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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Red Hooker Summer and Spike Lee, the Critical Film-artist
Right now I am meditating upon Spike Lee's film "Red Hook Summer." This film--preaches red, walks red, uncovers an evil church red "rat" that needs to be corrected by the community. The implicit recognition that something is very wrong in the African American church experience is this film's thesis and its "rat." Mookie (Spike Lee), i.e., knows that; therefore, he will...
Published on November 22, 2012 by Ramona L. Hyman

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars AMATEUR HOUR
I remember a day when a Spike Lee movie would come out and critics would fall all over themselves to talk about what a genius he was. I would see these same movies and think they were well made and interesting but nothing near as special as they seemed to think they were. Then things began to change. Lee's new movies weren't getting near the attention his earlier works...
Published 23 months ago by Mark Turner


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Red Hooker Summer and Spike Lee, the Critical Film-artist, November 22, 2012
This review is from: Red Hook Summer (DVD)
Right now I am meditating upon Spike Lee's film "Red Hook Summer." This film--preaches red, walks red, uncovers an evil church red "rat" that needs to be corrected by the community. The implicit recognition that something is very wrong in the African American church experience is this film's thesis and its "rat." Mookie (Spike Lee), i.e., knows that; therefore, he will deliver pizza, but he will not attend "Old Timers Day." And it seems Spike Lee intends to right the wrong by telling and giving voice to an African American story that is often silenced by church members. Loving preachers can be flawed and one of their flaws may be molesting boys. The film calls for a right of the wrong that has been placed in a community. Oh it seems that the wrong is a poor community; it seems that the wrong is a vegan man-child who may not believe in God. In the inner sanctuary of the wrong, the wounded (as well as those who inflict the wounds) function. "Red Hook Summer" begs for a response. This is it: There is a need for a healing altar in the African American church experience, especially as it relates to down-low preachers who molest children. This healing call is beautifully woven into the film by African American church music that moves, that flows through the film like spiritually imbued jazz. "Red Hook Summer" forces me to engage in an interior conversation with myself. How does a religious community heal when it is wounded by its church leaders? The healing is in discovery. A community discovers the real identity of its man of the cloth, its preacher man. A boy-child discovers his Grandfather has features of the devil he preaches about. That is the gift that Spike Lee, the critical film-maker, has given to the genre of film--the repeated message that in the African American community there is beauty and evil at the same time. "Red Hook Summer" moves slow; it peals back the beauty and the ugly of the African American church experience one scene at a time. "Red Hook Summer" is not only an African American story; it is a human story about evil. It deserves a viewing!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars AMATEUR HOUR, January 10, 2013
This review is from: Red Hook Summer [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I remember a day when a Spike Lee movie would come out and critics would fall all over themselves to talk about what a genius he was. I would see these same movies and think they were well made and interesting but nothing near as special as they seemed to think they were. Then things began to change. Lee's new movies weren't getting near the attention his earlier works did and he became known more for his outrageous comments than his films. If he continues to make movies like this I can see that continuing.

REDHOOK SUMMER takes place in the now familiar Lee territory of Redhook, Brooklyn. Young Flick is forced by his mother to arrive in Redhook to spend the summer with his religious grandfather Enoch, a pastor of a church there. Coming from a middle class home where he has his own food and non-stop use of his Ipad 2, Flick grumbles about wanting to go home and hates the situation he's in.

Enoch doesn't cow tow to the boy and makes the food he normally does. He also has Flick work for him in the church, taking care of the building and handing out pamphlets. It is at the church that Flick makes his only new friend, a young girl named Chazz who takes no guff from Flick and who speaks her mind frequently.

Flick seems like the most naive character on the face of the Earth. Walking around the tough neighborhood of Brooklyn he flaunts his Ipad constantly never fearing that it will be stolen from him. When he meets the gang on the street, The Bloods, he doesn't flinch or act like he might be in any jeopardy while his grandfather gives them their space. He might try to convince them to change their ways and accept God but he knows better than to push their buttons.

The story here is incredibly thin, that of a young boy discovering a different world than he's used to. While he's surrounded by faith and all that comes with it, the movie isn't about faith or discovering it. Instead it's about Flick and how he changes based on what goes on around him. Plenty of screen time involves the church and sermons there, but Flick seems unfazed by all that. He's more affected by his friendship with Chazz and the experience of being around his grandfather that the time in church. All that changes towards the end of the film with a startling revelation.

Two things harm this movie more than anything. The first is the acting involved. Both the actors portraying Flick and Chazz are the most amateurish I've seen in some time. There is no life in Flick, no spark that this is a real person. Instead I felt like I was watching someone read a book instead of acting. The actress playing Chazz felt more like someone portraying a caricature than a real person. Maybe having never been to Brooklyn I'm missing something here but I don't think that's the case.

The second worst thing this film does is be boring. The pacing is incredibly slow. Slow patches suddenly have speeches from characters inserted before going back to slow patches. There are few if any characters to sympathize with. With the exception of the big reveal towards the end of the film you feel like nothing is happening here.

Movies have been made about the coming of age for characters since the black and white films of the past. Those movies involved the viewer, made them want to know what happened to the character after the final credits. With this film I couldn't find myself caring what happened to the character while it was going on. This is one movie I couldn't recommend to anyone with the exception of Spike Lee followers who will find any movie he does a work of art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Hook Summer, August 2, 2013
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Realism at its best. I liked the characters. The young boy in the film was very good. A very real situation depicted in the movie. Go Mookie!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to Brooklyn, May 16, 2013
Spike Lee and Woody Allen are the only film makers that come to my mind who are in love with the cities that they live in. Their movies are not just about the characters but also about the city - mostly New York and its vibrancy. While Allen has recently flirted with Europe, Lee remains a faithful New Yorker and returns to his Brooklyn roots with Red Hook Summer.
Red Hook Summer abounds with characters, their observations through dialogues, often include monologues which help Spike Lee create a very watchable film but with limitations.

