Release Date:3/17/20; DVD/Blu-Ray (Original Release – 10/6/00) Genre:Drama Rating: R Director:Spike Lee Studio(s):40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks Running Time: 135 minutes
Cast: Damon Wayans (Pierre Delacroix/Peerless Dothan), Savion Glover (Manray/Mantan), Jada Pinkett Smith (Sloan Hopkins), Tommy Davidson (Womack/Sleep ‘N Eat), Michael Rapaport (Thomas Dunwitty), Mos Def (Julius Hopkins/Big Blak Afrika), Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Honeycutt), Paul Mooney (Junebug).
Details: Spike Lee’s forceful, scathing satire of black representation in media will be released on blu-ray for the first time. With this blisteringly funny, unapologetically confrontational satire, writer-director Spike Lee examined the past, present, and future of racism in American popular culture, issuing a daring provocation to creators and consumers alike. Under pressure to help revive his network’s low ratings, television writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) hits on an explosively offensive idea: bringing back blackface for a “new-millennium minstrel show.” The white network executives love it, and so do audiences, forcing Pierre and his collaborators to confront their public’s insatiable appetite for dehumanizing stereotypes. Source(s): Amazon; IMDB; Wikipedia.
Release Date: 2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Theatrical Release Date: 6/7/91) Genre: Drama Rating:R Director:Spike Lee Studio(s): Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Running Time: 132 mins.
Cast: Wesley Snipes (Flipper Purify), Annabella Sciorra (Angie Tucci), Spike Lee (Cyrus), Ossie Davis (The Good Reverend Doctor Purify), Ruby Dee (Lucinda Purify), Samuel L. Jackson (Gator Purify), Lonette McKee (Drew Purify), John Turturro (Paulie Carbone), Frank Vincent (Mike Tucci), Anthony Quinn (Lou Carbone), Halle Berry (Vivian), Tyra Ferrell (Orin Goode), Veronica Webb (Vera), Michael Imperioli (James Tucci), Nicholas Turturro (Vinny), Michael Badalucco (Frankie Botz), Debi Mazar (Denise), Tim Robbins (Jerry). Brad Dourif (Leslie), Theresa Randle (Inez).
Story: A married black lawyer named Flipper (Wesley Snipes) begins an affair with Angie (Annabella Sciorra), his white secretary. When the news is leaked through an acquaintance, Flipper’s wife (Lonette McKee) kicks him out of the house. Flipper decides to begin courting his mistress, only to be greeted by disapproval from friends, family and even strangers. The relationship continues to be strained in a society not ready to accept it, and people are hurt during the course of the romance. In the end, Flipper tells Angie that the relationship was based on sexual racial myths and not love, but Angie does not agree. Source(s): Google, IMDB, Wikipedia, tvovermind.com, bam.org, Slantmagazine.com.
Release Date: 2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Release Date: 7/12/91) Genre:Drama Rating: R Director:John Singleton Studio(s):Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Running Time: 112 mins.
Cast:Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Tre Styles), Desi Arnez Hine,s II (Tre, age 10), Angela Bassett (Reva Styles), Laurence Fishburne (Jason “Furious” Styles, Jr.), Ice Cube (Darrin “Doughboy” Baker), Baha Jackson (Doughboy, age 10), Morris Chestnut (Ricky Baker), Donovan McCrary (Ricky, age 10), Nia Long (Brandi), Nicole Brown (Brandi, age 10), Tyra Ferrell (Brenda Baker), Redge Green (Chris), Kenneth A. Brown (Chris, age 10), Dedrick D. Gobert (Dooky), Baldwin C. Sykes (Monster), Tracey Lewis-Sinclair (Shaniqua), Alysia Rogers (Shanice), Regina King (Shalika), Lexie Bigham (Mad Dog), Raymond Turner (Ferris), Lloyd Avery, II (Ferris’ Triggerman), Jessie Lawrence Ferguson (Officer Coffey).
