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First Full Trailer For Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer' Surfaces!

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 27, 2012 10:03 PM
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Wel, here it is folks! The wait is over! The first official trailer for Spike Lee's much-talked about upcoming next joint, titled, Red Hook Summer.

Synopsis reads:

RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather's constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik's summer appears to be a total disaster--until he meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he'd ever imagined.

I saw the film at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, as most of you know, where it stimulated lots of discussion/debate, after its premiere there. I reviewed the film as well.

But given that it's been *recut* (14 minutes or so shaved off), I'll wait to see what the new version looks, sounds and feels like, before making any further commentary on the film. So, you can toss out my old review (for now anyway), and after I see the latest cut, I'll certainly write up a new one (although you can expect that there'll probably be some comparisons made between both versions).

But I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the new Red Hook Summer.

The 121-minute film will be released in theaters (via Variance Films) beginning on August 10, here in the USA.

Watch below:

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  • James | July 26, 2012 11:04 PMReply

    It's good to see Spike returning to social commentary. And though I wasn't too crazy about the last Lee--McBride collaboration, I like what I'm seeing in the trailer. It's really sad to see so many of the comments on this page revolve around the Tyler Perry debacle. Spike is an important filmmaker.. and the modern father of black cinema. His films put black people both in front of and behind the camera.. Todays black filmmakers owe a debt of gratitude to Spike Lee. Recognize that. And recognize the role hes playing as cultural historian with his Documentaries. "Three Little Girls".. "When The Levees Broke".. are important films.. not just "Movies". Whether or not you like Spike better than Tyler or Tyler better than Spike is really a moot point. Can't wait to see this film.. and also Mike's play.. and the MJ documentary..


  • ROBBIE | July 26, 2012 10:56 PMReply

    These boards are sad - filled with pathetic crabs enjoying their barrel. It is too bad because the news the website provides is quite good and deserves a better audience.

  • Helluva | June 29, 2012 6:53 PMReply

    Shit looks goods to me. I don't get the grumpy. Willing to bet that most, if not all of these flippant, dismissive comments aren't coming from filmmakers with MORE THAN ONE feature under their belts. It's just not likely. Complaints about it being "low-budget"? Some of the best black films of all-time were low-budget. "She's Gotta Have It," "Daughters of the Dust," "Killer of Sheep." Spike going back to his roots...I'm wit' it.

  • Neziah | June 29, 2012 9:16 PM

    Yeah, I have no problem with the budget. My favorite films are mainly low-budget features. I'm just a little unconvinced, but who knows, Spike might pull this off, and I usually love controversial films.

  • Orville | June 29, 2012 5:42 PMReply

    I bet this movie won't make any money like Tyler Perry does. Spike Lee's career is in the toilet he hasn't had a solid movie since Malcolm X twenty years ago!

  • James | July 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    Thats an unfortunate position. It never ceases to amaze me at how willing black people are to drink the Koolaid of conflict being served to them by the mainstream.. (and "black peopole" includes both Spike and Tyler.) They.. and you too.. don't seem to realize why they are being pitted against eachother.. and historically speaking.. neither did Dubois and Booker T. Washington.. and neither did Malcolm and King.. initially. I won't bore you with the details.. but it has to do with suppression.. and maintaining the dividing lines that keep black people more where they are than where they ought to be. Enuf said.

  • Mark and Darla | June 28, 2012 9:21 PMReply

    Spike Lee is a crooked little man, who walks the crooked streets of Crooklyn, writing in his crooked pad about crooked stories in Crooklyn. Spike needs to take long vacation from the Crooklyn neighborhood cause his brain is completely fried and crooked.

  • Upton | June 28, 2012 7:23 PMReply


  • JMac | June 28, 2012 7:23 PMReply

    Watched it and saw a documentary-feel (aka, cheaply made) piece that it is still uniquely Spike. Makes me want to see more. And as for the criticism about the 'this is BK not Atlanta' thing - the synopsis says the kid is from middle class Atlanta so it's probably a reference to a class disparity thing than a southern project kid going to a northern project area thing. And no, a middle class black boy probably wouldn't think twice about walking around with an Ipad in front of gang members if he grew up in a relatively safe neighborhood and has never encountered them before. Out of touch? - eh. It had a bit of an 80s feel to it despite the hint of technology and modernity but that seems intentional to me; the reverse of many northern black folks thoughts of moving down or visiting the South and thinking we're backward and country and all that BS. Guess it doesn't seem logical to see the other side of the coin. Again makes me want to see more to figure out how it all fits. I also have to agree that having been down South and visited the North, you couldn't pay me a million dollars to live up there. It's not heaven down here but the closest thing to hell is NYC.

