or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Clockers (1995)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great great movie. So much is great about this movie, so many amazing moments, performances, themes, just an incredible movie. It's not perfect, some of the dialouge is a little too on the nose, but there's so mcht that's great. This is definitely my second favorite Spike Lee film, behind only Do the Right Thing (I still haven't seen She's Gotta Have It, though).
post #2 of 23
Lee's floating-camera gag gets old fast for me and I've always felt that it hampered CLOCKERS more than any of his other films. I'm not denying its greatness, I think it is an amazing piece of work. The acting is keyed way up but is still riveting. The editing is shocking and does a commendable job of creating tension and mystery. I don't think Lee has shot another film as pretty as this one is. You should check out Richard Price's novel, it is a great read that fleshes out the story that Lee and Price stripped down. I remember when Lee was interviewed for this on GMA and he said that he tried to make the last gang-movie necessary, I don't think he succeeded but he took a nice go at it.
post #3 of 23
Third favorite for me, but when you're rubbing shoulders with Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X third is damn good.

I've always felt this movie was a spiritual sequel to Do the Right Thing. The way Thing is so characterized by Fight the Power by Public Enemy and Clockers begins with the characters bashing folks like PE makes it feel like a natural transition. It's like the next era for lack of a better word.

Mekhi Pfeifer deserves more of a career.

God I love this movie.

EDIT: She's Gotta Have It is pretty great Patrick. I'm so happy it's finally on DVD.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
My only big problem with it (besides the heightened acting that Lee mentioned which isn't quite my cup of tea) is that the ending. I think it'd be stronger if Strike had to face the consequences of his actions. His brother actually being the murderer seemed too neat and out of place.
post #5 of 23
To me it just adds to the oppressive feeling of the movie, that the brother ends up being dragged in with Strike. But I see your point as well.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
My only big problem with it (besides the heightened acting that Lee mentioned which isn't quite my cup of tea) is that the ending. I think it'd be stronger if Strike had to face the consequences of his actions. His brother actually being the murderer seemed too neat and out of place.
Wait, are you referring to the novel or the film? I haven't seen this in ages but I remember Strike's brother being released while Strike takes a long train ride.

That final scene is great, Strike gets to realize his dream of riding on a train but he's alone and can never go home.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Shorty (basically) gets away clean but I don't think the older brother gets out, at least not in the film. And while he may be alone and can never go home, Strike's been a loner the whole film and his home is nowhere he wants to go. It's not as if there's anyone he's leaving behind that we have witnessed any real connection to, besides his brother.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Also, Errol is one of the more terrifying movie characters I've seen recently. He's this violent, bizarre AIDS-ridden ball of self-loathing that cares about nothing. He's like the Gollum of the projects.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
My only big problem with it (besides the heightened acting that Lee mentioned which isn't quite my cup of tea) is that the ending. I think it'd be stronger if Strike had to face the consequences of his actions. His brother actually being the murderer seemed too neat and out of place.
I like the ending in that it works in two ways.

(1) Its someone who partly blames his criminal jobber career on being from within "The Hood" and now exiled away.....what is he? Is he a decent person who has good potential to yield, or not? Does an envinronment make a person or not?

(2) Notice how major cities get rid of the "homeless" problem by shipping it upon someone else? One could argue that Harvey Keitel is doing again of sorts like his character did in the damn great BAD LIEUTENANT, but honestly I think that in his mindset, he's simply taking out the trash.

Then again, I've never read the book. Would have been interesting if Scorsese/DeNiro* had made CLOCKERS instead of CASINO.

*=He would have played the Keitel part.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
Shorty (basically) gets away clean but I don't think the older brother gets out, at least not in the film. And while he may be alone and can never go home, Strike's been a loner the whole film and his home is nowhere he wants to go. It's not as if there's anyone he's leaving behind that we have witnessed any real connection to, besides his brother.
My favorite shot is him looking out the window of the train, and seeing a landscape* that is quite shocking for someone who's lived in a city his whole life.

