There are two, maybe three, stories going on here. Jesus Shuttleworth (Allen) is rated top US high school basketball player. As a result everyone wants a piece of him – Uncle Bubba (Bill Nunn) who is his guardian, girlfriend Lala (Rosario Dawson) who is two-timing with a prospective agent and every university coach in the land. He is offered fistfuls of dollars, big-breasted babes, seriously sexy cars, a platinum and diamond Rolex and just about anything he fancies. For a poor kid from the Coney Island projects, these temptations feel tainted with avarice.
Jake (Washington), his dad, is doing a long stretch for killing his mom. The prison warden offers him a deal. He’ll let him out for a supervised period so that he can persuade Jesus to sign for the State governor’s favourite university. In exchange, the governor will look sympathetically on his parole application. This is the kind of petty corruption Jake expects from those in authority. There is one problem, however. Jesus won’t speak to Jake. He feared him as a kid for being such a tough coach and hates him now for what he did to the family. “You’re not my father,” is his attitude. “I don’t have a father.”
The third story involves Dakota (Milla Jovovich), a prostitute, who stays with her abusive pimp in the room next to Jake’s in the seedy boarding house. Their “relationship” seems predictable and of no lasting value. It is like the college chicks, who offer themselves to Jesus, an excuse for girls-on-top rumpy, shot in lurid lighting and fleshy close up. —Eyeforfilm.co.uk
As a writer, director, actor, producer, author, and entrepreneur, Spike Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in Hollywood, tearing away decades of stereotypes and marginalized portrayals to establish a new arena for Afro-American voices to be heard. His movies, a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques informed by an unwavering commitment toward challenging cultural assumptions not only about race but also class and gender identity, both solidified his own standing as one of contemporary cinema’s most influential figures and furthered the careers of actors including Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Laurence Fishburne. Born Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, GA, on March 20, 1957, he was raised in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. After attending Atlanta’s prestigious Morehouse College, returned to New York to make his first movie, 1977’s Last Hustle in Brooklyn, a portrait of the area’s Black and Puerto Rican communities… read more