  • Upton | June 28, 2012 7:06 PMReply

    i finally saw WOLF that Ya'ke Smith feauture. And Tambay was right, it is WAAAAAAAY better than the new spike joint. Ha their trailer is even more masterful than this. I hope it gets seen by everyone! Go see WOLF! Dont like the name "spike lee" fool you into watching a hot mess.

  • Andre Seewood | June 28, 2012 1:14 PMReply

    After watching this trailer several times, I fear that both Spike Lee and co-screenwriter James McBride may have missed their mark. Although I haven't seen this film yet (and I will see it when it comes out) the trailer itself reveals a couple of circumstantial weaknesses that suggest, to me, that Lee and McBride are a bit out of touch with regards to the changes in contemporary Urban/Black culture. The first weakness is the notion (implicit in the trailer) that the South (Atlanta) is a kind of idyllic place in stark contrast to the threat of violence, gangs, and dangers found within the cities up North. This notion of the South as an idyllic place in contrast to the hellish North (See: Crooklyn), that is held on to by people of Lee and McBride's generation is no longer true (if it ever was). A recent trip I took down South last Summer confirmed for me first hand that the violence, gangs, drug dealing and the problems we generally associate with Urban cities in the North are now firmly established in the South. Although many Southern rappers have been reporting on these changes for years in their music, those of us of Lee and McBride's generation have not been listening and refuse to acknowledge that the South has changed dramatically from the simple place of refuge we were sent to as kids when things got too hot in the North. The second weakness springs from the first, the naive male child character coming from the South to the North for discipline, religious instruction, and street survival tutelage is a throwback character that doesn't ring true because it is rooted in the notion that Southern cities are not experiencing the social, economic and moral changes that cities in the North have been experiencing. This naive child (with access to the internet via his tablet computer) would not be able to hold on to his naivety at all - no matter if he is sequestered in his home or sent up North. Today's children have access to hardcore porn and are recruited by gangs at ages many times earlier than those of Lee and McBride's generation. In short, this type of precious naive Black male child character, even at the young age as depicted in the trailer, is highly implausible; that is to say, not only would such a child know the difference between Bloods and Crips because these gangs exist in the South, he certainly would guard his tablet computer and not record these gang members in their plain sight. In this instance, I completely agree with the commentary from Alan, in that it would," have been more interesting if it was the story of a kid who was a Blood getting sent to live with an uncle who was a reverend." I fear what this film is going to reveal to us is how far out of touch Spike Lee is with what going on in the Black community today, in far contrast to how ahead of his time and intune he was with the Black community when he created DO THE RIGHT THING. I fear, but I hope that I am wrong.

  • NO BRAINER | June 29, 2012 1:22 AM

    Well, Andre, we should agree to disagree on this because this statement lacks logic. You said, "the naive male child character coming from the South to the North for discipline, religious instruction, and street survival tutelage is a throwback character that doesn't ring true because it is rooted in the notion that Southern cities are not experiencing the social, economic and moral changes that cities in the North have been experiencing." Logically speaking, this is far from what could be the truth. The truth is, you can find these naive male and female children in both the North and the South. In both cases, the child is usually sheltered to a fault, making him socially inept in most cases. I knew a few growing up here in New York City, during a time when it was really bad. They had no idea what lurked just outside their front door, or under their windows, or on the closest street corner to their home late at night. They would get together with other kids and not have a clue about the "grown-up" things so many of their friends had already been exposed to. So, how do you know the boy in this film wasn't sheltered in the same way? You won't know until you see the movie for yourself. And this claim -- "and are recruited by gangs at ages many times earlier than those of Lee and McBride's generation" -- is quite absurd. Lee is from early 1970's Brooklyn, and trust me when I say, kids were recruited to gangs at an early age back then as well. I grew up in the 80's and a few of my boyhood friends here in New York City were rolling in what we used to call "posses" at age 10, 11. there were no Bloods and Crips, there was The Decepticons, Autobots, Latin Kings, N.A. posse (Nostrand Ave posse), the different project gangs going by the name of their projects (L.G. aka Lafayette Gardens), etc. The project kids used to roll deep too, terrorizing the neighborhood kids. And this was all happening when we were at that 9-11 age range. Knowing a bit about Spike's history, I'm sure he is fully aware of youths in gangs. He was giving some of them work back when he was starting out as a filmmaker, the first to shoot in areas most film/tv crew would never visit. He didn't move out of Fort Greene, Brooklyn until recently, and his brownstone was just a block away from Walt Whitman/Ingersoll Houses, b.k.a. Fort Greene Projects, probably one of the most notorious housing projects in New York City behind QB and Marcy. Back in the 80's, Channel 7 Eyewitness News did a two night report about the Fort titled "The Belly of the Beast." So, yeah, you got that one wrong too.

