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DON'T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL
WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD

DON'T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD ($30) is quite a mouthful for a movie title and will be referred to as DON'T BE A MENACE for the rest of this review. DON'T BE A MENACE hilariously lampoons all of the urban dramas that have portrayed what it is like to grow up in the 'hood. Of course, no one but members of the Family Wayans would dare tackle such a spoof, nor could anyone else manage to bring it off as successfully. For the record, DON'T BE A MENACE was produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans and written by Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans (along with Phil Beauman). In a world where the obsession with "political correctness" seems to be stifling just about every bit "off color" creativity, DON'T BE A MENACE comes across like of breath of fresh air. There are no sacred cows in this movie, and thankfully the Wayans don't seem to care who they offend. The plot of DON'T BE A MENACE follows Ashtray (Shawn Wayans) as he goes to live with his father and learns the ways of being a man in the 'hood. Along the way, Ashtray hooks up with his spaced out cousin Loc Dog (Marlon Wayans) who imparts the bits of wisdom he has gathered from living his entire life in the 'hood. The cast of DON'T BE A MENACE also includes Vivian Smallwood, Tracey Jones, Helen Martin, Darrel Heath, Lahmard J. Tate, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Kim Wayans, Vivica A. Fox, Antonio Fargas and LaWanda Page.

Miramax Home Entertainment has made DON'T BE A MENACE available on DVD in a wide screen presentation, without the benefit of the 16:9 anamorphic component. The Letterboxed transfer properly frames DON'T BE A MENACE at 1.85:1 without any noticeable cropping. DON'T BE A MENACE has a sharp glossy look, like most films produced over the last several years. Colors reproduce with good saturation and without any traces of chroma noise. Solid DVD authoring kept compression artifacts in check throughout the presentation.

The two-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack decodes to standard surround with pretty good results. Of course, the track comes off as a little weak when compared to Dolby Digital 5.1, but the forward soundstage has good channel separation, plus the soundtrack offers solid bass reproduction. The surround channels provide the track with atmosphere, as well as helping to flesh out the hip-hop music. English subtitles have been encoded onto the DVD.

Unfortunately, the interactive menus are rather simplistic, and provide only the necessary scene and language selection features.

 
DON'T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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