Tags: BD-Live, Bill Nunn, Danny Aiello, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Esposito, John Turturro, Joie Lee, Martin Lawrence, Ossie Davis, Richard Edson, Robin Harris, Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Steve White, Universal
has an average rating of 7.9 on IMDb
1080p in VC-1 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
partially HD with DVD ports & BD-Live
– 120 minutes
This uses 30.9GB for the movie out 45.7GB total.
Street Date: June 30th, 2009
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was Written by, Produced by, Directed by and even primarily stars Spike Lee. In other words, as he says it, it’s a “Spike Lee Joint“. This is one of his “tightest” rolled of his “joints”, as well in the end very “hard-hitting”; let that be said from the very start.
The story revolves around the individuals of a community in Brooklyn, New York, and primarily the racial conflicts faced between the different ethnic backgrounds residing there. The friction is as high as the temperature of the city on this predominately African-American and Puerto Rican populated street, with encounters of indifference being had at locations such as Sal’s Pizzeria owned by an Italian-American family, the Frangiones, and a Korean owned corner store across from the Pizzeria.
We’ve got several characters in the story, starting with Mookie (Spike Lee), an African-American who lives with his sister, Jade (Joie Lee), bringing in a meager source of income from his job at Sal’s Pizzeria delivering pizzas. Mookie also has a child, Hector, with his nagging Peurto Rican girlfriend, Tina (Rosie Perez), who he seems to be avoiding. Mookie is present in the pizzeria during a visit by one of his friends, Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito), when he comes in for a slice, and while dining, declares his opinion of the Italian-American wall-of-fame in the restaurant. Buggin Out interrogates Sal (Danny Aiello) about the fact that there are no famous African-Americans on the wall, when they are the ones that have kept his business alive for 25 years in the neighborhood. Sal refuses to agree with this statement, standing on his ideas that it is his restaurant, and he can put what ever he wants on the wall. The argument ends with Sal banning Buggin Out from his pizzeria, and pressuring Mookie to be his voice to another ethnic background, expecting him to pass along some understanding to his friends, being that he is an African-American working in an Italian-American owned business. Also working in Sal’s Pizzeria is his older son, Pino (John Turturro), who dislikes the idea of running the family business in a community that is not of other Italian-Americans, though he can not persuade his father to move the business elsewhere.
We’ve also got Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) of the neighborhood, equipped with his boombox, ever-blasting Public Enemy‘s “Fight the Power”, as well as his brass knuckles stating “Love” on the right hand, and “Hate” on the left. Other characters present on the neighborhood’s street include three men sticking out the heat and observing passer-by’s, Sweet Dick Willie (Robin Harris), Coconut Sid (Frankie Faison), and ML (Paul Benjamin). Then there’s Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), a drunken elder of the neighborhood, always putting forth his attempts to swoon Mother Sister (Ruby Dee). A voice listened to by all, Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson), spreads his love against hatred on the air from a radio station next door to Sal‘s. A more significant confrontation ensues, when Buggin Out spreads the word of the anti-African-American wall in the pizzeria, leading to an explosion of racial hatred that has been pent-up amongst the community dwellers.
