Wednesday, November 26, 2014

summer of sam [1999]

b. knows my shangri-la is late '70s NYC when the big apple was going rotten.  so when he suggested we watch this spike lee joint about the serial killer dubbed 'son of sam' terrorizing the city during the sweltering summer of 1977 when NYC suffered black-outs, a horrendous garbage strike, near bankruptcy and a soaring crime rate i said yes!

this pic is a period piece located in an italian-american south-bronx neighborhood.  punk and disco are both in ascendance.  adrian brody plays the punk rocker richie.  john leguizamo portrays local disco king vinny.  mira sorvino is dionna, vinny's wife.  they, and many more characters, live, work, love and fuck in the same neighborhood where nutjob killer david berkowitz slaughters young couples at night with a .44.

the characters are neatly drawn.  richie is a bit of a whiner and vinny's shit is wrapped too tight.  vinny has a serious madonna/whore complex and can't stop screwing other women.  richie speaks sometimes with a very bad cockney accent, because he's punk, you see.  we get scenes at CBGB and Studio 54 and also, if you remember this place, Plato's Retreat.  lots of drugs, lots of sex, lots of guilt had by vinny.

and yet, lee does a good job of limning a city near its wits end.  the movie is overlong and some of the scenes with berkowitz are simultaneously punched up for psychological drag and tests the patience of the audience.  i've got to admit i liked this movie but i wasn't able to see it to the end.  we still had 40 minutes to go when our wives and kids returned.  this is not a film for wee lads so we turned it off.  i don't know how it ends.  don't tell me.  i'll come back to this flick hoping that richie gets all drunk and punk rock and spits on everyone and vinny get over his perverted ideas about women and treats dionna like the human being she is.


Post a Comment

<< Home