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Red Hook Summer (2012)

 -  Drama  -  17 May 2013 (Brazil)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 1,086 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 13 user | 62 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A middle-class boy from Atlanta finds his worldview changed as he spends the summer with his deeply religious grandfather in the housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Limary Agosto ...
Sumayya Ali ...
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Charles Anthony Bryant ...
Janinah Burnett ...
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ...
Courtney D. Carey ...
Jim Davis ...
Jim Davis ...
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A middle-class boy from Atlanta finds his worldview changed as he spends the summer with his deeply religious grandfather in the housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief violence, language and a disturbing situation | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 May 2013 (Brazil)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,070 (USA) (10 August 2012)

Gross:

$338,803 (USA) (16 November 2012)
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1.85 : 1
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References Do the Right Thing (1989) See more »

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Worth Seeing
25 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Red Hook Summer definitely fits within Spike Lee's oeuvre, recalling the child's POV-style of storytelling used in Crooklyn and the vivid color palette employed (albeit more effectively) in Do the Right Thing. As other reviewers have no doubt already pointed out, Clarke Peters gives a superb performance, though nobody has yet mentioned Thomas Jefferson Byrd's performance, which I thought was at least on-par with his previous work if not surpassing it. Byrd's drunken prophecies shine transparent with hypocrisy, which is a major theme explored on a deeper level once the film's exterior is peeled back in the final act.

Speaking of which, the final act is undoubtedly the highlight. I can't go into too much detail or I will spoil the story's impact. This sequence carries a lot of the film's weight, but viewers won't know it until it comes. The sermons are also powerful, both on the pulpit and off. It's just all too unfortunate that the lackluster acting of the two primary child stars takes away from an otherwise engaging story. And although I am a fan of much of Lee's work, I will never understand his music choices---oftentimes cheesy songs interfere with what would have been phenomenal left to natural sound... think the father-son reconciliation in the woods in Get on the Bus or some of the moments in Clockers. This is probably a matter of taste, but I can't get over it. I guess I just like the other elements of his style so much that I wish he could do better with the soundtrack (NOT the score---his scores are usually good).

I guess my main point is that Red Hook Summer is worth seeing, despite the extremely low ratings I've seen in various online locales. It's just not Lee's best by any means, but not a failure either. It's just kind of... muddied.


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