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Menace II Society [DVD]

Tyrin Turner , Larenz Tate , Albert Hughes , Allen Hughes    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 13.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Menace II Society [DVD] + Boyz N The Hood [DVD] + New Jack City [1991] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu, Toshi Toda, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
  • Writers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Tyger Williams
  • Producers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Darin Scott
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 5 July 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00023JHMW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,877 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Tyrin Turner may not have broken out into stardom as was initially expected, but his work in Menace II Society is one of the more powerful cinematic debuts. The film, from the brother writer-director team of Allen and Albert Hughes, chronicles life in the Los Angeles 'hood. Similar territory was covered in the equally commanding Boyz N the Hood, but what makes this cautionary tale stand out is not only the Hughes brothers' forceful story, (written with their friend, Tyger Williams) and direction, but the naturalness of then-newcomer leads Turner as Caine, Larenz Tate as O-Dog, and Jada Pinkett as Ronnie. They are so credible--occasionally frighteningly so--that the repressive universe of violent ghetto life is captured effectively. Life as portrayed here-and no doubt accurately so--is both figuratively and literally narrow. As a very young boy, Caine witnesses his dad murdered over something inconsequential, and his mom OD. His is a world where respect comes from intimidation, power from violence. Despite his understanding of right and wrong (values passed on by a good friend, his kind grandparents, a caring teacher), his life and its entrapments are too much to overcome. --N.F. Mendoza

Product Description

The controversial debut film from the Hughes Brothers. Despite his violent and unsettled upbringing in the poverty-stricken Watts area of Los Angeles, Caine dreams of going to college or moving to Atlanta with his girlfriend Ronnie. However, on a visit to a local grocery store with homeboy O-Dog, Caine becomes involved in a series of brutal killings and his dreams of escaping his violent background evaporate immediately.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blu-Ray 2 April 2010
The Hughes Brothers film about civil unrest in the burbs of LA has often been slated for being too violent - and encouraging violence, but this has to be one of the best films about violence in LA and Western America.

Caine is the storyteller here, and racontes the story of his life, from a dangerous childhood, to a fully armed killer in his later years. He's not really helped by the fact his parents were into the game too, his mum a drug user, his father a gangster. It doesn't stop there; Caine is hanging out with a nasty piece of work - O-Dog, who's insane and doesn't really care about human life. This is their ups and downs in society, and after killing a Korean shopkeeper, the boys have to decide whether it's all good, or whether they should leave the game.

This is an excellent portrayal from the Hughes siblings, with the help of Tyger Williams. Both Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate were really good in this, even though they were freshmen to cinema. Samuel L Jackson was superb in this too as Caine's father - and made a direct impact. The film is violent, but stays relevant to it's plight; uncovering LA gang violence - and is nothing like Colors and New Jack City, but rather more concise and harder hitting. It's quite amazing that two music video producers did such good work, the camera work is professional and like a pro's work. They have cited Scorsese as their influence, and Goodfellas, and you can see why - this is an interesting and relevant piece of work.

