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Summer Of Sam 1999

Subtitles
4.0 out of 5 stars (28) IMDb 6.6/10

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City in the summer of 1977.

Starring:
John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody
Runtime:
2 hours, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Spike Lee
Starring John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody
Supporting actors Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli, Saverio Guerra, Brian Tarantina, Al Palagonia, Ken Garito, Bebe Neuwirth, Patti LuPone, Mike Starr, Anthony LaPaglia, Roger Guenveur Smith, Ben Gazzara, Joe Lisi, James Reno, Arthur J. Nascarella, John Savage, Jimmy Breslin
Studio Touchstone Pictures
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you're considering the French Blu-ray of Summer of Sam (in the absence of any other Region B release) then note that it is a 1080i/50Hz transfer. The picture quality throughout is a little soft while there is noticeable colour banding on gradients like walls and faces. It runs at original speed unlike many 50Hz transfers so motion is a bit jerky making it hard to watch camera pans. There is a choice of DTS Master HD original English or dubbed French audio, but if you want only English then you will need to turn off the French subtitles with your player controls.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great movie, bought many years ago now and sadly lost in the ether of moving and travelling, but an interesting take on the reactions of a deadly threat from different members of various communities, based on real events in New York. A recommended watch.
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Format: 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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Format: VHS Tape
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!).
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By A Customer on 13 Sept. 2000
Format: 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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