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Monday, June 25, 2007

Shelton Jackson Lee (Part 3)

OK, I'm gonna finish out the nineties on Spike Lee films, and save the new millennium ones for another time, as I want to write about something else next. Next in the line-up for 90's mini-reviews is:

Crooklyn (1994): A pleasant film, not bad, not great, but a fairly realistic depiction of Black family life in Brooklyn, circa 1970's. The children were smart and funny without being typically Hollywood annoying, and Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo seemed like real parents that you knew. Like I said, pleasant, but not particularly memorable.

Clockers (1995): I've always had problems with this one. A story of a supposed teen-age drug dealer's downfall, it was written by Richard Price (non-black), who swears he is the voice of the inner city. I've always found his writing to be condescending, repetitive, and completely off the mark. I don't know anyone like the characters he writes of, nor have I seen any like them. This film is more of the same. I also could not understand why the Mekhi Phifer (in his first movie performance) character had a TB-like cough throughout and never once thought to see a doctor with his drug money. What a waste of a great cast; Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, and Fredro Starr.

Girl Six (1996): A complete exercise in a male's sex fantasies, namely Spike's.

Get On The Bus (1996): Maybe to atone for the travesty that was "Girl Six", Spike made 2 films in one year, something that he doesn't do. It's about a group of men taking a bus trip to the Million Man March" which seemed like an interesting concept. Admittedly, I haven't seen this film since it's release, but I do remember it assembled a bus load of stock characters from casting central; the gay guy, the conscious guy, the old sage, etc., etc. all coming to some sort of spiritual and emotional epiphany by the end of the trip through arguments, reconciliations, enlightenment talk, blah blah blah.

He Got Game (1998): This is when I really started liking Spike's films, and what he said in them. This one is consistently overlooked on great film lists, and I think it's a shame. It has an amazing performance by Denzel Washington as a broken down father of a huge Michael Jordan-like college basketball star. It gives insight into the world of college basketball recruitment, and the real dilemmas on ethics and life these young men face. It is also very stylish and visually beautiful throughout, with scenes that remain in your head way after the movie ends. One of my favorite films, period, in any genre.

1 comment: said...

Yeah, Crooklyn was okay. You said...

also could not understand why the Mekhi Phifer character had a TB-like cough throughout and never once thought to see a doctor with his drug money

I never understood that either and failed to see how storyline helped move the story forward. What purpose did this serve??!!

I agree about Girl 6 completely!! Same is true of She Hate Me!!

Love what you're doing over here at IW and cooooooool design! :)