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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweaty And Authentic
As an evocation of New York in that summer just as disco began to sink and punk to rise this film is hard to beat. I was in NYC that summer and it brought back the atmosphere perfectly (though therapy should help me). But authenticity is not enough to make for entertainment. The subjects of the film, a group of Bronx young Italian-American men, are by turns stupid,...
Published on 21 July 2009 by Charles Vasey

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It has its merits..............................
Brilliantly directed and superbly cast and acted with an outstanding and varied soundtrack, but I was disappointed. Frankly I was expecting something along the lines of Se7en, The Watcher, or Silence of the Lambs. What I saw was a film concerning the sex lives of the main characters and drug, alcohol and incoherent thought. A Serial killer is on the rampage in the...
Published on 18 Jan. 2008 by Saturnicus


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweaty And Authentic, 21 July 2009
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
As an evocation of New York in that summer just as disco began to sink and punk to rise this film is hard to beat. I was in NYC that summer and it brought back the atmosphere perfectly (though therapy should help me). But authenticity is not enough to make for entertainment. The subjects of the film, a group of Bronx young Italian-American men, are by turns stupid, vicious and risible. Sometimes they manage all three together. The director clearly dislikes his subjects and that's exactly what he passes to the viewer.

(Was that the actor who became Jackie Aprille in The Sopranos?)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee brilliantly captures the Summer of 1977, 18 July 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
On face value, you'd be mistaken for believing that Spike Lee's lesser-known film 'Summer Of Sam' is a docudrama or thriller surrounding a series of murders carried out by David Berkowitz in the Summer of 1977 in New York. Whilst these slayings do provide a background to the film, the focus is actually on a close knit group of people reacting to the possibility of becoming the unknown murderer's next victim. Although it isn't your typical thriller, suspense is created with the characters wondering who they can trust.

The plot relies heavily on the relationship between married, but unfaithful man Vinny (John Leguizamo) and punk rocker Ritchie (Adrien Brody), two friends who, due to their lives, interests and principles changing, are growing further apart. With Leguizamo, Brody, as well as Mira Sorvino, and Jennifer Esposito, you'd expect excellent performances, and won't be disappointed.

Lee brilliantly captures the disco club scene in New York at the time, with outrageous behaviour from rampant hard drug use to lots of casual, meaningless sex, needless to say there's plenty of violence and salty language throughout. The cinematography and overall sound of the film, with a fantastic soundtrack which crams in an impressive list of many hit songs, is so good, that I forgot I was watching a movie shot in 1999 a number of times. It's all so realistic that you'll feel that you were there with these characters in the Summer of 1977, which was the hottest Summer ever.

