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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Eminem's Movie Hits Theaters

Aired November 9, 2002 - 08:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Real trash talking. I bet your kids are clamoring for you to take them to the movies. Yes, rapper Eminem's new film "8 Mile" is out. So, what are moviegoers saying about it?
We want to check in with Paul Clinton, our cnn.com film correspondent. He joins us live from Los Angeles -- hello.

PAUL CLINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. How are you?

COSTELLO: OK. So you saw the movie. What did you think?

CLINTON: It's pretty good. I mean I am not a rap fan, by any stretch of the imagination. But Eminem is quite good. He really has -- whatever it is, he's got it. He gets on there, he grabs the screen. Now, granted, the role is very...

COSTELLO: Paul, Paul, let me interrupt. Because on that thought, I want to quote you something from the "Washington Post."

CLINTON: Oh, boy.

COSTELLO: It says, "Eminem holds his own with a prowling growling grace. He has enormous eyes and an aristocratic mouth that could have been painted in Renaissance Italy. He has the face of a bruised angel."

That was in the "Washington Post." I'm not kidding.

CLINTON: How eloquent. Yes, I'm not going to maybe go that far. But he does. He grabs the screen. He's got a chin like Carey Grant. Those blue eyes are amazing. He's got charisma and whatever it is, he's got it. And in terms of this role, which is very close to who he is, he really does a good job. He had six weeks rehearsal, though, with Curtis Hanson, who is a wonderful director who guided Kim Bassinger, who's seen right there, the an Oscar in "L.A. Confidential."

So in terms of this particular role, he's quite, quite good. And he does, he's got charisma. You can't define it.

COSTELLO: Well, what about the story? Is it a good story?

CLINTON: It's a pretty good story. Again, it's not his life. People keep harping on the fact that it's toned down and blah, blah, blah. It is not his life. And it's much better than "Glitter," trust me, with Mariah Carey. COSTELLO: Oh my goodness. But that's not saying very much.

CLINTON: That's not saying anything.

COSTELLO: Hey, is this a movie you can take your young kids to, let's say 13, 14?

CLINTON: It depends on, you know, how liberal you want to be with your 13 and 14. There is a rather graphic sex scene with Brittany Murphy, the love interest in the film. And there's a little violence, not much. I, you know, mid-teens, I think, would be, you know, fine for this. PG-13 I think is what the rating is. It's basically...

COSTELLO: So will this movie make lots and lots of money?

CLINTON: I'm predicting this movie will be the number one movie of the -- in the country this week and Eminem's CD will be the number one. And that will be the first time since Jennifer Lopez had the number one album and the number one movie.

COSTELLO: Well, I want to ask you something about that because remember early movies that Jennifer Lopez starred in did very well, but lately they've been bombing.

CLINTON: Yes, and she's got a whole lot more coming out. You know, they're in the process of coming out. So we'll see. "Made in America" and a lot of others.

COSTELLO: Well, exactly. But I wanted you to sort of relate it the Eminem. I mean is this just a movie that he's a perfect person to play in?

CLINTON: Yes, I don't see him going out and doing Shakespeare tomorrow. This is definitely, you know, geared toward him and he told Curtis Hanson at the end of the filming never again. This is not, apparently this is not his goal, to be an actor like Mark Walberg went from rapping to acting and that's what he really wants to do. Eminem denies this. He says music is his first love and this acting was fun, this was nice, but not something he necessarily wants to pursue.

COSTELLO: Well, let's talk about what this movie does for the City of Detroit. Because one of Eminem's costars says Motown is coming back. It's not an R&B thing, but a hip hop thing. Is this movie a good thing for Detroit?

CLINTON: Well, Detroit has always been about music. It's always been, with Motown and with soul or Aretha Franklin and gospel, Motown, Detroit has always been about music and hip hop is just the latest thing to come out of Detroit. And it is a way of expressing themselves, people on the street. It's, Detroit has always had this tradition of music from its inner core.

COSTELLO: Got you.

OK, let's talk about another movie that is opening this weekend. And before we begin, we're going to play a little clip from it. It's called "Far From Heaven."

Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FAR FROM HEAVEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, by golly, there she is now, the prettiest gal in the room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Stan, liquor brings out the Texan in you. I hope Eleanor isn't listening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what if she is? I still say Frank is the luckiest guy in town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here-here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all smoke and mirrors, fellas, that's all it is. You should see her without her face on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: This movie is a critical darling. What do you think?

CLINTON: I think it's pretty good. It's got Academy Award written all over it. It's a big, huge, old-fashioned Hollywood movie. It's homage to Douglas Sirk, who in the '50s made movies like "Imitation of Life," "All That Heaven Allows," "Written On the Wind." And so it's a big, perfect '50 movies with a strong woman lead. And Julianna Moore is just fabulous in this movie. This year...

COSTELLO: It's hard to think about a movie about the '50s with a strong female lead and there are two things that come up in this movie that are unusual for '50s films.

CLINTON: Right.

COSTELLO: The gay issue comes up and the racial issue comes up.

CLINTON: Yes, they were really hot button topics back then, if not today. Yes, Dennis Quaid is a gay man struggling with his sexuality and the marriage ends. And at that point in time homosexuality was still listed as a disease. And she turns to the gardener, played by Dennis Haysbert, who is really brilliant in this movie, for emotional solace and the town completely turns on both of them. And it's a very, very good movie. But the performances are better than the movie, if that makes any sense.

COSTELLO: Got you. So what movie will draw more audience, Eminem's movie or "Far From Heaven?"

CLINTON: Oh, please. Eminem. Come on. Movies are geared to 17 to 24. Come on. I mean that -- Eminem.

COSTELLO: I was just testing you. I was just kidding.

CLINTON: Please. COSTELLO: Hey, Paul Clinton -- I know, it's a sad thing, though, isn't it?

CLINTON: Oh, terribly.

COSTELLO: Paul Clinton, thank you very much.

CLINTON: Thank you again.

COSTELLO: Had a lot of fun.

CLINTON: All right.

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