Not one of the best parodies of all-time, but funny none the less.
Ashtray (Shawn Wayans) moves to South Central Los Angeles to live with his father (who appears to be no older than he) and dope-smoking grandmother. He falls in with his gang-banging cousin Loc Dog (Marlon Wayans), who counts a thermonuclear warhead in his arsenal of weapons. Will Ashtray keep living the straight life, or will he join up with Loc Dog’s gangsta homeboys?
I cannot lie when I say this, but I love almost all parody films. There are certain ones, that just are drop-dead terrible, and don’t look like their even trying, but when they do, I give them credit. This is one that deserves credit.
I liked a lot of the jokes they made in this film, however, some of it did annoy me. The spoofing is very, very obvious, which kind of takes away from the joke, because the idea with spoof films, is to think what movie their from, and basically here, it’s literally right in front of your face, so a lot of the fun is lost. Also, plenty, and I do repeat plenty of gags fell short, or just felt weak, and over-used.
The gags though were funny, when used correctly, and a lot of the silly willy jokes they used here, were even funnier. They spoof films from Boyz N The Hood, to Menace II Society, and to Do the Right Thing, and each spoof is funny it’s own way, and I’m sure the people involved with those movies, must of had a great laugh watching their films be made fun of.
Some people will feel violated, and down-right disgusted with the jokes, but hey that’s what it’s all about, sometimes the funniest things in films, are the down-right disgusting. Watch this with a bunch of your friends if your bored, and see if you don’t start laughing, or talking like you are from the hood.
Marlon and Shawn Wayans do great jobs at playing these two funny as hell, black ghetto stereotypes, and never stop at once from backing down. There are also other little cameos, and supporting acts you may notice like Vivica A. Fox, Bernie Mac, and Keenan Wayans, and plenty others that are just funny as hell.
Consensus: Though many gags fall short, Don’t Be a Menace is 90 minutes of pure humor, wit, and satirical fun, that will make you want to watch any of the hood movies, this film is parodying.
Boyz N The Hood x 400 more curses.
Sobering and incisive, this cautionary urban drama centers on 18-year-old Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner), a street tough facing a moral quandary while trying to turn his life around, aided by a pragmatic girlfriend (Jada Pinkett Smith) and a caring teacher (Charles S. Dutton). Can Caine rise above the entrapment of the ‘hood? Samuel L. Jackson plays Caine’s junkie father, and Larenz Tate is a standout as hair-trigger homeboy O-Dog.
The one thing I will note right before I review this film is that this film is not Boyz In The Hood. They are completley two different movies, if thats make any sense. Boyz shows the promise that the hood can give you when your looking to go away, but Menace shows the utter despair that the hood gives you.
The Hughes Brothers really should have been nominated for something at the Oscars for this film. It is a hood film, but shows a lot more of the sex, drug use, and overall violence and crime that is committed everyday in the hood. They don’t hold back once in showing how much these people run their lives so poorly and so on the edge. Along, with the writing they create this essence and flavor to the film that is filled with a whole bunch of profanity, but isn’t used just for show, you actually feel the way these people talk is all real.
At first I felt the film did little to entertain me, which I think was my problem mostly cause I wasn’t paying attention. But the beginning part of his flashback I have seen time, and time again before. So there was really nothing new in these scenes, which gives it a lower rating. But there were a couple of powerful scenes by the end, but probably the most important one is the scene in the jail where the past & present meet up, and let me just say one thing if you want to get chocked up watch the whole movie, and especially that scene.
The acting in this film is great to mostly because The Hughes Brothers didn’t get all these big-time stars. In a great leading role, Turner creates this confused, but mentally strong person at heart, that although when he does bad things, doesn’t have us hate him. Tate as his best friend is very good here as well, and provides a lot of insight of just a total menace, and without him Turner’s wouldn’t be such a great tragic hero.
Consensus: Menace II Society starts off slow, but The Hughes Brothers unrelenting direction of sex, drugs, and violence, with some of the most emotionally powerful and true scenes ever, make this one of the best tragic stories of all time.