Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer” Sinks At Sundance

Spike Lee’s new Brooklyn-based film “Red Hook Summer,” which had its first public screening at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Sunday, January 22, garnered pretty chilly reviews, at best. The coming-of-age flick about a boy from Atlanta who lands in Brooklyn to spend the summer with his unknown grandfather, was produced by Fort Greene, Brooklyn-based 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks. Lee shot it for $1 million in 19 days.
A host of Twitter comments from Sundance reveal that the screening was two-thirds empty, with audience members consistently filing out as it endured. In the end, The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney said that “Spike Lee’s sermonizing new film is too chaotic (and) a strange, unruly beast of a movie,” while FirstShowing.net offered that the movie, which revives the character of Mookie from “Do The Right Thing,” is “merely a forced attempt at nostalgia.” ComingSoon.net sniffed that the feature was “one of the worst movies to ever premiere at Sundance.”
Among its kudos, The Los Angeles Times and New York Post gave it high marks, with the latter suggesting it’s “Lee’s most powerful and controversial narrative feature in years.” Likewise, Salon film critic Andrew O’Hehir tweeted that it’s “a passionate, painful love letter to Brooklyn, NYC, black America and the black church.”

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