Friday, 4 February 2011

A-Z #27: Boyz N The Hood

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films... or you can tell me why I should sell 'em

#27 - Boyz N The Hood 

Why did I buy it?

Originally, I watched this for the first time in Media Studies - or was it Film Studies - back in my New College days. I remember very little of that first viewing, but I did know the basic facts as to how it showed a side to America that I had not seen until that point - at the tender age of 16/17. I bought the film many years later as the special-edition was low in price and I am keen to explore more African-American cinema - though sadly, I have yet to get fully immersed. This one John Singleton film seems to be the only film I have watched of this genre - but, I swear, in due course, I will hunt down a Spike Lee boxset and really gte stuck in.

Why do I still own it?

Because the performances are, first off, incredible. Pre-Morpheus Lawrence Fishburne and Pre-Rat Race Cuba Gooding Jr... indeed, there was a time whereby he was a credible actor. Of course there is Pre-Three Kings Ice Cube too! The story is an exploration of an economically-deprived area in America and daily concerns that arrive - gang-culture and the difficulties in getting out of 'the hood'. Akin to Goodfellas we see the young boys as children as they hang about and see a dead-body in 'the hood' - and the pressure for the boys to become aggressive and defend themselves/protect themselves. This then graduates to show the same pupils in their late teens - all going separate ways. The inevitable consequence of Ice Cubes character - whilst Cuba Gooding Jr is conflicted.

I think, unfortunately, the same themes have been explored to a much deeper level in The Wire - especially Series 4. But, fact is, Boyz n the Hood broke new ground with its depiction and the performances are timeless.

But does The Wire overshadow it to a point that it serves little purpose now? Is it really worth keeping?
Remember - you can always email The Simon and Jo Film Show directly using this email:
We are also on Twitter  and Facebook.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. Damn - I can't remember the last time I watched this film. Does it still hold up?

  2. Yeah - I think it holds up, the problem lies in how, since the film, it has been improved upon. The deep-rooted concerns regarding criminal-activity within economically-deprived areas are a lot deeper than what is shown within BOYZ N THE HOOD - for example, why do people do drive-by shootings? why are the police not assisting in these cases? what made the criminals become so dangerous (briefly shown in Ice Cubes character, but in no way fully explored). THE WIRE shows a huge amount of complexity and, bottom line, is that a 2-hour film can only show so much.


Copyright 2008-2015. All posts & reviews are property of Columb and should not be reproduced in whole, or in part, without express permission from the author.