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4.5 out of 5 stars
Juice
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
In other words, don't start getting ridiculous, going crazy and all, like Tupac's best character ever, the one he came to maybe live out, some would say. Pac's performance is truly amazing, let's not forget, he was a trained actor before he even got into hip hop, so this maybe shouldn't be SO surprising, but for the fact that he hits it so well because, well, it's him. This is Omar Epps first movie (I think) as well, and he was excellent, as was the guys who played Rahim and Steel. The movie is great and well shot, with excellent music throughout. It's primarily the story of a dj (Epps), really, just trying to get on, and his friends, and the possibilities that can erupt in every man's struggle for respect. Never mind the critics, they seem to critique all black movies the same. This film is unique. It's NOT that violent, especially in the day of Quentin Tarantino or even Menace II Society. There's cameos by tons of rappers, including Special Ed, EPMD, Latifah, Naughty by Nature, and others. But they're small and inconsequential roles for the most part (as they should be). Don't watch this movie as any commentary on Harlem or on black youths or any of that trash. Only racists try to generalize and make every movie that a black person makes into an all-encompassing Statement of Reality. It's overall a somewhat fun movie with a strong bite to it. And it's got a classic soundtrack, the first of the many rap soundtracks that would come out with every movie after this. It's perfect, not too ambitious, doesn't try too hard, isn't a real "tear jerker" though it can be touching. Overall, I'd say its a classic and ten years later, its still as enjoyable.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2002
Format: DVD
Spike Lee cinematographer Ernest Dickerson (he shot Spike's first 6 films) makes a stylish, dark debut with the 1992 teen drama "Juice". Set in Harlem, the story chronicles the lives of 4 friends (including Tupac Shakur in a strong debut) trying to stay out of trouble. 'Q' is an aspiring DJ who holds fierce all his intentions to stay clean and away from danger. Steel is a chubby homeboy who wishes for nothing other than to have fun. Raheem, a teenage father, serves as the level-headed leader and peace keeper, and Bishop is a hot-headed firecracker eager to start war with the neighborhood gang (although these 4 don't behave like or consider themselves any sort of gang). Soon enough, trouble erupts when they rob the local liquor store in search of "juice" (power, respect) and a war erupts between Q and Bishop. Expectedly, Q would rather focus on an upcoming DJ contest but trash-talking Bishop has other plans.
Dickerson's directorial manner is sleek and balanced, his camera and editing preferences are not as out there and in-your-face as Spike Lee, yet he knows exactly where to put the camera for each scene (the cross-cutting police interrogation sequence is most dynamic, better than that of "The Usual Suspects" and it pre-dates that film by 3 years as well). Dickerson also chooses to avoid the obvious route expected in these kinds of films and delivers a sad, somber ending. The film is stamped hard with the look, sound and feel of the early 90's (an excellent era of those "urban" films if you ask me), colorful clothing, an excellent hip-hop soundtrack and murky neon lighting. If this is up your alley, I also suggest Bill Duke's equally powerful "Deep Cover" (also from 1992). It's too bad that Dickerson's further efforts have not topped this engaging premiere.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
THIS MOVIE IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL MOVIES TO COME OUT IN TODAYS HIP HOP GENERATION.MYSELF AND MANY OTHER TEENS CAN RELATE TO THIS FILM.JUICE IS A SLANG WORD FOR RESPECT AND IN THIS WORLD RESPECT AND CREDIBILTY ENABLES MOST TO HAVE POWER. WHEATHER IN THE CORPRATE FIELD OR IN THE HOOD PEOPLE WANT JUICE.LIKE THE GROUP OF FRIENDS THAT HUNG AROUND EACH OTHER IN THIS FILM ,I HAVE A GROUP OF FRIEDS THAT I'VE BEEN WITH SINCE THE SIXTHGRADE.EVERY ONE OF US WANTED JUICE IN SOME TYPE OF WAY WEATHER IT BEING IN SPORTS, GETTING THE MOST GIRLS,OR BEING THE FUNNIEST.THERE ALSO ARE YOUTH WHO WANT JUICE FOR BEING TOUGHEST. SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE SERVING TIME IN PRISON BECAUSE OF NEED TO HAVE JUICE . THEN GET IN PRISON AND GET IN MORE TROUBLE BECAUSE THEY WANT JUICE.MY FRINDS BEAT A MAN TO DEATH OVER DRUGMONEY IF THEY LET THIS MAN GET AWAY WITH THE CASH THEY WOULD LOSE SOME STREET CREDIBILTY .SO INSTED OF LOSING THHRE JUICE THEY LOSE THERE LIFE OF FREEDOM FOR TEN TO TWENTY YEARS.IN THIS FILM THE MAIN CHARACTERS Q AND BISHOP WANT IN TWO DIFFERENT WAYS .Q WANTS TO BE THE BEST DJ WORLDWIDE NOT JUST IN THE STREETS .HE TRYS HIS BEST TO GET THAT RESPECT BY COMPETING ANGAINST THE BEST DJ'S AROUND.BISHOP WANTS JUICE IN THE STREETS FOR BEING TOUGH AND CRAZY .SO HE GOES WILD WITH HIS GUN AND SHOOTS PEOPLE UP TO GAIN RESPECT ....I'M NOT SOME REAL MOVIE CRIDICT I'M JUST A YOUNG BLACK MALE WHO KNOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING JUICE .WHILE READING OTHER CRITICS VIEWS ON THIS FILM MADE ME REALIZE THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE POWER AND EFFECTS OF JUICE.WHILE THEY SAY THIS FILM IS TOO REAL TO BE REAL THAT SHOWS THEY REALLY CAN'T RELATE TO THE STORY LINE .MANY PEOPLE DIE OVER THIS WORD JUICE .THIS FILM IS JUST REALITY ON SCREEN.FOR THOSE WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND FULLY WHAT JUICE IS GO VISIT A PEISON AND ASK THE INMATES TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU. THIS REVIEW IS COMIMG GHOST A U-FLOW PRODUCT.STRAIT OUT OF THE STREETS OF NEWJERUSE(NEW JERSY)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
Without a doubt Tupac's best film hands down.Ernest Dickerson did a solid job directing this film.Omar Epps was on point as well.A Must See that kept things RAW&REAL.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
JUICE is far from being a masterpiece. In fact, at times, it is pretty poorly-written and seems to go nowhere.
