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Da Sweet Blood of Jesus has no shortage of style, but it isn't enough to make this horror-tinged Spike Lee joint one of his best -- or worth recommending.
All Critics (42)
| Top Critics (16)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (23)
| DVD (2)
"Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" is a bold but wildly uneven, bloody mess of a film, sunk in large part by the subpar performances by nearly every major character in nearly every major role.
Never once does the film feel sharp on black identity (as did Bill Gunn's original), and the terror is theoretical only.
The film is a hypnotically nightmarish mood piece more than anything else; it makes sense and yet doesn't make sense, in the way that dreams do and don't make sense.
Unrepentant, uneven and unique, "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" proves that Lee can still make a film worthy of the arguments it will most certainly start.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a mess, but it's the kind of mess only one of our greatest filmmakers could make.
While this return to indie roots frees up Lee's often gifted image making, his usual pace issues and penchant for jagged flourish over sustained feeling keep it from achieving a rich, strange, sexy and sad whole.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus takes the basic plot of Ganja & Hess, its concerns about addiction, racial identity, and religiosity, and shifts the conversation to focus on the relationship between race, classism, and gender.
Spike Lee, the old guard of black indie filmmaking, gets his mojo back with this classy, urbane vampireish art film that is a beauty to behold. Sophisticated, demented, eerie, erotica, prepare to be shocked and flabbergasted.
It's a startlingly incompetent film, suggesting that we've reached a point where Lee's instincts as a filmmaker - so unimpeachable a quarter century ago - have abandoned him entirely.
Praise God. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is Spike Lee's freest-feeling endeavor in a spell.
Spike Lee's Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a loving adaptation of Bill Gunn's 1973 Ganja & Hess.
Lee certainly doesn't schlock things up. But he doesn't add much excitement, either.
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