New Jack City [Blu-Ray] Mario Van Peebles

New Jack City [Blu-Ray]Mario Van Peebles
In 1991, actor/director Mario Van Peebles released New Jack City, the now cult, urbanized version of Scarface that launched the acting careers of Chris Rock, Ice-T and, more notably, Wesley Snipes, for his portrayal of infamous villain Nino Brown. The film made cinematic history, as it was one of the first movies to deal with the crack cocaine outbreak of the mid-'80s in NYC and the black-on-black violence that resulted from it. In the film, we witness Nino Brown (Snipes) and his gang (Cash Money Brothers) turn the crack trade into an actual business and the rise of their empire, which eventually crumbles when hell-bent on revenge cop Scotty (Ice-T) and his team take them down. Twenty-one years later, the once groundbreaking film is as dated as its wardrobe choices and once popular soundtrack, which at the time were the perfect encapsulation of New Jack City's storyline and mood, since it introduced the New Jack Swing music era. Pivotal scenes like Pookie's crack rehab montage and Keisha's "Rock A Bye, Baby" quote after murdering a drug dealer, once laden with controversy and emotion, have now become extremely laughable and parodied. Luckily, Wesley Snipes' strong and cold portrayal of Nino Brown still holds up to this very day and his performance verified why he became one of the biggest breakout stars in the '90s. Though extremely dated, the Blu-Ray transfer of New Jack City is impeccably sharp, even making scenes in crack dens look lively. The Blu-Ray features include an insightful commentary by director Mario Van Peebles, as well as three behind-the-scenes featurettes recycled from a prior DVD release. The Blu-Ray also includes a questionable, yet thankfully short parody and three music videos from Ice-T, Christopher Williams and Color Me Badd that will either make you cringe or involuntarily do the "Running Man." (Warner)