January 17, 2021

"Juice" (January 17, 1992)

"For the unknown stars of this $5 million film, getting ”juice,” a street term for respect and power, is as much a real-life obsession as it is for the characters they play. ”It’s about time there’s work for us,” says Shakur’s costar Khalil Kain, who just a few weeks ago was a bartender at a local nightclub. The timing certainly is right: Hollywood is coming off a year in which a record number of black films were released, and movie companies are looking to repeat the success of Boyz N the Hood and New Jack City, which grossed $56 million and $47 million respectively. ”Studios finally realize the dollar potential of making black films,” says Heyman, who is coproducing Juice with Neal Moritz. ”They cost so little to make and they don’t have to bring in $150 million to be considered a hit.” ”It’s a good thing, too,” says the 40-year-old Dickerson, ”because there’s an untapped wealth of black stories, and now some of them will finally get told.” ... Juice is about four Harlem homeboys who, says co-screenwriter Brown, ”have watched one Chuck Norris movie too many.” And while the message is anti-violence, the film has its share of guns and bloodshed. The movie’s theme and marketing campaign have already sparked concern over a possible replay of the violence that marred the debuts of New Jack and Boyz. Paramount, the film’s distributor, did revise Juice‘s poster — airbrushing out a large gun — though for creative reasons, not out of fear that it would incite violence, the studio says. Paramount also offered to pick up the cost of increased security in some theaters. But Dickerson believes that the film’s moderate bloodshed is an accurate reflection of life in the streets. His operative word is authenticity. ”This is about the perils of growing up black in the ghetto,” says the director, who hails from Newark. 'If I can accurately show that without the Hollywood wrappings, then I’ve done what I set out to do.'" - Entertainment Weekly, 1992. Below is a great (perhaps rare?) interview with the cast, and if you dig into the archives on this site, you can see 2Pac's original testing contract for the film in 1991, a review of the movie's soundtrack, and more! Juice is a cult-classic film that should continue to be celebrated. Rest In Peace, Tupac Shakur!

More publicity photos from the film and the VHS copy...