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  • Juice
    • Juice
    • Runtime:95 min
    • Release Date:2014-11-28 20:05:53
    • Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
    • Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Juice
Auhtor:

   

It's a pity ace cinematographer Ernest Dickerson didn't take the same
job for his own directing debut, which could have used a little
razzle-dazzle visual camouflage to hide the clichés. The film presents
a narrow, familiar view of inner city black culture: the language, the
music, and the same old conflict between the struggle for respect and
the impulse toward crime. Nothing new is added to an already overworked
formula, and the screenplay offers no justification for hotheaded teen
troublemaker Tupac Shakur's sudden transformation into a trigger-happy
psychopath, following a liquor store hold-up gone sour. The New York
City settings are gritty and authentic, but the film amounts to little
more than a soundtrack album in search of a plot. Beware the portentous
freeze-frame ending, which these days is a convenient way to avoid any
sticky unanswered questions.

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This picture is a disturbing but gripping urban thriller that details
the lives of four youngsters who drift aimlessly day by day in search
of manhood and self-respect. The film offers a realistic slice of
street life in a rough neighborhood where families struggle to keep
young teens in school and out of trouble. Peer pressure, petty crime
and violence mark the lives of the principals and the lure of a gun and
its power result in a showdown between the reluctant Omar Epps and the
psychotic Tupac Shakur. The young men are on a macho trip throughout
the story, squaring off with rival gangs, the police, authority figures
and each other. The movie doesn't dwell on the scourge of drug use and
pushers but instead essays the coming of age of black youths in an
urban war zone and the many pitfalls they encounter as they approach
adulthood. Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah are great in supporting
roles and the movie has a nifty hip-hop soundtrack that adds pace to a
solid uptown crime drama.

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