Ice Cube

Decent Essays
I recently wrote an essay about the development of the star persona of Ice Cube, the rapper/actor who has made the unusual transition from hardcore gangsta rapper to leading man in such “family-friendly” films as Are We There Yet? The essay, entitled “With an Attitude: The Development of Ice Cube’s Star Persona,” will soon be published in the online film journal 16:9; I’ll link to it as soon as it’s up. The thesis of the essay is that, for all the apparent and unexpected alterations to his “street” persona, Cube’s film characters are nevertheless almost always coded as gangstas – an association that he has not been able (or has not wanted) to shake.

I’ve been a fan of Cube’s music and films for some time, so it was a pleasure to
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Movies or shows about time-travel are complicated, and never really make sense (I’m looking at you, Lost); Back to the Future guides us through potentially tricky subject matter by relying heavily – and very intelligently – on the tenets of classical narration listed above: Marty’s goals are very well-defined (to make sure his future parents meet, and then to get himself back to 1985); the chain of cause and effect is very clear: Doc Brown swindles plutonium from some Libyans → the Libyans, once they track down and shoot Doc, chase after Marty, Doc’s assistant → Marty tries to flee from the Libyans by speeding away in the DeLorean time machine that Doc has made → Marty hits 88 mph, sending him back to 1955, etc.

As well, the film wraps up all loose ends: Marty’s parents are together in 1985, and happier than ever; Marty makes it back safely to his girlfriend and new truck; etc. (Back to the Future, as my students never fail to point out, does have a somewhat open ending, when Doc, Marty, and Jennifer head off to the future to address the unnamed problems with the couple’s kids: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need … roads.” This is what I call the Sequel Exemption: yes, it’s a loose end, but it’s a loose end that is, really, just a dangling link in the
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