If you haven't caught on, this is a combined review of both Straight Outta Compton as well as Surviving Compton. Both movies were captivating for very different reasons and also brought up the old question of who really killed Easy E. Hint: It wasn't AIDS in the traditional sense.
I watched Surviving Compton first, and it wasn't a purposeful decision. It just so happens my mother is a Lifetime junkie, and I caught the premiere. From the very beginning, you find that Michel'le's life is rife with violence from both the outside and the inside. She was taught young that violence was a way of life, and that's our fate should it fall upon us.
Which is why it's no surprise that when she thought she'd found a prince charming in the volatile young man that was Andre Romelle Young, she stuck to him like glue.
I'm not excusing Dre's actions. He deserves to get beat for the same amount of years that he decided to put his hands on such a bright spirit, but them together was like a one winged moth to a blazing flame.
It wasn't until years into her adulthood that the biggest source of her misguided idea of love (grandma) told her that maybe that wasn't the way it was supposed to be after all.
Usually when you watch a lifetime film, you cringe at the amount of cheese poured out, but these days, Lifetime has really stepped up it's game, and even though others treated Michel'le like a side story of Dre's life, this woman had to step out of the shadows and make sure you heard that squeaky voice of hers, and they did it justice. I'm rooting for her. And when you watch it, as it's currently rerunning on Lifetime constantly, you will too!
Another thing that movie does it make you question why they didn't refer to Dre's temper in Straight Outta Compton.
Standalone, the movie was solid. It brought back memories of my childhood listening to that music bumping out of every car window in North Minneapolis and doing my best to listen to the clean versions on the radio even though every other word was bleeped out.
O'Shea Jackson Jr. was the spitting image of his father Ice Cube who was part of producing this film along with Dre. He did an amazing job as did the other actors Aldis Hodge, and Neil Brown Jr. who were probably the best cast in the entire movie.
R. Marcus (Marcos) Taylor embodied the terror that was Suge Knight. It was so nice, he did it twice playing the man in both movies. His wide eyes and large body embodied the constant threat that was Suge Knight.
Paul Giammatti played the infamous Jerry Heller. Love him or hate him, you have to appreciate that if not for him, we may not have gotten N.W.A at all.
side note: Did anyone notice that Jamie Kennedy rocked that shit in Surviving Compton? I didn't recognize him until halfway into the movie!
Take that 'Son of the Mask!'
Corey Hawkins didn't look much like Dre, as he was a darker skinned brother. Honestly, it was kinda refreshing to see colorism work the other way for once. Regardless, he did a great job, but seeing Surviving Compton, it was a little frustrating to see a man come off as the most level headed of the crew. As Dre was a producer on this film, and he really felt terrible about his past self, but wanted to present himself honestly, at the VERY least, he could've brought up the attack on the TV journalist Dee Barnes where he was charged and given a laughable slap on the wrist for his actions. It would've been better than watching him drive wildly down the street for no reason, get caught by police, and then nothing happen.
Jason Mitchell as Easy E. The most heartbreaking role for many reasons. First off, Easy wasn't no punk. So y'all making him cry as much as he did in that movie was bullshit!
Secondly, having to relive this facade that he was killed by AIDS within 6 weeks of a mysterious cough was hard to watch. After the movie, I dug a little more, and it's very widely believed that he was murdered. By whom, it's hard to say, but what's easy to see is that not one woman or child of his came forward and said they'd contracted AIDS from him.
I don't care who you are. That cake just don't bake!
Also, for Tupac and Snoop to have cameos, but not give a nod to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I'm not okay with that.
*I Love you Krayzie Bone*
Love them or hate them, these men gave us some influential music and artists still relevant to today. And even if you forgot about Dre, you've still got a shit ton of other music to get down with.
Michel'le has new music coming out, and what I think will be a new chapter in a life that has given her plenty to sing about.
Mary J. Blige better watch out.
This may not have been quick, but it was dirty enough. Pick up a copy of Straight Outta Compton on Blu Ray or DVD today. Catch Surviving Compton on Lifetime
Reviewing movies. I tried to go to once a week, but I think it's best if I post whenever. Right?