Movies On Demand: Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It

Posted On Wednesday, November 29, 2017

One thing that most folk may not know about me is that I LOVE Spike Lee! Spike was the 1st person who made me remotely wanna pick up a camera to shoot anything after seeing She's Gotta Have It. This is the dude who made me wanna go to a HBCU after seeing "School Daze" in '87 when I was in 7th grade. This was the dude who made me become even more pro black then I already was in '89 after seeing Do The Right Thing. I mean, I can go on and on about how much Spike influenced me but then somehow, someway like Organized...dude fell off. Now don't get it twisted, of course I LOVED Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X and He Got Game. But after those came those "other flicks" like Bamboozled (I know A LOT folk who loved flick but I thought it was wack. In fact on the low Showtime had a flick called "Dancing In September" that dropped around the same time and was 100 times doper then Bamboozled), She Hate Me, Miracle At St. Anna, Redhook Brooklyn, Oldboy, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus and Chi-raq. And I KNOW somebody's out there saying "well, 25th Hour and Inside Man were dope" and they were but the difference is Spike didn't write those, he just directed them. And in my opinion, there's a big difference between writing and directing and and just directing. And just for the record David Benioff's book the 25th Hour is 100,000 times doper then the movie...I'm just saying. So even though Spike has been putting up more bricks then his man John Starks in the 4th quarter back in '94, I won't hold you, I am interested in how he's gonna flip one of my fave movies into a series 30 years later.

Now the problem with this new school She's Gotta Have It is that Spike didn't flip the OG, it feels like he just did a do over. And if you watch The Wire then you already know Avon told ya'll "there ain't no mother fuckin' do overs." The first ep feels like Spike took the same script from '86 and just had new actors and actresses come in and read it...verbatim. Like does Mars REALLY need to have a giant name chain and name belt in 2017? There's no way Spike could've updated his style just a 'lil bit? Or maybe it's because Spike is still stuck in the late 80's/early 90's. I mean, this dude is still wearing XXXXXL Knicks jerseys courtside at MSG. Does Greer literally have to fold his clothes the same exact way he did in the OG movie & then proceed to crawl to Nola like he's a lion? I mean, could Spike get any cornier? Don't even think about that question, because the answer is an emphatically yes. Let's put the cherry on top when Mars asks Nola "can he smell it" like that line hasn't be played out since '86? Spike didn't wanna write something 2017ish like "send me a pic" or anything remotely cool? Nah?



And even when you get past the corny dialogue (written by Spike himself) things don't get any better. One of the dopest things I LOVED about She's Gotta Have It when the OG dropped was that it was such a taboo movie in '85. A movie about a woman having sex with 3 men, all at the same time AND they all know about each other. It's like Nola was the OG female pimp for my generation. But in 2017? Nigga please, the way these IG models run game, banging 3 dudes at the same time & they all knowing about it is the norm. You'd have to add about another 8 dudes who are basketball players, MC's, singers and 2 or 3 females to the mix just to get anyone even remotely interested in that played out storyline. And the acting? PLEASE don't get me started on the acting. It's to the point I don't know if the actors can't act or Spike directed them to overact, but what I do know is it ain't good.



Now, with all of that said not everything is bad about this new She's Gotta Have It. Now don't get too excited cause the good don't come anywhere close to outweighing the bad. But at least for Spike's sake there is some good. For instance, the opening sequence with the OG "Nola Darling theme" showing old Brooklyn vs. the new gentrified Brooklyn is REAL dope. Ummmmm....what else? The musical selections are dope too (everything from Mawell's "Pretty Wings", Colonel Abrams' "I'm Not Gonna Let", Brian Mc Knight's "Anytime" and Heather Headley's "I Wish I Wasn't" to Jill Scott's "Golden", Mary J's "My Life", "Outta Here" by KRS One and the Force MD's "Tender Love") and I know I dissed the storyline before but keep in mind, that was just Nola's storyline. Now the other story lines are actually aiight. Between Nola's homegirl's quest for a bigger ass and the hoopla between Jamie and his wife are actually the only things that make this series even tolerable. 

One of the things I've always wondered about Primo (who's one of my fave producers BTW) is why he would ALWAYS use the same drums and stabs over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...well, you get my point. Which is why I was SO happy to hear the PRhyme album he dropped with Royce because for the first time in years it sounded like I was hearing a new Primo. Was is Preem using all Adrian Younge samples? (I mean it is kinda hard to mess up Adrian Younge samples) Was it him switching from the MPC60 to the MPC Renaissance? Hell...it didn't even matter to me. The only thing that mattered was Preem sounded dope again. Now, I say all of that to say that I know Spike and Preem used to run together from the whole Brooklyn, "Jazz Music" from the Mo Better Blues soundtrack and Preem's work on "Crooklyn Dodgers Part 2" so what I need Spike to do, is to take some pointers from Preem and do whatever he needs to do to update his style cause the whole Spike Lee "steez" that made him the dopest black director in the 90's is sooooooooo played out in 2017 that it doesn't even make sense.

2 outta 5 mics

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