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25th Hour


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Say and read what you will about Spike Lee, when you actually sit down and watch one of his movies the bottom line is he's a great storyteller. I was sort of reluctant about this one because all of the interviews and reviews were talking about "post september 11" this and "loving portrait of new york" that. And sure, this is the first movie I've seen that acknowledges the fact that 9/11 happened... but that's about it. Basically, the movie takes place in present day, unlike everything else out recently that essentially takes place a couple of years ago in a pre 9/11 world... period peices if you will. Anyways, there's some Osama posters here and there, and a scene where the ruins of the towers are in the background, and the event is acklowledged, but it's done very casually and realistically, and it's in no way shape of form the focus of the movie.

 

As far as New York goes, they say a thing or two about it, but it's like a line or two of dialogue... it's filmed very well, and Lee is very Woody Allen-ish in that he just kinda captures the feel of the city, but you're supposed to do that regardless of what city you're in.

 

Now, the movie is about the last day before Monty(ed norton), a drug dealer, is sent to jail for 7 years. He goes about his day trying to make what he can of it, and we get some obligatory flashbacks to when he gets caught. The cast is great, Norton knocks it out of the park like he usually does, and the supporting cast is right along with him, Barry Pepper and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (becoming a favortie of mine) are especially good.

 

I really liked it, we sympathize with the main character even when we know he deserves to be punished. It's realistic while not being too overly pessimistic and extreme, and overall it just plays out very well. I think that it could have ended better, but it also could have ended a lot worse. So, yeah, I reccomend this one; a good complement to the insane number of good movies that are out, it's not up there with the best of the year, but it's been a pretty good year, so it's still very well worth watching.

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