Monday, June 1, 2009
Summer Of Sam
Cast: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Michael Badalucco and a hundred other people.
Synopsis: In the summer of '77 New York City was plagued by the notorious killer known as "The Son Of Sam" who targetted young girls and couples in their cars with a .44 caliber pistol. Meanwhile, a bunch of things happened in the city which had no relevance whatsoever to the killings.
Review: This was an excellent look at the lives of a group of Italian-Americans living in New York City during the summer of 1977, the same summer in which David Berkowitz (The Son Of Sam) shot and killed at least 6 people. The film seems to try to get an everyday view on how the killings affected the regular people of New York City as Leguizamo's character goes from almost falling victim to the killer, to not giving a shit about the killer, to throwing a temper tantrum out a window at the killer (Who isn't outside the window at the time, or ever), to not giving a shit about the killer again, to forgetting that the film is supposedly about a killer for a good portion of the film, to becoming convinced by his wannabe Mafia type buddies that they know the killer and going on a viginlante hunting mission, to finally not giving a shit about the killer again.
A visually impressive film, no doubt and the story of Vinny and his buddies as they come to terms with Adrian Brody's retarded British accent is indeed a compelling and intriguing tale however aside from the occasional mention or fleeting conversation it bares no relevance to the killer who, it would have been implied by the title of the movie, the film is seemingly about. Yes, there are glimpses into the killer's life but at no point do they cross paths with Leguizamo.
In Short: If all the moments in this film that bared no relevance to the Son Of Sam were removed it probably would have been a reasonable 90 minutes long but Spike Lee being Spike Lee it was instead a sixteen hour epic.
Biggest Positive: After watching this you can make any regular household activity, like watering the lawn, seem amazing by pretending an epic Who song is playing in the background and Spike Lee is directing it by doing things like giving off-center closeups of the water spraying and bouncing in slow motion off the plants and making nauseating camera motion shots of the background slipping away and spinning while you stand stationary.
Biggest Negative: Jon Lovitz should have played the Son Of Sam, and done him in a comical slap-stick style.
Trivia: Leguizama only agreed to do this film on the condition that Spike Lee release his wife and kids unharmed.