*=Out west, right? Haven't seen this movie since before the decade.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
This is definitely my second favorite Spike Lee film, behind only Do the Right Thing.
You and I agree on everything don't we?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LatinoInferno View Post
One could argue that Harvey Keitel is doing again of sorts like his character did in the damn great BAD LIEUTENANT...
It is quite astute that you picked up on that, the actions of Keitel's characters at the climax of both CLOCKERS and BAD LIEUTENANT are so similar that it was startling and odd. If fact, the deja vu-esque ending threw me for a serious loop. It is eerily similar to the Jennifer Connelly at-the-beach conundrum of DARK CITY and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeVSbenway View Post
It is quite astute that you picked up on that, the actions of Keitel's characters at the climax of both CLOCKERS and BAD LIEUTENANT are so similar that it was startling and odd. If fact, the deja vu-esque ending threw me for a serious loop. It is eerily similar to the Jennifer Connelly at-the-beach conundrum of DARK CITY and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
You know, I never thought about REQUIEM and DARK CITY, but you're right yourself.
post #14 of 23
Man, I haven't seen this in so long. Who wants to buy the original one sheet?
post #15 of 23
Read the book. If you really dig the movie, the book puts the story across much better. I think it's a pretty messy film from a wildly uneven filmmaker. Still, I do like parts of it a lot. And Lindo is great in it.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Matchstick View Post
Read the book. If you really dig the movie, the book puts the story across much better. I think it's a pretty messy film from a wildly uneven filmmaker. Still, I do like parts of it a lot. And Lindo is great in it.
I agree with the reading of the book, it's pretty swell. Errol is a lot scarier on the page, too. In fact, the character worked so well on film for me because I had read the book, not to take away from Tom Byrd's performance.
post #17 of 23
I would have to agree that the book is much more in-depth, and very descriptive. Just finished reading it, so now would be a good time to go see Clockers again.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbm View Post
I would have to agree that the book is much more in-depth, and very descriptive. Just finished reading it, so now would be a good time to go see Clockers again.
I think I should make a point that when Scorsese/DeNiro were set to make CLOCKERS, that movie was scripted as a police procedural, from DeNiro's perspective. Spike Lee decided to go from the eyes of the dealers themselves.

Mind you, I've never read the book, so I don't know if its better than the movie, or if the later fucked it up. All I know is, while CLOCKERS isn't among Spike Lee's Top 5, its still a good little movie.
post #19 of 23
Always loved this. Love the alluring yet sickly look of the cinematography. Love the weird, overly didactic bits; that the sense of moral outrage and urgency is more important to Lee than the plot or scope of Price's novel*.

It's not perfect; maybe Malcolm X is better, but to me this movie feels more "like Spike" than anything other than DO THE RIGHT THING.

* I posted this in another thread recently, but I was always amused by Lee's justification for cutting out much of the Rocco storyline. Essentially, we've seen that tired shit before.
post #20 of 23
Yes, this is definitely my favorite Lee flick along with Do The Right Thing. I'm surprised that there is so much praise here. I was always under the assumption that this was looked at as one of the lesser films on Spike's resume. Since we are on the subject, I also really enjoy Malcolm X, He Got Game, Get on the Bus, and the 25th Hour. Sadly, these days, we get more Spike Lee saying stuff for attention in interviews than actually going out and making good films on controversial subject matter though "When The Levees Broke" was an incredible documentary.
post #21 of 23
Just saw this, and it is indeed a messy film. It has its good moments, but I felt like it dragged towards the end.
post #22 of 23
I caught this on TV last night, I hadn't seen it in awhile. I've read the book which is great, although the film focuses mainly on Strike, I really thought Isiaih Washington's performances was fantastic, you can see the pressure keep getting piled on this man, day and day out, he keeps getting shit on until he finally snaps. The ending was kind of refreshing in that, Klein was wrong, he wanted so badly to believe that Strike was a killer because he fit the profile, Victor didn't.

Keith David is such a hardass in this, he's great.
post #23 of 23

This movie doesn't get enough love. I think it's Spike's best movie of the 90's. The only thing that drags it down for me is some of the shitty heavy-handed satirical elements, "Da Bomb", the big "Ahab" whale, etc. Also Thomas Jefferson Byrd was robbed that year. He totally should have gotten a best supporting actor nod. Errol easily makes my list of top ten most grotesque screen villains, if I ever bothered to make such a list. Which I won't. Ever. 

 

Also I was looking at his wikipedia page and apparently Spike was in an episode of Ghostwriter. 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Films in Release or On Video