Do the Right Thing (1989)

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Released 5-Dec-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Audio Commentary-Spike Lee, Joie Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Wynn Thomas
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Location Visit
Storyboards
Trailer-Do The Right Thing, Clockers; Jungle Fever
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 114:54
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (100:21) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Spike Lee
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Danny Aiello
Ossie Davis
Ruby Dee
John Turturro
Richard Edson
Spike Lee
Case ?
RPI Box Music Bill Lee


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German
Dutch
Swedish
Danish
Norwegian
Finnish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Do The Right Thing is a film revolving around a series of events that occur on a single block in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year.

    This movie covers approximately a twenty four hour period on a single block in Brooklyn in a predominately black neighbourhood. Located on this block are a pizza store run by Sal (Danny Aiello) and his two sons Vito (Richard Edson) and Pino (John Turturro). Also working in the store is Mookie (Spike Lee), the delivery boy who is known by all the people on the block. Other local characters include a radio DJ (Sam Jackson), an old drunk (Ossie Davis), an old woman (Ruby Dee), two Korean grocery store owners, and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) who carries a large portable radio. As the day progresses and the heat increases, race relations are put to the test as tensions rise.

    This was the third feature film by writer / director Spike Lee and it features debut performances by Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. Like the hot laid-back day that the film depicts, this movie starts quietly and slowly builds to a confrontation at the end of the day. Despite this slow pacing, the film is quite enjoyable and is understandably one of Spike Lee's better-known films.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is acceptably sharp throughout and there was no low level noise detected at any time. High levels of shadow detail are displayed during this transfer with the few dark scenes displaying high levels of detail.

    The colour palette on offer in this film involves predominately reds, yellows and browns. This has been done intentionally to try and convey the heat of the day and the effect it has on the people involved.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer at any stage.

    A single aliasing artefact may be seen at 8:28 but this is very minor and is not distracting to the viewer.

    A very small number of minor film artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 10:33, 14:38, 17:41 and 93:04. All of these artefacts are quite minor and are not distracting to the viewer.

    Subtitles are provided in German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and English for the Hearing Impaired. I extensively sampled the English subtitles and found them to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs at 100:21 at the start of Chapter 15 and as it is placed at a scene change, it is only slightly disruptive to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    An English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 soundtrack is provided on this disc as well as as English Audio Commentary track.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout the transfer.

    A small problem with audio sync was detected at 102:30 but this seems to be a result of ADR work and not a fault of the transfer. No dropouts were detected during the transfer.

    The original musical score by Bill Lee is very effective and works well with the on-screen action, never drawing attention to itself. Another major component of the soundtrack is the Public Enemy track Fight The Power which was written specifically for this movie and is repeated approximately twenty seven times throughout the film.

    The surround channels are not utilized during this transfer. There is a significant amount of low frequency information present during the numerous musical numbers found in the soundtrack .

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The non animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Feature Length Commentary

    This commentary features writer director Spike Lee, his sister Joie Lee who acts in the film, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and production designer Wynn Thomas. Each of these people appear to have been recorded separately and they make both scene-specific comments as well as general comments about the film.

Featurette: Making of Do The Right Thing (61:02)

    This is a short documentary that was shot during the production of the movie. The documentary shows numerous cast readings, production work, set design and interviews with the local residents. This extra is very interesting and provides significant insight into the making of this film.

Featurette: Behind The Scenes (6:39)

    This extra includes a short collection of rehearsal interviews by Spike Lee with Rosie Perez, Martin Lawrence and other cast members.

Location Visit (4:49)

    This is a return visit to the locations seen in the film by Spike Lee approximately four years after the film was made.

Storyboards

    This is a series of 57 pages of storyboards for the final scenes of the film. Each page contains three different shots that may be highlighted and enlarged. This extra is quite interesting and the boards also show the notes made by the director and the marks made as the shots were completed.

Trailer: Jungle Fever (2:25)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Clockers (2:29)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Do The Right Thing (2:03))

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 Criterion version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 Universal version of this disc misses out on;

    Due to the inclusion of additional extras and the dual disc formatting of the Criterion release of this film, it would be my version of choice but the R4 disc is the clear winner when compared to the Universal R1 release.

Summary

    Do The Right Thing is an enjoyable film that examines race relations in New York in the early 1990s.

    The video transfer is of high quality and shows very few artefacts.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is quite suitable for a dialogue-driven film.

    The excellent collection of extras provides an excellent insight into the making of this film and will be appreciated by all fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, November 10, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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