Top

Boyz n the Hood (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 11, 2011 by  



“Boyz n the Hood” is an important film that brought national attention to what was happening in South Central Los Angeles.  20-years later, the film still has relevance today.  Powerful, thought-provoking and a film that made a statement on variety of levels.  Highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 1991, 1992 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Boyz n the Hood

FILM RELEASE DATE: 1991

DURATION: 91 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio,French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, German and Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, Thai and Turkish

RATED: R (Language, Violence and Sensuality)

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2011

Written and Directed by Jon Singleton

Produced by Steve Nicolaides

Music by Stanley Clarke

Cinematography by Charles Mills

Edited by Bruce Cannon

Casting by Jaki Brown

Art Direction by Bruce Bellamy

Set Decoration by Kathryn Peters

Starring:

Angela Bassett as Reva Styles

Cuba Gooding Jr. as Tre Styles

Ice Cube as Doughboy/Darren

Morris Chestnut as Ricky Baker

Laurence Fishburne as Furious Styles

Regina King as Shalika

Nia Long as Brandi

John Cothran Jr. as Lewis Crump

Tammy Hanson as Rosa

Lexie Bigham as Mad Dog

Ceal as Sheryl

Darneicea Corley as Keisha

Na’Blonka Durden as Trina

Vonte Sweet as Ric Rock

Desi Arnez Hines II as the 10-year-old Trey Styles

BOYZ N THE HOOD is the critically acclaimed story of three friends growing up in a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood, and of street life where friendship, pain, danger and love combine to form reality. “The Hood” is a place where drive-by shootings and unemployment are rampant. But it is also a place where harmony coexists with adversity, especially for three young men growing up there: Doughboy (Ice Cube), an unambitious drug dealer; his brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut), a college-bound teenage father; and Ricky’s best friend Tre (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), who aspires to a brighter future beyond “The Hood.” In a world where a trip to the store can end in death, the friends have diverse reactions to their bleak surroundings. Tre’s resolve is strengthened by a strong father (Larry Fishburne)who keeps him on the right track. But the lessons Tre learns are put to the ultimate test when tragedy strikes close to home, and violence seems like the only recourse.

“Boyz n the Hood” is an important film that brought national attention to what was happening in South Central Los Angeles.  20-years later, the film still has relevance today.  Powerful, thought-provoking and a film that made a statement on variety of levels.  Highly recommended!

In 1991, “Boyz in the Hood” was seen as a film about the hood that got things right!  A film that would showcase to society all around the world about what was taking place in South Central Los Angeles, a statement of what life is in the hood but also for American cinema, showing us the strength of cinema created by a young African-American director and a relatively unknown African-American cast.

Well-created, well-written and powerful performances that continue to hold up today, “Boyz in the Hood” was more of a statement of violence in South Central Los Angeles, it was a statement of inner city violence and giving a voice to those who live with this violence around them everyday, 24/7.

The film would be the theatrical debut of filmmaker John Singleton (“2 Fast 2 Furious”, “Shaft”, “Four Brothers”) and a film that would earn him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and Best Writing and would be the acting debut of hip hop star Ice Cube (“Friday”, “Barbershop”, “xXx: State of the Union”) and the first major theatrical role for actor Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire”, “Men of Honor”, “Pearl Harbor”).

The film would rank in the top 10 of the American Film Institute’s ” Top 10 Gangster Films” and in 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “Culturally significant” and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

“Boyz n the Hood” begins with the following message:  “One out of every twenty-one black American males will be murdered in their lifetime.” and “Most will die at the hands of another black male.”

The film begins in 1984 with a ten-year-old Tre Styles (played by Desi Arnez Hines II) and he and his friends discussing a shooting that happened at their neighborhood.  While at school, he makes a snide remark when the teacher was teaching and thus, the teacher tells him to teach the class.

Tre then talks about Africa and tells everyone that they are from Africa and his friend makes fun of him.  The two end up getting a fight in class and he is suspended.

The teacher tells Reva, Tre’s mother (played by Angela Bassett, that he’s good in class when it comes to grades but his hot temper gets him into trouble.  Because Tre violated an agreement that he and his mother made, Tre has to move in whith his father Furious Styles (played by Laurence Fishburn), in hopes that Furious can make him into a man.  Meanwhile, Reva can focus on her Masters Degree and get a good job that would be beneficial for Tre.

