There was a lot of buzz surrounding Red Hook Summer in development because director Spike Lee reprises his role from the 1989 classic Do the Right Thing. There were other elements that bode well for one of the better Spike Lee joints in recent years, including the Brooklyn setting and star Clarke Peters (The Wire). Red Hook Summer polarized critics at Sundance (Matt gave it an “F”), which could be viewed as another positive sign, given Lee’s resume. Both the good (the music, visual flair) and the bad (poor child actors, drowning in that melodrama) are on display in the first trailer.
Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Nate Parker, James Ransone, and Thomas Jefferson Byrd star alongside Peters in Red Hook Summer. Let’s you and I wait until it opens on August 10 to make up our minds. In the meantime, test the waters by watching the trailer after the break.
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The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn anthology–which also includes “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), “Do The Right Thing” (1989), “Crooklyn” (1994), “Clockers” (1995), and “He Got Game” (1998)–RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.