Archives for posts with tag: Spike Lee

Even after all these years, “He Got Game” (1998) might still do the best job of any movie when it comes to depicting the pressures and temptations of being a great athlete in the ghetto. It also has all the Spike Lee hallmarks: intelligent music choices, inventive editing and cinematography, and a strange mix of professional and amateur actors. The latter hurts the movie’s flow, because, frankly, some of the performances are awful. Ray Allen does OK as a high school basketball phenom. Among the pros, Denzel Washington is his usual amazing self and Jim Brown makes a welcome comeback.

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If you took a Sunday newspaper op-ed on Chicago gang violence and tried to turn it into a feature-length motion picture, you would get something like “Chi-Raq” (2015). I don’t fault Spike Lee for trying. It’s a worthy subject and his idea of using the ancient Greek play “Lyisistrata,” in which women use sex as a weapon – withholding it until their men declare peace – is inspired. But as a movie, it seemed more like an unfinished work. Lee has a bunch of creative ideas he is trying to work out on film, but never develops any kind of narrative flow.