Four African-American vets return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their friend and fallen Squad Leader and the gold he helped them hide – Back in 2013 after watching the Oldboy remake I honestly thought the great Spike Lee maybe past it, possibly spent as a filmmaker and only to be reveared for past glories…. In 2018 he delivered one of the best movies of that year in BlacKkKlansman and today in his first outing with Netflix Spike Lee has once again rolled back the years…. DA 5 BLOODS is not only an exceptional picture but it’s a timely history lesson that’s high on emotion, tense as a butt cheek in a landmine, a riverting adventure romp and one of Lee’s more violent and ambitious movie Joints to date – Rather than the deaging of actors (like Scorsese did in The Irishman) Spike Lee decided on a different and in my opinion more refreshing approach seeing the old guard play their younger selves in the film’s flashbacks which helped the film’s narrative and was exciting to watch, the music from the grand master Marvin Gaye, the message throughout of Love over Hate and shooting on location in Vietnam gave Da 5 Bloods it’s heartbeat…. and did I mention Delroy “Mother Fucking” Lindo in his fourth collaboration with Lee and in my opinion his best, Lindo’s character Paul is an all kinds of messed up, racist war vet that harbor’s a secret, his performance reminds me of Bogey in Sierra Madre as you watch his character slowly unravel in quite a devistating way – Overall there can be no doubt Spike Lee is back making film’s that connect with it’s audience in an entertaining, shocking yet relevant way ★★★★½
BLACKkKLANSMAN : Spike Lee
John David Washington, Laura Harrier, Adam Driver, Jasper Pääkkönen
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the best of Spike Lee and to be honest I really thought after that poor Oldboy remake he was on the decline, maybe putting one foot in retirement and joining some of the great filmmakers that now churn out average films for the masses failing to live up to their past glory’s, but after watching his latest in a pretty full cinema I can honestly say with a glint in my eye that Spike Lee is far from over – BlacKkKlansman is not only one of the most powerful movies of the year it’s also in my opinion Spike Lee’s greatest achievment in film with stand out performances from Laura Harrier, John David Washington & Adam Driver, an incredible score that sucks you into 1979 Colorado, some frightening obsenities shouted by Alec Baldwin’s character that sets the overal tone of the movie, some exhilarating camera work by Chayse Irvin and one helluva creepy performance from Jasper Pääkkönen – oh yeah and not forgetting that Corey Hawkins speech his delivery will stand your hair on end WOW – BlacKkKlansman is an unbelievable story, it has more humor than I expected and it’s last 20mins is a punch to the gut – SEE it on the BIG screen you won’t be disappointed ★★★★½
OLDBOY – (2013) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Cast – Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson and Sharlto Copley – the film is a remake of Chan-wook Park’s 2003 Korean masterpiece directed by Malcolm X’s Spike Lee – the year is 1993 and Joe Doucett (Brolin) is a not a very nice guy, he’s a drunk and a father of a three year old he never visits – after a business meeting goes south Doucett get’s drunk and crawls through the neighborhood looking for someone to share his miserable insistence with – the next morning he wakes up in a strange bed, in a room that contains a shower and TV but no door or exit – it then dawns on Doucett that he has been kidnapped and locked in some kind of solitary confinement and there he spends the next 20 years of his life, writing letters of regret to his daughter and thinking of nothing else but seeking vengeance on his captors VERDICT let’s be honest Spike Lee was on a hiding to nothing when attempting to remake one of the finest Korean movies in decades – but in fairness Lee’s remake is a descent thriller that not only looks stylish but has some classy nods to it’s original and a performance by Josh Brolin that has you purring right to the end credits – my favorite scene in the movie has to be the devlishly fun, over the top fight scene with Brolin’s character facing down dozens of baddies – my only negative about Spike Lee’s remake is that if you have seen the original then you know the punchline and know when it’s coming so sadly that blow to the gut you may would have felt during the original movie is reduced to a slight whimper – overall OLDBOY is an enjoyable, extremely violent and well acted movie remake – it’s also Spike Lee’s best directed movie since 2006’s Inside Man and one I’d certainly recommend….