Episode #101: Boyz n the Hood
Listen to Episode 101 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Boyz n the Hood, Tre Styles (played by Desi Arnez Hines II and Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father in South Central LA during his formative teenage years. As he attempts to finish up his senior year of high school, Tre leans on his close friends to discuss the nuances of romance, plans for the future and navigate the dangerous neighborhood they’re living in.
Screenplay by John Singleton; Directed by John Singleton; and released in theaters nationwide on July 12, 1991.
This movie says so much with its visual that is never addressed through dialogue. Showing how certain things like seeing police tape, bullet holes and random fights are literally background for young kids.
Plenty is said as well, like the phone call with Trey's teacher where she makes all kinds of false assumptions based on race.
This movie does an excellent job showing us the lives of South Central LA that are either forgotten or purposefully ignored. It's one of the first, if not the first, to show this visually.
And Singleton's intention is to teach the nationwide audience and speak to the local residents. It's also one of the first to talk about systemic racism and how it's being used and how people need to recognize it to overcome it.
Then within this, we have very strong characters, like Ricky who is the embodiment of hope.
Ricky's brother Doughboy is his protector, but also so much more than that.
Doughboy shows over and over how he strives to be more, but feels resigned to live and die in the gang life.
Trey is directionless, but has the best support system.
Thanks to his tough, but fair father Furious, who is not afraid to have the tough conversations with his son.
There are a lot of difficult scenes in this movie that hint at some of the various struggles present in the neighborhood. All while sounds of helicopters and sirens are in the background.
This film is a microcosm of a life seldom seen up to this point by the vast majority of the country and it came at a perfect time where people were starting to accept and listen to the voices from the underprivileged community it is showcasing.
How prevalent these same issues are today shows how far society still has to go.
Awards Talk: Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay & Best Director (making Singleton the youngest & first African American to be nominated). At the Image Awards it won Outstanding Motion Picture. At the Kids’ Choice Awards, it weirdly makes an appearance with nominations for Favorite Actor (Ice Cube) and Favorite Movie. At the MTV Movie Awards, it was part of the Quotes Montage, Nominated for Best Movie, and won for Best New Filmmaker. Lastly, it was added to the National Film Registry in 2002.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week our true crime segment talks about one of the actors in the movie, LLoyd Avery II, who found himself wrapped up in gang activity and killed by his cellmate in prison
In all honesty, we don't recommend listening to this podcast with his killer, Kevin Roby, but it does exist
In terms of music, we briefly discuss the Boyz n the Hood Soundtrack
Also, there is currently an exhibit at the Academy Museum that is centered around Boyz n the Hood
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 5 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 4 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - Absolutely. Not only is it historically important in the filmmaking space, it is still incredibly poignant and fascinating today. While parts of it are heartbreaking, there are also a couple of great celebratory moments. Plus the film is full of rich, nuanced characters. This is easily one of the best movies of the year.
If you want to watch Boyz n the Hood, as of this recording in February 2023, it’s available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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Join us next time for Hudson Hawk available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD