Racism, protests, police brutality, a New York neighborhood in turmoil — those are all topics that Spike Lee‘s incendiary 1989 drama Do The Right Thing touched on. And naturally, it remains painfully relevant today. With studios making Black-led films more freely available in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, it was only a matter of time before Lee’s Do The Right Thing was made available to watch for free too. Universal Pictures will do you even better: the studio is offering a Do The Right Thing rental for free until the end of June, with an online discussion with Lee this week to discuss his film.
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In 1989, Spike Lee released Do the Right Thing, a galvanizing portrait of racial tensions boiling over in one Brooklyn neighborhood during one long summer day. It’s a film that remains as powerful today as it was all those years ago. It’s also still depressingly relevant, as Lee’s film ends with the police murdering neighborhood local Radio Raheem – an act that leads to a riot.
All these years later, very little has changed in the real world that Lee was reflecting, and after a weekend that saw protests breaking out across the country over the murder of George Floyd, Lee cut together a short film called 3 Brothers that blends his film with the real-life deaths of Floyd and Eric Garner, another African-American killed at the hands of the police.
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It’s been over 30 years since director Spike Lee released the provocative, insightful, and unfortunately prescient racially charged drama Do the Right Thing. The film follows a pizza delivery man named Mookie (played by Lee himself) as he makes the rounds in a Brooklyn neighborhood on one of the hottest days of the year. Tensions rise with the heat, leading to an explosive confrontation between whites, blacks and the law.
Sadly, Do the Right Thing is still relevant to this day as protesters clash with the police in the wake of the unlawful deaths of too many black citizens around the United States. As we watch history unfold, a video essay takes a closer look at one specific element of Do the Right Thing and how it’s used to represent the increasing tension between white and black people in Brooklyn. Read More »
It’s that time again: time to highlight some physical media! Our latest Blu-ray round-up includes a recent superhero movie, a classic neo-noir, a Spike Lee masterpiece, a trashy but fun thriller, and an indie sci-fi flick celebrating its 10th anniversary with a new 4K release. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.
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Do the Right Thing is the movie that should have won the Best Picture Oscar for 1989, but like Glory — a film that depicted the real American Civil War, as opposed to the ongoing figurative one — it went without the nomination it deserved. The Academy Awards can be notoriously shortsighted. Earlier this year, Spike Lee finally took home a gold-plated statuette for Best Adapted Screenplay, but with the controversial Green Book still triumphing in the top category, his film, BlacKkKlansman, almost literally took a back seat to another Driving Miss Daisy.
It was as a college student in New York circa 2001 that I made my own personal discovery of Lee’s directorial work. He Got Game was playing in a darkened TV lounge in the campus center. Ray Allen and Rosario Dawson were sitting on a bench in front of the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, their faces lit green, the camera gliding side-to-side as they exchanged dialogue. When you’re a 20-year-old riding the Metro-North Railroad alone into Midtown Manhattan, it feels like entering the center of American life. Lee’s films centered on other parts of the city, making slices of life there — and important chapters in history — come alive.
Do the Right Thing showed us the hottest day of summer in one Brooklyn neighborhood, where simmering racial tensions would boil over into a situation where few, if any, did the right thing. History repeats itself and life imitates art, just as it did five years ago on Staten Island when the police-chokehold death of Eric Garner showed the world a real-life version of Radio Raheem. This time, we didn’t need the empathy machine of a movie to make it real. All you had to do was watch a cellphone video on the news to see how little American society had changed.
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Spike Lee‘s monumental Do the Right Thing is turning 30, and to mark the occasion, Universal is re-releasing the movie into theaters with a new 4K restoration. The same 4K restoration is also headed to Blu-ray on the Criterion Collection, but if you’ve never had a chance to see Do the Right Thing in theaters, this is your chance.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, check out some Avengers: Endgame Easter eggs and plot hints you might have missed in the most recent trailer. Plus, watch a video essay explain why a lot of movie posters have similar designs, and watch as character actor John Turturro breaks down the many roles of his versatile career, from The Big Lebowski to Do the Right Thing and more. Read More »
It’s been 26 years since Spike Lee‘s provocative Do the Right Thing debuted, and since Hollywood has been digging deep into the past for sequels, reboots and remakes, it only makes sense that they would revive the racially charged drama.
However, in case you haven’t noticed, Brooklyn has changed a lot since 1989. As Jimmy Kimmel noted during one of his episodes being taped in New York last week, “There used to be muggers right in this neighborhood stealing old ladies’ purses. Now those old lady purses are being worn ironically by hipsters in the area.” And that’s exactly what inspired the trailer for Do the Right Thing 2, starring Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel and more white people. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Hi, /Film. My name is Jacob Hall and my favorite movies are part of me on a molecular level. Cut me open and the films that have defined my life come spilling out in a great, red heap. So when I was asked to introduce myself to you guys, the community, via a list of my favorite movies of all time, I prepared myself for some gritty, Robert-De-Niro-in-Ronin-style surgery. This list is me being cut open for your amusement.
Read on all about my favorite movies after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by Angie Han
The Oscars inevitably bring a lot of grumbling about which films the Academy has overlooked. But if one of your favorites is among them, perhaps you can at least take heart in the fact that it’s in great company. The Oscars have a very long history of backing the wrong horse. Some of what we now view as unimpeachable classics weren’t even seen as Best Picture nomination-worthy at the time.
Hit the jump for a list of films never nominated for Best Picture.
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