  • CareyCarey | June 28, 2012 4:29 PM

    Okay my brotha Andre, we can do the agree to disagree thing. But please don't cloud the issue. I've never said that I don't like you. I don't know you. I believe my concerns have always been directed at the substance of your commentaries/articles. And I believe in 3 cases, you were "analyzing" Spike Lee and/or his films. In one such post, you were given the "opportunity"to shine a light on Spike's alleged misogynistic approach and alleged abuse of black women characters in his films. Now here you are again with an unbalanced overview of a two minute clip. You seldom, if ever, have anything good to say about Spike Lee, so I will continue to question - WHY? In regards to Tyler Perry, I question what you are recieving from being a leading voice of "blame" and contempt of that man? And you are right Andre, I am not the only person that reads S&A so my thang is, let every voice ring loud and clear, and everyone surely has the opportunity to do just that (conversation is a good thang, even if we don't agree). And please stop putting false words in MY mouth. I only referenced the neighbor elements because it spoke directly to the assertions in your original comment. I don't care where you live, nor the road you've traveled. When I person shows me AND "TELLS ME" who they are, I've been told to believe them. And no one said you were the NEW devil. YOUR SPIRIT IS YOURS TO OWN.

  • Andre Seewood | June 28, 2012 3:33 PM

    Dear CareyCarey, I don't exactly know what your problem is with me, but would it kill you, would it destroy your soul, would it flay your skin and set your hair on fire just to simply agree to disagree? To simply agree to disagree and not continually attempt to cast me in some kind of Post-Star Wars Evil Empire, nefarious and deceptive light... And please stop trying to assume whether or not I come from the 'hood, whether or not I have been a Blood or a Crip, whether I'm the secret leader of some anti-Tyler Perry Black Republician Coalition. So what, you don't like me and nothing I have to say, I get it- But who in the hell cares, you're not the only person that reads S&A and I'm sure you're not the first nor the last person to disagree with anything that I say, but please know this: I AM NOT THE NEW DEVIL THAT SHOULD MAKE YOU HOLD ON FEARFULLY TO THE DEVIL THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW.

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 28, 2012 2:47 PM


  • CareyCarey | June 28, 2012 1:58 PM

    Mr Andre Seewood, there is an expression "Call those things that are not, as if they already are" and you sir, have your mind made up, and unfortunately, YOU'RE dead wrong. Your whole premise is woefully faulty. Listen, I don't know what neighborhoods you've visited in Atlanta (lets stay with the context of Spike's film) or the neighborhoods you've visited in New York City, but there IS a distinct difference between all the finer points you mentioned. Look, I've been in several neighborhoods in Atlanta and New York City, and more importantly, I've purchased drugs in each of them (including, Tallahaasee, Washington DC, Dallas, Philly, Newark, and many more). That's right, I've stood up against a wall on the shores of the hudson river while a drug dealer told me to get my money out and don't motion to anyone. I have a daughter who lives in Atlanta, her son is visiting me today, so I am speaking from experience, not hyperbole. And to imply that most black children would guard their computor (as you suggested) is simply not true. And please, to suggest that children are recruited at an earlier age than Spike's generation, is a testament to your lack of knowledge on the subject, and it's possibly a tall tale sign that you've never lived in the hood. Maybe you have, but I doubt you've been a Blood or a Crip? But again, each neighborhood, and sometimes two block areas, are different. It's all about supply and demand, police protection (or a closed eye), gang turf security, etc. So Mr. Seewood, I believe your intentions and purpose for commenting on this 2 minute and 17 second clip, is rooted in something much deeper (and possibly devious) and self-serving, than you are sharing. Btw, that reminds me,would you care to share some of the "positive" aspects you recieved from the clip? Better yet, since you admitted to not having seen the film, can you invision any "positive" messages coming from the finished product? Lastly, Spike is not out of touch. This is one of many stories.

