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Da 5 Bloods - Spike Lee


JohnC
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The latest from Spike Lee, coming to Netflix on Friday. Getting good reviews. Rated R, 154 minutes.

 

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From Academy Award Winner Spike Lee comes a New Joint: the story of four African-American Vets -- Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) -- who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul's concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature -- while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.

Also features Jean Reno and Giancarlo Esposito.

 

Apparently the flashback sequences will feature the actors without deaging effects or makeup.

 

 

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Really enjoyed this. I've always enjoyed Spike Lee films so was looking forward to it.

Thought it was well acted, particularly Delroy Lindo, and the script was great. Tied in with BLM at the end, but it wasn't tacked on more a case of Spike Lee seeing what was about to happen (again).

Well worth a watch.

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I've always loved and admired Spike Lee Movies. Without being able to quantify why. Summer of Sam spoke more to me than Zodiac did. 

Spikes films always had some, up until now magnanimous aural quality that I couldn't ever pin down. They had this unquantifiable soundscape that other films didn't ever get. 

 

Watching Da 5 Bloods tonight it finally clicked. It's brass! Where every single fucking composer on earth uses strings and pianos and whatever, Spike uses loads of soul and jazz instruments. Which makes perfect sense, but nuts its taken me 20 years to realise it. 

 

The music from his films has lived inside my head for years and I could never quite nail why his scores felt so 'important'. But it just came to me watching Da 5 Bloods. 

 

Anyway. Da 5 Bloods is quite rubbish.

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3 hours ago, mushashi said:

 

Can you expand on this? It seems counter to the other impressions of the film.

 

I found it to be a messy and pointless riff on Treasure of Sierra Madre that hammered it's themes and had painfully on the nose characterisation and dialogue. A lot of the dialogue feels like its been written by chat room bots. The action looked amateur and each moment of drama felt forced and unearned. 

A great score, and moments of good Spike here n there, but it all added up to a bit of a car crash I thought. I'd struggle to give it 2/5

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On 13/06/2020 at 17:57, Gambit said:

I did find then using the same actors for the Vietnam stuff a little jarring though.


I thought they worked really well, I don’t think it should be a thing in every film but it worked here for me.  I read it as being their memories rather than an actual flashback, if that makes sense.

 

I liked it but also think it could be improved by cutting it down.  There are some fantastic performances, but I also wish they’d delved more into their relationships.  Some of the plot points were entirely too predictable.

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14 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

 

Maybe not as pointless as your post. But not far off. 

 

Alright then;

 

Da 5 Bloods a movie about the treatment of black soldiers throughout history, in particular the Vietnam war, and how that's impacted modern day America. There are explorations of PTSD, why black people would vote for Trump, the different ways trauma impacts different people/personality types, how a pointless (to use the term correctly) war impacted the three nations involved in different ways, greed as a whole, greed within the black community and how that's linked in with fighting for their cause, and so so much more that I've missed on a first viewing. It's a big, rich thing that is in no way perfect, there are a few plot contrivances in there and some of the bit that feel very "Spike Lee" felt a bit out of place.

 

But the last thing you can level at it is that it's pointless. If anything it tries too hard to make too many points so they end up feeling a bit on the nose, but the exceptional performances sold it all in pretty well to me. 

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Thats better. 

I say pointless because it hammers you over the head with things you already know while offering no new insights. Like I say, it feels like it was written by a bot that was fed themes and told to trawl Reddit. It feels like a 6th former wrote it.

But if it worked for you, thats great.

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Maybe I need to watch this again. I really enjoyed it and think it's 4/5. Had me tearing up. 

 

I was really drunk though and was in the second day of a two day bender without sleep...

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