Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Growing up in Compton, CA, Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), all wanted to do some big things with their life and get on the right track. They all had pretty similar interests and when Dre presents the idea to start recording in the studio, they all agree that it’s a good idea. They are now calling themselves N.W.A. They became the biggest rap act on the planet and they really wanted to make a difference. Yes, they were awesome at what they were doing, but they wanted the world to hear what they had to preach about and people could start relating to it. Music manager, Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) noticed that this group has some real talent and can do some great things with their music. After Jerry steps into the picture, N.W.A. release their first album, Straight Outta Compton. Even with all the success and fame that these guys have, problems start to arise that may break up this power group forever.

First off, this has been a movie that I have been looking forward to seeing for quite a while. Everyone that is a fan of rap knows that N.W.A. made some awesome music, whether you agree with the lyrics or not. This movie is pretty much a really fun movie to see if you are a fan of these guys. Sure, it is the exact same movie as every music biopic we have seen, but there is something about Straight Outta Compton that really keeps you entertained and interested. I really give credit to director, F. Gary Gray for his success with this. He made a movie that could have very easily been boring and felt like you’ve seen it one hundred times, but instead he gives us something that is most likely the best movie of the year so far.

The acting from this movie had me more than impressed. O’Shea Jackson Jr. was spot on with Ice Cube. He is actually Ice Cube’s son, so I think it was a great acting job. I mean really, who know’s Ice Cube better than his own son? He grew up with him and was probably told this story an uncountable amount of times. All of the other actors were great to, especially Jason Mitchell. I felt as if the movie focused on him for a greater portion of the film and he really impressed me throughout. I did not know him from the few roles he was in prior to this movie, but I can definitely say that I can not wait to see what is in store for him next. Even Paul Giamatti, who I have a love/hate relationship with, was even good in this.

I really can’t find anything to really complain about with this movie. Yes, it is a little longer than it needs to be, but you quickly look past that because the movie is so good and interesting. I think the writing of this was absolutely superb and that really helped make this movie a winner. This is just easily one of the best biopic films that I have ever seen. It shows what the most influential rap group had to go through and it was done in the right way. For so many years, people have had questions about everything that happened with N.W.A and now I feel like all questions are answered. This is definitely one that I recommend you go see in theaters. Two thumbs way up from Bobby W!

Overall, Straight Outta Compton is definitely the awesome biopic that everyone was waiting for and is probably my favorite movie of the year so far. I definitely have nothing to complain about with this one!

Grade= A (Excellent! A Must See!)

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Whiplash (2014)

Man do I wish played the drums. Looking for a flick that has great acting and the storyline is pretty awesome? Whiplash is the movie for you. Newly admitted to Shaffer Conservatory, student Andrew Neiman, (Miles Teller) wanted to do one thing with his life. That was to become the best drummer there ever was. Andrew is asked to become a part of the main band from Shaffer that goes to all the different competitions. Andrew has one major problem during the film. That is his conductor, Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons) who is nothing but an ass hole. Fletcher breaks his students down and tell them things like, “they are worthless and suck at everything they do.” Andrew does not know how to handle this at first and becomes very affected by it. Whiplash shows us just how people like this can work together on music.

Damien Chazelle is the writer/ director for Whiplash. Chazelle did an excellent job with directing this film. Whiplash was one of my top ten films for the year of 2014. I loved how everything was set up and what came next for Andrew as a jazz drummer. Conductor, Terence Fletcher is a very fearsome man. He will say anything he can to you to lower your self-esteem as a person. He does this because he is looking for the best out of everyone he is teaching at Shaffer. With his very foul-mouthed abuse, he looks to sort out the weak players from the great ones. If you become affected by his criticism, then you do not want to play for him in his band. Don’t even think of playing out of tune. That is probably the number one thing you absolutely cannot do. Fletcher will even go as far as hauling a chair at your head until you play something exactly the way he wants to hear it.

JK Simmons has already received the Golden Globe Award for his performance in Whiplash. The Academy awards are just under a month away and I think it is no question as to whether or not he receives the Oscar. I have always been a fan of Simmons and I think he’s always done some great work, but playing Terence Fletcher was the role of his career. He was absolutely outstanding. Even though his character was written a little like something you would see out of a ridiculous TV show, JK Simmons was definitely the one to watch in this film. Miles Teller is another one to watch out for. He was awesome and even though not having been in much prior to Whiplash, this will definitely open up many new doors for him along his acting career.

Whiplash saved us the best scene for last when Andrew tries to teach Fletcher a little lesson of his own. After watching Whiplash, one may never look at Jazz music or drumming the same way again.

Overall, while Whiplash may not be the best movie ever made. It is definitely enjoyable with great acting and great drumming performances. I definitely recommend giving this one a look.

Grade= B+ (Very Good!)