'Summer Of Sam' was not what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it very much for what it is, an excellent snapshot of the time and a focus on interesting people's lives and feelings. It's a long film, and sometimes it does drag on, but it's still one of those films you just have to tick off your list to see.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Hot Summer, 13 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
The murders of the serial killer 'Son of Sam' provide a backdrop for the main part of this film, essentially a story about two friends and their increasingly different lifestyles. There is a randy husband who despite having a beautiful wife can only find sexual release with other women. At the same time his friend becomes an outsider in the neighbourhood they have grown up in by liking british bands, the punk scene and not being afraid to participate freely as a dancer (amongst other things) in a gay bar. The story of these two and the people around them is gripping and simply intertwined with the serial killings taking place at the time in their town. The married man becomes increasingly desperate in his attempts to come to terms with himself whilst his friend, essentially an innocent, becomes a victim of predjudice, betrayed by those around him. Both men, you cannot help but feel, have their fates tied and trussed to the Son of Sam. The sex scenes have been exaggerated in the press of course and form an essential part to the development of the married couple. The seventies soundtrack is great and the acting is excellent throughout. I thought it was the most humane of all the Spike Lee films I'd seen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It has its merits.............................., 18 Jan. 2008
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Brilliantly directed and superbly cast and acted with an outstanding and varied soundtrack, but I was disappointed. Frankly I was expecting something along the lines of Se7en, The Watcher, or Silence of the Lambs. What I saw was a film concerning the sex lives of the main characters and drug, alcohol and incoherent thought. A Serial killer is on the rampage in the blistering heat of New york in 1977. Our characters are trying to guess who it might be and making the suspects fit the crimes. They fail.
There is little time actually spent on the crimes or killer himself.
For me it was rather a let-down but it is worth watching once.
I would not want to see it again, but I gave it 3 stars for its many attributes.
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2.0 out of 5 stars pretty poor, 18 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I'd been keen to see this for some time and was disappointed with the end result after viewing. It was a weak story and all the characters appeared to be disjointed which always annoys me! Its not the actual events that make me want to rate it lowly because I'm very interested in the true case, its just the way the way the story is set out to an audience. John Leguizamo portrays a realistically sleazy love-rat, constantly cheating on his wife whenever he feels like it. I cannot come to terms with him in any serious role afte seeing him in Moulin Rouge as a dwarf which is a shame!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars M-U-R-D-E-R . . . Murder, 18 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This film is a fantastic portarait of a community under attack from drugs,intolerance, a heat wave and, oh yeah, a serial killer. This is all the background to the story of two friends and how they move apart from one another. One is a punk getting a bit of money working in a gay strip club while the other is a guilt ridden adultorous disco man, who treats his wife like a queen but only the dance floor. As suspicions fly as the body count rises (shown in some of the most disturbing murder scenes I've seen) suspicions fly as a community turns in on itself leading to disaster.
A great film, very well directed and with a fantastic sountrack (see the medley of madness to The Who's Baba O'Riley). It also shows a brilliant bit of journalist impartiality in the epilogoue. Go see.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee's best film so far..., 10 Oct. 2001
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Spike Lee is a film-maker often like Ken Loach: brilliant, but weighed down by the politics of the piece. Sometimes characters seem to represent an ideological persepctive in too forced a manner ('Jungle Fever' feels like the forced-ideologies of Carson McCuller's 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter'). The problem often is Lee being too CLOSE to his subject- 'Malcolm X' came across as pious and reverential, like the terminally-dull 'Gandhi'. His best work up til now had been 'She's Gotta Have It', 'Do The Right Thing' and 'Clockers'. It is the latter, with its extension on De Palma/Scorsese styled perspectives that this emanates from (bear in mind the nadir of 'Girl 6', though we would have the sub-'Hoop Dreams', 'He Got Game'). Lee focuses on an Italian-American neighbourhood in the summer of 1977- and captures,albeit in fictional form, the zeitgeist. His distance from the subject, whilst retaining an empathy for the characters works well. Because there are few overt points about race, though the joke about the reporter Lee plays being seen in a black-neighbourhood works well, we do not feel like we are being lectured to...
This film is a film about films also: references to 'Goodfellas' & 'Serpico' & 'Taxi Driver' & 'Last Exit to Brooklyn' & 'Casino' & 'Do the Right Thing' & 'Natural Born Killers' & 'Saturday Night Fever'& 'Se7en' & 'The Godfather' (and much more) abound. But, unlike with Tarantino, they are detail- not the whole. The use of music is very Scorsese- the montage scenes that use 'Baba O'Riley' & 'Won't Get Fooled Again' are excellent (The Who were kinda punk- though the band with Ruby & Richey front are a bit dubious!). The vigilante theme is depicted brilliantly, tying into the background of the Son of Sam killer, the heatwave and the movement of disco, drugs and punk...This is not about the Son of Sam killer, he is just a peripheral character and a cause of much of the paranoia. This is a much better depiction of the era than 'Boogie Nights', which celebrated the period in a Scorsese manner and 'Dead Presidents'- which was merely dull...The theme of turning on your own id interesting & pertinent & the dialogue (written by Victor Colliccio, Michael Imperioli and Lee) is excellent. Anthony La Paglia is sadly underused and the sex/orgy scenes seemed tame compared to those in 'Requiem for a Dream' or 'Salo'. The camerawork & editing are fantastic- and you will want to go out and buy the soundtrack because of it...This film is quite under-rated- it never got raved over- and the 1st time I saw it I wasn't bowled over. The 2nd time has revealed what a great film this is: Spike Lee's best film so far.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of spike lees best, in your face entertainment, 24 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
As far as i can see from the reviews on this page this film is not liked by a large number viewers. It seems to me that they cant handle its abruptness and real life action. Oh its to violant, oh to much fool language, in the situations depicted people use extreme violance and bad language.I loved this film its one of my favourites this year. I work at a cinema which did show this film but only for a limited time screened on late showings which i feel added to it not doing so well. I think you either love this film or you hate it, but as i am a great fan of films by Spike Lee including classics like Clokers i feel it lived up to all my expectations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 21 May 2011
By 
C. A. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Very atmospheric, well acted, quite gruesome at times, great sound track.

And i love Mira Sorvino. I wouldn't cheat on her!

Get it, enjoy it, but don't go out and murder loads of people in 1977. It's not nice!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Brilliant film. Grips you from start to finish. Have watched it many times. Would highly recommend. Have lent it to many of my friends who have all enjoyed it too.
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Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000]
Summer Of Sam [DVD] [2000] by Spike Lee (DVD - 2000)
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