"I Like Gettin' High"...

. Oct 10, 2008

A few days ago I felt like reminiscing to a 90's movie, so I checked out Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever". I forgot how many good actors were in this movie (Halle Berry, Ossie Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, and John Turturro). I also forgot that this film marked the beginning of Halle Berry's acting career. She played Gator's crackhead sidekick Vivian, a role that was flooded with cursing and one that required Halle to look tattered. I am definitely not used to seeing her in roles like this. For those of you have yet to see "Jungle Fever" here is a good movie synopsis via All Movie Guide:

"Spike Lee defines "jungle fever" as sexual attraction between members of two races. In his film Jungle Fever, he examines the repercussions of an interracial affair upon two very distinct communities. Wesley Snipes is Flipper, a happily married and successful architect, and Annabella Sciorra is Angie, an office temp. When she starts working in Flipper's Manhattan office, one day they look at each other and are soon having sex over a blueprint-strewn desk. Their liaison causes an explosion on both homefronts. Flipper's family consists of his father Doctor Purify (Ossie Davis), a former preacher; his mother Lucinda (Ruby Dee); his violent, crackhead brother Gator (Samuel L. Jackson); and his wife Drew (Lonette McKee), whom he loves, despite his sexual attraction to Angie. Angie's family is a typical Italian-American household from Bensonhurst. She's engaged to Paulie Carbonne (John Turturro), who works in a deli owned by his father Lou (Anthony Quinn). When the two families find out about Flipper and Angie's affair, their shock leads to recriminations and racial animosity"
The movie also does a great job of looking at one of the biggest social issues going on in the 80's/90's - the crack epidemic. This movie was able to successfully depict the harsh realities of the crack epidemic ranging from its effects on crime to its effects on ordinary people and their loved ones. Despite this dismal theme, the movie was quite comical enlisting the help of Samuel L. Jackson as one of the crackheads. Check out this scene where Gator asks his younger brother Flipper for some money. I could not help but start laughing. It was very Dave Chapellesque and reminded me a lot of Tyrone Biggums.