Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (or simply Don’t Be A Menace) is a 1996 American crime comedy film that was directed by Paris Barclay in his feature film directorial debut, and produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and also written by Wayans brothers Shawn and Marlon, who also both starred in the lead roles. The film was released in the United States on January 12, 1996.
Similar to I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, the film spoofs a number of African-American, coming-of-age, hood films such as Juice, Jungle Fever, South Central, Higher Learning, Do The Right Thing, Poetic Justice, New Jack City“, Dead Presidents, Friday, and most prominently Boyz n the Hood, Menace II Society, and Above The Rim. The film’s title borrows phrases from some of those films, and some of the actors who starred in those films appear in the film, in some cases appearing in similar roles or scenes as the films being parodied.
The Film Itself (4/5):
As you would expect, there is nothing that’s particularly great about Don’t Be A Menace. This film is the kind that you sit back with an absolutely open mind and can laugh about the standard off the wall and crass humor that comes with the likes of parody films. That said, this movie is a hell of a lot better than a lot of other movies that fall into this genre. Doing what it can to stay true to the films that they’re poking fun at while offering a variety of laughs, my wife and I both really enjoyed sitting down with this movie.
Picture Quality (3.75/5):
The overall picture quality of the Blu-ray release of Don’t Be A Menace was really nice; however slightly disappointing. After learning that the visual presentation was in 1080i, I couldn’t help but question why in the hell would they would make a Blu-ray release in 1080i and not go the full monty. As the film progresses onward, there are some pieces of noise that were present in the picture, but they didn’t really distract us from watching the film.
Audio Quality (4.5/5):
Packaged with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, Don’t Be A Menace does everything that it can to offer an all out immersive experience for its viewers. Doing a fantastic job at making use of the various channels at play, this Blu-ray release did a great job at centering the audience around what was unfolding on the screen. The only improvement that really could have been offered to the audio track would’ve been if they went with a 7.1 audio track, but overall this movie doesn’t necessarily call for it and everything was clean and clear and easily understandable.
The Packaging (3/5):
Don’t Be A Menace comes packaged in your standard single disc Blu-ray amaray case. Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film, with the disc featuring a piece of artwork that’s relative to the film and different from that of the case art. There are no DVD copies included with this release, however there is a digital copy redemption pamphlet that’s been included for on the go streaming. There is no slipcover available with this release.
Special Features (3.5/5):
The available content that’s been provided on the Blu-ray release of Don’t Be A Menace is minimal, to say the least. But, the content that is provided is considerably fulfilling and does a nice job at offering a behind the scenes look into the film. The only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen be included was a feature audio commentary from any or all of the Wayans brothers. Included with this release is:
- Interrogation (Deleted Scenes)
- Wayans Brothers (Behind The Scenes)
- Hood Movie Gumbo
- All The Things Your Man Won’t Do Music Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.73:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Original Film: 89 minutes
It had been quite a few years since I had last seen Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood and this purchase was a solid upgrade from my old VHS copy that I had sitting in storage personally. The movie itself is one that as long as you can sit back with an open mind and not really care about the more studious aspects of cinematography and filmmaking and enjoy a solid laugh from a “stupid comedy’, this movie does a really great job at delivering that. The visual quality of the Blu-ray release, while nice, was slightly disappointing with it being in 1080i. The enclosed audio track for this release was really nicely done and offers a much cleaner experience than its earlier counterparts. There’s only a few special features that have been included and do a really good job at offering more of a behind the scenes look into the film. The only thing that I felt was missing is was the inclusion of an audio commentary. If you’re on the fence about grabbing this release of Don’t Be A Menace, I would definitely recommend grabbing it. Especially if you’re upgrading an older copy in your collection.