|Menace II Society|
|Directed by||The Hughes Brothers|
|Screenplay by||Tyger Williams|
|Story by||Allen Hughes|
|Produced by||Darin Scott|
|Edited by||Christopher Koefoed|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$30 million|
Menace II Society (pronounced Menace to Society) is a 1993 American teen hood drama film directed by Allen and Albert Hughesin their film directorial debut. It stars Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, and Larenz Tate. The film is set in Watts, Los Angeles, and follows the life of a young man named Kaydee "Caine" Lawson and his close friends. The film is notable for featuring breakout roles for Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, and Larenz Tate. It gained notoriety for its scenes of violence, profanity and drug-related content. It also received critical acclaim for the performances of Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate, the direction, and its realistic portrayal of urban violence and powerful underlying messages.
Kaydee “Caine” Lawson and his best friend Kevin "O-Dog" Anderson enter a liquor store to buy some malt liquor, where a Korean cashier and his wife rush them to pay for their drinks and leave. After their purchase, the cashier inadvertently insults and provokes O-Dog by saying, "I feel sorry for your mother." O-Dog argues with the cashier, then kills him and his wife with his gun, takes the surveillance tape, robs the clerk's wallet and the cash register, and flees the store with Caine.
In a flashback, it is revealed that Caine's father, a drug dealer, was killed in a drug deal gone wrong when Caine was 10, and that his mother, a heroin addict, died of a drug overdose. This led to his grandparents raising him in the crime-ridden Jordan Downs housing projects.
O-Dog proudly displays the surveillance tape to his admiring friends, greatly annoying Caine. Later, Caine and his cousin Harold are carjacked en route from a party, with Harold being murdered and Caine being wounded. After learning the carjackers' whereabouts, O-Dog, Caine, and their friend A-Wax, an OG, hunt them down together, killing them and avenging Harold's death.
Caine and O-Dog are arrested after a failed car theft attempt, and even though Caine's fingerprints match those taken from a bottle at the liquor store on the night of the robbery, Caine is soon released as the police fail to link him to the crime.
Caine's friends, Stacy and Sharif, try to convince him to leave with them to Kansas, and both Caine's grandfather and Sharif's father warn Caine that he will either end up dead or in jail if he doesn't change his ways. Caine, nevertheless, ignores all advice.
After buying a Ford Mustang from a chop shop, Caine carjacks another young black man for his gold Dayton wire wheels and his jewelry, then purchases a large quantity of cocaine that he plans to sell as crack. Caine also meets a local girl named Illena and eventually has sex with her. While driving one night, Caine and Sharif are pulled over and beaten by cops. The two are dumped in a Hispanic neighborhood, but the Hispanic gang members are nice enough to take them to a hospital instead of beating them even more as the cops anticipated. While Caine is hospitalized, his friend Ronnie tells Caine that she has found a job in Atlanta and invites him to come with her. Initially hesitant, Caine ultimately agrees to go.
At a party, Chauncey, a confederate of Caine in an insurance scam, drunkenly makes sexual moves towards Ronnie. Caine comes to her rescue and starts pistol-whipping Chauncey, prompting Stacy and Sharif to hold him back. Illena calls to inform Caine that she is pregnant, but he refuses to believe that the child is his and drops her. Chauncey retaliates for Caine's assault by sending a copy of the surveillance tape to the police, who begin looking for Caine and O-Dog, as they are now wanted for the liquor store robbery and murders. Meanwhile, Caine beats up Ilena's cousin when he confronts Caine outside Caine's grandparents' house about the pregnancy. After Caine's grandparents witness the beating and a brief conversation with Caine, they decide on kicking Caine out of their house, despite Caine's pleas to stay. Meanwhile, Ilena's cousin gathers his friends to get revenge on Caine.
As Caine and Ronnie are getting ready to leave for Atlanta, Ilena's cousin and his friends drive by Ronnie's house and engage a drive-by shootout. Sharif is killed instantly, while Caine is fatally wounded trying to protect Ronnie's son, Stacy and Ronnie come running out of the house screaming for help. O-Dog shoots back at the attackers and is unharmed. As Caine slowly dies in Stacy's arms, he sees flashbacks of the events that led to this outcome. Caine recalls his grandfather asking him if he cares whether he lives or dies, and he realizes in his dying moment that he does, but now it's too late. O-Dog is also arrested for the liquor store murders.
