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Customer Review

9 of 12 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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 27, 2013 3:53:57 AM PDT
i wish I had read a couple of these reviews before I wasted my time watching this turkey.The acting was abysmal and the story was close to nonexistent.If you,re religious you might get into this,but I don,t think even that is going to save this turkey .zzzzzzzzzzz. De

Posted on Aug 3, 2014 4:59:34 PM PDT
sorry your racial insulation prevents you from perceiving the great work of art this film is
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