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Film
Jody, portrayed by Tyrese Gibson, cruises the streets in a pimped-out vehicle, spends a lot of time with the mother of his child, Yvette (Taraji P. Henson), and has a successful clothing business that operates on the streets. However, Jody still lives with his mother and does very little to find meaningful employment outside of selling his stolen clothes on the street. On top of that Jody is challenged by Peanut (Tamara LeSeon Bass), the mother of another one of his children, and the effect of his infidelity in the past.

Baby Boy
To add further strain in Jody's life, the energetic woman he knows as his mother begins dating a man named Melvin (Ving Rhames), who clearly upsets the balance of Jody's life when his mother begins to live her own life outside of the confines of her children. This action adds another frustration to Jody's life and he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it.

And as if things couldn't get any worse, Rodney (rapper Snoop Doggy Dog), Yvette's former boyfriend, shows up fresh from jail and moves into Yvette’s apartment without asking, thus causing another conflict in Jody's life. This forces Jody to seriously evaluate his direction, his actions and his responsibilities to ensure him a life that will be successful and significant.

Tyrese Gibson is fantastic as Jody, who seems to always get by doing the least amount of work possible, while maintaining relationships with more then one woman. His performance is strong and is worthy of that of a young man who hasn't exactly had the guidance in life to make the right choices.

Ving Rhames, as Melvin, has the physical appearance that presents him as the former street gangster who can be dominating without saying a word. Rhames performance is strong and in my opinion was Oscar worthy for a Supporting Actor nod.

Once again, Snoop Doggy Dog (Training Day) is perfectly cast as Rodney and shows once again that he can not only be a successful rapper, but also as an actor. I think Snoop Dog’s performance is strong and eerie, despite the fact that the characters he plays are usually the same street thug type characters.

Baby Boy is John Singleton’s sixth film and his third foray into the streets of South Central. Boyz N The Hood and Poetic Justice were his previous films set in the gang torn neighborhood.

Video
Columbia Tristar have presented Baby Boy in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, complete with anamorphic enhancement. The colors are sharp and solid and give the environment, South Central, a new life that I have never seen before. I hardly noticed any grain or scratches throughout the print. Once again, a fine transfer for this DVD.

Baby Boy
Audio
Baby Boy is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, and the background music that includes a mixture of booms from the soundtrack is extremely impressive. While this is a dialogue driven film, the simplest background noises can be heard from the surrounds and this in itself creates the proper environment. Each scene seems to carry a particular amount of noises that simple add, not detract, from the film. Perhaps, this is one of the best audio mixes I have heard in a long time! Very, very impressive!

Extras
This edition of Baby Boy is brimming with extra features that should satisfy any John Singleton fan, or introduce new viewers to Singleton and his films. First off is a glorious commentary by Singleton, the director, producer and writer of the film. The commentary offers considerable insight into the musical selections for the soundtrack and is fairly scene specific. Singleton keeps the commentary flowing throughout the film and is extremely enjoyable.

There are also 14 deleted and alternate scenes, approximately 28 minutes or so. These are interesting to watch, but don't necessarily contribute to the overall story. I think it's great to see deleted scenes that aren't boring, but rather add a bit more of storyline to a particular character that offers some insight as to why the character acts a particular way. Such as glimpse into the childhood of Melvin or the influence of why Tyrese sells clothes on the street.

A featurette produced by the cable channel Cinemax is included and is very promotional in nature. It discusses the overall plot of Baby Boy, and includes some interviews with Singleton and some of the stars. Nothing included here is absolutely groundbreaking, however there are interesting tidbits. It's worth at least a one time viewing.

Columbia Tristar have included a section of outtakes and bloopers that are enjoyable, but I don’t see myself watching them more then once or twice.

Another extra feature is "The Kiki and Boo Show," a fictional talk show with two women who discuss sex. The show actually appears in the film, and this is simply a short feature about the television show.

Other features include a three-scene comparison of storyboards to scene and theatrical trailers, television spots and filmographies for the stars of the film and Singleton.

Baby Boy
Overall
John Singleton has created another dramatic film that describes the trials and tribulations of growing up in South Central. The performances are strong and the film is very good, although not as good as Boyz N The Hood, but still a worthy project and well worth a view.

Fans of Singleton's films should definitely check this one out, as you won’t be disappointed!


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