What makes this film so powerful is one thing. The screen debut of Tupac Shakur as the homicidal Bishop. Shakur keeps this film from being a total mess. He turns an otherwise dismal film into a very entertaining one.
His performance is so dynamic, in fact, that I often find myself fast-forwarding through scenes that don't involve him. Epps as the lead, "Q", puts in a decent performance but the romantic subplot goes nowhere and really adds nothing to the film.
All in all, JUICE, is a cult favorite and deserves its status, if simply for its soundtrack and the Tupac Shakur involvment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I think Tupac did an excellent job in this movie and that this really started his acting career and the same goes for Omar Epps. They did a really good job in this movie.
This movie is so classic...I think everybody has seen it...it's like if you haven't seen it then....where have you been seriously.
It's plot is awesome and it never bores. It shows a really good example of how people live in the streets(not bums). I recommend that you get this movie on DVD if at all possible...if not then get this VHS version because it's a classic and you have to have it....Peace out folks!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2001
Format: DVD
pac is the whole movies strength. omar epps and everybody else did wonderful jobs, but pac just shines like he always does. a real life drama of 4 friends groin up in the ghetto. real stuff here. a movie to watch if you havent seen it in a minute. or to watch if u want to see 2pac as a wonderful actor.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
This is a engaging film about getting respect or "juice", albeit being the wrong way. "Juice" is about four buddies (Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Khalil Kain, Jermaine Hopkins) whose lives are torn apart when one of them get ahold of a gun, convinces his friends to join him in robbing a local bodega, and accidently kills the proprietor. That starts a horrific chain of events when certain people end up getting shot, including two of the four friends, all at the hand of Bishop (Tupac Shakur). Although I was not much of a fan of Tupac Shakur's music, I really loved him as an actor. His intensity in the role of Bishop in "Juice" was powerful. He was truly chilling, especially when he theatens Quincy aka "Q" (Omar Epps) in a school hallway and tells him, "I AM crazy, but you know what? I don't give a $#@*!" Then he proceeds to tell Q that he doesn't care about anyone, not even himself because he knows that he's no good. Whoa!!! In his mind, being a thug was his way of getting respect. Tupac, no doubt, would have gone on to become one of the greatest young dramatic actors of our time. It's such a tragedy that he was taken from us, but thank God we still have Pac to watch on video.

Omar Epps, aside from being nice eye candy, gives a great performance as well as "Q", the kid who loves music and has big dreams of becoming a professional DJ. This is the way he wants to obtain respect, and rightfully so. "Q" is torn between being loyal to his friends and going to the police when Bishop's homicidial behavior gets dangerously out of control. Ultimately he decides that he has to be the one to stop Bishop, but at the same time he fears for his own life. Look for En Vogue member Cindy Herron in a role as Omar's older girlfriend. I really enjoyed this movie and after owning it for years on VHS, I'm finally getting the DVD. An excellent film to watch that teaches hard lessons about following along with a crowd. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2001
Format: DVD
This movie is like the king of all hip pop movies why well I guess its because of those extremely tizight old skool DJ battles
And i think its also how they lived in the well I guess ill call it DA GHETTO...............But anyways i hope people watch this
movie and love it like i love it. The DVD may not have many special features but i gurantee its worth buying.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2003
Format: DVD
Juice is a hip-hop charged adrenaline rush of a movie that takes place in the busy streets of New York. The star is Q(Omar Epps) who is a DJ and kicks it with his click called the Wreckin Crew. His buddies are Raheem(Khalil Kain),Steele(Jermaine "Big Hugg" Hopkins), and Bishop(the late great 2pac Shakur). The wreckin crew have fun and roam the streets looking for trouble and doing what most teenagers do. Thry are surrounded by violence and chaotic occurences. Q sees a friend Blizzard rob a diner(with EPMD in it)and later reveals he was shot by police, and the Wreckin Crew is harassed by a rival gang led by Radimez, a Latin thug who at one point threatens Bishop. Q tries to get a spot on a DJ tournament unaware that his crew is planning to rob a convenience store. As soon as they get the money, Bishop deliberately kills the clerk. Two minutes later, Bishop kills Raheem. Obviously, Bishop has LOST HIS MIND and it is up to Q, who is the only person who knows the truth, to defend himself against one of the most psychotic and brilliantly menacing villains in the entire history of cinema! The most amazing scene is a part where 2pac is playing a video game in a bar and somehow breaks the arcade game. The close-up of his eyes shows what kind person Bishop has turned into. The bartender says "Man, what you do to my machine". One of my ten favorite films of ALL TIME!
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