Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.
Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany's Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker's anguish forty years later. And the miracle? Written by
Is this movie as bad as they say? Has Spike Lee lost focus? It garnered a lot of nominations, but no wins; what could be the matter? The opening was fascinating. There was going to be a story with multiple subplots that would make this an intelligent movie. Even Laila Petrone couldn't distract me as hard as she tried.
The story shifts to a battle between the Germans and the Buffalo soldiers, which was outstanding, and, as expected, shows the prejudice of the white officers in command. Only four men escaped the artillery barrage. It was funny watching Train (Omar Benson Miller) dragging a head with him as a good luck talisman. Soon, he is also dragging an 8-year-old boy (Matteo Sciabordi).
The story settles to life in town where various stories, including the explanation for the killing in the beginning, are told. Another big battle in town ends the story and brings us back to the present.
Was it overly long? No, I found that it was compelling enough that the time flew by. It was a good war movie with a twist. I found it enjoyable.
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