5. This is a really good movie. It would get Oscar attention if Oscars weren’t So White.
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