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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"Do The Right Thing" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-june-2010-do-the-  right-thing

Synopsis

On a scorching summer day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, a series of seemingly harmless events leads to an all-out racial riot. At the heart of the story is Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, where owner Sal (Danny Aiello) has chosen to only display famous Italian-Americans on his “Wall of Fame.” Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito), a patron of the pizza parlor, decides to question Sal on why there are no pictures of African-Americans on the wall, being that the vast majority of Sal’s customers are of African-American descent. Sal’s only black employee Mookie (Spike Lee) does his best to keep things calm, but events slowly spiral out of control from here.

 

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 1989, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro
  • Directed by Spike Lee
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Brief nudity
  • Language: Plenty

Commentary

This film was heralded when it came out in 1989 for inspiring a lot of meaningful thought on the issue of racial tension. I even remember discussing it in class during junior high. Depending upon your point of view, each main character makes decisions that seem “right” to them. However, I still feel that much of the anger in this movie is misplaced. After all, it was police brutality that killed Radio Raheem, not Sal or his sons. Why does the neighborhood not make a bigger deal about this? Why punish Sal? Also, why does the crowd turn on the innocent Korean family that runs the shop across the street? Perhaps this was Spike Lee’s way of showing the effects of the mob mentality. While I still recommend seeing this film, I can’t help but feel that a few more carefully crafted scenes could have raised the moral power of this film immensely. I also feel that a bit more editing could have tightened the story up a bit, as many of the scenes drag on without adding much to the story. I’m still trying to figure out why we needed to see Rosie Perez dancing by herself for 5+ minutes during the opening credits.

Technical

While I don’t think that anyone would ever use this film to show off their new home theater setup, I was pleasantly surprised by how good this movie looked. The image is very sharp overall, though there is a good amount of film grain. Colors are vibrant but were intentionally skewed towards the warm side of things in an attempt to show the intense summer heat that is so pivotal to the storyline. The audio is solid, particularly when the soundtrack kicks in. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The surrounds and LFE are not used much, but given the age of this film and the original source material that is expected.

Extras

There are a ton of extras on this disc. In HD, there is a retrospective documentary and 11 deleted scenes. There is also a new commentary by director Spike Lee, multiple feature commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage shot by Spike Lee, a making- of featurette, an editing featurette, a story board of the key riot scene, and press footage from the 1989 Cannes film festival. The disc is also BD-Live enabled.