Crooklyn

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Overview

Spike Lee's tender and nostalgic tale of one family's memorable summer in Brooklyn arrives on DVD courtesy of MCA Home Video. Presented in the original 1.85:1 theatrical widescreen version and featuring a closed captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, this release also offers an additional French Dolby Digital 5.1 track in addition to optional Spanish subtitles. Extra features include production notes, web links, talent bios, and film highlights.
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Overview

Spike Lee's tender and nostalgic tale of one family's memorable summer in Brooklyn arrives on DVD courtesy of MCA Home Video. Presented in the original 1.85:1 theatrical widescreen version and featuring a closed captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, this release also offers an additional French Dolby Digital 5.1 track in addition to optional Spanish subtitles. Extra features include production notes, web links, talent bios, and film highlights.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Spike Lee takes a break from sensationalism with Crooklyn, a wistful yet uncompromising look at the lower middle-class Brooklyn of his youth. Episodic and told through the eyes of the family's lone daughter, Troy, played by the revelatory Zelda Harris, Crooklyn is rich with atmosphere and classic R&B tunes from the early '70s. But without Lee's usual sociopolitical agendas, it's more of a pleasant diversion than a film of lasting import. To be sure, Lee is still interested in the pulsing dynamics of inner city neighborhoods, notably how the conditions incite argument. But with elements like the wonderful opening credits montage, featuring the diverse range of sidewalk games the children concoct to pass the time, the film takes the softer tone of a labor of love by and about his family. Lee's siblings Joie and Cinque, novice screenwriters, conceal their inexperience with skillful, natural slices of the life they once knew, though it's likely Lee had a far greater hand in the writing. Delroy Lindo and Alfre Woodard give sympathetic performances as parents refreshingly free from dysfunction, other than the father's impractical earnestness about progressing as a musician. The contrast between Southern rural blacks and inner-city blacks, explored during the summer Troy spends with her relatives, also yields interesting insights. Although the director made his reputation on inflammatory subject matter, his foray into more personal territory is a welcome success on its own modest terms.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/23/1999
  • UPC: 025192051524
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alfre Woodard Carolyn Carmichael
Delroy Lindo Woody Carmichael
David Patrick Kelly Jim
Zelda Harris Troy
Carlton Williams Clinton
Sharif Rashed Wendell
Tse-Mach Washington Joseph
Christopher Knowings Nate
José Zuñiga Tommy La La
Isaiah Washington Vic
Ivelka Reyes Jessica
Spike Lee Snuffy
N.Jeremi Duru Right Hand Man
Frances Foster Aunt Song
Norman Matlock Clem
Patriece Nelson Viola
Vondie Curtis-Hall Uncle Brown
Tiasha Reyes Minnie
Joie Lee
Robi Reed
Bokeem Woodbine Richard
Mildred Clinton Mrs Columbo
Arthur French West Indian Store Manager
Dan Grimaldi Con Ed Man
Christopher Wynkoop TV Evangelist
Keith Wonderboy Johnson Cornell
Michele Shay Drunk Woman
RuPaul Bodega Woman
Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer
Barry Alexander Brown Editor
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike Ellis Asst. Director
Ted Glass Set Decoration/Design
Preston Holmes Producer
Arthur Jafa Cinematographer
Jon Kilik Producer
Steve Kirshoff Special Effects
Joie Lee Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Cinqué Lee Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Skip Lievsey Musical Direction/Supervision
Rolf Pardula Sound/Sound Designer
Robi Reed Casting
Monty Ross Co-producer
Chris Shriver Art Director
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapter List
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Menu

Side #1
      Main Titles
      The Kitchen Police
      Ladybug
      The Garbage War
      Don't Go, Daddy
      Troy's Troubles
      The Food Stamps
      No Lights, No Rent
      Roll On, Citroen
      Extended Family
      Southern Life
      Letter From Mommy
      Birthday Party
      Back To Brooklyn
      I Hate Funerals
      Mommy's Gone
      Lady Of The House
      End Titles
   Bonus Materials
      Production Notes
      Cast And Filmmakers
      Universal Web Links
   Language Selection
      Spoken Languages
      Captions And Subtitles
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brokelyn

    I loved this movie as a kid, so I was very excited to purchase it. The delivery time was fast, which was fabulous! The dvd was new, so I expected no problems. It didn't work properly when I played it in my dvd player. I took it with me on a trip and decided to try it on another dvd player hoping it would work.....UH NOPE! DISSAPPOINTED. I'm returning it and will purchase it from another website.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nice Film

