Sunday, 8 June 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2

The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2
(Summer Of Sam / Miracle at St. Anna)
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: John Leguizamo, John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Anthony LaPaglia, Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Pierfrancesco Favino,Valentina Cervi
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $20.00
Running Time:142 minutes (Summer Of Sam), 160 minutes (Miracle at St. Anna)
Rating: R


Arriving on Blu-ray this Tuesday, June 10, 2014, is The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2, featuring the 1999 crime-drama, Summer Of Sam, and the 2008 WWII drama, Miracle at St. Anna. Special Features for Miracle at St. Anna includes a new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and actor John Leguizamo. Deeds Not Words, The Buffalo Solider Experience and deleted scenes. Summer Of Sam features a new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and screenwriter James McBride.

Summer Of Sam takes place in the New York City during the summer of 1977, where every New Yorker is in fear of the serial killer, Son of Sam. The film centers on the Italian-American neighborhoods with a handful of unique characters - a hairdresser, Vinny (played by John Leguizamo), his wife Dionna (played by Mira Sorvino), his punk-rocker friend Ritchie (played by Adrien Brody) and many others. The film chronicles Vinny's affairs with other women and the neighbors reaction to Ritchie's new lifestyle, as well as small bits of the Son of Sam (played by Michael Badalucco) murders.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and wasn't much of a box-office draw with moviegoers.

Based on the novel by James McBride (who also wrote the screenplay), Miracle at St. Anna is an epic WWII drama chronicling four Buffalo Soldiers from the 92nd Infantry Division, who take refuge in a small Tuscan village. The film is actually set in 1983 with seventy-year-old Corporal Hector Negron (played by Laz Alonso) remembering the events that occurred at St. Anna.
The film fizzled at the box-office, mostly due to negative reviews from critics.

I'm not the biggest fan of true-crime films, which is one the reasons why I have never watched Summer Of Sam until last night. The film is a little boring, but an interesting look at what New Yorkers went though in the summer of 1977. Despite the negative reviews that Miracle at St. Anna received, I thought the film was a decent WWII drama, though the characters could've had a little more development, I still liked it. Overall, The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2 features two underrated films from the great director and I recommend the Blu-ray to others.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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