From the cinephiliac minds of Sailor Monsoon and Vincent Kane comes a new collaborative review series called Double Impact! For these opinion pieces, we watch a film, break it down and analyze it and then haphazardly try to attribute points and awards to individual scenes and/or actors. Through our convoluted thought process, neither one of us truly understands, we will definitively determine whether or not certain sacred cows are worthy of praise and alternatively if childhood favorites hold up or are better left in the past. The goal is to get you to rewatch old films you love, check out great stuff you haven’t and skip the overrated classics you’ve heard about but never got around to. This is a celebration of the stuff we love and a takedown of the shit we don’t. This is Double Impact!
The film touches on the lives of four black youths (Bishop, Q, Raheem, and Steel) growing up in Harlem, following their day-to-day activities, their struggles with police harassment, rival neighborhood gangs, and their families. Bishop is tired of being chumps, so he takes matters into his own hands to get..the “Juice”.
Sailor: What are we watching?
Kane: I haven’t decided yet. Still looking.
Sailor: If you break my streak, Imma stab.
Kane: What streak?
Sailor: Of great movies. I’m tired of everyone giving me shit for watching nothing but trash!
Kane: Superman 4 it is!
Sailor: Goddamn it!
Kane: No. I’m in a hip hop mood. I’m thinking something like New Jack City or Boyz n the Hood or Cool As Ice.
Sailor: I don’t like Boyz n the Hood.
Kane: But Ricky! Rickaaaaay!
Kane: Juice it is!
Sailor: With Tupac?
Kane: Yup. In his first movie.
Sailor: Just remember my streak!
Kane: I honestly don’t care. Push Play!
Sailor: I wonder why Ernest R. Dickerson didn’t have a bigger career.
Kane: He is the guy who also did Demon Knight. And he did a lot of TV.
Sailor: What’s funny is From Dusk till Dawn was originally going to be a Tales from the Crypt movie but when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino decided to make its own movie the producers just went ahead and remade it twice. Demon Knight & Bordello of Blood are extremely similar to that movie.
Kane: I like the vinyl credit intro.
Sailor: I don’t know why I bother sharing my knowledge with you.
Kane: Huh? Oh, interesting. What about them kicks Q is reppin? pump them babies up.
Sailor: 90s fashion is the worst.
Kane: You mean you didn’t wear a striped turtleneck with plain overalls?
Sailor: No but I did have one of them bucket hats. So fresh.
Kane: But that’s an uzi necklace yo!
Sailor: The worst fashion.
Kane: It was. For all races.
Kane: I’ve never understood how the 6 guys going up against 1 guy can act so tough.
Sailor: Gots to have a crew running with you.
Kane: Haha.”I’m gonna shoot your pee pee off!” Classic line.
Kane: Was it cultural appropriation to wear only one strap with my overalls?
Sailor: Ugh. The worst.
Kane: Samuel L. Jackson!
Sailor: He looks so young.
Kane: I miss arcades.
Sailor: Me too but Snappy, Nappy, Dugout.
Kane: Snappy, Nappy, Dugout.
Sailor: Oh homegirl with that gold tooth.
Kane: I had Doc Martens. I bet you had the stud earring.
Sailor: Nah. I never did.
Kane: Hey, Fat Chops is the same kid from Lean on Me.
Sailor: I haven’t seen that in 100 years.
Kane: It’s the first movie I remember seeing Morgan Freeman in.
Sailor: I haven’t seen Menace II Society or Dead Presidents.
Kane: They are both solid.
Sailor: Good ol’ James Cagney.
Kane: So much yelling in this movie.
Sailor: They be angry.
Sailor: Q bout to smoosh.
Kane: I want to watch House Party now.
Sailor: I haven’t seen that either.
Kane: Goddamn it, Sailor! Watch more black films ya racist sum bitch!
Kane: Ugh. I hate Queen Latifah’s annoying ass.
Sailor: She is great.
Kane: Not even close.
Sailor: She is slaying it like a Queen.
Kane: She has always looked like a 47-year-old mom.
Kane: Did it ever say if they were in high school?
Sailor: I don’t think so.
Sailor: Where did the gun come from?
Kane: Don’t bow to peer pressure!
Sailor: But it is haaaard.
Kane: All this DJ’ing sounds the same.
Sailor: I know. How do you know who is winning?