Flik (Jules Brown) is a 13 year old teenager whose mother, Colleen (De'Adre Aziza), brings him from Atlanta to New York to spend a summer with Bishop Enoch (Clarke Peters), the grandfather with whom both Flik and his mother are estranged from.
Enoch is a hardcore Baptist preacher who runs a little church facing financial trouble known as Lil' Piece of heaven and is hellbent on teaching Flik the importance of God- Jesus. Flik reluctantly tags his grandfather everywhere that he goes, with his Ipad and finds fascinations in the rants of alcoholic stock market proponent Deacon Zee ( Thomas Jefferson Byrd) - funny character. and make friends with a loud mouth yet lively Chazz ( Toni Lysaith)
Flik is in the projects and he wonders about their differences and these many characters are what make Red Hook watchable. Most of the scenes are shot in the church where Pastor Enoch waxes and rants eloquently about gentrification, education and the worsening state of popular culture. Towards the end, there is a startling revelation but somehow is not impactful
Spike Lee makes a brief appearance as Mookie, the pizza delivery man as he played in Do the Right Thing.
This is not Lee's greatest movie but as always his observations about society and life are fascinating and entertaining. four stars. 05/11/2013
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performances, November 28, 2012
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I didn't move fast enough to see this at the theater but I'm glad I had the opportunity to stream it.
Excellent cast with powerful performances. I always enjoy Spike Lee's storytelling style.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sorta like a Sequel to "Do The Right Thing" : Red Hook Summer, September 8, 2014
This review is from: Red Hook Summer (DVD)
I seen this last night on Centric channel late night around 1:00 am! And it was a Spike Lee marathon of his movies especially this one!
This movie is called "Red Hook Summer" and it began with a boy name Flick a 13 year old visiting his Grandfather in Brooklyn New York to stay for the summer. During his time being in Brooklyn he has a hard time dealing with his heavy religious grandfather that believe God is everything! Working at the church he ran he met one of the craziest deacons in the church name Zee and a beautiful girl name Chazz! Flick and Chazz began to spend time together venturing off around Red Hook and shown Flick that they are alot of things he needed to know and learn! They began to create a wonderful friendship!

Red Hook projects are filled with gangs and people that are hopelessly hopeless and poor..For Flick and Chazz start to believe and understand alot more from each other and the place they dwell and from..Sort of like the "Great Depression" but in Spike Lee's version of the film.

All I can say is the acting was very good but could've been alittle better from the actor that played Flick! I felt like he wasn't that much in depth with the character or maybe his character wasn't suppose to have a personality idk smh. Just seemed like a very cold unhappy kid. The actress that played Chazz was very good and comical but wonderful! And she is a very beautiful girl with good acting skills for a amateur! The rest of the cast are good too as well! It was more like a "Do The Right Thing II" but just from a one person point of view and not views of the characters in the movie! I felt the movie could've have more to it like Flick and Chazz could've been more closer! I was hoping in the ending one of them could've gave one a kiss on the cheek or something cause I felt love between them though they are great friends throughout the whole movie!

The ending was a bit confusing cause even though the Grandfather was living foul most of his life molesting boys him and Flick decided to leave Red Hook since people know his dirty past including his Grandson. I felt that it should've been alittle different in the ending instead of the being a bit bittersweet ending. Cause Chazz can never see Flick again..So I thought that was sad cause I could see them two youngsters being together..

But this movie was more than about religions and churches it was about the unperfect itself in people and everybody! You gotta give Spike Lee some props for trying his best shot at another Brooklyn Tale Film c'mon! I give it a 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! I know Lee ain't like how he used to be but ya'll have to understand everybody get's older and can't do it like they used to..BUT THEY NEVER FORGET HOW TO DO IT! And what he did do was make incredible movies! This movie ain't BAD, it's good and not awful either! You'll have to give it a chance and experience yourself watching this good film! It's alittle weird with hurtful truth but that what makes Lee's film's creative!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, January 16, 2013
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I found this movie profoundly boring and just overall uninvolving with terrible acting from the two kid leads. Big fan of Spike so this was a hard letdown. I can't even fathom ever watching this again. It's not worth it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike does it again in a masterful film that exposes the truth about religion, December 24, 2012
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This review is from: Red Hook Summer (DVD)
RHS belongs right up there with some of Spike's best work and is another wonderful addition to his vast and diverse canon of work. In this film he exposes religion (especially born-again Christianity,) for what it really is- a destructive and hypocratic form of judging people when we all are guilty and at the same time we are all equal. The acting is superb. Clarke Peters in the main character of the bishop is amazing and should be given an Oscar nod, but of course he won't. In fact, more than likely this film will go largely unnoticed by the film community at large because of it's subject matter. Give the studio a film like Inside Man or 25th Hour and it will make millions but oh no, not a film about real life and real issues that plague our world, don't do that!
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2.0 out of 5 stars did the wrong thing, September 7, 2014
This review is from: Red Hook Summer (DVD)
time was a spike lee joint was a ticket to have or a film you had got to see as soon as possible and that time was during his prime and peak of the late 80's to early 90's. he has had some good to cool films since then,however to me his prime and peak was from 86-92. anyway this film was on the cornball tip and never really took off. just boring and underwhelming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee did it again!, June 3, 2014
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This review is from: Red Hook Summer (DVD)
This movie is nostalgic! I love old movies; this one fits right in, even its not old. I have recommended it to friends!
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Red Hook Summer [Blu-ray]
Red Hook Summer [Blu-ray] by Spike Lee (Blu-ray - 2012)
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