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Originally, MC Ren was set to play A-Wax, but later turned down the role when he joined the Nation of Islam in late 1992. Rapper Spice 1 was set to play Caine, and Tupac Shakur to play Sharif, but they were later fired with director Allen Hughes stating that Shakur was causing trouble on the set. Shakur was angry for not being told why Sharif would turn Muslim. Six months after the firing, Shakur assaulted the director, resulting in Shakur being found guilty of assault and battery.Shakur did not want to play the role of Sharif, as he did not agree (in regards to the authenticity of such a role) that a Muslim could also be a gangbanger. He is quoted as saying the following in a video interview,
"I said okay, cool ... fire me from this $100,000 movie, because I ain't goin' play no gangbanger who's a Muslim. There ain't no such thing, I refuse to play parts that don't exist. I will be a young nigga, but will be a real young nigga."
Shakur wanted to play O-Dog. Shakur and Spice 1 were later replaced with Larenz Tate and Tyrin Turner, respectively.
Menace II Society received generally positive reviews from critics.The film has an 83% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 7.40/10. The consensus reads, "Told with grit and verve by the Hughes brothers in their feature debut, Menace II Society is a gangland epic that breathes with authenticity while steeped in style."
Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum stated, "This is a powerful, convincing, and terrifying look at teenage crime in contemporary Watts."Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly gave it a positive review, stating, "Menace II Society is bleak, brilliant, and unsparing."
EmanuelLevy.com gave the film an A, saying it is "The most stunning feature debut in the new African American cinema, even more so than Boyz n the Hood to which the coming of age feature bears thematic resemblance."The film was placed on both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert's 10 best films of 1993 lists, with Ebert praising "the way the filmmakers tell Caine's story without making him seem either the hero or victim".
However, the film has also received some negative reviews. Geoff Andrew of Time Out stated, "Regrettably, the Hughes Brothers' first feature is a compendium of clichés."Stephen Holden of The New York Times stated, "If Menace II Society is terrific on ambiance, it is considerably less successful in revealing character." At the 1994 MTV Movie Awards, the film was awarded Best Movie, beating out the likes of Philadelphia , Jurassic Park and Schindler's List . The film also won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography and was nominated for Best First Feature, but lost to El Mariachi (the first installment in the Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy ).
The film grossed $27.9 million in the United States and Canada but only $1.6 million internationally for a worldwide total of $29.5 million.
A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on May 26, 1993, by Jive Records. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Tupac Amaru Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac and by his alias Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential rappers of all time. Much of Shakur's work has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he has often been considered a symbol of activism against inequality.
Me Against the World is the third studio album by American rapper 2Pac, released on March 14, 1995, by Interscope Records and Jive Records. Drawing lyrical inspiration from his impending prison sentence, troubles with the police, and poverty, the album is described as being 2Pac's most introspective album. According to 2Pac, Me Against the World was made to show the hip hop audience his respect for the art form. Lyrically, he intentionally tried to make the album more personal and reflective than his previous efforts. The musical production on the album was considered by several music critics to be the best on any of his albums up to that point in his career.
Larenz Tate is an American film and television actor. Tate is best known for his roles as O-Dog in Menace II Society and as Councilman Rashad Tate in Power. Tate's other films and television series include the films Dead Presidents, Love Jones, A Man Apart, Crash, Waist Deep, Ray and the television series Rush and Game of Silence.
Tyrin Turner is an American film and television actor and writer from South Central Los Angeles. He is most known for playing the lead role of Caine Lawson in the critically acclaimed 1993 urban drama Menace II Society.
Aaron Tyler, better known by his stage name MC Eiht, is an American rapper and actor. Many of his songs are based on his life in Compton. His stage name was partly inspired by the numeral in KRS-One's name. He chose Eiht for its links to "hood culture", including Olde English 800 and .38 caliber firearms. He is the de facto leader of West Coast hip hop group Compton's Most Wanted, which also included fellow Compton-based rappers Boom Bam, Tha Chill, DJ Mike T, DJ Slip and Ant Capone. He is also known for his role as A-Wax in the 1993 film Menace II Society, as well as voicing the character Ryder in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, known together professionally as the Hughes brothers, are American film directors and producers. The pair, who are twins, are known for co-directing visceral, and often violent, movies, including Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell and The Book of Eli. The pair did most of their collaboration between 1993 and 2001. Since 2004, when Albert moved to Prague, Czech Republic, the two have only directed one film together, The Book of Eli in 2010. They have been involved in directing and producing film and television projects separately since 2005.
A Man Apart is a 2003 American vigilante action film directed by F. Gary Gray and released by New Line Cinema. The film stars Vin Diesel and Larenz Tate. The story follows undercover DEA agent Sean Vetter who is on a vendetta to take down a mysterious drug lord named Diablo after his wife is murdered. The film was released in the United States on April 4, 2003. It received generally negative reviews from critics.