    Crooklyn, which Lee co-wrote with his siblings Joie Lee and Cinque Lee, marks a departure for Spike in its subject matter, offering a warm, tragicomic look at growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1970s, when the main drugs parents had to worry about their kids falling prey to wasn't crack or heroin but television and sugar. Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo head the Carmichael clan, a family of seven loosely based on the real-life Lees. Woodard plays Carolyn, who teaches school and tries to keep the house in order, including her husband Woody (Lindo), a musician trying to stay true to his art even if that means placing his family in a financial strait-jacket. Crooklyn takes the point of view of the family's only daughter, 9-year-old Troy (Zelda Harris). While the film certainly looks through her eyes, it doesn't seem to be a strong enough viewpoint to carry the film's whimsical meandering. While Woodard, Lindo and Harris all give solid performances, the four brothers tend to disappear into the woodwork, never really developing into characters in their own rights. Subplots about a neighbor (David Patrick Kelly) and two glue-sniffing street kids (one played by Spike Lee) appear but never really go anywhere, though the glue sniffers do provide some funny camera angles. There aren't many overt flaws in Crooklyn. All but the most comic of urban violence has been removed, and we're left with a somewhat-idealized view of an early-70s Brooklyn. Lee is as talented as any director is capturing an era, and some of the early scenes perfectly recall the mood of the time. The pop soundtrack may be a little too obvious, but it gets the job done. As usual, Lee has assembled an excellent cast. Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo do tremendous jobs. David Patrick Kelly provides a little comic relief as the white next-door neighbor who annoys just about everyone. Then there's Zelda Harris, whose unaffected performance is the glue that holds the picture together. Crooklyn turns out pleasant enough, but by the end, it feels as if something has been left out and it just stops. The world of a child -- especially one pushed all-too-soon into adulthood -- is never easy, and this film captures the facets of Troy's odyssey. Beneath the surface of this deceptively simple motion picture lurks a keen insight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the best movie in the NATION!!

    This movie was so amazing! I watched this movie as a little girl and still watch it on a daily basis to this day. I remember my dad pulling out this movie one night and I was like what is this? I've never heard of this before..and since then its been my favorite movie. I recommend that anyone go see this movie know matter if your black, white, or purple! It's a great family movie that everyone will enjoy, I guarantee it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My Favorite Movie

    Kari,14-years-old:Somlo,you just don't understand. Those characters are REAL,with real emotions. As far as Spike Lee being racist;i'm intrigued someone would even make a misconception such as that!Incase Somlo you don't know...that's exactly how it was in the 70's.Yeah!My mother told me.That white man always tried to get them in trouble.Although,from time to time, he was right.Also,all siblings fight,so you might as well squash that.Maybe Troy used not dressing up as a way of saying she didn't want to go.Who would?!My dad died 2 years ago and I know I didn't want to go. What little kid(or anyone)would want to say goodbye?!Especially at a young age!Being ghetto...you know NOTHING about.The world we live in today,still has NO peace or justice for the blacks.But we survive day by day!The majority of us are still in the gutter,still in the ghetto.Where we can be an ex-con and not get the job.But let a white ex-con,same sentence,same crime,come in for that job and they've got it!Is that fair? No.But neither is life!And that's his movie not yours.Okay,so maybe it's not all 'gravy' for you.But you'll ALWAYS have it easier than African-American people.Have you ever tried to look at it from our point of view?! I guess not.Look in the mirror one day;maybe you're the racist one.Because 'Crooklyn' is about Spike Lee's life!Since you feel so high strong,let's see you make your on movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    EXCELLENT MOVIE!!!

    Angela June 3, 2003 My family and I love this movie! Every time we watch it we laugh as though it is our first time seeing it. I totally disagree with Austin Somlo's review. Judging by his comments his background lacks diversity, and he is certainly not Black. There is nothing racist about Crooklyn. I grew up in the 70's in Cleveland, Ohio. Spike did an excellent job taking me back there. The street games, the board games, the name calling, the girls with the ''forget you'' sign language, and the summer vacations with my Southern relatives. Thank you Spike for keeping it real, for keep everything Black, and for making me laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    i loved it

    i thought this movie was awsome, funny and heart warming all in one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AMAZING

    I thought this movie was great! It really amazed me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Honest Story with Beautifully Human Characters

