Summer of Sam

"OK"

Summer of Sam Review


As narrator Jimmy Breslin (as himself) puts it, there's 8 million stories in the naked city, and this is one of them. I just wish it didn't have to be so long.

Spike Lee's latest joint, like much of his recent work, is an epic exercise in tedium. While it's punctuated by moments of greatness - and sometimes, even genius -- those moments come too few and too far between to make Summer of Sam a truly great film. Sure, the tale of New York City in 1977, when David Berkowitz, a.k.a. Son of Sam, was marauding the Bronx with a .44 revolver, is a great place to start. But clocking in at almost 2 1/2 hours, you're likely to wish Son of Sam had taken you out at the halfway point.

Again, Lee has plenty of raw material to work with: Leguizamo, Sorvino, and Brody are all great actors (I'm blocking The Pest from my mind, forgive me), and the clever, neo-16mm look Lee has put on the film really drops you into the late 1970s lock, stock, and mirrorball. With the disco/punk clash going on, a record heat wave, and Reggie Jackson taking the Yankees to the World Series, the mis en scene is certainly set. Spike knows New York cold.

But what about this script, which wanders aimlessly among Leguizamo and Sorvino's marital troubles, Brody and his infatuation with the punk scene and his need to do gay porn to earn cash, the mob society of the Bronx, and, of course, the Son of Sam and the dog which tells him to kill kill KILL! These are actually four of those stories in the naked city, and it's hard to care about all of them together. A dozen meandering side plots don't help matters either.

However, Spike does excellent work putting you dead center in this turmoil, and that I can respect. But please, somebody bring me the head of the editor on a silver platter. (Of course, there were actually two of them working on this picture... sigh.)

You talkin' to him?



Summer of Sam

Facts and Figures

Run time: 142 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd July 1999

Production compaines: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Touchstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Director: Spike Lee

Starring: as Vinny, as Richie, as Dionna, as Ruby, as Helen

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.