Overall, looking back on “Do The Right Thing“, it was a one of the great late eighties urban classics and surely one of Spike Lee‘s finest films with one of the most memorable casts in the history of African American actors over the past few decades. The song that starts the film up and is heard throughout, Public Enemy‘s “Fight the Power” totally sums up the message the film conveys in the end. The message that is found in this “Spike Lee Joint” are similar to that of both his obvious heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. It does however contain it’s very funny points with it’s cast of characters that are very redeeming and help convey the message that we are equals and in many ways, very much the same. Racial tension and sometimes eventually conflict are some things that will always exist no matter what we try to do to eradicate them and this film is just one of the many films that shows an example of that. “Today’s weather, HOT! Wake Up.” The question here is, would you “Do The Right Thing” given the circumstances and do you get the message that Spike Lee is trying to convey in this story of urban unrest.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the VC-1 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb, this was shot on traditional 35mm film using Arriflex Cameras and Lenses. This makes for a really impressive transfer and restoration as well. There is a slight bit of film grain and noise present without any signs of much (if at any at all) use of DNR or EE filters. The amount of detail in close-ups (such as that screenshot found above) looks simply breathtaking when you take the time to realize and/or appreciate that this is after all a now 20-year-old film we are talking about. The beautiful cinematography by Ernest R. Dickerson is done total justice here. The black level is very solid here and the color palette is extremely vibrant, much thanks to the bright wardrobe worn by the cast of characters as well the backdrop of New York. Flesh tones are extremely accurate with a wide range of ethnicity in the cast to serve as examples here. Plus, to be a 2 hour film this shows no signs of any compression problems. Hence, it’s using the BD-50 disc capacity well enough to deliver as I started things off by saying, a really impressive transfer / restoration. “Do The Right Thing” in it’s debut to Blu-ray Disc earns a very solid “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. First thing you’ll notice (aside from visually a young Rosie Perez dancing sexily) is the loud thunderous bass and rear channel presence found here in the mix. Public Enemy‘s song “Fight The Power” that starts things off and appears throughout the film sounds excellent in this DTS-HD 5.1 MA mix. The same can be said for the original music done by Bill Lee as well, which makes great use of the 5.1 soundscape. Once the intro / title sequence is over you’ll be treated to the vocal styling of Mr. Samuel L. Jackson as he is playing a radio disc jockey and talking on the air about the day ahead. His voice is delivered in the very distinct manner that it most definitely deserves and I’m happy to say the same for the dialogue throughout the rest of the film. Universal has put together a Surround sound mix here in the lossless codec that will surely leave Spike Lee fans pleased and likely even the man himself. This earns a very sweet “4.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials are in a variety of High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition video quality using Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- BD-Live is included on this Universal Blu-ray Disc release. This allows users on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc Player to access online content and download content such as trailers for upcoming films and such from the studio. Also included is the ability to share your favorite bookmarked scenes in the film with the “My Scenes” option found on other recent titles from Universal. No new title-specific content is available here, which is a shame.
- “Do The Right Thing: 20 Years Later” (35:47 – HD) is an ALL-NEW retrospective on the film featuring interviews with Writer, Producer, Director and Star Spike Lee as well as members of the cast and crew.
- “Deleted & Extended Scenes” (14:14 – HD) offers up eleven newly discovered scenes that were originally cut from the final (theatrical) version of the film.
- “20th Anniversary Edition Feature Audio Commentary by Director Spike Lee” is ALL-NEW and totally worth the listen for fans of the film.
- Feature Audio Commentary with Director Spike Lee, Director of Photography Ernest Dickerson, Production Designer Wynn Thomas and Actor Joie Lee is included as well, which is taken from the previous DVD release.
- “Behind the Scenes” (57:59 – SD) gives you some of Director, Star Spike Lee‘s original video footage from on the set of the film.
- “Making Do The Right Thing” (1 hour, 1 minute, 1 second – SD) is a really thorough ‘making of’ featurette on the film taken from previous DVD releases. It also includes “Spike Lee Intro” (48 seconds) and “Back to Bed-Stuy” (4:49) which are both also in SD (Standard Definition). The later of the two is a retrospective of Spike Lee more recently on the location where he made the film.
- “Cannes 1989” (42:22 – SD) lets the viewer follow the film through it’s screening at the film festival where it received a good reception.
- “Editor Barry Brown” (9:38 – SD) gives you an interview with Barry Brown who obviously served as Editor on the film.
- “The Riot Sequence” (1:00 – HD) takes a short look at the storyboard gallery of the climactic scene in the film and also features a “Spike Lee Intro” (1:30 – SD) discussing storyboard.
- “Trailers” offers up the “Original Theatrical Trailer” (2:12 – SD) and two “TV Spots” (1:02 – SD).
Overall, the bonus materials we get here are downright impressive to say the very least. You have the ALL-NEW 20th Anniversary Edition bonus materials which are in 1080i Hi-Def (HD) and you get the hefty amount of DVD ports in Standard Definition which tally in at around 4 hours in length. It’s safe to say that longtime fans and even new fans will be absolutely pleased with the wealth of supplemental materials found here.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.