Story:1984: Ten year-old Tre Styles lives with his single mother, Reva, in Inglewood, CA. After Tre gets into a fight at school, his teacher informs Reva that Tre is highly intelligent but has a volatile temper and lacks respect for authority. Worried about Tre’s future, Reva sends him to live in Crenshaw with his father, Jason “Furious” Styles, from whom she hopes Tre will learn valuable life lessons.
Tre soon reunites with his friends, Darrin “Doughboy” Baker, Doughboy’s maternal half-brother Ricky, and Chris, their mutual friend.T hat night, Tre hears his father shooting at a burglar. They wait for the police, with two officers arriving an hour later. A white officer is civil and professional, while the black officer is hostile and displays a contempt towards black men.
The next day, Tre and his friends go out to the railroad tracks to view a dead body. While there, a group of older boys in who are part of the Crips gang steal Ricky’s football and Doughboy tries to retrieve it, but is beaten and kicked. While the older boys walk away, one of them gives Ricky his ball back. Later in the day, Furious goes fishing with Tre, telling him of his military experience in the Vietnam War. When Tre and Furious return home, they see Doughboy and Chris being arrested for shoplifting.
1991: At a barbecue, Doughboy is now a Crip gang member and is celebrating his recent release from jail, along with most of his friends, including Chris, who is now paralyzed and uses a wheelchair as a result of a gunshot wound. Ricky, who is now a star running back for Crenshaw High School, lives with his single mother Brenda, his girlfriend Shanice, and their infant son. Ricky hopes to win a scholarship from University of Southern California. Tre has grown into a mature and responsible teenager, who works at a clothing shop, and aspires to attend college with his girlfriend, Brandi. His relationship with her is strained over Tre’s desire to have sex, while Brandi wishes to wait until after marriage.
During a local street racing gathering, Ricky is provoked by Ferris, a member of the Crenshaw Mafia Gangsters. In response, Doughboy brandishes his handgun, leading to a brief confrontation between the two gangs. When the gangs are finished arguing, Ferris fires his submachine gun in the air, causing everyone to leave. Tre leaves with Ricky and notes his desire to leave Los Angeles, but they are eventually pulled over by the police. The cop is the same one who was disrespectful towards his father seven years earlier. He intimidates and threatens Tre with his gun. Tre visits Brandi’s house, and breaks down. After she consoles him, they have sex for the first time.
The next day, Ricky and Doughboy get into a fight. While Ricky and Tre walk to a nearby store, they see Ferris and his gang driving around the neighborhood and in an attempt to avoid them, the pair cut through back alleyways and split up. As Tre turns back to Ricky, Ferris’ car pulls up. Ricky turns to run but one of Ferris’ men shoots him twice with a double-barreled shotgun, killing him. Doughboy and his friends catch up with Tre too late. Devastated and helpless, the boys carry Ricky’s lifeless body back home. When Brenda and Shanice see Ricky’s corpse, they break down in tears and blame Doughboy, who unsuccessfully tries to comfort them and explain the truth. That night, a distraught Brenda reads Ricky’s SAT results, discovering he scored just enough to qualify for a college scholarship.
The boys want vengeance against Ferris and his crew. Furious finds Tre preparing to take his .357 Magnum, but convinces Tre to abandon his plans for revenge. Shortly after, Tre sneaks out to join Doughboy. That night, as the gang drives around looking for Ferris and his men, Tre asks to be let out of the car and returns home. He realizes that his father was right to keep him from falling into an endless cycle of violence. Meanwhile, Doughboy finds Ferris’ gang at a local fast-food restaurant. The gang attempts to flee before Monster, one of Doughboy’s friends shoots all three, killing two (including Ricky’s killer) and mortally wounding Ferris. Doughboy approaches Ferris. Ferris insults him and Doughboy kills him.
