Review of “Red Hook Summer”

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Red Hook Summer

Director: Spike Lee

Starring: Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd

Running time:  2 hrs, 1 min

Language: English

Rating:  R

“Rotten Tomatoes” Critics Grade: 63%  Positive



Let’s be clear, I’ve never been a fan of everything Spike Lee says (particularly with regard to other Black celebrities and his often, unsolicited criticism towards them) but I have generally, always loved his work. His newest project, Red Hook Summer only strengthens that stance. It’s a not-so-typical coming of age story set in a small church in the community of Red Hook, Brooklyn between a preacher, his grandson, his flock and an amazingly well-acted cast of memorable characters.

It tackles subject matter I never thought I’d see in a Spike Lee joint, and it does so head-on. It’s equal parts stunning, emotional, vibrant and moving. I LOVE his gorgeous use of color, his insane attention to detail, cinematography and even, music and sound design. There’s literally, almost too much to take in during a single viewing. It’s a fantastic, nuanced, passionate, technically brilliant, return to his smaller, more intimate storytelling that he’s best at.This a CLASSIC Spike Lee film.

Opening in limited release, catch it wherever and whenever you can. You may be conflicted about the material but you won’t be disappointed in the movie.

My grade: A

Andre Kelley

Found in a crashed rocket ship from a Kansas cornfield and raised by the Kent’s alongside his brother Clark, Andre Kelley is comedy’s best known (and ONLY) openly gay Black farm boy. You’ve seen him on Comedy Central’s "Premium Blend," Byron Allen’s "Comics Unleashed" & Comedy TV as well as LOGO’s "Outlaugh Comedy Fest." He’s been featured in the award-winning documentaries "Laughing Matters: The Men" and Showtime’s "Phunny Business." He’s very proud of the fact that’s he’s also, the only Black comic in the entire country who’s never, ever appeared on B.E.T. Currently at work on his first HBO comedy special "No Homo," he's always taking applications for summer (COUGH!) interns.

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