Summer of Sam

Evil spelled backwards is life

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * · · · )

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Summer of Sam may be the best Spike Lee movie I have seen. I wasn't really a big fan of his after Clockers but this movie really proved me wrong. To be honest, I didn't remember that it was a Spike Lee Joint until I saw him playing a droopy news reporter with a huge afro and big old chops talking about the riots in Brookline. Summer of Sam has a lot of stories going on. The main story is about four folks and their relationships during the summer where a psychopath self-named Son of Sam (played by Michael Badalucco of The Practice) murders couples in the middle of the hot summer nights. The four characters deal with their changes in life and the trials they must endure from inside and outside themselves. All the themes are here, love, hate, regret, loss. We watch the characters grow and change as they deal with the trials of their lives. The flick sounds more boring than it is. The blazing and bloody shootouts do a good job of keeping us on our toes and the self destructive nature of one of the characters really keeps you wondering just how far we are going to go. The other thing that really builds the movie is the time it is in. Spike Lee did an excellent job of keeping the period in perspective. He managed to really put the 70s into the right light. Even the style of the film feels like an episode of Starsky and Hutch. The DVD was pretty weak with a non 16x9 enhanced transfer but a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There were no extras or commentaries on the disc. Overall, this period piece of Spike Lee really shows that he can do a lot more than handle the same old subject matter over and over again. Really an excellent film.