Tupac: Resurrection is a 2003 American documentary film about the life and death of rapper Tupac Shakur. The film, directed by Lauren Lazin and released by Paramount Pictures, is narrated by Tupac Shakur himself. The film was in theaters from November 16, 2003 to December 21, 2003. As of July 1, 2008 it had earned over $7.8 million, making it the 21st-highest-grossing documentary film in the United States -. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 77th Academy Awards.
Poetic Justice is a 1993 American romantic drama film written and directed by John Singleton and starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. Maya Angelou, who wrote the poems featured in the film, appears as one of the three elderly sisters whom the characters meet at a roadside family reunion. The Last Poets appear toward the end of the film. The plot of the movie is based on Tupac's brief romance with Ann Marie Rose, now Ann Marie Adams, with whom he struck up a relationship in between takes on the set of the film Juice, in which he starred. Adams, an aspiring poet who frequented the Brooklyn Moon cafe in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was a student at Brooklyn College known for her trademark braids.
Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is a 1996 American crime-comedy film directed by Paris Barclay in his feature film directorial debut, and produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans. It stars the Wayans brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who were also both writers with Phil Beauman. The film was released in the United States on January 12, 1996.
Caine may refer to:
Love Jones is a 1997 American romantic drama film written and directed by Theodore Witcher, in his feature film debut. It stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, and Lisa Nicole Carson.
Juice is a 1992 American crime thriller film directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, and written by Dickerson and Gerard Brown. It stars Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine Hopkins and Khalil Kain. The film touches on the lives of four black youths growing up in Harlem, following their day-to-day activities, their struggles with police harassment, rival neighborhood gangs and their families. The film is the writing and directing debut of Dickerson and features Shakur in his acting debut. The film was shot in New York City, mainly in the Harlem area, in 1991.
Arnold Herbert Johnson was an American actor who played the lead role in the film Putney Swope (1969); in the film, his voice was dubbed by Robert Downey, Sr. because Johnson could never remember his lines. Johnson appeared in Shaft (1971) as Cul, a friend of John Shaft and the owner of a shoeshine parlor. He also played a role in the film My Demon Lover (1987) and had roles in Rocky (1976) and Menace II Society (1993), as Thomas, the religious Christian grandfather of the lead character Caine.
Reggie Gibson, better known as Saafir, is an emcee, producer and actor from Oakland, California. He is also a member of the rap group "Golden State Project" with Ras Kass and Xzibit. Born in Oakland, California, he lived with Tupac Shakur and became a dancer for Digital Underground. Saafir took part in one of the most notorious Bay Area rap battles, when he and members of the Hobo Junction went against Casual and members of the Hieroglyphics Crew. The battle took place live on KMEL.
The East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry was a feud between artists and fans of the East Coast hip hop and West Coast hip hop scenes in the United States, especially from the mid-1990s. Focal points of the feud were East Coast–based rapper The Notorious B.I.G. and his New York–based label, Bad Boy Records, and West Coast–based rapper Tupac Shakur and his LA-based label Death Row Records. They were both murdered in drive-by shootings. Orlando Anderson, a.k.a. Baby Lane, has been accused of the murder of Shakur, but he was shot dead in the spring of 1998. The person responsible for the murder of The Notorious B.I.G. remains unknown.
"Streiht Up Menace" is the debut single by MC Eiht off the soundtrack of 1993 movie Menace II Society. The lyrics of the song focus on the life of the main character in the movie, Kaydee "Caine" Lawson, acting as a sort of plot summary for the film. Compton's Most Wanted also did this with another song from a soundtrack with the song "Growin' Up In The Hood" from the Boyz n the Hood soundtrack. The track was later released on the 2001 Compton's Most Wanted compilation album "When We Wuz Bangin" and on the 2010 MC Eiht compilation album "The Best Of MC Eiht".
Tupac Assassination: Conspiracy or Revenge is a documentary film about the unsolved murder of rapper Tupac Shakur produced by Frank Alexander, a Shakur bodyguard who was with the rapper at the time of the shooting, produced and directed by Richard Bond.
All Eyez on Me is a 2017 American biographical drama film about rapper Tupac Shakur, directed by Benny Boom and written by Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez and Steven Bagatourian. Titled after Shakur's 1996 fourth studio album, the film stars Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur with Kat Graham, Lauren Cohan, Hill Harper and Danai Gurira in supporting roles, with Jamal Woolard reprising his role as Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace from Notorious (2009).
Kaydee were a four-piece pop rock band from Kilkenny, Ireland
tupac to play shariff.
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