An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
Craigus R. Johnson,
As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.
Chinese kid Julian, who was adopted by the black family of Joe and Annabelle Lee and Asian exchange student May-Ling, who is housed with a black family, are trying to adapt to their mostly ... See full summary »
Brian Hooks plays a character who is just released from jail. And the state adopts a "3 strikes" rule for felons that involves serious penalties. Hooks has 2 strikes, and wants to change ... See full summary »
Cinqué Lee and Joie Lee originally wrote the script as a pilot for Nickelodeon. A test pilot was screened for inner city children who disliked it. The Lees converted their idea into a screenplay. See more »
The amount of Trix cereal on the floor changes when Troy and Wendell are fighting for the box of Trix. See more »
CROOKLYN isn't Spike Lee's greatest, but it comes very close. Parts of the film hit so close to home with me - the sense of community so vividly depicted, and the 70s soul music (which is nearly ubiquitous through CROOKLYN) makes this film something much like a musical, with the grit and intimacy of Lee's visual realism constantly balanced against the idealism and romanticism of the music. As slice-of-life Americana, this is about as good as it gets. I disliked the scenes with the Aunt & Uncle - I felt that they were being ridiculed mercilessly, for no good reason (they are the living embodiment of the idealism contained in at least some of the music heard at other times in the film, whether they know it or not), and I wished those scenes were handled with more subtlety - Lee, like his NYC bretheren Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen has major issues with suburban types (this hits a peak in Lee's later BAMBOOZLED - an almost brilliant, but also almost cruel expression of rage at the excesses of the entertainment industry that also aimed merciless fury at uncritical audiences - audiences of any and every race and class).
But this scene aside, the remainder of CROOKLYN is so strong, and very well-made - I'd still offer a recommendation.
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