The next day, Doughboy visits Tre, understanding his reasons for leaving. Doughboy knows that sooner or later he will face retaliation for Ferris’ death, and accepts the consequences of his crime-ridden lifestyle. He plaintively questions why America does not care about life in the ghetto, and sorrowfully notes he has no family after Ricky’s death and Brenda’s disowning of him. Tre embraces him, and tells Doughboy he has a brother in him.
Epilogue – Doughboy sees Ricky buried the next day and was himself murdered two weeks later. Tre and Brandi go on to attend Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta, respectively. Source(s): IMDB; The Root; Wikipedia.
Release Date:2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Theatrical Release Date: 5/13/94) Genre:Drama Rating:PG-13 Director:Spike Lee Studio(s):Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Child Hood Productions, KL Studio Classics Running Time: 115 mins.
Cast:Alfre Woodard (Carolyn Carmichael), Delroy Lindo (Woody Carmichael), Zelda Harris (Troy Carmichael), Carlton Williams (Clinton Carmichael), Sharif Rashed (Wendell Carmichael), Chris Knowings (Nate Carmichael), Tse-Mach Washington (Joseph Carmichael), Jesse Astro (Jesse Plasto), Jose Camel (Jose Rillo), David Patrick Kelly (Tony Eyes/Jim), José Zúñiga (Tommy La La), Isaiah Washington (Vic Powell), Spike Lee (Snuffy), N. Jeremi Duru (Right Hand Man), Norman Matlock (Clem), Frances Foster (Aunt Song), Joie Susannah Lee (Aunt Maxine), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Uncle Brown), Ivelka Reyes (Jessica), Manny Pérez (Hector), Bokeem Woodbine (Richard), RuPaul (Connie the Bodega Woman), Tiasha Reyes (Minnie), Patrice Nelson (Viola).
Story: In 1973, nine-year-old Troy Carmichael (Zelda Harris) and her brothers Clinton, Wendell, Nate, and Joseph live in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The children live with their parents, Woody, a struggling musician, and Carolyn, a schoolteacher. The neighborhood is filled with colorful characters. The Carmichaels’ next-door neighbor, Tony Eyes, continuously sings and plays his electric keyboard. Snuffy and Right Hand Man are glue sniffers.
One night, Woody and Carolyn argue about money; Carolyn resents Woody because he is not appreciating their financial situation and uses their money carelessly to fund his solo career. Carolyn kicks Woody out of the house but Woody brings her flowers and the two reconcile. The family then decides to go on a trip. As they are leaving, a worker from Con Ed comes by to shut off the electricity due to an unpaid bill. The trip is postponed and the family has to use candles for light.
A few days later the family travels to the South to stay with affluent relatives. Troy stays with her cousin, Viola who was adopted by Uncle Clem and Aunt Song. Troy has fun with Viola despite a dislike of her snobby Aunt Song and her dog, Queenie. On Troy’s tenth birthday, she gets a letter from Carolyn. After reading the letter and dealing with constant bickering between Viola and Aunt Song, Troy decides she wants to go home.
When Troy returns to New York, she is picked up at the airport by Aunt Maxine and Uncle Brown. Troy later learns her mother is in the hospital and is taken to see her. Later that evening, Woody tells the kids that their mother has cancer and must stay in the hospital. The boys cry, but Troy remains stoic. She assumes the role of mother while Carolyn remains in the hospital. Later Carolyn loses her battle with cancer.
On the day of the funeral, Troy’s Aunt Maxine tries to coax her into trying on the new clothes she’s brought telling her it would make Carolyn proud. Troy calmly explains that her mother hates polyester and would never let her wear it then announces to Woody that she is not going to the funeral. After Woody explains that Carolyn would want them all together at church, Troy agrees to go.
At the house gathering after the funeral, Troy is withdrawn. Joseph comes inside crying, saying that Snuffy and Right Hand Man robbed him. Following her mother’s wishes to protect her younger brother, Troy goes outside with a baseball bat and hits Snuffy, telling him to go sniff glue on his own block.
