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Fresh (1994) 
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Post Fresh (1994)
Hey everybody,

Just wanted to start a thread on what I consider to be one of my favorite films ever. In terms of films about life in the hood, I would put this ahead of even Boyz In The Hood and Menace II Society. Just wanted to start this thread so I could share my admiration for this fine film and give others a chance to weigh in on the discussion. I also wanna get some clarification as to the specifics of the plot. I get the overall gist - basically the main character was sick and tired of his life as a drug runner and used his chess skills to hatch an elaborate plan to get himself and his sister out of the cycle of drugs, violence and poverty that engulfed them - but the details somewhat elude me. Specifically, what exactly was Chuckie's (Fresh's Hispanic "best friend") role in his scheme
[Reveal] Spoiler:
other than getting killed for being a little dumbass?
Any thoughts? Thanks!


Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:31 pm
Post Re: Fresh (1994)
Funny how a film about chess trumps two of the reputedly harshest social critiques of the 90's ('Boyz', 'Menace') in both grit and determination; from the very first scene, 'Fresh' grasps our attention, and by the end, it has absolutely matched the initial volley of interest with an awesomely calculated string of events that lead to an absolutely soul-wrenching conclusion.

The genius of the film, though, lies in its ability to funnel the chaos, fury, and occasional sheer horror of the previously mentioned films and filter it through the eyes of a child (excepting the first scene of Singleton's film, it is unique in this approach). Although the violence of the ghetto had been examined heartlessly over the first two films, the first instance of violence in 'Fresh' - itself perpetrated on a child - easily outdoes them for impact. The aftermath of the shooting, and the way in which it is seen by our narrator, is absolutely chilling and involves us immediately.

I won't say more, both because I don't want to risk revealing plot details and mostly because I'm very, very tired, but anyone who is still virginal to 'Fresh', check it out. It's nearly as good as any film of the early 90's, and easily the best film about 'the hood' (at least in terms of American films). Just try not to follow up a heart-warming film with this movie, which is easily the opposite of 'feel-good' entertainment.


Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:29 am
Post Re: Fresh (1994)
Where's the love for South Central and Jason's Lyric?


Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:59 am
Post Re: Fresh (1994)
Vexer wrote:
Where's the love for South Central and Jason's Lyric?
I've seen bits and pieces of both but I need to watch them in full.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
Funny how a film about chess trumps two of the reputedly harshest social critiques of the 90's ('Boyz', 'Menace') in both grit and determination; from the very first scene, 'Fresh' grasps our attention, and by the end, it has absolutely matched the initial volley of interest with an awesomely calculated string of events that lead to an absolutely soul-wrenching conclusion.

The genius of the film, though, lies in its ability to funnel the chaos, fury, and occasional sheer horror of the previously mentioned films and filter it through the eyes of a child (excepting the first scene of Singleton's film, it is unique in this approach). Although the violence of the ghetto had been examined heartlessly over the first two films, the first instance of violence in 'Fresh' - itself perpetrated on a child - easily outdoes them for impact. The aftermath of the shooting, and the way in which it is seen by our narrator, is absolutely chilling and involves us immediately.

I won't say more, both because I don't want to risk revealing plot details and mostly because I'm very, very tired, but anyone who is still virginal to 'Fresh', check it out. It's nearly as good as any film of the early 90's, and easily the best film about 'the hood' (at least in terms of American films). Just try not to follow up a heart-warming film with this movie, which is easily the opposite of 'feel-good' entertainment.


I completely agree with everything you've said here, Phil. As much of a booster as I am of both Boyz and Menace, an occasional flaw with those films (especially the former) was a tendency to get preachy about the dangers of the hood and the importance of escaping the cycle of drug and poverty. Fresh gets the same message across but it does so by showing rather than preaching (such as the aforementioned playground shooting scene - who wouldn't want to escape an environment where something so heartless could happen to someone so young or where a young man has to run drugs for a living?). I also appreciated that the violence was used sparingly, which made it more impactful and disturbing (again, the playground scene is a perfect example). Fresh manages to be tough, gritty and uncompromising without being gratuitous and that is perhaps the biggest reason why I appreciate it so much.


Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
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Post Re: Fresh (1994)
As far as the hood movies go, three stand out. Boyz, Menace And Fresh. While I would say that Menace is the most effective of the three, Fresh works best as pure entertainment, yet is also emotionally effective.

Vexer wrote:
Where's the love for South Central and Jason's Lyric?


I agree on Jason's Lyric. South Central I probably should re-watch. I remember liking it when I watched back in 1992. But I need to see it again before I offer my opinion.

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Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:33 am
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Post Re: Fresh (1994)
Resurrecting this thread after re-watching Straight Out Of Brooklyn a few days ago.

Vexer wrote:
Where's the love for South Central and Jason's Lyric?


Time for a Tiers ranking of Hood films/Urban drams

Top Tier
Boyz N The Hood
Menace II Society
Fresh

Very Good Tier
Juice
South Central
Jason's Lyric

Lower Tier
Straight Out Of Brooklyn
New Jack City

Not saying that the two lower tier ones are bad. Just that they're not as good as the ones listed above.

_________________
This ain't a city council meeting you know-Joe Cabot

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-Martin Scorsese.

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:03 am
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