This Blu doesn't let the side down either, the picture and sound are glorious - lovely bass on the soundtrack as the beats kick in. The colours are vivid and make the best of the footage, it actually felt like I was in a cinema watching this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting - mixed messages 13 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Like 'Reservoir Dogs', this film had a UK video certificate withheld for several years because of concerns that it celebrates violence. It's the story of two friends, Caine and O-Dog, who impulsively shoot dead a Korean couple running a grocery-store and steal the security video of the event to protect themselves. They harbour dreams of escaping the dead-end LA suburb they live in, but they're doomed from the start by the endemic local problems of crack-dealing and gun violence. In the end there's a morality to the film in that both 'heroes', having committed brutal murders, should themselves be doomed to die in just as brutal a fashion, but along the way the pumping Gangsta rap soundtrack celebrates violence as a way of life, meaning the film's message ends up being pretty ambivalent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class! 26 May 2003
This film is an unmissable story of the life of two lads in South Central LA, creating a vivid dipiction of what I, having never been there, would imagine life in the ghetto to be like. I throughly enjoyed this film which kept me enthralled throughout. The story centres around the lives of two african american boys, Caine and O-Dog, who have grown up fast in a world where they had to look out for each other, and where guns, crack dealing and violence were a way of life. The story concentrates on the life of Caine who is drawn in to a world of drugs and murder from an early age and is influenced later by his friend O-Dog, who has no fears about the life he leads. This film was magnificent and in my opinion is one of the all time classics. Great Stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see movie and one of my favourites! 22 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This video is about a gang of black teenagers in the ghetto where they have been brought up in drugs, murders and other crimes. There are 2 main characters Caine and O'dog who at the start rob a corner store where you see O'dog kill his first person, murder scenes go on throughout the film as you get sort of a life story on Caine. It is a must see movie and certainly one of my all time favourite movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The directorial debut of twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes, Menace II Society is a tough, no nonsense look at youthful black life in the Watts section of Los Angeles. The Hughes Brother's movie charts the hapless life of Caine (Tyrin Turner) as he seeks to escape the ghetto. The son of both a drug dealer (Samuel L. Jackson in a potent appearance) and an addict, Tyrin, surrounded by guns and a machismo culture, is tied to his friends and the way of life afforded him. Even as love and a chance of a way out arises with Jada Pinkett's (terrific) pretty Ronnie, it's doubtful if Tyrin will escape from the revolving door of death.

Menace II Society had a troubled beginning, refused a video certificate on the grounds of its profane language and brutally violent scenes, it has since gone on to be viewed as one of the finer exponents of anti-violence involving Black Americans. That wasn't always the case though, many critics in the 90s were prone to calling it a film that glamorises the lifestyle of "Hood" gangsters, but offered a saver of sorts by correctly saying it had realism in amongst the harshness. Certainly the dialogue and regional slang was refreshing to hear, thus affording "Menace" and its makers praise for keeping it real, so to speak.

Ineviatbly comparisons were (are) drawn with John Singleton's 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood. But although "Menace" is rawer, uncompromising and more visceral with impact, it lacks the intelligence of Singleton's film. Where "Boyz" had fully rounded characters, character with which to hang your hat on to, "Menace" is just a social group of youths we neither know or care about outside of the group, ego driven dynamic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by E. M. Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great film
Published 1 month ago by S A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very good price, came in excellent time and in excellent condition. Would use this seller again. Look around on amazon as some people want silly prices for the same products.
Published 11 months ago by Lucy Balchan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Menace Is Society
This movie is an extremely important statement, not just about young Blacks growing up in the gang crime 'ghettos' of LA, but more importantly the social, economic and cultural... Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2011 by Mr. M. Hetep
5.0 out of 5 stars Andy
Terrific film, one of my favourites, brilliant acting, a real look at how american 'gang bangers' act, a must see for any gangster film
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This film is a classic. and I have this film removed from the shelf and placed in a drawer. that is how much I treasure it
Published on 1 Feb 2011 by Richie Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie "Genius"
I used to own this movie on VHS and i just watched it for the 1st time in a long time in a friends house on DVD, the reason why im on here RE-PURCHASING IT !!! Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2010 by Scott Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars really good
this film is a must watch if you into them ghetto hood films from america powerful and sometimes funny if you buy this you won't be dissaponted trust me
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by liamkearns
4.0 out of 5 stars "It's right there in the Bible, Exodus 20:13: '"Thou shall not kill."
Pop this movie just the other night and it turns out this is still an incredible movie. Larenz Tate is indeed a fine actor. Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never A Dull Moment
Possibly my favourite movie of all time.. or at least one of them definitley.. I would never hesitate to reccommend this move to anyone looking for an action packed movie that... Read more
Published on 30 May 2006 by Jay-P
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