Early the next morning, Troy dreams that she’s hearing her mother’s voice. She goes downstairs to see her father trying to kill a rat in the kitchen. Woody then tells her that it is all right to cry, saying that even Clinton has cried. Troy concludes that it is good that her mother is no longer suffering.
In the epilogue, the Carmichael family and their friends carry on with their lives as the summer draws to a close. Troy assumes the matriarch role that Carolyn left behind. Carolyn’s spirit continues to visit Troy, praising her for taking on such responsibilities. Source(s): Wikipedia; IMDB; Quadcinema.com.
Release Date:2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Theatrical Release Date: 9/13/95) Genre: Drama Rating:R Director:Spike Lee Studio(s):Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks Running Time:128 mins.
Cast: Delroy Lindo (Rodney Little), Mekhi Phifer (Ronald ‘Strike’ Dunham), Isaiah Washington (Victor Dunham), Harvey Keitel (Detective Rocco Klein), John Turturro (Detective Larry Mazilli), Keith David (André the Giant), Peewee Love (Tyrone ‘Shorty’ Jeeter), Regina Taylor (Iris Jeeter), Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Errol Barnes), Sticky Fingaz (Scientific), Fredro Starr (Go), Elvis Nolasco (Horace), Tom Byrd (Errol Barnes), Lawrence B. Adisa (Stan), Hassan Johnson (Skills), Frances Foster (Gloria), Michael Imperioli (Detective Jo-Jo), Mike Starr (Thumper), Lisa Arrindell Anderson (Sharon Dunham), Paul Calderón (Jesus), Brendan Kelly (Big Chief), Graham Brown (Herman Brown), Steve White (Darryl Adams), Spike Lee (Chucky), Harry Lennix (Bill Walker).
Story:Classic crime-drama based on a book by Richard Price. A “clocker” is a 24-hour drug dealer, and Strike (Mekhi Phifer) is the hardest-working one on the streets. But for Strike, time is running out. When the local drug kingpin tips Strike off about an opportunity for advancement, a rival dealer ends up dead, and Strike suddenly finds himself caught between two homicide detectives. One is Mazilli (John Turturro), who’s only looking for an easy bust. The other is Rocco (Harvey Keitel), who’s looking for something much harder to find—the truth—and when Strike’s law-abiding brother confesses to the murder, Rocco vows not to rest until he’s sure the real shooter is behind bars. Source: IMDB, Amazon.
Release Date:2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Theatrical Release Date: 8/3/1990) Genre: Drama Rating:R Director:Spike Lee Studio(s): Universal Pictures, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, KL Studio Classics. Running Time: 130 mins.
Cast:Denzel Washington (Bleek Gilliam), Spike Lee (Giant), Wesley Snipes (Shadow Henderson), Joie Lee (Indigo Downes), Cynda Williams (Clarke Bentancourt), Giancarlo Esposito (Left Hand Lacey), Bill Nunn (Bottom Hammer), Jeff “Tain” Watts (Rhythm Jones), Dick Anthony Williams (Big Stop Williams), Abbey Lincoln (Lillian Gilliam), John Turturro (Moe Flatbush), Nicholas Turturro (Josh Flatbush), Robin Harris (Butterbean Jones), Samuel L. Jackson (Madlock), Leonard L. Thomas (Rod), Charlie Murphy (Eggy), Coati Mundi (Roberto), Diahann Carroll (Jazz Club Singer), Rubén Blades (Petey).
Details: It follows a period in the life of fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (played by Washington) as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both his relationships and his playing career. The film focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, cause-and-effect, and ultimately salvation. It features the music of the Branford Marsalis quartet and Terence Blanchard on trumpet, who also plays for the Bleek Gilliam character.
