Sep 3, 2022

Summer of Sam (1999)

Summer of Sam is a 1999 American crime thriller film  directed and co-produced by Spike Lee, who also co-wrote the film with Michael Imperioli and Victor Colicchio. It stars John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito and Anthony LaPaglia.

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

K: Hello friends! We finish the week dedicated to John Leguizamo with Spike Lee's movie - Summer of Sam. When Freddie said that this movie was about serial killer David Berkowitz, who called himself "Son of Sam", I decided that I would have to suffer from on-screen violence for almost two and a half hours. But the movie wasn't creepy or bloody at all. It is more about the atmosphere of 1977 - about poverty, an unbearably hot summer, about punk rock. Mr. Lee embarked me on a mind-blowing disco tour of New York during the Sexual Revolution. There is the club "CBGB" - the mecca of the emerging punk, "Studio 54" - the point of attraction for the most fashionable freaks, and "Plato's Retreat" - the first swinger club. All this madness of then society, sliding into the abyss, is transmitted through the prism of two friends, Vinny (John Leguizamo) and Richie (Adrien Brody). 

F: I can say that we ended up big with our John Leguizamo week because the star of this film is himself, and it's his performance that ends up saving the movie. As you've rightly said, this is a movie about a time and a place, which happened to be in NY at the time when the Son of Sam was on the loose and killing people indiscriminately. Honestly, I now want to see a documentary or a movie about this serial killer. 😛 Although Leguizamo was excellent in his role of Vinnie, it was a little strange for me to see him playing the role of an italo-americani after watching in the previous films all his passion and commitment to the dissemination of Latin culture and people. Another thing that was weird for me was Adrien Brody. He completely sucked as a punk and his acting was kind of weird. Well, I would say that overall the movie is weird. I'm not very knowledgeable about Spike Lee's work, but this film seemed to me to be an amalgamation of many different things that ended up not working very well in the end. Spike Lee wanted to show everything and forgot to tell a good story, luckily for him, he had John Leguizamo. I did enjoy Lee's cameo as a reporter but he's not a very good actor...😂

The Sun of Sam GIF
The Son of Sam
K: Spike Lee did a great job and, through music, clothes and great attention to detail, recreated the era of the late 70s in general and in particular the inhabitants of the Italian quarter of the Bronx. While watching the film, Freddy said that he considered the role of Vinny the best in John Leguizamo's career, and I agree with this completely. John is great here. He did a great job of capturing a man who is overwhelmed by a sense of paranoia. I love Adrien Brody and he is charming as Richie. I also wanted to mention a gang of Italian drug dealers. The guys were responsible for black humor, which is at a fairly high level here. 

F: That's right, so far from what I've seen, this is John's best. With him we follow the story of Vinnie, who can't have sex with his own wife without feeling like he is being disrespectful and offending God. So he goes out and sleeps with girls that he can have spicy sex with... butthole included. Great classic Christian logic. The sex scenes were a bit too much for me, 👼 but Spike could have released the 2 minutes he cut out from the orgy scene, anyway! While we follow his story, we occasionally get a glimpse of what the Son of Sam is doing, and then jump to stupid prostitute punk rocker Richie, who's a big fan of the Who just like me. I love to hear those tracks from the 1971 album "Who's Next" and doing Pete Townshend's signature move, the windmill. The soundtrack and Leguizamo are by far the best things coming out of this movie.

3 girls on girl GIF
Some boobies for the boobie archive.
K: Spike Lee made a great atmospheric arthouse that should not be left unattended. Those who expect more immersion in the history of the serial killer "Son of Sam" may be disappointed, as the actions of the maniac are just a backdrop for the plot to develop.  

F: I must tell you that the atmosphere of the film did not captivate me and I found it unnecessarily long. They could have edited out a lot of unimportant scenes and made it an easier to digest movie. The movie seems improvised and without a concrete direction. Perhaps that was Spike Lee's intention. A good piece of advice for anyone willing to watch this movie is that this is not a serial killer movie, but rather a movie that touches so many different topics that you lose count: homosexuality, racism, murder, prejudice, the mob, sexuality, nightlife, etc, etc, etc... 

Summer of Sam movie GIF
This is it for our John Leguizamo week. See ya tomorrow.
Freddy's Score: 57/100
Krasnaya's Score: 85/100





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