8. Antoine Fuqua
Best Music Videos: “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”, Prince (1994); “Gangsta’s Paradise”, Coolio (1995); “Citizen Soldier”, 3 Doors Down (2007)
Best Movies: Training Day (2001), Shooter (2007)
Coolio’s once-ubiquitous “Gangsta’s Paradise” plays like an exercise in overcooked melodrama today; from Coolio’s unconvincingly tough leering at fish-out-of-water Michelle Pfeiffer to big man L.V.’s heavy breathing in close-up, the Dangerous Minds accompanying visual doesn’t hit nearly as hard now as it did 16 years back.
Its biggest impact to the senses comes with the realization that Antoine Fuqua shot it, and the video’s forceful sentiment has carried over into Fuqua’s movies. Save for the laudable Training Day and sneakily effective Shooter, Fuqua’s films have demonstrated a consistent lack of subtlety. But you know what? We’re not mad at him. In modern-day battlefields (Tears Of The Sun), Medieval settings (King Arthur), and inner city warzones (Brooklyn’s Finest), the eclectic Fuqua knows his way around jarring violence. He may never match the greatness of Training Day again, but he’ll forever command our attention.