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Dead Presidents [DVD] [1996]

20 customer reviews

Price: £3.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Dead Presidents [DVD] [1996] + Menace II Society [DVD] + New Jack City [1991] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Freddy Rodríguez, Rose Jackson
  • Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
  • Writers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Michael Henry Brown, Wallace Terry
  • Producers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English
  • Dubbed: French, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Feb. 2001
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYQF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,478 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Bronx teenagers Anthony (Larenz Tate), Skippy (Chris Tucker), and José (Freddy Rodriguez) return from a tour of duty in the Vietnam war and begin to wonder what they were fighting for. The only options open to them are cheap labour, heroin addiction, and poverty, so they decide to take their future into their own hands and draw up plans to rob a bank van full of 'dead presidents' (street slang for dollar bills). If the heist goes well, they will never have to worry about money again.

From Amazon.co.uk

Twin brother codirectors Albert and Alan Hughes planned their first film, the 1991 ghetto crime drama Menace II Society as a response to John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood, which they considered wimpy and moralistic. They set their sights on The Deer Hunter in this ambitious follow-up, and they just about pull it off. Larenz Tate (from Why Do Fools Fall in Love) plays Anthony Curtis, an open-hearted African American teenager who gets shipped out to Vietnam with several of his pals, witnesses unspeakable horrors and then struggles to readjust to civilian life. The evolving textures of life in a declining inner-city neighbourhood over a period of a decade are seamlessly evoked and there's enough nuanced character development and personal interaction for a seven-hour miniseries. Still in their early 20s, the Hughes brothers are already poised and masterful movie makers; they cover an enormous amount of historical and emotional ground and every twist and turn is crystal clear. They betray their inexperience only at the very end, in an elaborately staged heist sequence that, while stunningly executed, feels a bit desperate, as if they were reaching blindly for a big pay off. Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) has a startling supporting role as a kid who becomes a junkie during the war and never quite recovers. --David Chute

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By nick4real@aol.com on 10 Dec. 2001
Format: DVD
This violent and powerful film is definitely not for the Merchant/Ivory brigade. Anyone averse to gore and profanity will be reaching for the remote pretty sharpish, which is a shame because they'll miss a stylish and very well directed movie. The Hughes Brothers only have one other film to their name but they have talent to burn. The heist sequence is one of the most visually stunning and best sustained action scenes I've ever watched. They're pretty good with the actors too, drawing strong performances from Larenz Tate, Keith David and a pre-fame Chris Tucker. The film does have its problems though, mostly stemming from character motivation. It's a little hard to believe that some of these people who you grow to
like during the movie become capable of such violence, but the Hughes's and writer Michael Henry Brown at least try to illustrate their reasons. However, these are minor quibbles in an otherwise highly impressive and entertaining piece
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 3 July 2007
Format: DVD
The Hughes brothers certainly had the right idea in mind making this a cool heist, and I give them credit for trying, but they bite off more than they can chew. Dead Presidents is a really good film. Most people think this movie is all about robbing a bank but it really isn't even though it comes at the end.

The most obvious problem is the film tries to be too many things at once. It starts as a ghetto drama-then it's a war movie-then it ends as a crime thriller! (More than a bit reminiscent of Kubrick's "The Killing.") This could have worked with the proper care, but DP suffers from trying to cram too much story in just under two hours. An extra twenty minutes would properly flesh out the plot. The film opens in the late sixties as we meet Anthony (Larenz Tate), Anthony's girl Juanita (Rose Jackson), his friend Skip (Chris Tucker-as bug-eyed as ever) and boss Kirby (Keith David). We follow Anthony through his first experiences with sex, violence, and family resistance. Anthony wants to join the Marines and through a rather clever edit, we are plunged into the Vietnam War head first. The Hughes Bros. handle this material well, although it gets a bit busy with all the Vietnam-isms: drug use, severed heads, mercy killings, Agent Orange, air strikes, etc. The audience discovers that before the war Anthony got Juanita pregnant, and that he has a baby girl "back in the world." It is a lot of material to cover in the brief period of time, and we only get a brief glimpse of what is was like to be a black soldier in country.

We jump back to the "world", where we witness the domestic turmoil the war has brought upon Anthony and Juanita. Another pitfall is the Juanita character, who is so abrasive that we feel no sympathy towards her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Blonde on 12 July 2013
Format: DVD
An excellent film seen by too few people. It is a great mix of Vietnam film, Heist movie, a bit of a Spike Lee vibe and a dose of Goodfellas and all set to one of the greatest Soul soundtracks every compiled. It is really stylish with some really powerful images and excellent cinematography. The performances are great across the board (even Chris Tucker gives a solid performance and I never thought I would write that) with lead actor Larenz Tate carrying the film in quite a challenging role. The film is epic but comes in at a nice run time and is a great example of how you can make a film that covers years and has lots of characters and sub plots and still be under two hours and keep the audience engaged. Can't recommend this film highly enough it a excellently well crafted and performed piece of cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Longstaffe on 16 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To start off I'd just like to say this is one of my all time favourite films. It is brilliant all the way through with a great plot and cast, although the ending is a bit rushed but nothing is perfect.

However I just want to make everyone aware that the DVD from Amazon is a two sided disc which has to be turned over half way through the film. There is no mention of this anywhere on the product description so naturally I was very annoyed. To get up half way through a film and turn the disc over is very annoying and spoils the watching experience as your sitting their just waiting for the time to come when you have to turn it over thus not fully enjoying the brilliant film.

Film 4/5
DVD 0/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. P. M. Martin on 17 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having seen this film before, I felt compelled to watch it again this time with my son. As I wanted him to watch and learn that going off to war and the after effects is both destructive and hypocritical. And how it also destroys both a family and a community.

Many thanks
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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 May 2015
Format: DVD
Albert and Allen Hughes direct, produce and co-write (with Michael Henry Brown) this tale about Anthony Curtis (Larenz Tate), a South Bronx boy who goes off to fight in Vietnam, to then return after his tours of duty to find things just aren't the same anymore. The follow up to their incendiary debut, Menace II Society, the Hughes brothers deliver another in your face picture that is quite frankly on a perpetual downer. This is no bad thing, though, as long as you are not looking to be cheered up.

That's Uncle Sam for you! Mean Green.

The pic very much harks back to the glory days of film noir in the 40s and 50s, where some talented film makers began to tell stories of returning war veterans finding what they left behind is now alien to them - with some characters, as is the case here - deeply scarred by their experiences. Add in some gangster elements and the coup de grâce that is the scintillating heist, and clearly the brothers have seen many an old classic film. That the narrative is tried and tested stops the piece hitting greater heights, this in spite of some super acting (especially Tate and the always value for money Keith David) and the hard hitting violence that pierces the senses. Predictable yet potent, and certainly memorable, it's well worth a look for the tough of mind and the classic era film of heart. 7/10
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