Da 5 Bloods

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DYohn, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Spike Lee's new joint (streaming on Netflix) is a must watch. It may be Spike's best film, and it also may be the most accurate Vietnam movie ever made. But what it is most of all is a moving and vibrant portrayal of the damage war can do, especially on the black men who fought it. If Delroy Lindo does not win an Oscar for this performance then I don't know what an Oscar-winning performance looks like. The casting across the board is impeccable, and the acting superb.

    If you were alive during the Vietnam War, if you served or know someone who did, you will recognize the characters in this movie. I know several of these people in real life. The depiction here is right on.

    Like all Spike Lee films this one can feel at times a bit too "preachy." Spike likes to hammer "The Message" just as much as to tell the story. He needs to realize that when the message is PART of the story he makes it more effectively than when he just hits you in the face. I don't know if the history lesson at the beginning or the support of Black Lives Matter at the end were always part of the movie or if they were tacked on to suit today's moment, but they felt a bit tacked on. Not out of place, but added.

    The Terrence Blanchard score feels corny and unnecessary. The Marvin Gaye music was FAR more appropriate and effective. The homage paid to films like Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Apocalypse Now, Indiana Jones and Rambo (and there were likely others) provide needed humor breaks and help make another point about endless war and history not being only in the past.

    I loved the way the flashback scenes were handled. The first one made me scratch my head at first but as soon as I realized the device, it made perfect sense. In fact I'd say that is sort of true for the entire film: as soon as you just relax and accept the Spike Lee devices and formula and roll with it, the film becomes much more enjoyable.

    Much has been made about the fact the Delroy Lindo's character is a Trump supporter and wears a MAGA hat that sort of becomes a character on its own in the film, and that it seems contrived so Spike Lee can make an anti-Trump statement. I thought it was not contrived at all and the whole thing felt right in character. It also makes a strong point about just how damaged a black man has to be to wear the MAGA hat. I thought it was used perfectly.

    Is this a top-ten movie of all time? Probably not. But it's in the top ten of movies I've seen recently, and maybe right at the top. 5 stars.
     
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  2. carlthess50

    carlthess50 Member

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    I fell asleep watching it last night


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Try harder.
     
  4. Denton

    Denton Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Amen
     
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  5. Carl V

    Carl V Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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  6. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Active Member Donor

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    That was totally powerful, and great (except maybe that BLM bit at the end).
    Brilliant acting, and cinematography.
    What a ride!
     
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  7. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    Watched this one last night. It's a long movie at 2.5 hours but it feels like 5 or 6. This one must have hit David in the sweet spot and I've certainly got movies like that but for me, this one missed the mark. I generally like Spike Lee movies and I thought this one had a strong start, but then it just became predictable and boring. I did love the casting.
     
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  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    I watched this last night as well and I was touched.

    Pacing was a bit long during the second-half of the film and could have shaved 10 to 15 minutes off of the entire presentation. The beginning reminded me of older uncles at a Family Reunion seeing each other after 5 to 10 years. Loved all of the acting, but Delroy Lindo's contribution was so powerful, that it deserves an Awards Show nod of some sort. Through the first hour you sort of had an inkling of what may have occurred in the past, and is a result of Delroy's character's hostility, trauma, and guilt-driven persona, but the revelation of what was to come was damn near a tear jerker for me.

    I was not expecting the "graphic" portions of the film, but the tension it formed as a result, while not comfortable for me, was well executed.

    The varying aspect ratios was a neat trick as well. Reminded me of how Steven Soderbergh used different color pallets for his film Traffic.

    I feel as if this occurs with many of Spike Lee/Terrence Blanchard scored films, where the music tends to be out of place or in many aspects too powerful to compliment what is happening on the screen. I've witnessed this a lot in Spike's older films. While the music is beautiful, it just plays in the background for me.

    The trauma these characters faced is mainly the reason why my mother told me to never talk about the Military in front of my Uncles, considering I come from a Military Family and I have a love for planes. Something as simple as a light thunderstorm would set off one of my uncles, my mother told me one time.

    Not a perfect film, but it definitely left an impression.
     

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