Academy Award(R)-nominee Edward Norton (Best Actor, 1999, AMERICAN HISTORY X) heads an amazing all-star cast in the critically acclaimed Spike Lee (SUMMER OF SAM, DO THE RIGHT THING) film 25th HOUR. In 24 short hours Monty Brogan (Norton) goes to prison for seven long years. Once a king of Manhattan, Monty is about to say good-bye to the life he knew — a life that opened doors to New York’s swankest clubs but also alienated him from the people closest to him. In his last day on the outside, Monty tries to reconnect with his father (Brian Cox, THE BOURNE IDENTITY), and gets together with two old friends, Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman, ALMOST FAMOUS) and Slaughtery (Barry Pepper, THE GREEN MILE). And then there’s his girlfriend, Naturelle (Rosario Dawson, MEN IN BLACK 2), who might (or might not) have been the one who tipped off the cops. Monty’s not sure of much these days, but with time running out, there are choices to be made as he struggles to redeem himself in the 25th hour.


“He Got Game” was the first Spike Lee movie that I purposely sought out. Sure, I was familiar with the guy beforehand. I spent many hours watching “Do The Right Thing and “Crooklyn” on premium cable. However, I was able to see R rated movies and I grew up in an area where basketball was king. Seeing everyone from Rick Pitino to Bill Walton to Reggie Miller to Scottie Pippen was just doing it for me. But, there was a sincere story about forgiveness and paying your dues. It’s one of the quieter Spike Lee movies, so it gets ignored. Don’t make that mistake now.

“25th Hour” is such a writer’s movie. When it came out, it was on par with “Pulp Fiction” in terms of younger writers going out of their way to ape it. Everyone wanted that fake out/dream ending. Everyone wanted moral ambiguity mixed together with misplaced anger. Hell, everyone wanted to find a way to work an Anna Paquin character into their stuff. Damn, she was so hot in this. If you love it, you’ve already bought it. If you’re curious, just ask a fan.

The Blu-Ray comes with a new commentary track for each movie. Plus, you get all of the old DVD special features ported over. That is, if the original Touchstone discs actually got special features. The A/V Quality is superb when compared to the old releases. The DTS-HD 5.1 track really makes the Aaron Copland selection sing in “He Got Game”. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.


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