Back in January, y'all will remember I was already catching the fever for the flavor of Spike Lee's movie Inside Man and in the wake of my recent viewing, all I can say is that Spike's table in the A-List director section is finally ready. That joint was smooth, stylish, wryly humorous and, included a rare, key ingredient missing from most movies lately (listen close Hollywood greenlighters...) - it was entertaining...
First, I'd be remiss if I just laid all the success of this movie at Spike's feet. The casting was top notch (though I've heard several sources of grumbling that Jodie Foster was miscast but I think that's just NS Shorty hatin' on old girl since Jodie was killing that skirt and those pumps... :-) Hmmm, might not be obvious which way I lean in that debate.) And you can't have a good movie without good writing and clearly Russell Gewirtz delivered the goods as well - the dialogue was tight and the plot was off the hook. It had a bit of that Pulp Fiction/Momento feel since parts of it were shown out of sequence. Also, in my opinion, no one films NYC like Spike does. He seems able to make the city and culture minor characters in his films (but I would like to see him drop that annoying habit of always putting in his 'signature' dolly shot where he has a character roll along with the camera dolly while the background recedes. Spike - that effect is played out, homey!)
I have to admit I'm a big fan of caper movies - joints where the criminals are so smooth that in the end you end up hoping they get away with it because they planned it out so well. You know - that 'back in the day' joint 'The Sting' and more recent joints like the remakes of Ocean's Eleven and the Italian Job. It's what I call Mack Daddy Crime. It's distinctly different from blue collar crime (aka The Sopranos) and white collar crime (aka Enron). A blue collar criminal will sneak up on you while you're making a late night ATM withdrawal, clock your a$$ with a lead pipe and steal your loot. A white collar criminal will encourage to buy more stock in a company he knows is more rotten than a wino's teeth, then leave you with no pension, 401(K) savings or health care while he gently descend on his Golden Parachute onto the soft, sandy beaches of Anguilla. A Mack Daddy criminal, on the other hand, will figure out how to infiltrate that fat cat executive's offshore bank, gain access to his safety deposit box, steal his stolen money and then use the rest of the box's contents to blackmail him for even more money before turning the goods over to the authorities. Mmmm, that's good eatin', right there y'all. Goooood eatin'.
Anyway - if you haven't seen that joint, it's good enough to drop the ducets to see it in the theater. Don't be tight cuz old Tyrone is giving it 3.5 Spinners and a 10 on the HMV (Homeboy Movie Viewing) Scale. I've provided the formula for your personal edification.
The HMV Scale specifies how a homeboy should view a movie given it's quality and the quantity of his endz:
10 - Movie Theater (either prime time or matinee)
9 - Official movie DVD (purchase or rental)
8 - Bootleg I (Internet obtained, high quality production DVD)
7 - Bootleg II (homeboy hookup DVD - low quality, filmed in theater, back row)
6 - Pay-Per-View (Cable or Satellite - your crib)
5 - Pay-Per-View (Cable or Satellite - your boy's crib)
4 - Premium Channel (Cable or Satellite - your crib)
3 - Premium Channel (Cable or Satellie - your boy's crib)
2 - Broadcast Channel (local channel Movie of The Week - your crib)
1 - Broadcast Channel (local channel Movie of The Week - your boy's crib)
0 - Never see it (Ever.)
Be sure to clip that for handy reference to future movie reviews in the Malone Zone, y'all.