Kane: When does Rabbit show up with moms spaghetti on his sweater?
Sailor: I didn’t hate 8 MIle.
Kane: Oh you saw that one though?
Kane: Oh Shit!
Sailor: I legit did not see that coming!
Kane: I saw that going the other way.
Sailor: Same. Goddamn it, Tupac!
Kane: Momma said there would be days like this.
Sailor: I have no idea where this film is going now.
Kane: This is some tense shit.
Sailor: Not again! What is happening?!
Kane: Goddamn it, Tupac!
Sailor: Have you seen any other Tupac movies?
Kane: Like all of them.
Sailor: Is that a question or a statement?
Sailor: Well, they are in high school.
Kane: Hey, that was Donald Faison!
Sailor: For being Tupac’s first movie, he ain’t bad.
Kane: He is pretty solid in most of his roles.
Sailor: Best singers turned actors?
Kane: Now that could be a fun list.
Sailor: Unless this movie shits the bed, you didn’t break my streak.
Kane: Your what?
Sailor: I hate you.
Kane: I’ve always thought gangsters were pussies. The whole I’m bad because I have a gun or the twelve of us will beat yo ass is lame.
Sailor: But guns are baaad tho.
Kane: I haven’t even thought about casting yet.
Sailor: As long as it’s outside the box and not Michael B. Jordan.
Kane: So Mahershala Ali?
Sailor: Damm it, Kane.
Kane: Idris Elba?
Sailor: Is that all you know?
Kane: Donald Glover?
Sailor: Ugh, Wait that’s not bad…Too old though.
Kane: And don’t give me crap, you had to use google too.
Kane: The kid from Stranger Things?
Sailor: You just gave me shit for saying Millie Bobby Brown and how tired you are of the Stranger Things kids!
Kane: Just because the white ones are everywhere. You have something against Caleb?
Sailor: No. I thought of him too.
Kane: Oh is that some Cyprus Hill?
Sailor: Finally a decent rap song.
Kane: Tupac is crazy!
Sailor: Fool just disappeared.
Kane: “Look at me! I have the Juice now!”
Sailor: I want the cat that direct Dolemite is My Name for this.
Kane: Craig Brewer is a good choice.
Director: Craig Brewer (Dolemite is My Name, Hustle& Flow)
Q: Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things)
Bishop: Trevor Jackson (Superfly)
Raheem: Michael Evans Behling (All American)
Steel: Keith L. Williams (Good Boys)
Radames: Moises Arias (Monos, Ender’s Game)
Sailor: In a decade oversaturated with gangster films, Juice stands apart from the crowd by feeling authentic and lived in. While I didn’t like every character in it, they all felt like flesh and blood characters who’s lives existed before the film started and continue to struggle after the credits roll. It never tried to push an agenda and it never turned into an anti-gun PSA. It’s just a realistic portrait of some kids who get a taste of power and violence and how that corrupts them immediately.
Kane: I completely agree. There were times when this felt like a documentary rather than a regular movie. If you didn’t who any of the actors were, you would have assumed they were straight from the streets. We were just dropped in their world and stuff started happening. It was pretty raw all around and that helped with the authenticity of the film.
Did you ever want to be in a gang?
We were called the Youngbloods.
Yup. We formed just to take on a rival gang called the Scorpions.
They were running their mouth during recess one day say they ran the playground and I was like ” No the fuck you do not!”
No, you didn’t?
And their leader Bradley was like, “Bet.” So I told him to meet me and my crew at the little league field after school.
How many were in your crew?
None yet. I had to recruit.
So I talked to my hoodrat friends at P.E. and we posse’d up.
I have my popcorn ready. Did y’all go to the little league field?
We sure did. I had a bike chain, Brian had one of those extra-long flathead screwdrivers and Darryl had one of those mini wooden baseball bats. The other two didn’t bring anything.
So there were five in your crew? Did the Scorpions show up?
Goddamn it! That was anticlimactic as shit. So what happened?
The next day at recess, I walked up to Bradley and said, “Look at me. I have the juice now.”
How old were you?
Like 10 but we think they didn’t show up because I had a 12-year-old in my posse or their moms didn’t let them go.
How did you know a 12-year-old?
He was held back. Youngbloods for life!
Snappy, Nappy, Dugout.
(This is a true story)