    You might not be able to find two film reviews more different from each other than mine is from the other written here. Out of all of the films I have seen, I constantly return to this warm, honest, and moving portrayal of Troy and her family. What attracts me to it is the truth that Spike Lee gives to his characters. These are not perfect people, and they are not meant to be seen as stock representations of morality. They are humans with flaws whose behavior may not always be correct, but that is what keeps this film from becoming an episode of Leave it to Beaver. Yes, the family does not have a good relationship with their white neighbor, but part of this is due to the garbage that keeps moving from his front door to the family's stoop. The kids do torment the man, but they are children, and their reaction to him comes from their inability to see beyond his strange appearance and unfriendly behavior. When the parents react to him it is because they find him yelling at their children. Is the way that they react politically correct? No, but it is honest. The family reacts against the man not because he is white, but because he is seeking to make trouble for the family. Moreover, this character is not the only one in the film who is portrayed in a negative manner. Spike puts in a cameo as a drug addict who is constantly huffing chemicals from a paper bag. Then there is a young Puerto Rican girl who shoplifts from the corner store and tries to get Troy in trouble. Are these characters racist depictions as well? I think not. If this film were set in an all white neighborhood, there would be both positive and negative depictions, but with such a homogenous background there would be no thought of crying racism. In the multicultural climate of Brooklyn, there are a variety of people from various backgrounds, and not everyone is going to be a positive character. That just isn't the way the world or fiction works. If Spike Lee is a racist for portraying this situation in this manner, then perhaps every author,director, artist, or musician should be labled likewise when he or she seeks to show people as they truly are. As for the children not wanting to get dressed up for their mother's funeral, it is not disrespect for her, but a child's reaction to grief and all of the questions and uncertainty it brings. When Troy is presented with a polyester dress to wear to the funeral, her first reaction is that her mother would never let her wear polyester. Her mother is true to the times as a woman who believes in teaching her children about their culture. She doesn't want them to be conformed to white society in the way that they are dressed and in the way that their hair is styled. At a time when afrocentrism was becoming important, she styles her children's hair in a way that is natural to its texture and shape. She does not want them to be ashamed of who they are as young black people. Therefore, Troy's reaction to the dress is that of a daughter following in the manner her mother has taught her. Eventually, she puts on the dress because she knows that this is what she needs to do in that moment, but it does not take away from what she has learned. What strikes me about this film is what it says about the transition of the role of women from a mother to her daughter. Throughout the film, Alfrae Woodard's character shows her daughter what it is to be a woman in a family full of men. Troy sees her mother struggle with their father and finances, but she truly knows that at the core of her mother is the strength that every woman must have. After her mother's death, the viewer sees Troy take her mother's place in the house, and the voice of her mother stays with her as she continues to grow and learn. In a recent interview, Spike Lee stated that one of the most important aspects of his films is that they do not answer all of the questions that are posed. If film characters are to be perfect moral representations with all of the answer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Utterly Terrible

    This is one of the downright worst films I have ever saw, close to Waterboy, Vertical Limit, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. The actors in this movie are horrible. I find this movie unbearable and difficult to watch in one seating, continuing to squirm around. I stopped this video at least 15 times, making promises to myself to watch it at a time for 10 to 15 minutes each. The story is god-awful, and this movie has hit the bottom point based on moral values, especially on the perspective of how a ghetto Black family lives. The girl Troy makes me sick to my stomach. How they beat the white neighbor with glasses makes me to say that Spike Lee should be ashamed of himself displaying this kind of mockery. This is movie is an obvious revelation that Spike lee is a racist. I am not a racist, but this kind of scene is giving a message that white people, especially the ugly ones, deserve to be beaten up and made mockery out of. Wake up Spike lee...this is not the 1960's when you can be Malcolm X of the African-American generation in the late 20th and the early 21st century. Spike Lee had no justification to provoke the old anger of Malcolm X through film making. What I don't understand is why Troy (the leading black sister) is so special and still hurts the society and getting away with it. One of the worst line I have heard through the film was, ''I hope we don't have to dress up for mommy's funeral.'' I am speechless as it seems like, the children of the family do not really care about the mother's passing. I don't even appreciate the boy with glasses beating up his siblings and be allowed to have total freedom to choose basketball over anything more important. The mother made me sick to my stomach also. The portrayal of her as a role model is nonexistent. Finally thing to say, when the movie nearly ends and the mother dies, I am calling as an act of disrespect made by Spike Lee in reference to making the movie a ''worthy-audience-gripping-to-feeling-sad-for-them'' change of tide. I am telling you, this is an absolute one of the worst and racist film I have ever seen, and I have no respect for Spike Lee's work still even though I have seen X, He Got Game, Do the Right Thing, etc.. The most important African American film maker of the decade or even the century? Please...spare me the humor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews