the people bemoinaing the writing of Spike Lee on this particular outing perplex me a bit - it's the same as any other film he has written, in it's his style, editing, struture and characterizations. It comes across as genuine, heartfelt and with no easy answers, close to four stars for me.
Well-meaning but miscalculated. Despite its (many) mistakes, though, there's a sense of maturity that comes through: one that isn't apparent in Lee's earlier work. The whole film feels paradoxical: Lee's slowing down and paying greater attention to feeling and power through tranquility, but doesn't end up paying much attention to editing, artistry, or performances.
Welllllll that escalated quickly.............
Anyway, good film, not great. Too much of the church (although obviously I realised afterwards I guess it was necessary).
I forgive him because his other material rules so much.
Sad, anonymous, grip-less, movie: religion, society, technology all mixed up in the Brooklyn suburbs. When truth come out and pedopriest get beat up by rappers telling him: "who is selling drugs?" I felt something moving in me... the rest is silence. Where is the great SL I remember? Lost in da 'hood...
Wish Spike stayed with this troubled preacher dilemma why?b/c he could've explore this characters dark secret with more nuance than bombast than he[spike] is accustom meaning he[spike] had to pull the fuck back! and let these characters ACT with reckless abandoned via he[spike] could've took a more subdue approach,dare i say Ingmar Berman-ish with a little Lars Von trier/Michael Hanake forgood measure, then2whose me?
What starts as a sunny, sometimes funny coming of age/adjustment story suddenly spirals into something packing a much stronger punch, making for one of Lee's most searing finales, a stinging indictment of hypocrisy and late justice.
It was like watching Lee trying to slap his film awake... really trying to get that old flare goin. And sometimes that old flare really did show. He still has some ingenuity and artistry up his sleeves for sure! And this was a quick, low budget, guerilla-made film (I read), so that should count for something. It may also account for other things. Its a rough and rushed, but enticing glimmer of the auteur working.