Story: Brooklyn, New York in 1969. A group of boys walk up to Bleek Gilliam’s brownstone and ask him to play baseball with them. Bleek’s mother insists that he continue his trumpet lesson. His father is concerned that Bleek will grow up to be a sissy, and a family argument ensues. Bleek continues playing his trumpet, and his friends go away.
Over twenty years later, an adult Bleek performs on the trumpet at a busy nightclub with his jazz band, The Bleek Quintet. Giant, the band’s manager, advises Bleek to stop allowing his saxophone player Shadow Henderson to grandstand with long solos.
The next morning Bleek wakes up with his girlfriend, Indigo Downes. She leaves to go to class, while he meets his father for a game of catch, telling him that while he likes Indigo, he likes other women too and is not ready to make a commitment. Later in the day while he is practicing, another woman named Clarke Bentancourt visits him. She suggests that he fire Giant as manager; he suggests that they make love (which he refers to as “mo’ better”). She bites his lip and he becomes upset about it, saying, “I make my living with my lips.”
Giant meets with his bookie to place bets. He meets Bleek at the club with the rest of the band, except for the pianist, Left Hand Lacey, who arrives late with his French girlfriend and is scolded by Giant. Later Giant goes to the club owners’ office, points out how busy the club has been since Bleek and his band began playing there, and unsuccessfully attempts to renegotiate their contract. Giant meets his bookie the next morning, who is concerned that Giant is getting too deep in debt. Giant shrugs it off, and places several new bets. He then stops at Shadow’s home to drop off a record. Shadow confides in him that he is cheating on his girlfriend. This leads to the next scene where Bleek is in bed with Clarke, and she asks him to let her sing a number at the club with his band. He declines her request.
Bleek and Giant fend off requests from the other members of the band for a raise due to the band’s success. Bleek asks the club owners for more money, which they refuse, reminding him that it was Giant who locked him into the current deal. That night both Clarke and Indigo come to the club to see Bleek. They are wearing the same style dress, which Bleek had purchased for them both. Bleek attempts to work it out with each girl, but they are both upset with him, and though he sleeps with them each again, they leave him (after he calls each of them by the other’s name). However, tension rises with Shadow who has feelings for Clarke.
Bleek and Giant go for a bike ride, where Bleek insists that Giant do a better job managing. Giant promises to do so, and then asks Bleek for a loan to pay his gambling debts. Bleek declines, and later Giant is apprehended by two loan sharks who demand payment. Giant can’t pay and gets his fingers broken. Later Giant tells Bleek that he injured himself, but Bleek doesn’t believe him. Giant asks the other band members for money, and Left loans him five hundred dollars. When loan sharks stake out Giant’s home, he goes to Bleek for a place to stay. Bleek agrees to help him raise the money but fires him as manager.
Bleek misses both Indigo and Clarke, but Clarke has begun a new relationship with Shadow. Bleek finds out about it and fires Shadow. The loan sharks find Giant at the club, take him outside, and beat him while Bleek plays. Bleek goes to intervene and gets beaten up as wel l. Additionally, one loan shark takes Bleek’s trumpet and smacks him across the face with it. This permanently injures his lip, making him unable to play the trumpet.
Months later, Bleek reunites with Giant, who has gotten a job as a doorman and has stopped gambling. He drops in to see Shadow and Clarke, who are now performing together with the rest of Bleek’s former band. Shadow invites him on stage, and they play together. Bleek still has scars on his lips and is unable to play well. He walks off the stage, gives his trumpet to Giant, and goes directly to Indigo’s house. She is angry with him because he hasn’t contacted her in over a year. She agrees to take him back when he begs her to save his life.
A montage flashes through their wedding, the birth of their son, Miles, and Bleek teaching Miles to play the trumpet. In the final scene, Miles is ten years old and wants to go outside to play with his friends but Indigo wants him to finish his trumpet lessons. However, unlike in the opening scene, Bleek relents and allows his son go play with friends. Source(s): Wikipedia; IMDB.