Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My review of Do the Right Thing

This is another one that I watched in my Intro to Film class. This film is a racially oriented films.

Acting/characters: Spike Lee stars in and directs in this film. He did a great job overall. The characters were so different and seeing them interacting on screen was really great to watch. I particularly liked the guy with the giant boom box and the Night of the Hunter style brass knuckles. Fight the power that be. They were all really interesting to watch and each one brought something new and original to the film. The best one was probably Senior Love Daddy. 10/10

Plot: Like I mentioned before, it's a film about race. In fact, you have a whole 2 or 3 minutes where a bunch characters just spew racial slurs to the camera. The Setting is in a New York suburb and it is over 90 degrees out and the characters have to deal with the heat. Man, it looked hot enough out there that I remembered traumatic experiences in Palm Springs, California where it had a 105 degree low and a 118 Degree high. I feel that as opposed to other race films, this one asks all races to look inside of them. A lot of race films only point out how racist whites can be towards other races. This one shows how everyone can be racist. But, it does so without being overtly preachy which is a fine line to walk: ask questions but don't preach. I feel that this film did that very well. 10/10

Screenplay: This film was nominated for two Oscars and one of them was for Spike Lee's writing for this film. Spike Lee was younger than Orson Welles was when he made Citizen Kane. He did an absolutely amazing job writing the screenplay (It lost out to Dead Poet's Society in the end). Again, it asked a lot of the right questions without being preachy which is a testament to Spike Lee's writing for the film. 10/10

Likableness: I highly enjoyed this film. It is one that I would have no problem watching again. I would suggest it to anyone who has not seen it. I personally feel that it should have replaced Born on the Fourth of July as a Best Picture nominee and it could have even won that year (Did anyone else feel that Born on the Fourth of July was kind of a weak film that was just Tom Cruise complaining a lot of the movie?). This was an excellent film that deserved more than it got Oscar gold wise (which ended up being 0-2). I would suggest this one. 10/10

Final Score: 40/40 100% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The opening line is "Wake up," while the closing line in Spike Lee's previous film, School Daze, was also "Wake up."

2. Radio Raheem's (Bill Nunn) description of his four finger rings (Love and Hate) is a homage to Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in to The Night of the Hunter

3. Spike Lee originally wanted Robert De Niro for the role of Sal. But De Niro turned down the part, saying that it was too similar to many of the parts he had played in the past.

4. The key scene when Danny Aiello and John Turturro talk alone approximately midway through the film was partly improvised. The scripted scene ended as the character Smiley approached the window. Everything after that until the end of the scene was completely ad-libbed.

5. This film was inspired by an actual incident in New York where some black youths were chased out of a pizzeria by some white youths in a section of New York known as Howard Beach.

6. All of the scenes of the "Corner Men" Robin Harris, Paul Benjamin, and Frankie Faison were improvised.

7. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly saw this movie on their first date in 1989.

8. The title comes from a Malcolm X quote: "You've got to do the right thing."

9. The scene in which Sal (Danny Aiello) and Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito) argue about there being no African-Americans on the wall of the restaurant - only "American Italians" - is somewhat ironic, as Giancarlo Esposito is an Italian-American.

Coincidence? I think not!!!

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