The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
Search DAARAC's Archive

Monday, October 10, 2011

Juice (1992)

"Juice" (1992) is an urban hip-hop thriller directed by Ernest R. Dickerson and written by Dickerson and Gerard Brown. The film stars Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine Hopkins, and Khalil Kain as four teenagers from Harlem. The soundtrack to the movie is one of the most iconic albums from the era. It's a mixture of hip-hop and New-jack swing, staple sounds of black music in the early 90s.

Films about the urban youth were popular themes during the 90s. Before "Juice," there were films such as "Straight Out of Brooklyn" and "Boyz n' the Hood" that told stories of black youth living in urban hoods. So "Juice" wasn't an unusual movie, but the hip-hop element was a significant aspect that separated it from similar films. The film also looked into some of the despair that can cause a person to become unhinged. Bishop was a complex character with the symptoms of someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder (psychopathy) tendencies. However, did his environment create who he became, or was he always like this prior?

This movie has many layers that are worthy of discussion. It's a timeless film with some incredible acting. I highly recommend it for viewing if you have yet to see it.

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Writers: Ernest R. Dickerson, Gerard Brown

Starring: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine Hopkins, Khalil Kain, Cindy Herron, Vincent Laresca, Samuel L. Jackson, George Gore II, Grace Garland, Queen Latifah, Bruklin Harris, Victor Campos, Eric Payne, Sharon Cook, Darien Berry, Maggie Rush, Flex Alexander, Rony Clanton, Michael Badalucco

Four Harlem friends -- Bishop (Tupac Shakur), Q (Omar Epps), Steel (Jermaine Hopkins), and Raheem (Khalil Kain) -- dabble in petty crime, but they decide to go big by knocking off a convenience store. But Q has different aspirations. He wants to be a DJ and happens to have a gig the night of the robbery. However, Bishop has a gun and is becoming increasingly deranged, putting everyone's lives at stake.