A great opportunity to watch, in stunning 4K, the 1992 film starring deceased rapper Tupac Shakur and a young Omar Epps. For those familiar with the film, this is the version to own as the picture is crisp and clear. Also, the sound has been improved, so you can really feel the soundtrack which is filled with rap tracks.
Though Omar Epps has gone on to star in many things since 1992, having parts in films like Love & Basketball, Scream 2 and Higher Learning as well as television shows like House M.D. and ER, it is in this film in which he probably announced himself as a capable actor. You get a double dose of talent with Tupac Shakur. The young man was magnetic and not only as a rapper. Here in the Ernest R. Dickerson (directed episodes of Criminal Minds and The Walking Dead) conceived of and directed film, Shakur shows that his talent as an actor should not be dismissed as he proves himself more than capable. And it makes his death at a young age even more of a tragedy as you wonder what else he could have given us onscreen. You also get some interesting actors in the supporting cast. Watchable people like Queen Latifah and Samuel L. Jackson.
Many out there might have seen the film as teenagers. Same age as the main characters here. It is often with trepidation that you revisit a film from 30 years ago fearing that it has not aged well and will taint what you once thought of it. But the themes found here are still around today. Being a young black man living in any urban area of any major city in North America is still a tough and even deadly proposition. Things have not changed much, if at all, for young black males.
An epic story about what leads to young black men being angry due to the difficult world they are faced with. Trouble, violence, crime, and even death are almost inevitable. Presented in an honest and not overblown way, Dickerson’s film showed his talent as a cinematographer and potential as a storyteller.
Four teens living in the inner-city live their lives pursuing power, joy and money. This is a pursuit they dub “the juice”. Living in Harlem, Q (Omar Epps), Bishop (Tupac Shakur – Poetic Justice, Above the Rim), Raheem (Khalil Kain – from television’s Girlfriends), and Steel (Jermaine Hopkins – Lean on Me, Bullet) are ditching school again. This day is going to be a little different, however, as they find out a friend of theirs has been killed in a gunfight in a bar. Bishop convinces the others that they have no respect or “juice” because they have not made themselves respected.
A plan is soon conceived of to get them some juice. The four teenage friends are going to rob a store. Things do not go according to plan, however. It becomes apparent that it is not four pulling in the same direction, that one is looking out for himself primarily.
-You’ve Got the Juice Now
-The Wrecking Crew
-Sip the Juice: The Music
-Stay in the Scene: The Interview