  • CareyCarey | June 28, 2012 1:10 PMReply

    ::Looking around the room to see who cut the cheese?:: I truely do not understand why some folks are up in here looking at this clip with a furrowed brow and their mouth poked out as if they're smelling their upper lip? I know-I know, we are not a monolithic group... blah blah, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, so maybe this house is presently filled with a bunch of rookie armchair film critics? That must be what it is because I KNOW we would never be hosts of garden variety haters, so I'm not going there. Seriously, I cannot figure out why some folks harbor so much disdain for this 2 minute clip. Personally, I thought it was quite compelling. I know, maybe we've been spoiled by the actors in Spike's previous films? You know, throughout all of Spike's films, the actors were the cream of the crop. But these actors need a little seasoning, in my opinion. However, I believe I know what's really behind the puzzled stares of the naynay crowd. Spike, as always, goes a little too deep for the less than critical thinking crowd. That's right, in that short clip, Spiked opened the door to at least 10 different avenues of "discussion", which I believe flew right over the cuckoo's nest. I am being serious, what did they expect to see? I mean, were they turned off by the religious theme? Was there not enough T&A or special affects? Maybe they would have been satisfied if there was a black woman kissing on a white man on 125th and Lennox Avenue? You know, they can't get with that Brooklynn thang. I'll tell y'all what, ol' CareyCarey is all in and I don't care if Peter Piper picks paul's purple pecker apart (and Spike's too). Pleasing pickeled peppered purple pecker people, has become practically inpossible.

  • CareyCarey | June 29, 2012 3:13 AM

    Yeah No brainer, I'm always taken aback by the "tecnical geeks". I wonder if they ever sit back and enjoy a movie? That would be pretty hard to do while constantly and consciously looking for "errs". And unfortunately, Andre was talking about situations within the plot that he obviously knew nothing about. Heck, like you, I could have mentioned more of the storyline that I am quite familiar with. Take for instance the small church and the grandson who felt embarrassed by his grandfather. Well, my woman's grandson is required to attend his other grandparent's church. Every week there's less than 10 people who attend and his grandfather is the pastor (just like this story). And check this, even though it's a store front church, the service is televised through a local public access channel. So the young kid gets joked by his friend. I even jack with him sometimes, but we laugh about it and I hit him with a double sawbuck. Oh, and you were spot on with your assessment of the sheltered child, and the dynamics of the "gangs" back in the day.

  • NO BRAINER | June 29, 2012 12:39 AM

    Phew! I'm not the only one who recognized the story and thought the trailer wasn't that bad. Some of these so-called critics sing the praises of lame films like Think Like A Man but trash what seems to me to be something exhibiting enough competence in-front of and behind the camera, it's worth giving it a chance.

  • CareyCarey | June 28, 2012 6:17 PM

    My man SonOfBaldwin, what inspired you to do a little slummin'? I know you didn't drop by to pull our coats by tell my secret that I am out to destroy black people. *LOL* You're such a silly rabbit, but always entertaining.

  • sonofbaldwin | June 28, 2012 3:22 PM

    Maybe you just have low standards, honey. But, I don't expect less from someone out to destroy black people.

  • Wordblaze | June 28, 2012 12:02 PMReply

    Alan. Are you from Brooklyn? I am and it AIN'T like Atlanta. And as a person who's worked with youth...,there is no such thing as 'a bad idea'... Nope . It's called curiosity!

    Also...I think it's a shame that we dismiss this film, chuck it aside as a dissapointment for Spike instead of seeing it as an opportunity to see such wonderful Black actors shine. This cast is my dream cast.

  • NO BRAINER | June 29, 2012 12:32 AM

    You said it, WORDBLAZE. And you're right. New York City as a whole is nothing like Atlanta.

  • Alan | June 28, 2012 11:03 AMReply


    "I know he's boys with the dude that wrote it, but that creative partnership has got to end. Ol' boy has given him two straight stinkers."

    Spike Lee wrote it, according to IMDB. Do you know something IMDB doesn't?

