I don’t go to the movies very often – on average, twice a year does it for me. A movie has to be really engaging for me to end up watching it in a theater. Don’t ask me why, it’s just a personal preference. I suppose I’d rather spend my money on mini-golf, bowling and dinner as far as date nights are concerned.
Before last night, the last movie I had genuinely enjoyed in the theater was Dumb and Dumber To in November. We had gone to see the remake of Poltergeist in the spring, but it was not enjoyable. I wanted to see Straight Outta Compton but I was doubtful that Estes Park would play it, and I wasn’t going to drive an hour each way to see it down in the “big city.”
So when I grabbed the Estes Park News on Friday and saw it was actually playing in my podunk town, I immediately texted Erik and asked to go. If he had said no, I would have gone alone for sure. That’s how bad I wanted to see it!
A total of nine people were in the theater. True, we went to the 4 o’clock show, but still. I sort of figured that’s what would happen. There were three teens, an older couple and a couple around our age (they scrambled out so fast at the end that they left their jacket behind).
I was extremely excited for the movie. I didn’t know much about NWA, except the most bare bones version of the he-said-[s]he-said story and that they were pretty notorious. But do you ever just see a preview for a movie or a show (Empire comes to mind) that just grabs you? That’s what I felt.
The movie was amazing. I left the theater literally squealing with excitement. I laughed, I cried, I tapped my toes, I dug my nails into my hands, I shook my head.
For one, the casting was amazing. I haven’t seen such great casting since the Harry Potter movies. Here’s a photo of the original line-up:
And here’s the casting:
The acting was superb. I’m not a film buff by any means, but I know what I like, and I can tell when people are genuine. They were believable, and likeable, and was easy to sympathize with.
My biggest takeaways were:
- The living conditionsi in Compton. In my white bread world, I still get incensed by how blacks are forced to live. And I get even more incensed by people who say “that’s their own choice.” But that’s a topic for a different day. Anyway, the movie did a great job of communicating tension, nervousness and hopelessness to the viewer.
- The Rodney King riots was probably the closest we’ve ever come to having a revolution against the government. The depiction of the riots was powerful.
- How can you arrest people for singing a song? They did the same damn thing to Jim Morrison, and it’s wrong. I don’t understand how cops get away with that shit.
- Tell your truth, no matter the consequences. Sure, I probably won’t get arrested for the kind of truth I need to tell, but I just went through a situation in my life where someone I thought was close to me flipped out and ditched me when I confronted her. I’m still struggling with that hurt, but this movie helped to confirm that I did the right thing and stayed genuine and true to myself. Sometimes that’s all you have, but it’s enough.
- On that note, nothing is permanent. You watch E and Ice Cube battle each other, but in the end they come back together. You can have a falling out with someone and years later, you never know what’s going to happen. Tempers cool, people change. It’s never too late to try again.
- I still hate Suge Knight, and now I hate him even more. They did a great job of vilifying him the way he deserves.
- They took a story that could have been portrayed in a grotesque way and did it very tastefully. I’m really sensitive, and there were a few times that I cringed, but overall they didn’t make it gross. There was even a scene where it seemed like they were going to show a dog fight (which probably would have scarred me for life), but they showed enough build-up to get you upset and then they moved on without showing any violence whatsoever. Very well done. And of course, there was nudity throughout the movie, but none of it was senseless. For me to not mind nudity, it was definitely well done.
- I really enjoyed Eazy-E’s character. I’ve always liked his voice the best, and I think he’s got the most interesting story. What can I say? “I guess I just have a thing for Erics,” I told Erik after the movie.
This is the type of movie I’d go see again, and those are few and far between for me: The Lion King (in the same weekend – thanks, Aunt Marlowe!) and The Dark Knight. I was the Titanic generation, and I even saw that only once.
If you want to go see something that will make you think, go see this movie. If you’re a cop lover, you probably won’t like it, but then again, you have more issues than this movie if you’re a cop lover.