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Juice is a 1992 crime drama film that stars rapper Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. Additional cast members include Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins, Khalil Kain, Samuel L. Jackson, and features cameo appearances by Queen Latifah, EPMD, Special Ed, Ed Lover, Doctor Dre, Flex Alexander, Fab Five Freddy, and Treach. The film was directed by cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson who has directed and written other Hollywoodmarker films such as Surviving the Game and Bulletproof as well as some television series such as ER and The Wire.

The film touches on the lives of four black youths growing up in Harlemmarker. It follows the day to day activities in the young men's lives starting out as innocent mischief but growing more serious as time passes by. It also focuses on the struggles that these young men must go through everyday as well such as police, harassment, and their families.

The film was shot on location in New York Citymarker mainly in the Harlem area.

Synopsis

Bishop (Shakur), Q (Epps), Raheem (Kain) and Steel (Hopkins), who refer to themselves as "The Wrecking Crew," are four friends growing up in Harlemmarker. They regularly skip school and spend their days at a neighborhood arcade and a record store stealing LP. They are generally harassed everyday by the police or a gang led by Radames. One day,some of the boys grow tired of harassment and decide to go all out to win respect. But Q isn't sure if he wants to do it, plus he has a dj contest saturday night. The night they want to rob the place. In the process, Bishop ends up needlessly murdering store owner Fernando Quiles, an act which begins his spiral into darkness.
Bishop with Q and Raheem have a heated argument with Radames.


After the boys flee the scene, they gather in an abandoned building and argue over the evening's events. The boys get mad at Bishop for kiling Quiles. So Q tells Raheem to get rid of the gun but Bishop doesn't want to. A struggle ensues and Bishop shoots Raheem. The boys panic and run to another building. While there, Bishop threatens to kill the other two if they tell anyone about what Bishop has done.

The other two boys talk to each other and agree to avoid Bishop as much as possible, though they end up seeing him at Raheem's funeral, even going so far as to hug Raheem's mother and promising to find Raheem's killer. They are mostly successful in their attempts to avoid Bishop but he ends up confronting them one at a time, questioning their loyalty.

Bishop ends up killing gang leader Radames after a scuffle and begins to frame Q as the murderer of Quiles, Raheem and Radames. Q looks for help and ends up getting a gun of his own for protection. While he is doing this, Bishop meets Steel and leads him to an empty alley, where he shoots him, accusing him of disloyalty. Steel, however, lives and makes it to the hospital and informs Q's girlfriend (Cindy Herron) that he is being framed by Bishop. Fed up with both the tension and troubles guns have brought upon him, Q throws his gun into the river and decides to confront Bishop unarmed. Q and Bishop finally meet up and a scuffle and chase ensues during this meeting. Q is chased into a building then a party by Bishop, where Q disarms Bishop and the chase ends on the roof of a high-rise. The two boys fight until Bishop falls off the ledge only to have one hand caught by Q. Bishop tells Q not to let go. Q struggles to pull him back up but eventually loses his grip and Bishop falls to his death.

As Q leaves the rooftop, a crowd from the party gathers to see what happened. One of the people in the crowd turns to Q and says, "Yo, you got the juice now, man." Q turns to look at him, shakes his head and walks away. The film ends with a flashback clip of the four friends together in happier times.

Cast

Actor Role
Omar Epps Quincy 'Q' Powell
Tupac Shakur Rolland Bishop
Khalil Kain Raheem Porter
Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins Eric 'Steel' Thurman
Samuel L. Jackson Trip
Queen Latifah Ruffhouse M.C.
Bruklin Harris Keesha


Reception

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 82% "fresh" rating.

Characters

  • Omar Epps as Quincy "Q" Powell. A member of The Wrecking Crew and the most sensible of the four. Unlike his friends, he knows right from wrong. He tries out for a DJ audition and makes it, followed by a robbing he was not aware of until last minute. When Bishop kills Raheem, he is horrified at what he has done, as he and Bishop have been friends since second grade. At the climax of the movie, he is the only one untouched by Bishop and demands that he meets him to settle things, as Bishop has framed him for the killings of characters throughout the movie.
  • Tupac Shakur as Roland Bishop, the main antagonist of the film. A member of The Wrecking Crew and the most violent of the four. He is usually seen smoking. He wants mostly respect, as he and his friends are regularly harassed by authorities. After killing a convenience store owner named Quiles, he starts to spiral into darkness, first by killing Raheem, and then gang leader Radames. He deciding to gain more respect by trying to kill each member of his crew. After he kills Radames, he attempts to kill steel, but Steel survives. At the climax of the movie, Bishop confronts Q which ensues in a chase between the two. In the end, after a fight on the roof, Q grabs Bishop after he almost falls, but is unable to hold him.
  • Khalil Kain as Raheem Porter. A member of The Wrecking Crew and presumably the leader. He usually takes it upon himself to protect his friends, as depicted earlier in the movie, when he breaks up a potential fight between them and Radames. After robbing Quiles Store with his friends, he declares they must get rid of the gun, but is killed by Bishop after trying to take the gun from him.
  • Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins as Eric "Steel" Thurman. A member of The Wrecking Crew and the most sensitive of the four. He is usually ridiculed because of his weight, usually called "Big Chops" by Bishop. After the death of Raheem at Bishop's hands, he and Q decide to stay as far away from him as possible, but meets up with him in the hallway to his house. After he makes a phone call asking Q for help, Bishop finds out and shoots him in the back alley; However, Steel narrowly survives the shot and makes it to the hospital. He then tells Q's girlfriend that Q is being framed by Bishop.


Advertisement controversy

DVD cover (sans pistol).
In the original artwork for the promotional poster of the movie, Tupac Shakur, who portrayed one of the leads in the film, was shown prominently while holding a pistol (see film poster, above). This stirred up quite a bit of controversy at the time; some feared the advertisements might lead to violence, while others felt the issue itself showed a large double-standard towards young black youth, and hip hop culture as a whole, with other films of the time being advertised with even more violent content. Either way, Paramount was eventually swayed, and the gun was airbrushed out of all of the advertisements and promotional artwork for the film, including the covers of its VHS and DVD releases.

Soundtrack

A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on December 31, 1991 by MCA Records. It peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

References

  1. Juice Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
  2. http://www.amoeba.com/blog/2007/10/jamoeblog/airbrushing-out-controversy.html, Airbrushing Out Controversy


External links




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