I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Boyz In The Hood (1991)

Absolutely the best of the "'hood" movies that were produced during the 1990's. Tre' (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is a teen who resides with his dad, Furious (Lawrence Fishburne) in rough South Central Los Angeles. His buddies are Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut), half-brothers who have somewhat of a rivalry going. Ricky is a high school sports star, while Doughboy has spent his time in and out of juvenile hall. In fact, as the movie opens, there is a party being thrown by the brothers' mom to welcome Doughboy home from another stint in jail.

It is explained that Tre' is living with his dad because his mom felt the boy was getting out of hand. Indeed, under his father's guidance, Tre' is a decent kid. However, he and his friends have to deal with the day-to-day trials of living in a neighborhood that lives under the cloud of gang warfare and street violence. Police helicopers patrol the area at night, shining bright lights on everyone. There is a scene where Tre's girlfriend, Brandi (Nia Long) is trying to do her homework as shots ring out on the street. Tre' is harassed by the cops in another harrowing scene, for apparently no reason other than he is an African-American young man.

Doughboy continues his gang association, and quickly starts a beef with a rival group. A war of words soon turns into a war of bullets, and tragedy follows the main characters.

This was director John Singleton's first major film. Cuba Gooding Jr. is the son of the lead singer of the R&B group The Main Ingredients. Gooding won a Best Supporting Oscar for his work in Jerry Maquire (1996). Nia Long appeared as Will Smith's girlfriend on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"(1990-1996). Ice Cube was a member of the infamous rap group Public Enemy, who were chastized by the FBI for their hit "Fuck The Police". He was also the lead in the comedy Barbershop (2002). Morris Chestnut was in The Inkwell (1994). Angela Bassett, who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for What's Love Got To Do With It?, appears as Gooding's mom.

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