Once in a while, a movie slips under your radar. For about, oh, 20 years. In ‘Big-screen blind spot,’ we sit down with those ‘classic’ movies everybody but us has seen and give them the nostalgia critic treatment.
Confession: Until recently, I had never seen “Menace II Society,” the directorial debut from the Hughes Brothers (“Dead Presidents,” “From Hell,” “The Book of Eli”).
Had I seen it in 1993 at the age of 10: I like to think I would have appreciated the film’s refusal to glamorize crime and its efforts to capture desperate life in South Central Los Angeles. (Two years later, one of my favorite movies was the chaotic, racially charged and eventually violent tale of students at a California college, “Higher Learning.”) “Menace” is seen through Caine (Tyrin Turner) and, feeling a lack of other options, his progressive transition toward the violent behavior exemplified daily by his best friend Kevin (Chicago native Larenz Tate). That said, I don’t know how much I would have processed the realities of the situation.