I'm filing this movie under "cautiously optimistic," mostly because there are certain stories that I think would be better told on the TV (HBO, for example) than the big screen. Why? Because I think it's been proven several times over that when it comes to stories led by minority characters, Hollywood often draws them as one-dimensional stick figures. Of course, there are exceptions to this accusation, but this is too often the case. And the small screen has in recent years positioned itself to tell stories in which people of color have agency, layers and are fully realized.
There, I said it (again).
At any rate, I'm sure STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON will garner plenty of interest from moviegoers on its title alone, which lends itself to legendary rap group N.W.A.'s megahit 1988 song. I do like the fact that virtual unknowns have been cast to play each member of the group (and not some pop sensations who have not a lick of acting ability). Find out more about the film from its synopsis:
In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. Taking us back to where it all began, Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how these cultural rebels—armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent—stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world's most dangerous group, N.W.A. And as they spoke the truth that no one had before and exposed life in the hood, their voice ignited a social revolution that is still reverberating today.
Check out a few stills from the film:
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON hits theaters August 14.