Furious is a disciplinarian and Tre quickly learns that by living with his strict father, he has to go by his rules.  His friends from his dad’s neighborhood which include brothers Ricky and Darrin “Doughboy” Baker and Chris see how strict things for Tre.

The night that Tre moves to his father’s place, a robber tries to break in the house but quickly Furious grabs his gun and shoots after the robber but the robber escapes.  Word gets around the neighborhood about what happened but we learn that the area has its share of crime.  While Ricky has dreams of becoming a football player, Doughboy and Chris end up getting arrested for stealing.

Flashforward seven years later.   And we see how life has changed for the four friends.  Tre (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) works and tries to stay out of trouble and finds himself starting to become more interested in sex and wanting to get close to his Catholic girlfriend Brandi (played by Nia Long), who is strict about her sexuality.

Ricky is now a star football player at Crenshaw High School and trying to impress college scouts.  He is also a father of a young boy and his girlfriend Shanice (played by Alysia Rogers) lives with him.  Doughboy (played by Ice Cube) dropped out of high school and was recently released from prison.  And their friend Chris (played by Redge Green) is in a wheelchair (because of a gunshot wound).

We see how life in the “hood” is tough.  For Ricky, it’s all about his football and hoping he can make it big and get into the pros and as for Doughboy, it’s all about having fun with his friends and doing drive-by shootings.   And as for Tre, it’s all about wanting to lose his virginity.

But keeping his eyes close on his son is Tre’s father, Furious who wants to make sure that his done does the right thing, not getting a girl pregnant and also educating him about his job and how the nation has no intention of helping the poor and that Black people must be the ones to end the cycle of violence that are plaguing the neighborhood.

But life can change within a second in the hood and when tragedy hits home for these friends, nothing will ever be the same ever again.

VIDEO:

“Boyz n the Hood” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1).  Having owned this film in a variety of home video versions, I can easily say that the Blu-ray release is much more detailed than the any previous video version.  You can see the detail in the hair of Tre and Doughboy, you can see the colors which are much more vibrant on video, skin tones are natural and black levels are nice and deep.

While the film does show its age due to the early ’90s clothing and this film is not going to look like it was made recently, I can say that for its 20-year anniversary, this Blu-ray release is the definitive version of the film yet.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Boyz n the Hood” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, German and Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital.  While the film is primarily a dialogue-driven film, there are some moments of crowd ambiance and scenes where there are gunshots and surround channels are used.  It’s not a immersive film in the sense that you have active surround channels but the dialogue and music for the film is crystal clear and sounds great via lossless.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Boyz n the Hood ” comes with the following special features:

  • Director’s Commentary – A wonderful in-depth audio commentary by director John Singleton.
  • The Enduring Significance of Boyz N the Hood – (24:48) Presented in HD, the director and cast are interviewed about the importance of “Boyz n the Hood” and what the film meant to them.
  • Friendly Fire: Making Of An Urban Legend – (43:17) The original special feature in standard definition for “Boyz n the Hood” with interviews with John Singleton, the producers of the film and the cast.
  • Deleted Scenes – (4:25) Featuring two deleted scenes: Tre discusses the future with his mom and Furious confronts Doughboy after Ricky is shot.  In standard definition.
  • Music Videos – (9:00) featuring the music videos – Compton’s Most Wanted Music Video Growin’ Up in the Hood and Tevin Campbell Music Video Just Ask Me
  • Audition Videos – Featuring a split screen audition videos (use your audio button to change to the audio of the certain cast member) featuring Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Morris Chestnut & Tyra Ferrell

Powerful, thought-provoking, well-crafted and a magnificent film from filmmaker John Singleton!

“Boyz n the Hood” is a film that actually remains close to my heart, mainly because when I first watched it, I was a young adult at the time and it was one of the first films where I got into an explosive debate with another viewer.

I can easily remember at the time when the viewer made the comment of how the film was “fluff” and was nothing but a film to propagate gangster culture.  Needless to say, the debate was heated and it was the only instance in my life where I was quite shocked by how anyone would look at this film as “fluff” and dare I say it, I was about to throw down.