    Also, that part where the reverend says BK isn't like Atlanta to seemingly warn him to be more streetwise seems...odd. It's not like Atlanta is a small town. Also, the kid videotaping Bloods with his iPad? Any kid from a city would be smart enough to know that's a terrible idea.

    Having a church with "Lil" in its name seems odd as well. Is that some type of Lil Wayne inside joke reference from Spike? LOL.

  • FilmGuy | June 28, 2012 3:24 PM

    GQ: So, we have to start with Red Hook Summer.
    Spike Lee: Well Red Hook Summer is a writing collaboration between myself and a great novelist, James McBride. Over breakfast we were bemoaning the state of African American cinema and I told him I just bought a camera, this new Sony F3 camera, and said we should write something. One thing led into another and the product was Red Hook Summer.

  • alan | June 28, 2012 10:59 AMReply

    Visually, it looks great. Also nice to see that Spike is in touch with modern BK (the kid's frohawk, iPad and the unfortunate phenomena of Bloods in BK). Confused about the conflict, other than the father figure/reverend/old school being strict and the kid being technological/new school. Might have been more interesting if it was the story of a kid who was a Blood getting sent to live with an uncle who was a reverend.

  • NO BRAINER | June 29, 2012 12:29 AM

    You really don't see the conflict here?

  • Virgie | June 28, 2012 9:50 AMReply

    Just when you thought spike lee films could not get any worse. Hear comes Red Hook Summer.

  • Niko | June 28, 2012 9:47 AMReply

    And spike wonder why his films flop and Perry makes hits. Nobody is going to pay to see this shit.

  • priss | June 28, 2012 2:46 AMReply

    i can dig it.

  • randy | June 28, 2012 2:39 AMReply

    spike and his ego... why did he feel the obligation to show his face in the trailer?

  • Randy | June 28, 2012 7:41 AM

    The way he looks at the camera, it's like "guess who's back?". typical spike

  • Jon | June 28, 2012 4:38 AM

    Well, he is IN the movie too ya know...

  • Neziah | June 28, 2012 2:15 AMReply

    I don't think it looks terrible, but I don't think it looks very good either. I'd love to hear what made Spike want to make a film like this to help give me a better understanding of its style and intent.

  • NO BRAINER | June 29, 2012 12:27 AM

    You and me both.

  • James Evans from the Cabrini-Green | June 27, 2012 11:56 PMReply

    Pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass ass.

  • NO BRAINER | June 27, 2012 11:44 PMReply

    That trailer wasn't bad at all. I recognize the story in it. I wouldn't mind seeing it.

  • field negro | June 27, 2012 11:43 PMReply

    Better than I anticipated actually..

  • OBC | June 27, 2012 11:31 PMReply

    I purchased "Around the World in a Day" on 1st day of release. I sat in front of my TV to watch the World Premiere of "You Rock My World". I liked "Prometheus". I saw "Sign O' the Times" 6x in Theatres & bought the VHS. I'll be at the movies on Aug. 10th supporting Spike's stab at self distribution praying for an interesting ride. I'm not gonna bet against my heros. He's a risk taking artist and a survivor blazing an interesting new trail in a really difficult marketplace.

  • Xi | June 29, 2012 8:38 PM

    I'll co-sign on the dotted line!

  • FilmGuy | June 27, 2012 11:19 PMReply

    This does not look good. I know he's boys with the dude that wrote it, but that creative partnership has got to end. Ol' boy has given him two straight stinkers.

  • Ghetto | June 27, 2012 10:59 PMReply

    Wow. Now we see why nobody will give spike money. Look at this shit.

  • blah, blah | June 27, 2012 10:38 PMReply

    Meh but I'm going to go see it because I hold the same blind loyalty to Spike as the TP people do to those god-awful Madea movies. Yeah I said it.

  • AccidentalVisitor | June 27, 2012 10:26 PMReply

    Even the worse films can be pieced into fascinating trailers. So what is the excuse for the two minute mess that I just saw? Damn. Even his trailers are in desperate need of a competent editor.

  • curtis | June 27, 2012 10:24 PMReply

    Wow that looks awful. Should make atleast 1 million at the boxoffice.

  • Bondgirl | June 27, 2012 10:30 PM

    Okay, good. I thought it was just me.

  • BettyB | June 27, 2012 10:17 PMReply

    Me likes. Although, I was planning to see it despite what the critics said. YA DIG?!

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