Thursday, January 30, 2003

25th Hour

I watched Spike Lee's movie 25th Hour last night. I heartily agree with those critics who say that this is Spike Lee's finest work.

The last movie that I saw by Spike Lee was Bamboozled, a satire that had a preachy feel to it. I saw this on DVD. 25th Hour is a simpler story: a man, about to serve a seven-year prison sentence, is living his last day as a free man. He meets with his father, with his friends, with his enemies, with his lover. Despite the somber theme, the movie was oddly touching.

The signature Spike Lee moments are here: the rant to the audience about New York, an actor floating across the scene on a dolly, the nod to New York sports (a New York Yankees cap has a brief role in the film). But Spike also let's the story and the characters bloom in a way that felt very different from Bamboozled. His latest "joint" feels fresh.

I am glad this was my first theater movie of 2003.

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