For me, the film was thought-provoking and important.  I personally have had the experience of moving into Southern California, being a new person and just being in awe, fear and shock about gangs.  I never had to experience that growing up but going to high school in Southern California and reading day-after-day of gang shootings, even myself experiencing parties being attacked by gangs and just seeing how things were, it was something that I was never accustomed to.

From seeing gated high schools to hearing about people from other high schools crashing into other high schools and stealing from students.  Even experiencing trouble when I went to visit a friend at another high school and there was a gang fight and because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone from another high school, I was taken in and having to face the school administration.  I just remember that it was too much and trying to explain that I know nothing about gangs, I’m just a guy from small town and here I was in a city where crime is taking place in schools, fears of gangs are not only at school but you worry about it on the bus ride home, walking home alone in the neighborhood and afraid of getting jacked at night, these were things that were uncommon to me and scared the crap out of me.  Especially having to be asked constantly from other young teenagers at the time, “What set you from?” and having no idea what the heck they were talking about.

With the opening statement at the beginning of the film:  “One out of every twenty-one black American males will be murdered in their lifetime.” and “Most will die at the hands of another black male.”

Those are low odds and it seems that its hard to believe in but having read the newspapers, seeing it every night on the news, these situations happen in South Central Los Angeles.

But this is normal life for a lot of people.  For me, it was completely foreign but I was intrigued by all of it because it’s something that I never saw reported where I lived in.  And here I was in So. California, watching films like “Colors” and listening to N.W.A. and heading to the local hip hop store in Long Beach to check out the latest hip hop that I’ve heard on KDAY.

And I remember moving out of So. California and just thinking, “It’s a shame that no one knows about the violence in South Central Los Angeles.  It’s a warzone out there!”

And so I was deeply touched by the film because John Singleton had a deep message about this film, about the state of blacks in the hood, about trying to solve the problem but knowing that the cycle of retaliation keeps going and going.  And  because it showed how lives in the hood can be changed in an instant for families and friends and its a cycle of sadness and death, unless there are those who want to make a change.

And so when I first watched this film and one person declaring it as “fluff” and “propagating gangster lifestyle”, I took offense to the comment.

This was not about gang lifestyle, this was about lifestyle in a predominately African-American area where there are those who want to make a difference and those who are part of that continuing cycle of violence.  It was a problem that was starting to reach a boiling point in American media and because of the music and films like “Boyz n the Hood”, it was a film that showed the world about things that I was constantly seeing on the newspapers and news.

You feel for these characters because personally, I have read way too many articles in my lifetime about talented young athletes and innocent people gunned down because they were mistaken for someone else or did something to tick someone off but it’s a life of fear that happens on a weekly basis in South Central and other areas around the United States.  This is how life is, it’s not “fluff” and I was so angry about the comment that I was debating so passionately defending the film because I know that those characters, those situations as depicted in the film was very realistic.

So, it surprises me that 20-years-later, the film has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, the film received two Academy Award nominations and it would help initiate the surge in the careers of filmmaker John Singleton, rapper Ice Cube, actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Morris Chestnut.  The film was well-acted and felt it was well-done!

So, here we are with a 20th Anniversary release of “Boyz n the Hood”.  Featuring the same special features on DVD but with a Blu-ray exclusive on the enduring significance of the film.

If you have never watched the DVD before, then this is a pretty solid Blu-ray release.  Granted, not all special features will be in High-Definition but having owned this film previously on VHS and DVD, I can easily say that this is the definitive version to own of the film at this time.

Overall, “Boyz n the Hood” is a thought-provoking and wonderfully-crafted film from John Singleton.  It came out at the right time and really spotlighted the problems that were taking place in South Central and bringing it to the masses and for the most part, its long-lasting efficacy was that its a true film.

Characters and situations that seem realistic and for the most part, the situation of what was boiling at the time in South Central Los Angeles made a statement in society.   But now knowing that even today, not just in South Central Los Angeles but all over the country and these problems still exist and thus the film still has relevance today.

“Boyz n the Hood” is a film that is American cinema at its best and also an important film that help take part in giving recognition to Black filmmakers but also talent.

This film is highly recommended!

Please follow and like us:





General Disclaimer:

J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.

For Product Reviews:

For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.

For Advertising:

Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.

J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Comments

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://j-entonline.com/blu-ray-dvd-reviews/blu-ray-reviews/boyz-n-the-hood-a-j-ent-blu-ray-disc-review/">
Twitter
Bottom