Stephen King is on a mission in 2021: to catch up with classic movies from the last 60 years that he's never seen. As I've written about previously, the famed author made a cinema-focused New Year's Resolution back in January, and it has led to him to watch a fantastic collection of films including Robert Altman's MASH, David Lynch's Eraserhead, Paul Brickman's Risky Business, and John Waters' Hairspray. The most recently revealed crop of features, from the years between 1989 and 1991, is remarkably eclectic, and of them the one that seems to have stuck out to King most is John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood.
Maintaining an order to things, Stephen King has been (mostly) watching movies chronologically and revealing them in groups, and for the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s he went with a modern classic from Walt Disney Animation, a reedited version of one of the most controversial sequels of all time, and one of cinema's greatest coming of age stories:
Stephen King's youngest child, Owen King, was 12 when The Little Mermaid first hit theaters, which explains why he missed it when it was first released, and Francis Ford Coppola's new version of The Godfather, Part III, retitled The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone, only came out last year, so that makes some sense. Boyz N The Hood, however, is definitely a standout in the list. Why? Because the movie actually contains multiple references to Rob Reiner's Stand By Me, which was, of course, an adaptation of King's novella "The Body." In 2017, John Singleton did an interview with Vice and spoke to the inspiration that he took directly from the author, saying,
[Stand By Me] was the last film I saw before I started college, and I loved everything Stephen King wrote. It's a very emotional coming of age, young male story. And I love it on the merits of that.
You may have noticed that it's hard to glean from that initial Tweet what Stephen King actually thought of Boyz N The Hood... but fortunately he followed that first post with a follow-up, and it's amazing. Referencing the character played by Laurence Fishburne in the film, King wrote,
It's a fair question, but it's definitely a great thing that the situation has now been resolved and Stephen King can marvel at the incredible performance like the rest of us. In Boyz N The Hood, Laurence Fishburne's Furious Styles is the father of the film's protagonist, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Tre Styles, and serves as the moral center of the movie, doing everything in his power to make sure that his son stays on the right path and that his community can stay strong despite extreme forces trying to tear it apart. It's a stunning turn from the actor – one of the best of his career – and while the movie did get some recognition from the Academy Awards (including nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director), to this day it feels like an outrage that Fishburne didn't compete in the Best Supporting Actor category (the award was won by Jack Palance for City Slickers).
What will Stephen King watch next as he continues his march through the years? We'll just have to wait and find out – but for those of you who are now in the mood to watch Boyz N The Hood the movie isn't available to stream anywhere, but you can rent/purchase digital copies, or find it on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.