So I finally saw Straight Outta Compton this weekend, and I know I may be the last person to be born between 1980 to 1996 that would have seen this box office smash, and I have to say I really enjoyed it for the most part. There was something about it however, I was expecting something new, something original but I couldn’t help to think that I’ve seen this somewhere before.
I know that Straight Outta Compton is based on NWA and there events in late 80’s through the 90’s but I still couldn’t put my finger on it. With an hour left of the movie it clicked, I knew where I saw it before, it was about a year ago and it was called, Jersey Boys (Insert Sarcasm.) They were both based on true stories about music groups, but they dealt with all very similar situations. Some examples of resemblances between the two movies are; making it big in the music industry, troubles with in the group, living the perfect “lifestyle”, death and crime. So the question is, who did it better?
This is just my opinion and the fortunate opportunity I have being a write so, let’s take a minute and look at these films. Both are a group of minorities trying to change the sound of music and to be the next big thing, while dealing with critics, and negativity. Both groups struggling through hard times, The Four Seasons from Newmark, New Jersey and NWA well there Straight Outta Compton, California, both places aren’t exactly known for eating lobster. Both groups had there relations with crime and gangs. Looking at their early lives, it seemed it impacted NWA music more than it would have for The Four Seasons, where NWA songs protest police brutality and growing up on the streets where The Four Seasons sing more about girls and the family life.
Jersey Boys was based off a Broadway musical before being made into a film, and the movie stays true to the play. Being broke up into 4 parts and each part being told by different band member’s perspectives. Straight Outta Compton focusing mainly around Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre but getting there sides of the story all through the movie.
For me I like the way Jersey Boys presented itself right at the beginning it was original and different from all the other movies showing true events. I feel as well that Jersey Boys stayed true to the real life events more so than Straight Outta Compton did, I feel they stretched the truth more or made up events to make it more cinematic.
You can see for yourself I have been going back and forth showing how similar they are. I wish I can point out differences but with minor details there isn’t a whole heck of a lot. NWA had to deal with the Police and crime but so did Four Seasons the only difference is, is that The Four Season left it all behind them, they wanted to keep that good boy image, they were terrified if anyone knew there criminal records they wouldn’t make it in the industry and that could have been very much true, being in the 60’s. Straight Outta Compton didn’t focus to much on the Rappers criminal records but focused more on the Police brutality they had to deal with and had to watch it happening while making their names and changing the face of music. Straight Outta Compton tackled more serious topics, I feel that’s because that’s the life they chose. They weren’t changing for no one, no matter how much money they made they were staying true to their roots which deserves respect to the end of time even if some of their personal choices may have been poor. So basically “you can the man out of the hood but you cant take hood out of the man”. For The Four Seasons, they tried to leave that life behind them so they can focus more on the music and making their lives better, but that doesn’t mean it all disappeared. The crime and Mob lives they were associated with had kept coming back to them and effected some of their careers. While Straight Outta Compton showed more fight scenes, fancier cars in car chases, nudity, and all around more action that’s just icing on top of the cake. It puts something on the screen to watch and makes it prettier so I’ll give that to Straight Outta Compton, but icing is just one layer of the cake.
So who showed these similar lives and careers better? If you asked me it’s the one who stayed most true to the story, the originality of storytelling , and most enjoyable. I would have to give it to Jersey Boys. Straight Outta Compton was a great film but seems to me that it was a year too late. I would give the argument Jersey Boys music does not relate to today’s youth, but it was more original. Both movies had music of course but it has nothing to do with the music it has to do all about their stories. That being said I did see Jersey Boys first, I felt watching Straight Outta Compton wasn’t new, I saw it all before it all felt too familiar and it’s not one I would necessarily go back and watch a second time.
Now everyone as their own opinion, so let me know yours? Which movie is better in your opinion? Who told it or showed it better?
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