Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are Baby Boy (2001 - ) and Boyz N the Hood (1991 - ).
The first film this week is a thesis on the modern African-American
man. Using the character of Jody (Tyrese Gibson), writer/director
John Singleton tries to show that this grown man, like many of
his peers, is a perpetual child who irresponsibly goes around
impregnating women to continue the cycle. Within this,
Singleton makes a surprisingly warm, charming film that also
involves serious issues and, eventually, violence.
Baby Boy was something of a homecoming for Singleton, who placed his directorial debut (and my second pick) in the same setting: South Central Los Angeles. Boyz N the Hood stars Cuba Gooding Jr. in his breakthrough role as a young man trying to grow up amid chaos and bad influences. Laurence Fishburne (back when we could call him "Larry") plays his father, who was once a tough gangster, but wants to keep that lifestyle away from his son. It is an amazing film, full of powerful imagery and performances that shall never be forgotten. For the past ten years, Singleton has been trying, but so far has failed at making a film as brilliant as his first. It was clearly the best film of 1991, yet somehow was not even nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. It did earn two nominations for Singleton (for writing and direction) at the age of 24, making him the youngest filmmaker to receive such an honor. He didn't win anything that night in 1992, but in 2000 his film did land a spot on my list of the top ten films of the 1990s.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Baby Boy (2001)
Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan