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.
Spike Lee’s latest joint, Red Hook Summer, premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival to an incredibly polarizing and controversial response. The film had its supporters, but those who weren’t taken by it really hated it. In his review of the film, our own Matt Goldberg said the most remarkable thing about the movie “is how it finds so many ways to be absolutely terrible.” Now the pic has finally found distribution through Variance Films, and is set for release on August 10th in New York. The drama will then expand to the top 30 markets throughout August.
Apparently Red Hook Summer went through a major re-edit before this deal was brokered, so it’s entirely possible that we’ll be seeing a drastically different version of the film than the one screened at Sundance. When Lee is on, he’s on (Do the Right Thing, 25th Hour, etc.), but his resume isn’t entirely impeccable. He’s next set to direct a remake of Park Chan-wook’s revenge pic Oldboy with Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding Red Hook Summer‘s acquisition.
Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day. Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good. For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar. Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact. Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those. But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.
Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter). While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.
Spike Lee has never suffered from a lack of ambition and the most remarkable thing about his latest film, Red Hook Summer, is how it finds so many ways to be absolutely terrible. Every seed of a good idea is smothered under the weight of incompetent directing, horrible pacing, rancid dialogue, and atrocious performances from its lead child actors. The film vomits up banal editorials, slight commentary on religion, minor observations on modern filmmaking, and a vague sense of community. Many of the main characters celebrate Jesus, and that carries over to the audience when you thank Christ that the movie is over.
Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer is one of my must-see films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie features a cast comprised mostly of unknown and all we knew about the plot was the brief logline: “A young Atlanta boy spends his summer in Brooklyn with his grandfather, who he’s never seen before.” A full synopsis has gone online and reveals that the grandfather, Enoch (The Wire‘s Clarke Peters) is a strict firebrand preacher who “is bent on getting [the boy] to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior.”
Hit the jump to read the full synopsis and check out new images from the film. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19–29th.
Last week, we learned what the 2012 Sundance Film Festival had lined-up in its In-Competition categories, plus the out-of-competition Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=>, and New Frontier selections. But today Sundance has announced the heavy-hitters with the “Premieres” category. That’s not to say these are the best films or the ones that will get the biggest buzz. But they’re the ones that will pack the gigantic Eccles Theater bright and early every morning.
The Premieres category will include Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer, Rodrigo Cortes‘ Red Lights, Stephen Frears‘ Lay the Favorite, James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer, Ice-T‘s Something from Nothing: The Art of Wrap, and the Peter Jackson-produced West Memphis Three documentary, West of Memphis. There’s plenty more than these few films and you can check out the entire line-up after the jump. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
Director Spike Lee is currently hard at work shooting his next film Red Hook Summer, and now it looks like the pic has a tentative release date. Details on the exact nature of the film are scarce, as we only know that it centers on an adult from New York who spends the summer in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, and Lee will be reprising his role as Mookie from his pivotal 1989 flick Do The Right Thing. Earlier today, Lee took to his Twitter and posted an image of him standing next to a garage door that looks like a mock-up of an early poster for the film with the tagline “Burning Up Da Summer 2012!”
So, straight from the horse’s mouth, it seems like we’ll be getting a new Spike Lee Joint next summer. Aside from Lee’s role, the purported cast list includes Turron Kofi Alleyne, Samantha Ivers, Limary Agosto, Heather Simms, Kalon Jackson, and Blackfilm.com adds Clarke Peters (The Wire) and Nate Parker (Red Tails) to the list. After Red Hook Summer, Lee will move onto the remake of Oldboy with Josh Brolin set to star. Hit the jump to see the full promo poster.
Early this morning, Spike Lee tweeted, “Wake Up. I been up since 430am. On the way to the set of THE NEW SPIKE LEE JOINT.Today is 1st Day of Shooting.Awwwwwwwwwwww Sheeeeeeeeeeeeet.” Spike Lee hasn’t stepped in front of the camera since 1999′s Summer of Sam, but he’ll be reprising his role as “Mookie” from his seminal 1989 film Do the Right Thing for his new film, Red Hook Summer. According to Shadow and Act [via The Playlist and Blackfilm] “the story centers on an adult from Atlanta who comes and spends the summer in Red Hook section of Brooklyn, NY.” Lee recently told THR that he was having trouble getting financing for his next film, but it looks like that problem has been sorted out and it sounds like this will be a smaller indie project in contrast to his recent feature films Miracle at Santa Anna and Inside Man.
It’s exciting that Lee is getting a new film off the ground and that Red Hook Summer may serve as a kind of sequel to Do the Right Thing. Lee was also linked to a remake of Oldboy and he’s set to direct Da Brick, an HBO series based on the early life of Mike Tyson.